February 26, 2006

Post-Partisan Progressivism

I am a great admirer of Glenn Greenwald. I think he is constructively trying to direct the power of the internet into public affairs and politics. Further, having just endured the Sunday talk shows, I am affirmed in my opinion that the quality of debate is significantly higher in this blog than that offered by the TV news outfits. Putting those two things together, I think Glenn has embarked on a worthy undertaking in trying to enlist grass-roots internet support to impact politics and political changes. I applaud those efforts and will suppport them to the extent they are non-partisan.

I am non-partisan and, frankly, sadly, I think neither of the two main American political parties is deserving of admiration. I have thoughts on why that is, but for the moment I'll put that issue aside.

My question is this: Do others wonder, as I do, whether progressive bloggers of all political affiliations should attempt to coalesce around specific politicians and political candidates who demonstrate the qualities needed in political leaders in these dangerous times (again, regardless of their political affiliation)? Here, I am referring to basic qualities like integrity, intelligence and courage. I think that if we had a significantly higher percentage of political leaders who possessed those qualities, this country would be a lot better off, regardless of the specific policy positions held by those politicians. After all, the fundamental tenet of democracy is that honorable citizens can resolve their policy disagreements. I do believe, however, that the core qualities of integrity, intelligence and courage are essential and should be considered prerequisites for serious political candidates, and certainly must be present to receive the support I discuss here. On the other hand, policy positions do matter, of course, and this reality might well engender a splintering of follow-through support for particular candidates.

I know this is something of a radical concept and may be met with derision, but I really question whether it is time to move beyond partisan attacks and counter-attacks. Maybe it is time to consider each candidate on his or her own merits, regardless of which political party sponsors them.

To those who agree with me so far, I have a couple of other questions. First, should the progressive internet support be directed towards a single national figure or an array of political leaders? I have always liked Senator McCain and strongly supported him against Bush in 2000. Also, there have been several posts on this blog mentioning Senator Russ Feingold as deserving of the kind of support I am discussing; I have done some research and I tend to agree. Do people have opinions on Feingold or McCain? Finally, what other political leaders have exhibited the qualities this country needs?

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud here. I've heard many progressive voices on this blog and wanted to get input.



Blogger smartcat said...

I am in general agreement with you. It is however in general hard to ascertain these qualities (Feingold seems to be an exception). For example I have been disappointed in McCain as he smooched to Bush.

I read your comments on Glenn's blog, which is why I am now reading your blog. I agree that this system is beyond the point where a little face-lifting may be satisfactory. It is simply not adequate, simply not good enough. The present rules strongly favor two-party versus multi-party politics. As you pointed out, I cannot think of a way of changing all this without another "revolution".

I felt uplifted however reading your comments.

2:10 PM  

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