At the moment, I’m cruising at an altitude of about 27,000 feet (well, give or take…I wasn’t really listening to the pilot when he did the announcement. But it was something with a "7" in it…), and thinking back on the rush of activity that was YearlyKos. And I’m, frankly, a bit overwhelmed by the experience.
Meeting everyone and putting faces and names and screennames together.
Meeting a whole host of bloggers that I e-mail with and/or post about their posts after they’ve posted about one of mine.
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
(By the way, the in flight movie is "Failure to Launch." It’s a bit predictable, but definitely has some amusing moments. And Zooey Deschanel? Good snark.)
Anyway, I’m half watching a movie, half running my brain through the lessons of YearlyKos, and I keep coming back to something that I talked about with the folks from LinkTV, and then later with Murray Waas. About the interaction between the political types who attended the conference and the folks from the netroots who attended – and the relationship between the two. And whether any relationship exists at all.
Where is it going? Are we a group of people to be used as an ATM? As boots on the ground where needed for a campaign and then ignored? Or is it something more akin to a partnership – something where there is give and take, and a respect on both sides of the equation?
Personally, I’d prefer a partnership. It strengthens the Democratic party to have input from outside the bubble and from outside the Beltway consultants who never seem to be in it for the win, but seem like the percentage is the most important thing regardless of the ultimate results or how the job is done or whether they’ve ever really been effective at it.
Here’s the thing: everyone in this thing we hang out in that I like to call the blogoverse…we are all real people, with real problems, with real day to day issues, with concerns about foreign policy, about economic issues, with paying our bills, with filling our tanks with gas, with feeding ourselves, about…well everything these days, hmmm?
The strength of the netroots is in the aggregate power of the individual voices. We don’t always speak with the same voice but, honestly, I don’t ever want us to do so. Issues get tested through the arguments…all of the arguments – and if a particular proposal or solution cannot stand up to some criticism, then it isn’t really a very good idea in the first place, now is it?
But when we do speak with the same voice – very powerful.
And one thing that came across loud and clear at YearlyKos? We want the politicians to represent us – really represent us, not just the big donors, not just the lobbyists, not just the whomever happens to be writing checks today crowd, but US.
And journalists? We just want them to do their jobs and tell the truth about how things are and dig into the meat of the story and toss the phony balance crap out the window. A lot of them honestly try to do that – and we ought to stand up and applaud them when they do. The reporters who are trying to fight the good fight, to be honest and do their jobs deserve our support – because heaven knows that some of them aren’t getting it from their management.
Every person in this nation of ours is valuable. From the most wealthy philanthropist trying to use their power, influence and financial windfall to help others through some charitable foundation to the drunken bum passed out in the doorway near some bar in the seediest part of town. There is some value there somewhere…it may just be a little lost.
We spend an awful lot of time tearing people down in this nation of ours, but not nearly enough time building people up to their full potential. Making it clear that they can make a difference – in their own lives, the lives of their family members, and in their communities.
You know. Nothing big. Just…um…feeling like all of our voices matter to the people who are supposed to be working for all of us. And for themselves as well. And that we are all working to make things better…not just to hold things at some sort of nasty stalemate so one side can hold onto power while the other side can hold onto their piece of the pie, too.
Which leads us to where we go from here. Any ideas?
PS – Mr. ReddHedd says we’re at 35,000 feet. No idea where I got the "7" thing…maybe it was that second glass of chardonnay…
PPS — And now I’m off to Take Back America. Whew…exhaustion does not begin to describe my morning. But it’s awfully good to be home and playing with my peanut. Hope everyone had a safe trip back to their destination as well.
(Found this amazing photo on Cliff Burns’ website. Wow — some absolutely gorgeous shots here — and everyone should take a bit to browse. I promise you’ll find something here that will make your Monday a bit better.)