On the first question, I’d argue (not surprisingly) in favor of the proposed platform and offer my original post to summarize the reasons. I believe that too often, as Democrats we don’t explicitly state the values that that are the foundation of what we believe. George Lakoff and others have written extensively on how we concede too much to the other side when we let them define the terms of the debate. I believe the platform is the correct place to do just that. The overall goal is to produce a document that is not put on the shelf for four years. To achieve that, we’ll need to understand that while in the past, the convention vote has been the end of the process; we need to be ready to make it only the end of the first step.
What’s next? We need a continuing effort to encourage people to engage on the platform’s goals and their preferred next steps to achieve them. I’d suggest we do so in two ways. First, in my original post, I outlined a suggestion for a blog similar to the one we used during the hearing process. In response to that suggestion, BMGer Jim Caralis responded in the comments with great ideas to improve the initial effort and (bless him) offered to help make it happen. I spoke with Jim a couple of weeks ago and he remains willing to pitch in and has some very good ideas. Once the platform is adopted at the convention, we’ll get on it. In addition to a blog to talk about and “build the case” for what they believe is the next step to achieve our goals, Democrats need to commit to organizing to make it happen. At the convention, the party will be announcing The Community Organizers’ Initiative, a program that puts the tools of organizing into the hands of community organizers around the Commonwealth. I’ll have more to say about TCOI as we move forward, but if Democrats commit to building a case and organizing in their communities to achieve our goals, I believe we’ll be in a much stronger place.
There is more to talk about and I look forward to participating in the discussion leading up to and at the convention. What do you think?
John Walsh, Chair
Massachusetts Democratic Party