It appears that, for some reason, the "netroots" has decided to write a platform. Maybe we were just too pluralistic a group for some people, and the non-believers in the revolutionary avant-garde needed to be identified and weeded out. My best guess is that I am no longer a member of the netroots, given that I don't support this truly idiotic plank in the Election Reform section of the platform:
11. We support a change in the too expensive, too prolonged and unfair Primary Election system by adopting the use of an equal distribution of money by the Democratic Party to all candidates, a six month electoral race and a one day election thereby eliminating the unfair advantage of the early voting states.
Oh we do, huh? We support turning the DNC into nothing more than a public financing system for Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich? We support dismantling the 50 state strategy, shutting down the entire DNC communications operation, and supporting the presidential nominee in favor of having the DNC just dish out a few million bucks to eight or nine candidates every four years? And then, to be truly fair, we support a national primary day, even though it would require the approval of 50 different state governments and guarantee that the candidate with the highest name ID always wins the nomination? This is what the netroots supports? This is our great plan?
Platforms are where democratic movements and changes in the national social fabric go to die. Once a political movement is delineated into a specific set of planks, then factionalism, totalitarianism, and stereotyping set in, while creativity, innovation and pluralism are tossed aside. Once a movement can be clearly defined by a specifically delineated set of characteristics and beliefs, any ability for that movement to grow, change or develop is lost.
I hate political platforms. I don't even understand why people want them. Where does the desire to enforce all members of a group to cohere to a single set of beliefs even come from? It certainly doesn't strike me as a particularly progressive impulse. It does strike me as top-down, totalitarian, and extremely presumptuous. This is the sort of thing that has been killing the left for centuries, as we splinter into factions that can't possibly stand to be with people who disagree over a single plank in a platform that has no legal standing and which no one in government will follow anyway.
If people want to list their own beliefs, I don't see anything wrong with that. However, trying to create a multi-issue platform for an entire group is about the surest path toward political irrelevancy that I can think of. No one pays attention to the Democratic platform, and that is a good thing. If we were to demand adherence to the platform, the party would shrivel up and die a well-deserved death, just like every left-wing party that has gone down that path.
The netroots is a consistently innovative and pluralistic uprising of the American left and center-left. To place artificial ideological and policy planks on an organically developing, decentralized, and creative group of people is the antithesis of what makes the netroots great. We are freeing up boundaries to participation in politics and the dissemination of political information, not seeking to create new ones. Let's keep left-wing political platforms where they belong--in the mid-20th century and earlier--and embrace the play of the signifier in our new, elastic future.
Update: Some fan mail I received in regards to this post:
Now I see why I couldnt find my posts. You ARE a fascist! Dont bother. I'll remove myself. When did Dems decide people werent allowed to disagree? Platforms dont matter?? You must be very young--you wil be disappointed, as you treat others, you will be treated.
OK. Disagreeing with platforms makes me a fascist. That really disproves my point in this post.