By Ken Krayeske • 8:05 AM EST
Inside the walls of the booth - are voters ostriches when they bend over to fill out the form? Do those walls for privacy actually serve to disconnect the process of voting from the community at large?
Editor's Note: This column emerges from the archives. Published in Dead Tree Media, July 22, 2006. It never made the blogosphere. Based on the fact that this past election cost us $1.5 billion as a country, and the only thing I saw of community action was some Obama fans cleaning litter in New Haven one weekend, I think this still holds water.
Instead of reading Ned Lamont's name, think of the $600 million that Obama just spent to earn the title President-Elect. I have added some updates and changes in italics.
Additionally, I think that the election of Obama provides an opening for progressive third parties, because the Democratic Party is split between Blue Dog, pro-war Democrats and anti-war activisits. With the Republicans nearly extinct in certain places, this creates an opening worth exploring with a different type of politics as explored here. Thus, the question is:
Can the modern political party be a vehicle which transforms communities from the bottom up, instead of running from the top down?
What if the Willimantic Greens started a needle exchange program for the heroin addicts? The state won't provide needles. We have a solution to stop the spread of AIDS among heroin addicts - what if we raised funds to fix that?
What if Ned Lamont, instead of raising funds to buy airtime, decided to raise funds or give his own (like his Halliburton stock) to finance the middle school sports program in Windham? (which was recently cut when this was written). On Third Thursday, the parents, students and boosters were out selling candy to raise $30,000 to save the athletic teams cut by the Board of Education because of a budget crisis.
Nevermind the perversity of seventh graders having to sell junk food so they can participate in an activity that will teach them healthy exercise habits for the rest of their lives, but can we get a multi-millionaire to spend campaign funds on doing good in the community instead of running vanity commercials, like him singing karaoke?
The publicity he would get from doing that simple act of wealth redistribution would easily be worth the $30,000 in television ads (probably a dozen 30-second spots in prime time).