Party on

With general elections only months away, it is clear to me that progressive voices we have in North Carolina are largely falling on deaf ears. Save a precious few office holders sprinkled here and there, the Tar Heel agenda is set by people who cannot separate the interests of business from the interests of people.

The problem is deeply entrenched in both parties. As Brunette has said, unless Jesus himself shows up to turn the tide, we will be stuck in this situation forever. (Actually, I said that, interpreting her comment.)

I'd be more than happy to be stuck in this situation if it worked. But it doesn't. It doesn't work especially in healthcare, environmental issues, and war.

I personally am willing to give on education and roads in exchange for transforming teacher compensation and guaranteed net neutrality (the new transportation). I won't give on war, where the corporatist model is criminally destructive. War becomes a first choice when too much profit is involved.

Transformation is also required, of course, in health care.


Leaders in the Democratic Party in North Carolina feel little need to listen to people like me, and for the most part, they don't.

So what do you do when you can't outspend your competition ... and your costs are already negligible?

A lesson from business is instructive: you have to innovate.


So, dear friend

How are you going to be innovative? Entertaining the idea of running for office again?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

That there's the question

Tactical innovation (Larry's gas-station event) is pretty easy. Strategic innovation calls for rethinking everything. And it can come with risks.

I generally start with wild ideas to get the innovation juices flowing.

For example, imagine a tight convergence Amway's profit model with a new political movement. The Blue Party, Inc. Oh wait a minute. Don't we already have two parties like that?


We do.

And I'm squished in the middle of that pyramid. Break out something new, ok? :) It's hard to breathe in here right now.

Can we, instead, start talking about "for the good of North Carolina?" --Leslie H.
Pointing at Naked Emperors


Ha. Good one.

people vs corporate interests

This topic of the people who represent the corporate interests controlling our government will become of utmost importance in the coming years. And maybe two of the most important issues the corporatists have managed are causing "wars of choice", and our refusal to join the world in environmental efforts. Anyone who still believes we are in Iraq to spread democracy has their head up their ass, and even some of the most resistant neos have changed their thinking on global warming. I have never read anything in the constitution giving the right to vote to any institutions or businesses. So why would they be allowed to lobby? But this is the way it is. Money rules our government. Give a good look at our 'big business' leaders, and mostly you will see people who have never sacrificed five minutes for this country, unless there was a profit to be made. But they are ready to attack any sovereign nation with our volunteer military to further their business interests. I don't have a clue on how this can be changed, but I usually can find a few bucks to oppose these parasites (corporatist politicians)whenever possible.

If we want progress,

we need to be prepared to recognize progressive acts when they happen and applaud them, even if we have grown to despise the person responsible.

I'm talking (in this instance) about our Governor, who has become the favorite whipping boy of people left, right and middle. Think about that for a minute. The things he's done to piss off the left should have earned him some respect from the right, but it didn't. And the things he's done to piss off the right should have earned him some respect from us, but it didn't. Why? Because we've allowed emotion and "purity" to cloud our judgment.

In this recent budget battle, he held out for teachers' raises and he got the GA to postpone a few tax cuts to the wealthy, primarily the Gift Tax. We should have applauded these progressive moves, but instead we chose to ignore them and join the crowd pointing a finger at his wife's raise and trips to Europe.

Progressivism is not an individual or a group, it's a mentality that is reflected in behavior. If we want politicians to stop ignoring our opinion, then we must not ignore the good works they do. It goes both ways, folks.

You are absolutely right.

I guess my cynical soul has been wondering why those things and not others, but maybe, since Easley is closer to the budget process than I, he could see what might have been possible.

Excellent point, Steve.

Can we, instead, start talking about "for the good of North Carolina?" --Leslie H.
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Cynicism is hard to shake

That's why when lovers get into a raging argument and say absolutely stupid and hurtful things, you'll often hear, "Now I know how you really feel!" ;/

Here, here

That's a good point.

Let's give the guy credit for the good stuff he's doing. Especially now that the mainstream media are jumping all over him.

Write the post called "In praise of Mike Easley."

Maybe we can lure him into vetoing the Figure Eight Millionaires Bill if it gets to his desk. And the Down East Stormwater Management Evisceration Act, too.

That's not a bad idea

Defending him over at the Dome is threatening to burst a blood vessel in my head...

It's interesting...

b/c I guess it all comes down to how you can MAKE change happen. And, not to re-hash this thread (though I admit to not reading most of the posts), but what does it mean to be progressive?

I agree that, as Rob Christenson once called it, "business progressivism" is the dominate political thought in this state. And, of course, to a certain extent this is more than appropriate, given the economic engine in our state. But I think progressivism, as I understand it, takes certain type of people who can shape ideas, persuade the public, and make calls of sacrifice and direct our inherent moral character. And, with all due respect to our elected leaders, there does not seem to be many modern politicians who have those skills, for whatever reason.

All I can say is that I've always believed that change can only be made from within, so that's why I've always tried to learn the system, be a part of it, play the games to a certain extent, and try and speak my mind, intelligently and practically, once I'm there. I'm just starting out, so who knows how successful I'll be. But the modern progressives don't seem to always possess the pragmatism required to work the system as it is. Sometimes you compromise, sometimes you hold your ground. Sometimes you play by the rules, sometimes you don't. Etc. etc.

I would just say, continue to fight on all fronts. But, certainly, an important front is getting to the point that you are sitting in the chair behind the desk in the nice office with your name on it in Raleigh or City Hall or DC. So, I just say recruit the most "attractive" individual, find some money people (there is always at least one...), get a good message, and go for it. Worst case scenario is you get to make some speeches, make your points, and gain some name recognition in your area for standing for something (maybe get on a commission or something after that). Best case win and fight the good fight in the arena.

sometimes being a progressive

or whateva you wanna call it...means taking off the rose-colored glasses and quit trying to make silk purses out sows ears who call themselves democrats. i'm blue-dogged up the yazoo and won't support some guy just b/c he's running (or she) against a republican. If the bar ain't set higher, no one is going to reach for it.

deny votes and money and time to blue dog posers

No offense...

but whatever progressivism's NOT Blue Dog politics. It's fine to be one (I suppose), but you need to tilt a little more left for progressivism. GOP President Theodore Roosevelt was more liberal than Blue Dogs, and he got some big "P" Progressive support. So...something like that I would imagine...

BP vs SF

Great post, James.

What's the difference between "business progressivism" and soft fascism? It seems like a pretty slippery slope.

North Carolina may be business progressivism, but unfortunately I think calling Washington's behavior "soft fascism" at this point is being kind.

So what can we do?


William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Well, here's one good place to start...

It's an oldie but a goodie.

(And it's actually relevant to why I've been completely missing in action here for months. More to come on that in a few weeks, I hope...)

One of the reasons progressives are not listened to

I have been talking to a bunch of Legislators over the past few months during the debate on Instant Runoff Voting. And the sense I am getting from most of them is that they don't like the way some within the progressive community have chosen to communicate their concerns and lobby on the issues that are important to them.

Talking down to legislators, accusing them of not doing their homework, of being easily swayed, calling them names and misconstruing their names, and basically a lack of respect for our elected officials does nothing but alienate the people we need to be our allies.

We may not like what they do but when we act like 4th graders not getting our way, we do not help the cause.

Wake Forest won't play us anymore
Michigan last year
LSU - you are next

I always act

at least like a 7th grader.


PS For the record, I'm always polite to the Honorables. But I must say, I haven't seen one shred of evidence that any legislator in Raleigh listens no matter how I approach them. Not one shred.