Well, this is interesting. I’ve just discovered it: The Coffee Party.
This is a non-partisan community of people who really want change and are not comfortable with the status quo. They want the political process to return to the people and not special interests. The emphasis seems to be on collective action based on what people find in common not a politics of division.
I’ll be eager to see where this goes.
The founder, Annabel Park, talks about seeing an x-ray of the political process that unfolded in the media over the healthcare reform debate. It was so completely broken and ineffective. She talks of how the divisions among people in the US are greatly exaggerated. She emphasizes engaging in dialogue to problem solve for solutions upon which we can all agree. The politics of division has broken the entire political process. She speaks of using the collaborative tools of the internet to bring together a platform upon which people find consensus. You can listen to a really interesting interview with her at this link. She is very articulate.
Democracy is not like a football game where people watch and someone wins and someone looses and it’s a zero sum game situation. Democracy presupposes a notion of community and the advancement of the common good. … When everything is about winning and losing, that doesn’t promote collaboration. … We have to show people in Washington that this is what democracy looks like. [She previously emphasized civility.] … We are not being represented well by the government and by the media. In that sense we are similar to the Tea Party. … The harshness of their rhetoric is alienating to me. In the end we might want similar things, but our journey might be different.”
You can watch a brief video about their Coffee Party Convention by clicking the image below. They have an interesting and diverse group of featured guests for their upcoming event which will be chaired by Lawrence Lessig, Founder of Change Congress & Professor at Harvard Law School, and Mark McKinnon, communication strategist for John McCain and George W. Bush.
And here is their Unity Pledge:
- Coffee Party Convention: Liberal Response To Tea Party Plans Louisville Gathering (huffingtonpost.com)
- Roger Ebert Challenges Sarah Palin To Debate With Coffee Party Founder, Annabel Park (huffingtonpost.com)