Bill Whittle at Eject! Eject! Eject! offers a different vision for making a difference. To state it simply, it is to make America better by making Americans better. I think Whittle's vision is good and useful, but it seems like a very long term approach to me. It's one I may participate in, but I think there is another opportunity here that we shouldn't overlook.
In the first post in this series, I outlined some beginning principles. One of those principles is that the concerned group (the Meta-Party) NOT concern itself with issues government concerns itself with, but rather with how the government itself functions. This presents us with a great opportunity: A great many Americans of all political colors are dissatisfied with the way the government works. By avoiding discussions on the greatly divisive issues of the day, we can focus on fixing the government. The Meta-Party platform will appeal broadly to conservatives, progressives, libertarians, atheists, Christians, intellectuals, average people, and dogs and cats1.
If you've never looked into it before, here is Wikipedia's list of political parties in the US. In addition to individual Democrats and Republicans, I think some of these parties (though certainly not all, and probably not most) would be natural allies for a serious reform movement. There are also a great many Americans who are unaffiliated with any political party. All of these people are unhappy in one way or another with the current political powers and are potential converts.
How does this work?
I'm not proposing another political party. I'm proposing a group of people dedicated to reform that would use whatever power it has, from simple letter-writing to fund-raising and campaigning. The members could maintain political affiliation with the political party of their choice, and if no Meta-Party issue was at stake, would vote their conscience on the issues. I see it organized and directed online, with opinion leaders guiding activities towards, for example, monitoring government activity, organizing rallies, helping get a like-minded candidate elected or a proven reformer re-elected, and always working to expand the circle of members and contributors.
The 'opinion leaders' would not direct or order members to do things. They would apply Meta-Party principles to the current political situation, collect and synthesize data, mediate member information and communication, and work to convert others. All of this could be done concurrently with other political activities.
That's it for tonight. Part 3 is coming up tomorrow.
1Okay, cats, and libertarians, might be a bit polyanna-ish.
Update 6/8/07: Part three is here.