Earlier this week we discussed activism and what makes it effective. I cited the Tea Party as an effective movement. The left has made a couple of attempts to replicate the success of the Tea Party but has not succeeded yet. Van Jones is attempting a new group called the American Dream Movement, focused on economic issues.
“We think we can do what the tea party did,” Jones said in an interview with The Fix. “They stepped forward under a common banner, and everybody took them seriously. Polls suggest there are more people out there who have a different view of the economy, but who have not stepped forward yet under a common banner.”
Jones’ “Dream” movement will launch Thursday night with a rally in New York City. The Roots are performing; MoveOn.org, a well known liberal advocacy group, is co-sponsoring the gathering.
After the rally, the group will hold house meetings around the country in a bid to crowd-source the group’s platform, asking for ideas and collecting input from economists and activists. It will then use those contributions to form a “Contract for the American Dream” that will serve as an agenda to rally support and pressure politicians in Washington, riffing off the 1994 “Contract with America” that swept Republicans into the House majority.
While the tea-party movement gained clout in part through successful primary challenges to establishment politicians in 2010, Jones said the “Dream” movement is not “about primaries.”
This sounds like a really interesting group. I do think that Democrats in general agree about economic issues. The Blue Dog/Conservadems IMO are more of a Washington creation. Our Democratic party does need to be reminded what rank-and-file members support – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and progressive taxation. If possible, we would like to strengthen all of these.
A lot of liberal dissatisfaction with the direction of our country has been misplaced and misaimed at the president. If we really want a change we need to do it ourselves. Change can come from the bottom up but it is a lot of work and it is a longterm project.