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New Series: Denver 2008…Stay Tuned

August 3, 2007

It turns out, that little Denver is soon to have a big event, the 2008 Democratic Party National Convention. Not sure it’s up to the challenge. Already, the eye of the nation – and the world -is on our not-so-fair city. Indications are that the attention will certainly grow over the next 12 months until the Convention itself. Every national organization of every conceivable kind will have a presence here in one way or another. Given the great possibility that the next president will be Democrat (- unless they screw it up yet again as they have the past two elections – don’t underestimate the Democratic Party’s potential to read the mood of the country incorrectly enough to lose for yet a third time -) the results of the convention will have repercussions for the nation and the world. A Spanish friend was telling me how unfair it is that the rest of the world can’t vote in US presidential elections since the outcome affects people far beyond the country’s borders.

Whether a person is a member of the Democratic Party or not really is not important. We’ll all be effected. There is so much to think about…how it was that Denver was `chosen’ in the first place and what it means to the State’s Democratic Party, the recent developments among Colorado Dems (Be The Change, Mike Miles and how they challenged the party’s old guard and scared them, at least for a minute or two), different approaches to the Convention including national and local intense maneuvring, how the media is trying to shape the events, etc. etc. There is also the eternal – rather boring – issue of whether the left should work within or outside the Democratic Party that has been with us for at least the 40 years that I have been politically semi-conscious.

The deeper issue is:how are we going to approach this political tsunami which is about to hit our city…and, from my persective, can `we’ (i’ll leave that undefined) both go into and come out of that convention with a stronger peace program (my particular interest) both within and without the Democratic Party. By the way, I don’t know the answer. So, once again, we have before us both an opportunity for growth and to deepen a progressive agenda for the country on the one hand and a chance to let the occasion pass us up or worse, to really screw things up on the other.

I have thought of a couple of irreverent titles for this series, among them `Denver: Cowtown Not Quit Come of Age’, `Watch the Dems Blow It For the Third Time’ , `Imagine: A Not So Great City’,`The Dems of 2008: Faking Left, Moving Right’, `High Noon Between Hillary and Obama: Much To Do About Nothing'(my current favorite). I can’t help the cynicism. Actually it’s NOT cynicism, more like realism. For all that, let’s not underestimate the potential, and the importance of participating in the kind of genuine dialogue both here and nationally that can help change the nation’s politically agenda. And if we do that, then maybe, maybe despite having the ugliest designed modern art museum (from the outside) , one of the pettiest state Democratic parties in the nation, we can, with the help of all those trade unionists, peace activists, Blacks, Chicanos, women, gays, coming from Nome to Naples (Florida) wipe the `cowtown’ image of the map…and replace it with something more dignified…and while we’re at it, let’s change the names of our baseball and football stadiums.

more soon.

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