FOR RELEASE AT 4 PM TODAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2007
Comtact: John Wren, (720)495-4949
Political parties with good leadership are the megaphone of the grassroots in America, the place where the humble voice of the common person is best heard. February 5, the Colorado Caucus starts the process of not only nominating candidates for President and other offices, but also of electing the leadership of both major political parties.
My friend Sue said it best when she was still with us:
“(The Colorado Caucus is) a vibrant neighborhood forum for hashing out ideas—the last remaining arena in which you can get on the first rung of the ladder toward political effectiveness by just showing up.” (Sue O’Brien, Denver Post Columnist, 10/6/2002)
Our US republic has three parts:
1) Our elected representatives at the local, state, and Federal level and the system that supports them;
2) The grassroots, the common person expressing him or her self to our elected representative directly, through political parties, and through interactive media; and
3) The elite, people able to exert extraordinary influence on our representatives and our grassroots because of their monetary and non-monetary power.
Together, these strands form the strong rope of our Republic, the source of our freedom and justice for 232 years (if we take the founding of what we now call the U.S. Marine Corp on November 10, 1775 as the true start of our country.)
Each of these stands is important, but the first among equals in our American Republic is the grassroots. Not the unchecked mob-rule of a direct democracy, but the humble participation in our processes of freedom, being an active participant in reading, discussing the issues, and then electing and holding accountable our representatives.
Our two party system has served us well. Ego driven third parties almost always backfire. Both Ross Perot and his party and Ralph Nader and his party got the candidate they’d least like to see in power elected.
Some criticize the Democrats and Republicans, saying there is no real difference between them. Do we want a big difference? To win elections each party must move towards the middle of what the country wants. Democrats usually stress justice; Republicans usually stress freedom; but they are both for freedom and justice.
Demonizing the other side is sometimes just good fun, but too often sharp attacks are a tool of manipulation, the cheap shot of poor leadership and talk-radio.
There are good Democrats and good Republican. It’s like choosing up sides in a touch football game, does it really matter if you are a shirt or a skin, a red or a green? Two teams enables a healthy contest, but at the end of the day there is something very wrong with my thinking if I hate the other side.
Registering as a Democrat or a Republican is just a tool, your ticket to the process that starts with the February 5 caucus with your neighbors where the League of Women Voters has said you can best make your voice heard and your votes count.
My fellow Colorado Americans, today I beg of you to do your duty as a citizen. Read and discuss the issues, then register as a Democrat or Republican by December 5, the deadline for being able to participate in the February 5 Colorado caucus.
To find out more, talk with someone like Sue O’Brien who has seen the system work under good leadership a couple of decades back. Ask your favorite newspaper to write an article about our Colorado Caucus system and its history, and ask your local librarian for information. Join us for the new Denver Grassroots Rally (we may be moving our meeting time and place, to get a notice of each meeting RSVP yes/no/ or maybe at http://cocacop.meetup.com/2.)
If nothing else, go to a nursing home, and talk with someone who has been involved in politics. They will remember, and you can help us recreate on February 5, what Sue knew was and with good party leadership potentially still is ” the last remaining arena in which you can get on the first rung of the ladder toward political effectiveness by just showing up.”
Will you help us restore the grassroots in Colorado?
John Wren www.JohnWren.com is a business consultant and adult educator. He is the founder of the new Denver Grassroots Rally. His is currently the GOP Denver District 5 Captain. He can be contacted at (303)861-1447 or JohnSWren@aol.com.