Friday, February 02, 2007

I just sent this letter to the Denver Post in response to the David Balmer column this morning about turning the GOP around:

So picking the right top guy and the right issues will change the GOP? I don't think so.

Colorado has the opportunity for a state-wide civics lesson every two years with our wonderful neighborhood caucus system. The state is divided into 3000 neighborhoods, and on a Spring (I hope caucus killers won't move it to a winter day like today!) evening two or more meetings will be held in each neighborhood to discuss principles, issues and candidates and how our political system works.

The system was part of the Teddy Roosevelt progressive reforms, but like fire it is only a useful tool. We need newspapers that are willing to cover the very difficult story BEFORE and AFTER, and we need grassroots leaders in each neighborhood that adequate news coverage would help develop.

What would turn the GOP around is the same thing that would revitalize the grassroots of the Democrats, newspapers that decide to provide more of a reader service to average citizens.

Thomas Jefferson said that if he had to choose between having good government or having good newspapers he would not hesitate to choose the later because with it you'd get both.

Right now with rare exceptions we just don't have good newspapers. So we are left with a winner take all brand of politics with a focus on fund raising, phone bands, and phoney attack ads. In two years David Balmer's Democratic counterpart will very likely be talking about what's needed to turn his or her party around.

Newspapers bow to the financial pressure and ignore our last, best hope for returning America to what our founding fathers envisioned: our wonderful Colorado neighborhood caucus system. They need to cover this story between now and 2008. Would any newspaper wait until the day before the Rockies first game to write about the team? Why not put at least one reporter on the neighborhood caucus story now?


I doubt that the post will run my letter, since I had a letter in yesterday's paper (see below). And I doubt that the editors will take it seriously.

Editors at big newspapers like the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News extol the virtues of our representative democracy, but they don't deliver the news today that is necessary to make it work. Like a woman who has been abused, they wear a sexy night gown and sit on the far side of the couch, they whisper a sweet promise just before they leave on an airplane.

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