Position Paper for 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Barak Obama

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Studies by the Center for American Progress and Pew Center for the People and the Press suggest that we are living in a rare moment. The studies point to inter- and intra-party fissures and desires for government to become more committed to the common good of all Americans. The polls' data signify the electorate's dissatisfaction with the current zeitgeist. We Democrats need to return to our roots and once again become the party that is committed to achieving a common good for our republic. Such a simplified platform will not only distinguish us from Republicans, but also stand on its own merits in that it will not be a reactionary platform such as the one from which we operate today. We must break the cycle of being constantly on the defensive against conservative Republican policies and propaganda. Advocating, charismatically, politics for the common good, as does our 2008 Presidential candidate, Senator Barak Obama, is the only way that our once-great party can again build a platform that is clear and trustworthy. In the wake of the conservative rise to power, we cannot afford to be a party that stands just for particular policies such as universal health care, environmental protection, or citizenship for illegal immigration, etc. Some policies are discredited; some leave Democrats open to familiar partisan attacks; some just bore the electorate. Voters respond more readily to ideas than to policies. And voters can respond to the one idea that runs through all of Senator Obama's addresses: the idea that we have to band together as a nation, occasionally sacrifice, and, sometimes, look beyond our self-interest to solve our problems and create a better future. Barak Obama understands, very keenly, and believes in the paradigm of the common good. That belief coupled with his charisma, rhetorical talent, and natural leadership ability allow him to weave the paradigm's message seamlessly and eloquently into prepared and impromptu discourse about a multitude of individual issues. The implications of the common good paradigm for policy issues must be a matter of civic negotiation. Our new Democratic philosophy will justify collective action far better than anything the Democratic Party has put forth in a long time. Senator Obama can construct such arguments for nearly everything the party stands for. His rhetoric will be tied to core economic matters and avoid bashing big labor. By basing his proposals on the idea of civic sacrifice toward a greater good in which all Americans will have a stake and a share, Senator Obama will change and own the terms of the debate. The DNC's 50 State Turnout program aims to decentralize control of the party infrastructure by giving state and county election boards the tools and resources they need to conduct their own voter registration and mobilization drives. Toolkits have been developed for use by the boards, and they are available for use by individual constituents via the DNC Web site. The program seems to have been moderately successful to date. But the program is still young and will require quite a bit of fine-tuning prior to the 2008 election based on feedback from the field. The consumer sector's new emphasis on accountability for marketing should be a red flag to the DNC that simply placing trust in state and local officials to get the job done without any systems in place for measurement of progress is an approach that cannot maximize results. Republicans' measurable tactics allowed them to reach like-minded voters where none were thought to exist and make predictions about pockets of support that allowed for reallocation of resources to truly maximize turnout for Republican candidates. We must focus on setting measurable goals immediately to give our new paradigm the best chance to be heard, accepted, and chosen by the electorate. Current Environment

The most comprehensive resource I found for beginning my analysis of the current socio-political issues that motivate...
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