Friday, October 12, 2007

Civic republicanism and 2008 (The civic core)

I'm going to stop worrying about MLS in Seattle and start worrying about something I haven't thought of for awhile.

Peter Levine points on over to a nice article by Ron Fournier (who helped write Applebee's America) on what he calls the "civic core." Move on over soccer moms, security moms, Reagan Democrats, here comes the engaged:
There is no greater issue than civic engagement.

A democracy is based on the notion that its citizens contribute to their society and solve problems together. In addition, there are numerous studies linking a person's health to the strength of his or friendships and community ties.
But, he points out, other than Chris Dodd, no one has talked about civic type issues this year. And, the national service plan roll-out is a very easy task for Democrats. Not a lot of people will harp on your for doing it, but it seems no one really expects you to follow through on it either.

Bill Richardson sort of rolled out a national service plan. Actually, it was one point in his education plan:
Create a Nation of Service

Teaching the importance of community service should be a focus in our schools. To create incentives for more student participation, in my Administration, the federal government will forgive two years of the cost of tuition and fees at a public university for each year of service.
So, as much as I'd love to see Democrats (and even Republicans) talk more about civic, I don't see them getting past the crow bars that are so much more effective at getting people to support them in a primary.

I'm still rooting for Michael Tomasky and the November 5th Coalition.

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