Monday, September 24, 2007

A New Vision for Virgin America






I am a political virgin. I know far less than I should, and probably can't fully comprehend what I'm missing.

I am what America needs.

Not me specifically, but the country as a whole, or at least those interested in politics, should take a step back and see things through the eyes of those with no political ambitions--see how corrupt (both legally and morally) our system has become. Only then can we make a fresh start on Democracy.

I use the term "virgin" intentionally to allude to the strategy of Richard Branson and his Virgin brands. In each market his over 350 companies occupy, Branson and his senior staff knew nothing coming in--they were virgins. And in nearly every market, they have succeeded, at times immensely.

When industries have been around for a long time with a single route of progression, with very few jumps or bumps, they are vulnerable. Same goes for government. America, while only a country for a relatively short period of time, has a government that has undergone few major changes since its inception, and has gone down a steady path into turning government into politics--a path that now leaves us incredibly vulnerable.

I read a post today from a canadian asking where our third party was. While third parties don't often win, they tend to be more progressive and can win some swing votes from both sides of the aisle on certain issues. In a time that will almost definitely prove a turning point one way or the other in America's (and the world's) future, we need someone who will completely reshape our thinking--someone who comes in with fresh ideas, rather than just a cleaner political path and more fundraising on the campaign trail.

I had high hopes for Obama--after his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I couldn't wait til he ran for president. He had my vote, no matter what.

And he may, still, but only as a compromise vote (the kind I feel like we're getting accustomed to making). But he's had the opportunity to be completely fresh with new ideas and direction and a positive attitude (a spunky virgin, if you will), and I fear he's been dragged down into the politics.

Now am I about to run for office? No. I'm not the right kind of virgin--I know nothing about government and policy. We need a virgin who's been looming in the shadows, doing his or her homework, and formulating the best revolutionary (rather than evolutionary--we've gotten really good at fighting the previous war) ideas to make our country great again.

I truly fear that if this doesn't happen, America might fall from superpower status within my lifetime. I try not to buy into all the scare media, but regardless of the day to day coverage, there's no denying that we've made more enemies than friends (if any friends) in the past decade. Many countries don't like us much right now, and frankly I don't blame them. We have a lot of luxury here that's easy to hate, especially when it's shoved down your third world throat as we try to "liberate" you from our high horse.

Anyone who's willing to get down from that horse and pull his or her own weight in changing our country and its relationship with the rest of the world has my ear, and potentially my vote. My guess is those capable are probably political virgins. Don't be scared to step into the ring--lord knows we're tired of hearing the same two sides going at it, and so is the world.

1 comment:

brendan.chan said...

Help Create Democracy 2.0

Week Released: September 17-21, 2007

The Millennial Generation, including myself, is interested in being an
active part of changing public policy. This interest led me to be a part of
Mobilize.org¹s Democracy 2.0 Campaign.

On July 4, Mobilize.org began the Democracy 2.0 project to call attention to
the ways that our democratic process and institutions are properly serving
and failing to serve the interests of Americans, specifically young
Americans. The purpose of Democracy 2.0 is to call attention to the main
problems of our current political system, highlight the distinct
characteristics of the Millennial Generation, and provide guidelines for
change to help cultivate a renewed political process in America.

Currently, our political system is trying to manage a 21st century society
with 18th century political institutions. Democracy 2.0 will upgrade our
current political system, empowering citizens to identify community
problems, propose solutions, be a part of the implementation of these
solutions, and change the way politics is done in this country.

To begin this endeavor, Mobilize.org asked a series of questions and
collected data from youth, ages 16-30 that will be reviewed and evaluated by
Democracy 2.0 Ambassadors at the Democracy 2.0 Summit on October 3, 2007,
with the intention of releasing the Democracy 2.0 Declaration of Our
Generation. The Declaration of our Generation is a short statement of
principles describing a citizen-centered approach to democracy. The
Declaration will focus on three themes: 1) What currently works and what
does not work in our democracy; 2) What defines our generation; and 3) What
Democracy 2.0 should look like.

The Declaration will call attention to areas in which the government is
succeeding and failing to serve the public interest, highlight the unique
and defining characteristics of our generation, and provide guidelines that
will serve as a call to action for American citizens to help create this
renewed form of democracy.

I wanted to mention this opportunity since every posting here has an
interest in this. Mobilize.org is looking for people who want to serve as
Democracy 2.0 Online Ambassadors to be a part of the drafting process. If
you have any questions, please shoot me an e-mail at brendan.chan@mail.utexas.edu.