March 3, 2006
Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered
If you are high on the possibilities for the Internet transforming progressive politics, then this is the book of the moment to read.
Any net political junkie knows the success story of the websites of Jerome Armstrong (MyDD) and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (DailyKos). They are a team who have revolutionized the blending of populist content and take-action sites.
Like BuzzFlash, Armstrong and Zuniga are fighting a two-front battle in the battle for democracy and rebuilding a national community. They are, as is BuzzFlash, exposing the rank hypocrisy, greed, and ruinous policies of the one-party Republican government. At the same time, they are trying to implant some spine in the passive-aggressive wing of the entrenched Democratic Party.
The Internet, as the Dean campaign proved, can be a tremendous force for activating patriots who want to restore democracy to America. Indeed, the Internet has become the bulletin board for democracy and for a revitalization of the long-forgotten tradition of muckraking and exposing the scoundrels in government.
In "Crashing the Gate," Armstrong and Zuniga yearn for the vast left wing conspiracy that the right wing claims exists, but is still composed of disparate efforts, only in the incipient stages of congealing. But the Internet, they argue, may allow progressives to move more quickly than the 40 years that the right wing spent building their enormous infrastructure of media outlets, message points, think tanks, political funders and strategic get-out-the vote successes.
The Net also holds the strong potential for freedom-loving Americans to reinvigorate the Democratic Party through a popular uprising of reformists.
They admit that the Internet can't solve all the challenges ahead, but it's an enormous tool that is itself a prima facie example of democracy in action.
The dramatic rise in readership and participation in sites created by Armstrong and Zuniga is testament to the fact that there is a public hungry for change and for dethroning those in government who are betraying our Constitution and the nation.
BuzzFlash is proud to be part of that movement. We've been around since 2000 and have seen the hard work of Armstrong and Zuniga have an extraordinary impact.
We look forward in continuing to join them in the pro-democracy revolution on the Internet.
The biggest challenge remains converting the democratization of information into "feet on the ground" and in drawing in the blue collar and poor Americans who still rely on the misinformation provided by television news.
But "Crashing the Gate" is an uplifting testimonial to the power of the Net. There's no putting the Genie back into the bottle.