Thank you for the invitation to the new site. Although, I'm somewhat disillusioned by the whole online forum concept at the moment. I'm very saddened over events at PI, but it's caused me to do some thinking. Which is always a good thing.
I don't know what you're planning for the new site, what your "mission statement" will be, or what your hopes are. But I'd like to share something with you that I recently learned. Maybe it can be of use to you in your endeavors. Maybe not.
When I was first invited to Progressive Independent, I think my brain FROZE on the very term. Progressive. Independent. That's me, I thought. But obviously I didn't pay attention to the way others interpreted the title.
I'm a mountain westerner, born in Oregon and raised in Washington. I've lived in both urban and suburban environs in both states.
We are an odd bunch. Fiercely independent - free of nonsensical "party" politics. Very progressive. We tend to think that religion, gay marriage, and flag burning have little to do with the price of gas.
We are working class. We are interested in economic issues, yet we're castigated as dumb Americans when we "vote against our own interests." When we learn to switch sides and vote for the other guy, nothing seems to change. Eventually we realize that no one is offering a ballot that actually does address our economic interests.
We don't "get" the whole North/South racial thing and we don't give a shit about the Israel/Palestine thing. For us, those issues have nothing to do with single-payer health care or a decent standard of living.
War? Well, we grew up with it. We remember Vietnam. We're inundated with WWII bands of brothers entertainment. We were fed The Diary of Anne Frank while we were still in grade school. We're not sure why. The reality is, war is good business for war profiteers. We know that. End the Iraq War and a new opportunity to funnel money to the military-industrial complex will present itself.
When we sign online to engage with like-minded individuals, we cynically learn right away that we are far from "politically correct." Understandably...we develop a tendency to not vote. "They" offer us nothing to vote FOR. Only things to vote AGAINST.
No one speaks for us.
Yet when we speak for ourselves, we are "anti-semitic," "racists," or "chavez-loving socialists." LOL! Most people in my world wouldn't know if they've ever met a Jew, would happily march with a person of color for decent wages, and couldn't find Venezuela on a map.
Yes, indeed, we must be a frightening bunch!
So...when I see the title of your new forum, "Populist Independent," you can imagine how my brain freezes once again in happy and anxious expectation. Populist? Independent? Oh yeah, baby!
But I've learned we all bring our personal experiences to the table. And sometimes we're disappointed.
Thanks again for your response, Mike. You've been very influential in expanding my worldview, and I'm grateful.
And thanks for listening!