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A Gold Party lifestyle

A political party should not take itself too seriously but recognize that such parties are an interest group staffed by volunteers. Members can engage in other kinds of activities if they choose. If political work becomes boring, people will drop it in favor of other work (or play) offering greater personal satisfaction. Time is too precious to be wasted by pretentious bores who want others to do unpaid work for them.

What issues should Gold Party advocate? A better question might be: What should it do? Most political parties hold meetings where they elect party officers, adopt party rules, nominate candidates for elective office, and pass resolutions. The members are asked to spend hour upon hour in discussions governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. This is a turn-off from a personal point of view. Unless someone has faith that these discussions will lead to important changes in government policy, they are largely a waste of time.

So what should be done? Political power begins in talking with individual voters. Therefore, let us communicate. The party should organize meetings where people discuss what is on their mind. Such meetings may take the form of debates; or, they may feature speakers who set the stage for subsequent discussions; or, the meetings may simply consist of unstructured discussion. But instead of the question & answer format, audience members should also be allowed to make personal statements.

Therefore, Gold Party should become an organization to host public meetings. The more meetings it holds, the more its image gets out as a party that puts people first. The Gold Party should be a party that practices free speech; that would be its brand. Anyone can say anything at these meetings and be respectfully heard. But an occasional injection of expert testimony would also be a good thing.

Recognize, too, that a political party can be more than an organization that nominates candidates for public office and works to get them elected. Direct action is also political work. Often you do not need to persuade someone else to support change; you can make the change yourself. You can change your own corner of the world. You can set an example that others may or may not follow. You can articulate issues, picket and protest, or praise someone doing what is right. You can say what is on your mind, standing up for something when others are too frightened. Such change may be as important as what can be accomplished through legislation.

A political party is a community of people. It is a place to make friends. It is a way to support the projects of others and have one’s own pet projects supported or, at least, discussed. As human beings, we need to be with other people.

All political parties have their constituencies. The Republicans have business groups, Christian evangelicals, talk radio, and Fox News. The Democrats have organized labor, trial lawyers, Hollywood stars, academia, black voters, feminist women, gays & lesbians, immigrant groups, the New York Times, and television networks. The Greens have environmentalists and occasionally Ralph Nader. What of Gold Party?

Let's consider cultivating a new constituency: artists, musicians, entertainers, participants in amateur or professional sports, anyone who considers himself or herself to be personally creative. They are our future. Let individuals with creative aspirations of any kind join our party. Invite them to help design our party’s events. Let them perform at meetings. Let them create an experience which combines a serious political message with comedy, food, dress, humor, music or the visual arts.

Gold Party should sponsor artistic competitions. It should give recognition to artists who have helped the party. It should try to develop a distinctive “Gold Party lifestyle”. It should create an environment that is personally exciting, where people have a sense of doing something important and new.

Public meetings are essential. It’s good to be with groups that can touch the larger community. It’s also good to amplify the image of what one is doing at these meetings to unseen communities through free-circulation newspapers, cable-television shows, Internet chat rooms, POD casts, low-watt and community radio, or whatever media are available. We need to be active participants in our political culture, not passive recipients of one-way messages directed at us.

We can, of course, have a good time while we are creating a better society. We can have memorable life experiences. Gold is a good metal to wear in a necklace, bracelet, or ring. Don’t be afraid to flash your gold jewelry, if you own any, in public. Make a political as well as a personal statement.

It would be wonderful if Gold Party members wore bright clothing to the meetings. We should tolerate, even welcome, persons with pierced body parts, oddly dyed hair, beards, and tatoos expressing their individual identity. Crazy personalities are OK so long as they do not force themselves on others. We would not be a creative party if no eccentric persons were in our midst.

It would be great if Gold Party participants expressed insightful thoughts; better still, if these thoughts resonated with what other people said. But, remember, we are still a small party. There is no room yet for ideological schisms. Let’s not waste our time polishing party platforms and recruiting ideal candidates if there is no reasonable chance they can win.

Some day, if all goes well, our day will come. In an event long remembered, Gold Party will take over the government. We will carry out an historic program of change. Then, inevitably, rot will set in. We will become like all the other political groups corrupted by power.

In the meanwhile, let’s enjoy the springtime of our venture and our dream. That is the best time; and the time is now.

Entertainment as the Spear Tip of Revolution

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