Take Back America crashed out of the gates this morning with an outstanding series of aggressively positive messages from some of the outstanding movement leaders. Bob Borosage, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, MoveOn super activist Eli Parisier, Drum Major Institute chief Andrea Batiste Schlesinger and Rep. Schakowsky unleashed a series of barn burners. I’m not sure I can think of a session with a better matchup between crowd energy and great speakers that knew just the right tone to hit. And you didn’t have to fly to Washington and shell out mad hotel money to see it:
This conference has come a long, long way in four years. One of the critiques floating around is that a lot of the faces are the same, but this is the pace of the movement that we’re settling in to. And through new developments like confabb’s great suite of tools and the self-organized “unconference” sessions, there are more opportunities for people to plug in and be heard than before.
Getting all these details right seems to have increased the ambient energy here compared to four years ago. Sessions on what the new economic message would be seemed almost impossible to imagine four years ago. This year, there were at least two (including mine) just on the first day.
Bob’s reference to MLK resonated deeply for this moment: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” With the collapse of conservatism, we know the shape of what has passed. But the shape of what is to come has yet to be decided. It’s a great opportunity and a great challenge.