Thursday, March 16, 2006

Is Boulder The Future of America?

As many of my close friends and colleagues already know, I have been slowly developing this theory that the future for a progressive America depends on the successful activism of citizens working hard in Boulder County. This blog is not the place to outline the specifics, but here is the general idea:

Recent national trends have tried to portray a red and blue state map, with the blues in the Northeast, the West Coast, and the Upper Midwest, while the rest of the country is red, with The South one of the brightest shades of Republican-red. To gain national majorities, progressives are trying to calculate where in the country our best chances are for change from red to blue or even - going in small steps - purple?

There's much talk about a 50-state strategy, which totally makes sense to me, but anyone who pays attention to these things knows that states like Colorado and Montana have recently started electing more progressive state legislatures, and the Governorships out West are now dominated by Democrats.

Boulder is the "new-money" financial and intellectual capitol of this Rocky Mountain region, and when you throw techno-entrepreneurialism into the mix and think about where creative ideas for functional uses of emerging technologies will come to fruition, especially for the good of progressive causes, Boulder stands out.

Of course, there are many other outposts in the Rocky Mountain region, and the nation as whole, where advanced developments in political techno-entrepreneurialism will advance the cause of the progressive agenda. But my theory holds that in and around Boulder is where this "idea capital" mixes with real dollar capital like never before, and that the positive effects of this politico-techno-entrepreneurial capital are starting to show here in Colorado country.

The Christian Science Monitor published an article today that pretty much says the same thing, or at least gives an overview of some of the recent shifts. Entitled "Once-Republican Rockies now a battleground," the article starts off:
Streaks of blue are turning red-state Colorado as purple as its mountain majesties.

Liberal hues began to multiply in 2004, when Democrats seized control of the general assembly for the first time in 30 years. They intensified last fall, when voters loosened TABOR, a government- spending chastity belt long extolled by fiscal conservatives. This year, Colorado's color wheel is downright dizzying, as a bill to ban public smoking heats up the legislature.

This is Marlboro country?

The state's transformation from Rocky Mountain redoubt for conservative values to a proving ground for progressive policies is yielding more competitive elections here - and offering Democrats across the country a model for resurgence.
You can read the whole article here.

Disclaimer: I am not one to overplay the relevance of Boulder on the national stage, and like most Boulderites, have problems with the sense of self-importance that permeates the open landscape here. Rather, in this case, I'm just trying to approach the political dynamic in the USA from an intutive angle while observing the obvious change. I would be writing this if I lived in Hawaii too.

UPDATE: My favorite quote from the article: "It's become more liberal in aspects of health." You gotta love it.

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