Pushing 'Patriot Dreams'

A 'user's guide to democracy' with regime change in mind

Establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting general welfare, and securing liberty's blessings: Those are the core intentions outlined in the Preamble to the Constitution, institutions of democracy now under attack, says Patriot Dreams: A User's Manual for Democracy.

An informative alt-history lesson, resource guide, and call to arms, Patriot Dreams uses these tenets as the jumping-off point to explore the woes facing America this election. Hitting all these hot buttons is a tall order, especially for an 80-page, digest-sized pocketbook; however, the newly forged Common Sense Collective is up to the task. Composed of several progressives, including Green presidential candidate David Cobb, the group's book came together largely under the direction of freelance writer/editor Jane Chamberlain, the force behind Patriot Dreams publisher Pangloss Publishing and the Greens' newsletter, Common Sense for the 21st Century.

You might worry that a former booster of a certain presidential candidate – who's running again this year, against the admonishment of many, many liberals – might not have learned a painful lesson. But Chamberlain says she'd "been thinking since 2000 about the 100 million people who didn't vote," and about the lockstep message mechanics that drive Republican faithful to the polls. Reminding us that President Bush rules with a 17% mandate, Chamberlain assembled Patriot Dreams with regime change in mind, yet strove for balance. "We hoped for a neutral political tone," lamented Chamberlain, "but today, that's all but impossible. You have to talk about Bush and the Republicans, but we tried to be nonpartisan." In her eyes, a Kerry win is a step, but not an ultimate goal.

Patriot Dreams soars as a resource manual, filled with mechanics for increasing voter turnout, and fascinating facts on little-touched subjects – a more informative, motivational manual is unlikely to be found this year, especially for the ignored and disenfranchised, the first-time voters. "When people see that it's an outreach tool," beamed Chamberlain, "they really embrace it."

Patriot Dreams is available at independent bookstores across town, Wheatsville Co-op, and online at www.panglosspublishing.com.

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Election 2004, Patriot Dreams, Common Sense Collective, David Cobb, Jane Chamberlain, Pangloss Publishing

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