I say we ought to "put the party back in politics," so people can have a good time while organizing, strategizing and mobilizing to save the world. That's why I enthusiastically endorse a new political movement that's sweeping the country. It's called "Drinking Liberally" -- a sort of saloon society for progressives. It offers a casual, fun, down-home way for ordinary folks to get together regularly and share political thoughts ... while sharing a pitcher of beer.
This is as American as apple pie. Public houses were the "seed beds of the Revolution." Indeed, the founders shaped much of our Constitution's language by discussing their ideas over pints of ale in the taverns of Philadelphia. After all, saloons are egalitarian spaces -- you share common ground at the bar and feel free to talk to strangers.
So, in 2003, a small group in New York City began to meet weekly at a local bar to hoist a few, get to know one another, and have free-flowing political discussions. Yes, they emphasize drinking responsibly, and they use designated drivers, but the idea is to be casual, enjoy each other, have conversations, learn, tell stories and jokes, vent, offer ideas and talk politics.
Thanks to the Internet and an organized push by this original group, there are now 160 chapters of Drinking Liberally, located in nearly every state. If you'd like to start your own, the group is happy to help you get it going. They'll have a 15-minute initial phone chat with you to bring you up to speed on steps to make your effort a success, and they'll offer ongoing support through their easy-to-use Web site -- www.drinkingliberally.org.
To help build democracy one drink at a time in your own local watering hole, send an e-mail requesting help to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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& & For more nuggets of wisdom from America's No. 1 populist, check out & lt;a href="http://www.jimhightower.com" & his website & lt;/a & & & .