Barely a month old, the Coffee Party convened over 400 local gatherings at coffee houses yesterday. While the political philosophy of the Coffee Party is evolving on a day-by-day basis, a constant principle seems to be a commitment towards a civil political dialogue. This in itself separates the party from Tea Baggers.
If the Coffee Party does nothing more than offer a forum for political dialogue where different points of view can be heard, where reflection occurs, where one can enter a room without fear that a member of the party is carrying a pistol, where hate is not expressed towards various groups among us, then it has moved us miles ahead.
It seems evident that a majority of the current members of the Coffee Party share values that are consistent with the current progressive movement. The Coffee Party can have a much-needed mollifying effect on many in the Democratic Party. Democrats need not back away from their principles to embrace the civil demeanor of the Coffee Party. They just need to for some members of the party to work on toning it down.
If Republicans and Democrats were to “duke it out” through a shouting match, Democrats could hold their own. Chuck Schumer, Patrick Kennedy, John Kerry, Christopher Dodd and Joe Biden would form a great starting quintet.
The Coffee Party wants to help us listen instead of shout. Verbal assaults are a form of violence, and progressives generally oppose violence. To Democrats, please don’t take the Coffee Party for granted and look at it as just another constituency. Civility is consistent with a progressive agenda. Let’s all work at further advancing it.