Recently, Ray Pensador has had a number of diaries on the recommended list here at Daily Kos. I have been considering his ideas with interest. However, I feel that he has not revealed enough about himself or his plans to make an informed decision about whether to support his movement.
From reading one of Mr. Pensador's recent diaries (The REVOLUTION Starts Tomorrow With 200 People: JOIN US!) it appears that he is trying to start some kind of mass movement as a successor of Occupy Wall Street. I have been to Ray's website, raypensador.com, in which he is trying to organize liberal activists into a single, cohesive organization. That's a pretty big goal!
It is a goal that necessitates more disclosure. I have been unable to find enough information about Ray Pensador the person, and the organization he is trying to establish. In fact, the word "pensador" means thinker in Spanish and is therefore likely a pseudonym. Mr. Pensador has put himself forward as the chief organizer of what he has said he hopes will become a major, even revolutionary movement in American politics, yet his identity is a mystery.
Am I the only one who feels that more disclosure would be a good idea? What Mr. Pensador is trying to do is a very big deal. If I tried to start a business or a nonprofit, people would legitimately have a right to know who they are investing in. That's a basic principle of due diligence.
I am intrigued by Mr. Pensador's ideas and work. In fact, his diaries have been the most interesting thing to happen on Daily Kos in a long time. But I am also a fan of people doing due diligence.
I hope that Ray Pensador chooses to reveal more about himself and the legal establishment of his organization, before too long. He has made himself a public figure by asserting that he's starting a revolution. Public figures can, and should, be discussed publicly.
At the very least, we should know:
1. Is Ray Pensador a Democrat, a Green, an independent, or has some other political affiliation? This is relevant because it will significantly influence the direction his movement takes.
2. Has Ray Pensador set up a legally established nonprofit organization for his movement, and if so, does it already have bylaws, a board of directors, and rules for becoming a member and what kind of influence members will have in the organization? If not, I think this would need to be done as soon as possible. Mr. Pensador has already talked about fundraising. The legal structure must come before any fundraising.
Now for a more philosophical question I think that should be discussed regarding the Ray Pensador movement: We live in a democracy. That means that we have the right to run for political office ourselves, or recruit and support candidates who believe in our political ideals and policies. If there is going to be a new mass movement of progressives, why not start by trying to use democracy as it was intended; by doing what conservatives are already doing on their side. The Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party, because ultra-conservatives got organized and decided to use democracy to push for their goals. What's stopping progressives from doing something similar?
I would argue that if anyone wants to start a movement, it should be something that acknowledges that we already have a democracy and should use it to its fullest possible degree, rather than a "revolution" such as Occupy Wall Street or a new kind of protest movement that is not focused on electing progressives to office.
In conclusion, I am intrigued by the Ray Pensador movement, but skeptical that it is the right course of action. I fear that if this movement takes hold, progressives may be going down another dead-end path such as Occupy Wall Street turned out to be. I might be proven wrong, but I think the first step to prove that my point of view is mistaken would be to find out if Mr. Pensador is the kind of charismatic leader that a mass protest movement would need to have any chance of success. I do not believe that America needs a revolution led by some mysterious figure, but instead we need tough, uncompromising progressive political activism within the framework of the democracy we still, at least theoretically, enjoy.
Edit: I have been informed that I might get banned if I mention the name of the organizer of the movement in the title of this diary. Therefore, I have removed the name. I don't know what else to call it, though, because the name of the movement's website is, in fact, RayPensador.com. There appears to be no other name for this movement or organization at this time.