Welcome to Democracy in Action
| P2016 | P2012 | P2008
Eric M. Appleman
Let's Make Our Democracy Work!
Democracy in Action websites,
which I started running in 1998, are designed to help
readers follow and
understand presidential campaigns. I seek to provide context and
perspective on the presidential campaign process and to connect you,
the reader, with the best available resources on the subject so you can
get involved and have an impact, regardless of your partisan or
Democracy in Action framework, I document the activities of Key Players
developments affecting the
campaigns. My philosophy is to keep it simple, keep to the
basics, and leave the bells and whistles to others.
THE CHALLENGE FOR 2020:
FINDING THE WAY FORWARD
one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always
ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless
ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits
oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help
one that would never otherwise have occurred." –
This is a provisional
website. What does that mean? Provisional means "arranged or existing for the present,
possibly to be changed later." Currently, I'm working to make
P2020 better every day. There are still
some rough edges. Just as
potential candidates weigh whether or not to run, in the off-season I
have given serious
consideration on whether or not to do a P2020 website. 2020 would be
eighth presidential campaign (sixth on the web). I like to make
these better each cycle, and had set out
several objectives which were not met, hence the provisional
First I had wanted to
website infrastructure for the 2020 site to be
is not my
expertise, and I didn't have a budget for it, but I was hopeful of
finding someone who could provide technical assistance. The existing
in Action sites are not optimized
devices and are very antiquated on the
backend/coding, thus do not do well in search. I've also been
told that the overall look of the sites is somewhat dated. While
leaving the older sites as is, I wanted to upgrade these aspects on
a P2020 site, and was hopeful of finding someone who could help make
that happen, for example in
settling on a CMS, figuring out whether databases should be
incorporated, whether to shift to https, if social media would
be doable, and setting up a half dozen page templates for a P2020 site
optimized to work across devices. I'm
bells and whistles and I was not looking for a quick fix to
traffic, but I did want to make get the backend basics
right from the start. While
it's too late for a major revision,
there are still some areas where a bit of technical guidance would be
welcome. If you're knowledgeable on web development and might be
able to help identify and correct deficiences please contact me.
• Getting the infrastructure up to date
would have helped with another major goal, that of
generating some revenue or income. These sites take a
of work, and trips to major events and the key early states of Iowa and
NH cost money. So
Action has been a red ink proposition. Aside from a tiny amount
in by Google ads and PayPal there has been scant outside financial
on this would
be appreciated, as would
even small contributions.
I would welcome a partner or
partnerships, an assistant or
intern, and am very open to
part of a larger
team. If you are
interested in this work and would like to
be involved, let me know what specifically you can offer. For example, readers will note
that I am not doing tracking of visits to the key early states. I
view this as a very, very important part of the record on presidential
campaigns and am trying to identify and encourage individuals or
groups, possibly at one of the universities in each of the early states
to take on this function.
I move away from P2020, I can offer your team
expertise on presidential
campaigns going back to 1992, strong research and organizational
skills, and a lot of experience photographing candidates and campaign
events. My particular
interest is on visuals and how campaigns and candidates communicate
their messages. I am also interested in campaign
organization. If you have a opening or specific project that
would be a good fit, please let me know.
So for now, I'm all in. Your thoughts, input and
suggestions are welcome and appreciated (e-mail: action08@gmail
call me at the number below).
Democracy in Action on
the web in May 1998, building on my work since
1989. Broadly, the aim is to educate citizens about the
political process and their role in making it work. Specifically
the objective is to provide news, context and perspective on
not incorporated Democracy in Action, but it has been my pen
name day in and day out since launch. Democracy in Action has absolutely no connection
with MoveOn or DemocracyinAction.org (which both arrived on the scene
later) or with any other group. This is non-ideological,
non-partisan project dedicated to educating citizens about and
documenting presidential campaigns
and political communications generally.
My goal is to
make the sites better every day, and my
main focus has always been on getting the content right. Readers
will note, for example, that these sites do not perform optimally on
devices. I have improved navigation
and design since P2000, but there is much room for further
(Note that if you get lost, clicking on the top banner or the bottom
"Democracy in Action" will always take you back, or there is always the
back on your browser).
tools for following the campaign, but believe that keeping up a
robust social media presence would distract from the main
objective of keeping the site in tip-top shape.
I'm interested in
political entities from across the
spectrum are communicating their ideas. I seek to understand what
works and what does not. My particular interest
visual aspects of political communications—images that
resonate. Early editions of this site were been built and
on The George Washington University server (it was known to many as
"the GW site").
In addition to the websites, I have pursued several other projects at
Democracy in Action.
running the websites, I developed CD-ROMs on the 1992
and 1996 presidential campaigns.
I edited, in
the Association of American Editorial
Cartoonists, two books: “The Race for the 2008 Democratic Nomination”
and “The Race for the 2008 Republican Nomination” (Pelican Publishing,
I have done
work on magazine cover portrayal of presidential campaigns
and presidents from 1999 to the present, organizing three exhibits. If
you have a suitable venue, covers are available for exhibits.
assembled a library of general election campaign literature from
almost every major candidate for U.S. Senate and governor since
1989. 2018 marked the 29th
of the Campaign
Although the importance of campaign literature has declined with the
rise of the Internet, basic literature pieces can
tell us much about the candidates and issues of the day (+).
I believe there
should be a
resource center—an actual physical space here in Washington,
DC—where visitors to our nation's capital can learn about current
debates and about their role in making our democracy work.
I have managed all aspects of this work including covering hundreds of
major and minor events (photography and writing) Iowa caucus and NH
primary campaigns and national conventions since the 1996 cycle as well
as doing research,
editing and design.
Great professors at The George Washington University, where I
graduated with a B.A. in political communication summa cum laude, were critical to
understanding of the presidential campaign process. While at GW,
I organized an exhibit at Gelman Library on the 1992 campaign, and I
started working on my Field Guide to
the 1992 Presidential
Campaign CD-ROM. Next, under contract, I developed the
content for a CD-ROM on the 1996 presidential campaign, in conjunction
with WMUR-TV. I started online in May 1998 with the P2000 website
and have continued with the P2004,
P2008, P2012 sites and now this P2016
website. I have also
earned a certificate in graphic and web design from the CDIA at Boston
University in Washington, DC. You can find out about other things
I'm interested in here.
As noted above, your
small donations to
help with this work would be greatly
appreciated (contributions are
not tax-deductible and will be reported as income). Large
donations are also helpful.
I'd like know
what you think. If you have ideas,
suggestions, comments or criticisms please send an
email (action08@gmail...) with a clear subject line.
Thank you for
your input and your consideration.
our democracy work.
|Make your vote an informed one.
Democracy in Action
P.O. Box 19007
Washington, DC 20036-9007
c. 310 496-9633
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