BFMG Exclusive: Daniel L. Davis and Democracy Awake
by Ted Lund
Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis will retire in August 2015 after 30 total years of service to his country in the U.S. Army. While on active duty, he saw posts in Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and on several Army bases in the US, including combat deployment four times. A decorated veteran, Davis was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor at the Battle of 73 Easting in 1991 and a Bronze Star Medal in Afghanistan in 2011. In addition to English as his native language, Davis speaks German and Russian.
Davis’ military background was very diverse. He led troops in both combat and peacetime, served as second in command of an armored cavalry squadron, as an intelligence analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency, trainer of foreign troops, , on the Army Staff in the Pentagon, and in his last assignment was as the head of the Army Production Department (responsible for designing, planning, and executing on-site Army photo shoots and video productions).
Earlier this year, he founded the grassroots movement of Democracy Awake after becoming disillusioned with what he saw as the dysfunction of the American political system, using the same traits and skills earned as a decorated veteran in the US military to develop a system to help everyday people regain control of their government.
BeFirst Media Group had a chance to sit down with Davis recently and discuss his movement and how he believes it can help people regain control of the political system.
BeFirst Media Group: What was the watershed moment or event that made you think, “I have to do something” and led to the creation of DemocracyAwake.org?
Danny Davis: I’d been living in Washington, D.C. for a number of years—primarily stationed at the Pentagon. When I witnessed first-hand the government shutdown in 2013, I could see that was just a political ploy. What I saw was a clear message sent by Congress and the administration that they just didn’t care about the 800,000 or so government employees that were going to be impacted by their actions.
I knew I’d be retiring soon, and I got to thinking about how I could use my skills and what I’ve learned from the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP). It’s used for tactical operations; you identify the enemy, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to target them. I used this same methodology to try and identify ways to effectively deal with the problem. With some close friends and colleagues, we started putting this together and came to the conclusion that this really has a shot. I recognized from the beginning how deeply entrenched the money was and how hard it would be to fight the status quo, but I felt if I just sat and did nothing, the dysfunction was certain to continue. To us, it was worth the risk to try something and fail rather than idly sit by and do nothing at all. The United States of America is worth that risk. That’s what it came down to.
What is The Declaration?
It’s basically a precise, boiled-down statement of what we want to accomplish and why. Whether talking about lobbyists, politicians, or wealthy elite, they appear to give little value to what the rest of the people in this country think, if we’re even considered at all. It’s like they have a disrespect for the people; and that’s just unacceptable for me. We’ve been passive and asleep; now they’ve gone too far, and now we’re taking our constitutional power and are going to use it to our advantage.
BFMG: How did you develop DemocracyAwake.org?
DD: Part of our analysis was taking a look at what organizations exist to empower voters and examined their strengths and weaknesses. We then took a look at the political environment to identify just why and how we’ve lost control over our government. But more importantly, we identified some key things that aren’t being done by any organizations. We wanted to use those things to our advantage and fill in the gaps. We kept going until we boiled it down to what we have…. And a big part of that is our Power Hub. That’s really central to DemocracyAwake.org. It will help show people a way that their vote and their voice can count and actually diminish special interest influence. We also designed a plan to put “boots on the ground” to teach folks (neighbors and friends) what they can do and how they can make a difference.
BFMG: What “view” or party would you say the DemocracyAwake.org movement most closely reflects?
DD: There is none, and that’s what we think is part of its our appeal. We don’t care whether someone is conservative or liberal, Tea Party, Democrats, Republicans, whatever. What we do care about is that the voice of the people matters; that it counts. But right now the average people are left out of the game…and that’s where we come in. We care about the people. The political system ought not be dominated solely by interest groups and wealthy elite.
We want your voice and influence to matter.
We’re just for the people.
BFMG: What leaders in American history does Democracy Awake most closely identify with?
DD: I would say Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Both of these men were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice—their lives—so that this great nation would overcome great obstacles in their time.
BFMG: What do you say to folks that might be skeptical?
DD: I understand that. You don’t have a frame of reference for this—an organization actually being concerned about the people. There could be between $8 and $12 billion spent on the next election. We really want to educate people on how to fight that and minimize the effects of the attack ads so that their views and preferences effect the political system. The big challenge we have is penetrating that natural bias of “that won’t work.” Americans Elect raised $30 million in 2012 but couldn’t find a candidate. It’s a David and Goliath situation.
. And we’re good with that!
We’re actually focusing on Goliath’s weaknesses…we’re going to show people how to mitigate the effects of the attack ads that people hate. There’s just no way to go against the status quo on their terms and win. We’re not doing this in the traditional manner; this is like a flank attack – on our terms – where we’re coming in from the side with the element of surprise.
BFMG: How many “common people” do you have standing for congressional elections now?
DD: It’s too soon in the election cycle for folks to have announced. But what we’re going to do is provide the foundation that makes it possible for people with the leadership skills we need, but who have limited resources to compete. We want to give people that opportunity.
BFMG: Tell us a little bit about “The Power Hub?”
DD: The Power Hub is central to our movement. We are going to provide a comprehensive suite of information so voters—concerned citizens— only have to go to one place to find out who is running and what their stands are. There are a number of services and organizations online that do this sort of thing and can provide incredible information on running for office, processes, etc. But there is no one place that ties it all together. That’s what the Power Hub does. We’re combining all of these resources to tell you who’s running in your area; what their stances are on issues; what they’ve been doing and how they’ve voted while in office; and what they say and how they vote by subject. This allows citizens to find out what candidates actually stand for, then make an informed decision based on how candidates actually reflect their values.
That’s something that’s never ever existed before.
BFMG: Where are you in the funding process, and what is the timeline for The Power Hub to become operational?
DD: Right now, we’re in the first stages of raising capital pursuing multiple channels of funding, but are focusing on the Donate page of our website. This will provide the initial seed money to raise the operating capital to operate in the field in 2016. We hope to start operating and have the Power Hub up and running by the end of this summer.
BFMG: What can regular people do to get involved?
DD: One of the first things is join with us through making contributions, whatever your capabilities are. But we also just want people, voters to get involved, sign The Declaration…. It’s a clear statement that says—and shows—“we’re tired of this, we want it to change, and this is what we want.” We also just encourage people to spread the word that there is somebody on their side that is willing to help them with some things they might not be able to do and make a difference. Spread the word and become involved. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and DemocracyAwake.org. We need to raise $50,000 to give us a chance to make this happen for 2016. We invite everyone to join us in this effort and to donate today!
Original Source; Baret News Wire.org