The Man Who Should Be President?
Failed candidate Howard Dean is out doing the work the Democratic Party should be doing for John F. Kerry - attacking George Warmonger Bush.
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean opened to a standing ovation at a speech delivered Wednesday at the Dartmouth Medical School. The speech, titled The Long Term Implications of the 2004 Presidential Election, identified the credibility of President George W. Bush as the most important issue in the upcoming presidential election.
Dean stressed that "this country is in an enormous amount of trouble" because of the Bush administration, the unwillingness of the Democratic Party to stand up to Bush and the media's failure to investigate the government like they did during the Nixon years.
The former governor also placed part of the blame on the general public, arguing that "a lot of it is our fault." He emphasized that "democracy is not a spectator sport" and that "voting is the bare minimum required for a vibrant democracy."
Attention, Mr. Kerry!
Dean focused on the importance of political participation. "Participation is hard work," said Dean, "The obligation that every one of us has as a citizen is to get involved in some way in our communities -- in politics in our communities -- that very thing which is the hardest is the most necessary. If we don't speak up, unspeakable things happen to the country."
The Rockefeller Center will host Dean as a visiting fellow this summer as part of its 20th anniversary theme of civic engagement. Dean acknowledged the strong support his campaign received from students and welcomed the 'opportunity to spend some time with them in a more leisurely setting than a presidential campaign' when he visits Dartmouth for six days this summer.
Earlier in the speech, Dean noted that young people have the lowest rate of voter participation of any age group but the highest rate of community service.
Dean asserted that his campaign aimed at taking people involved in their communities and convincing them of the importance of participating in politics at the national level.
A victim of a massive negative advertising campaign just before the Iowa Caucuses, Dean had this to say:
Dean agreed that negative campaigning would not affect voter turnout this November. "Negative campaigning is always disconcerting, but its most disconcerting to people who have already made up their mind. I think there will be plenty of negative campaigning. It won't have a determining effect on the outcome of the election."
Dean's campaign demonstrated the potential of using the Internet for fundraising. He had this to say about that topic:
Dean said Republicans will have some advantage in fundraising during the campaign but that "groups on the Democratic side will be able to match it."
Political maverick Ralph Nader even got a bit of Dean's attention:
Dean advised people not to vote for Ralph Nader and said, "If you're inclined to vote for an environmentalist and consumerist platform, which is what Ralph Nader stands for, then you're better off voting for John Kerry, because if you vote for Ralph Nader you're essentially helping to elect George Bush."
Globalization has been a hot topic of electoral discussion. Dean's opinion?
Dean then turned to the issue of trade, calling it 'a good thing' and affirming that a more interdependent world will decrease the likelihood of armed conflict. For example, he observed that China's cooperation in returning a U.S. spy plane that crashed in China in 2001 likely resulted from its fear that the United States might enforce trade sanctions if it did not cooperate. "Trade, in order to work, has to be free trade and fair trade," said Dean, which to him means including labor, human rights and environmental standards in trade agreements. Dean believes that 'globalization is inevitable' and that it requires these standards to function effectively.
Once warmed up, it was on to beating the Bush.
Dean emphasized that politicians of both parties must improve on one crucial aspect of governing: thinking about the long-term impact of their policies. Dean faulted Bush for misleading the public about the reasons for going to war in Iraq, for rampant deficit spending and for alienating many of our former allies, which he said caused the United States to lose its moral leadership in the world. Although he opposed going to war in Iraq, Dean now fears that President Bush might pull the troops out of Iraq too soon because of increasing political pressure, and he criticized Bush for funding the war through deficit spending.
Like him or not, agree with his statements or not, Howard Dean is taking the issues to the people, something each of the other failed candidates should be doing - if they are truly serious about removing the Bush/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse from power and restoring a semblance of sanity and thought to the governance of the nation in today's world.
Copyrighted source material contained in this article is presented under the provisions of Fair Use.
FAIR USE NOTICE
This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.