Trying and doing since 2001
for 19 February 2004.
Howard Dean is Dead, Long Live Howard Dean!
Sifting through the debris of
the failed presidential bid of
Howard Dean many different things
come to light. CNN proclaims
with bow-tie'd assurance that
the media had nothing to do with
Howard Dean's rise and fall in
the polls. The Seattle Weekly
states that Howard Dean was the
wrong tone and demeanor for regular
folks to warm up to. The New
York Times cites internal trouble
within the Dean camp. All of
this instant commentary is very
informative but when looking deeper
it becomes noticeable that the
critics trip in their clear cutting
of Dean's "electability". Even
the over-paid, overly simplistic,
professional pundits seem to agree
that Howard's message was one
that people liked. CNN even admitted
that the other candidates stole
rhetoric. It is obvious that
presidential politics is more
than just a message. On a personal
level it takes charisma, assertiveness,
and a fuckload of money. But
beyond those things it also seems
to take approval from the existing
power structures and that is what
Howard didn't have. On the whole
people like to do what is right,
and what is right is what is approved
of by the immediate community.
At home, parents make the rules.
At work, bosses say how high to
jump. Other diners set the tone
at a restaurant. In the game
of national politics the Party
and the media make the rules.
Howard Dean, an opponent of both,
was showcased as a volatile, unpredicable
amature with no chance at beating
George Bush. Like children scolded
at the dinner table, America took
their elbows off the table and
quietly ate their cold, mushy
plate of John Kerry.
John Kerry is the established
insider who Washington likes so
that is who has been given the
opportunity to deliver the popular
message that Dean pioneered.
What is odd however, is that although
Dean's message has outlasted Dean's
candidacy major media outlets
seem to shy away from clearly
profiling it. For me Dean was
the message. I listened through
his tendency to repeat phrases
over, and over, and over. I listened
through his staccato style and
red faced enthusiasm. I listened
through his sometimes obscure
historical references. I even
listened through his famous whoop.
What I heard was almost unbelievable.
A successful Democrat, bound for
the White House, who actually
talked to The People about things
that affected The People. For
me this was incredible. Dean's
enthusiasm became my enthusiasm.
I went to meet-ups, a public speech
by Dean himself, wrote a letter
to an Iowa Democrat, and even
gave $25 dollars to the Dean campaign.
I have never been involved in
politics before. No wonder this
scares the folks in power! If
Dean's message continued to be
delivered by a politician who
they couldn't control it might
have meant real change by and
for The People.
Dean is not done though. His
message is out and Dean himself
has stated that he wants to move
his supporters toward making a
permanent and dramatic change
in the Democratic party. I hope
that I can move myself forward
and continue to care about a system
that doesn't care about me. It
is a good thing to note that when
The People give the tiniest of
shrugs, the pillars shake and
little bits of plaster fall from
the ceiling. Imagine if The People
actually put their backs into
it and pushed.
courtesy of John Winters