Trying and doing since 2001
for 19 February 2004.

Howard Dean is Dead, Long Live Howard Dean!

[Take your country back!]

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

Howard's anti-war-pro-Democratic-party-reform

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historical references.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

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