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Dean again

Howard Dean announced today that he would stop campaigning, which effectively marks the end of his run for the Democratic nomination. One small part of his remarks today really jumped out at me, though:

You have the power to take our country back so that the flag of the United States of America no longer is the exclusive property of John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell; that it belongs to all of us again.


That's exactly how I feel these days. Four years ago, the U.S. flag was something I would have gladly called the symbol of my country, a country I was proud to be born and raised in. Now, the flag seems more like the symbol of the conservative, arrogant, narrow-minded anti-people government of the U.S.A., and it's no longer something I want to be associated with. They've corrupted the flag so that it stands for their particular right-wing Christian viewpoint instead of the greatness that it used to. I feel ashamed when I talk to people who live in other countries, because of the way Bush has treated the entire rest of the world.

And I just realised every time a car drives past with an American flag in its window, I think "there goes another poor fool, tricked into thinking this country is great by the president's pathetic, moralistic, guilt-driven rhetoric." And I hate it that I think that. When I see someone displaying a flag, I want to think "that person knows exactly how great this country really is." But I can't any more, because right now, this country isn't great.

Howard Dean's message was simple. He wanted the government to be about the people in this country. Not the corporations in this country, not the military of this country, not the strength of this country, the people themselves. He wanted laws passed that would guarantee equal rights to every citizen, regardless of any of their differences,be it race, gender, religion, sexuality, income, or anything else. He wanted to make sure that every single person here would have adequate health care. He did it in Vermont, and he could have done it in D.C., but people were too shocked by the fact that he yelled excitedly at a rally to give him a chance.

As much as I'd like to see Dean continue to get votes in the upcoming primaries, and perhaps even gather a few more delegates despite not actively campaigning, I know that won't happen. The public has a dreadful attention span, and by the time Super Tuesday rolls around, Dean will be all but forgotten by everyone except his active supporters. However, I think that his message has come across well. Kerry and Edwards have both adopted Dean's stance on several issues, quietly making parts of his message their own, and that right there is a small victory.

Here's to more victories in the future.

Comments

rfreebern
Feb. 20th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC)
Re: More.
The only people benefitting from Iraq's liberation should be Iraq! We were not asked to take these risks. We were not employed by anyone. You think it's perfectly okay to wage war against a country, destroy their military, and then take their money and do with it as we please? I think that's called plundering, and it has no place in civilized society.

If the U.S.'s aim in this war was to truly assist the people of Iraq, then the only considerations that should apply to post-war reconstruction should be those of the Iraqi people. Our own petty grievances with countries like Germany and France have no place in the negotiations whatosever.

You keep comparing this to someone taking away someone else's paycheck. The problem is, a paycheck is given for a job that was assigned to a specific person. If you volunteer to perform a task, however, you shouldn't expect a paycheck, and if the person you do the task for decides he wants to give a bunch of money to someone else, you have no say in the matter. It's not your money!

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