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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.


Feb. 20th, 2004 08:49 am (UTC)
Re: Uh...
Well, as we talked about on the MUD, I think the discussion is starting to wind down now, but with regards to a couple of things:

for human life (war)

This might start another firestorm, but while I don't believe Bush wanted to go to war, I believe that the war against Iraq was necessary for the preservation of human life, which does not strike me as one of Saddam Hussein's concerns.

for civil equality (anti-gay-marriage)

I think Bush's position--and the position of quite a few other people--is that there's more to being against gay marriage than being against civil equality. This is yet something else we're probably not going to agree on, but I think it goes a lot deeper merely than it's being portrayed. While I, personally, don't have a problem with it, I can see where both sides of the argument are coming from, and to blame Bush for this is really not accurate or fair, the way I see it.

And I wouldn't want to live in a country where a large majority of people support that kind of behaviour.

The problem is the way you're defining it, I think. You're looking at these issues only from your perspective and saying, in essence (the way I'm reading it), that you don't want to live in a company where people don't feel exactly the way you do about those things. But I've heard arguments about ANWAR that suggest Bush is only interested in drilling for oil in one very small segment of the entire area, and not opening the entire thing to free drilling. Under controlled circumstances in a controlled location in but one small part of that area, I don't see why that drilling should automatically be shot down, but the issue is being presented as Bush wanting to taint the environment of the entire place, who wouldn't disagree with that?

It all comes back to different groups of people using different languages to describe essentially the same thing, and though the groups are all speaking English, they aren't really able to communicate. No one side is presenting all of the facts publicly, and they're choosing not to acknowledge what's less than convenient for them. While it would be best if that didn't happen, I don't think there's any way to prevent it, which is a shame. But what can you do beyond sift through the available information and come to the best conclusion based on the available evidence? Not a lot.

I've mentioned this before, but I think one of the reasons I like politics is very similar to one of the reasons I like theatre: I love the idea that two people can look at exactly the same thing and see something completely different, and both be right and both be wrong.

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