Ah yes... Howard Dean. HOWARD
DEAN ladies and gentlemen... the man, the myth, the legend. Dean himself. What can you say about the guy? Well, actually a lot. I've got so much I want to say, I'm practically foaming at the mouth. Dean's speech last Fall could be roughly divided into three sections. He spent the majority of his time talking about civil rights and the future of the Democratic Party, as if he has some sort of expertise
on winning national elections. He also touched on the issues of media mergers and globalization.
To be honest, I had a rather narrow vision of Howard Dean this morning as I waited in line to get my tickets for the big event. I never knew he was such a compassionate, intelligent, open minded human being. Hold your horses, ‘cause here I go... The tone for the evening was set right off the bat with several sharp jabs at Republicans. Dean began with a short introduction about himself and his latest political endeavor, Democracy
for America. I guess that whole Dean for America thing (his presidential
campaign) didn't work out too well, eh buddy? According to his SIG introduction, Democracy for America is a program about "empowering the average American."
Yup, Dean sure knows about the average American. I recall seeing a poll showing Dean losing California to Bush.
But, hey, I like a man with ambition. So, I decided to hang in there and hear what the man had to say about the "average American." Well, apparently the average American is a racist, homophobic, uneducated hick. Of course, being the open-minded liberal that he is, it's ok to use stereotypes so long as it doesn't push the boundaries of political correctness. Calling a largely white demographic stupid is just fine. Okay, biting my tongue now. Dean also made a point to explain that "history is on [the Democrat's] side" because Republicans are motivated by "ideology not facts."
I hesitate to say that I am not ideologically driven. Frankly, I am driven very heavily by my ideology, which has been developed
as a result of poring over facts and listening to arguments (often the same dull argument) repeated over and over by liberals. Sorry bud, but apparently
you didn't get the memo. The facts are this: George Bush received more votes than any president. Ever. He received more votes from minorities
than he did in 2000. He received more votes from women than he did in 2000. He received more votes from atheists than he did in 2000. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a demographic that Bush did not connect
with to a greater extent than in 2000. Republicans control the executive
For the first time in recent memory, there are more Republicans than Democrats. I'm not saying this to gloat. Frankly, it scares me a little bit, but the reality is that the Democrats do not have a winning formula. The reason that the Howard Dean wing of the Democratic Party is despised by middle class America is that they don't appreciate being called stupid and racist while concurrently being courted as voters.Now, I'm going to delve head first into the issue of gay marriage. I have heard the line, over and over again, that "Ohio voters care more about restricting civil liberties than about getting a job." The issue occupied the majority of Dean's speech and, of course, Dean busted out "the line."
According to Dean, the 11 referendums
on the ballot this November were a result of a right wing conspiracy
to turn out homophobic voters.
As it turns out, in percentage terms, Bush made more progress in states that did not have referendums than states that did. The claim that voters placed gay marriage above the economy and Iraq is also nothing but a claim made by bitter closed-minded liberal hypocrites.
The statistic most commonly cited by liberals is that "22% of voters placed moral values as the most important voting issue, making
it the single most important issue in this election." It is disingenuous in itself in that the question divides Iraq and the war on terrorism as well as dividing the economy and taxes while grouping "moral issues," which obviously
includes more than simply gay marriage.
Beyond that, only a liberal could possibly complain about voting based on conscience. Now, I'll be the first to concede that there is a radical religious constituency to the Republican Party. My personal ideology tends to conflict with their views sometimes, but guess what... that's politics. I am much more concerned about having good economic and defense policies so that there is an America left to defend 50 years from now.
Dean later went on to contradict himself as well by explaining that Republicans "actually didn't win because of the Evangelical vote." In Dean's view, the real reason Republicans won is that they promote a culture of fear-mongering. This coming from a guy that calls the best economic growth in twenty years "the worse economy since Hoover"? Dean even went so far as to predict an all out economic collapse in the near future, which of course could be avoided if he were elected president. Gee... talk about fear mongering.However, fear not Democrats! For Howard Dean is the man with the plan to win election 2008. According
to Dean, people care about four things: jobs, the economy, education and foreign policy.
Apparently he forgot about the 4.6% GDP growth rate in 2004. Apparently he forgot President Bush pushed through the most sweeping education reform seen in decades, supported by a bipartisan
majority. Apparently he forgot he wants to dismantle our military. Its okay though, because as Dean explains, "the more power you give up, the more you have." That's deep man. I can, like, totally feel the eternal power flower love of a thousand sunsets.
Nope, sorry. I think Dean loses the "facts" on this one too.I'm getting tired and this editorial is getting long, so I'm going to try to sum up the other two topics of Dean's speech in two paragraphs. Dean is angry that the media has become more of an entertainment business than a social pillar. Apparently he's unhappy
that the admittedly right wing Fox News is kicking the crap out of MSNBC and CNN. Hmm, could it be that "middle America" is tired of hearing
from Wolf Blitzer that Democrats are more intelligent than Republicans?
I think the reality is that Fox News has won the intellectual debate in our country. Its not that Fox News is right-wing (it is). It's that Democrats can't come up with a response. Don't worry though! As usual, Dean has a plan. He suggests that we avoid rag-tag publications like The Wall Street Journal and get our information from unconventional sources like the internet
and The Daily Show. Hmm. Dean also doesn't like globalization. He supported NAFTA, but thinks that it has been implemented poorly. I'm going to try to respond to this one seriously.
Dean wants to mandate better working conditions (mandate wages?) along with our trade agreements.
On the one hand he conceded that the result of trade with India and China has been an unprecedented increase in quality of life and wages. On the other hand, corporations continue
to "squeeze every last dime" out of their labor force.
Well, Mr. Dean, because these evil corporations are squeezing every last dime out of their labor force so that the corporate big wigs can buy a Ferrari, I guess the fact that Chrysler is now part of Mercedes is just a fluke? Is the fact that foreign
manufacturers of electronics are absolutely destroying their American counterparts in market share is also just a fluke? It couldn't have anything
to do with the reality that a part costing $1.50 made in America costs ten cents if it's made in Korea.
To be fair, in the end Dean seemed to come to the same conclusion that I have: we are going to have to duke it out for years to come and do everything in our power to become competitive with these markets as wages equalize.
I just wish he could have done it quicker and saved the typical liberal sliming of the corporations that drive our country for his next speech.All in all, I have to say I was impressed with Dean.
I disagreed with a lot of what he said, but I give him credit for leaving relatively few holes for me to probe compared to some of the other speakers I've seen here. Frankly, it was kind of tough to disagree with him on some points. Last week, I wrote a rather inflammatory
email to my dorm list about Dean coming to campus in which I labeled him a "washed-up nutcase." I would like to take this opportunity to retract my previous statement.
Dean is a very liberal, very intelligent, very well thought-out individual. I just disagree with 90% of the stuff he says. Nevertheless, I'd like to thank SIG for bringing him to our campus, if only for the opportunity to hear Dean perform "the scream" live and in concert.