Wednesday, February 18, 2004

". . . and Howard Dean's candidacy appeared doomed after he came in a distant third. . . ."

So says the Associated Press this morning in an article running on their newswire.

Howard Dean's campaign for the Democratic nomination for President has been a remarkable roller coaster. Well, it seems to have been a short roller coaster with only one very big hill. We chugged slowly and purposefully up, up, up with the clicking sound of cameras and the oooohs and aaaaahs that accompany new and exciting and unexpected things. As the primary season has run its course, we have made it over the crest of the big hill and we are racing, no, we are hurtling down the steep incline to the waiting ground where the track is suppose to take us back up the Super Tuesday Hill. It seems, though, that the car will reach the bottom of the hill, and the train will quietly roll into the station, ending the hopes that a left-leaning Northern physician cum state governor might stake a claim in the White House.

In the past weeks, seventeen states have held primaries and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) has won fifteen of those. That is a very impressive track record, and Kerry's roller coaster car is still clicking up up up while gathering more and more enthusiastic riders on his train.

This statement from the Dean campaign is on the front page of their website today, and it is important:

Let me tell you about the America I want back.

I want an America where mothers can take their children to a family doctor, instead of going to the emergency room every time because there's no health insurance.

I want an America where hard-working Americans don't live in fear of losing their jobs because that means losing their health care too.

Where corporations care as much about the communities that make their products and buy their goods as they do about their profit sheets.

Where CEO's don't make 531 times what workers earn, even as they ship their headquarters to Bermuda and their jobs to China.

I want an America where men and women have the chance to go to college, get good jobs, maybe even start their own businesses -- regardless of their background. Where the kitchen table is a place to share dreams -- not to worry and struggle over paying the credit card bills, the mortgage, the tuition payments.

I want an America where no child left behind is something we pay for and guarantee, not an empty promise sold by Washington politicians to the rest of us. I want a fair America that doesn't let soldiers risk their lives for us and then get told they can't get overtime pay for jobs that use the skills they learned in the military.

I want an America where we are more than cogs in a machine, where there is nourishment for our human souls. Where there is true community, and we recognize and affirm that we are all in this together.

That's the type of America I want us to take back.

Together, we can change this country's future.

Dean can't win because of these positions. In these days when it is considered unpatriotic to question the corporate takeover of all local businesses and the insertion of christian fundamentalism into all public institutions, Dean can't say these things without paying the price of marginalization.

It would be good for America if Dean stays in the race,becausee he brings these issues to the debate, discussions that men like Kerry and Edwards are happy to agree but unwilling to instigate.

Howard Dean is addressing issues that are at the heart of all that has made America a second-rate nation: health-care, corporate responsibility, equity, education, and war; and he has the correct position on all of them.

On Tuesday, I will vote for Howard Dean.

I hope you will, too.

In November, I will vote for the Democrat who is running against Bush.

I hope you will, too.