December 3, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
Howard Dean says that Democrats may have won the election, but shouldn't think that means the public demands Democrats in power. I agree. Democrats have not explained to the public what they are about, and as a result I don't know very many people who voted in this last election FOR Democrats. I think most people voted AGAINST Republicans and their failed policies and corruption and authoritarianism and fear and war...
Now there is an opportunity to start reaching out to the general public-at-large and explaining what progressives and Democrats are FOR and what they are ABOUT. (Hint: Democracy and community.) Will they be smart enough to start building the kind of "progressive infrastructure" organizations that will do that -- that will reach the public to explain the benefits of democracy and community and progressive values and policies and candidates?
“The other party made mistakes in the past claiming that elections are mandates,” Mr. Dean said. “Elections are not mandates. The voters of this country loaned the Democrats the power of the country for two years. Now it’s our job to earn it back again.”
In a speech to the party’s executive committee here, Mr. Dean said “governing is more difficult than campaigning,” and declared that Democrats must not squander opportunities to keep building the party. The modest gains winning over evangelical voters, he said, should be strengthened by asserting that “moral values are an important part of foreign policy.”
“If George Bush made any single huge mistake,” Mr. Dean said, “it’s that he thought he could be president by being president for half of America and by treating the rest of us with contempt. That is not a mistake I ever want Democrats to make.”
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Dean has turned out to be one incredibly smart guy. It's amazing that the Democrats had the intelligence to put him in the position he holds now; he's so completely the right choice.
I hope the Democrats will follow his example and start doing intelligent things, like actually spelling out what we stand for. You're right, Dave, about the need for organizations that can do that.
Well, I also agree. However, despite what Howard Dean stated, many people believe that the Democrats are doing a good job even though it hasn’t been much. Many people thank the Democrats for finalizing Rumsfeld’s retirement. I guess only time will tell how good a job the Democrats will do in the future.
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