Monday, August 11, 2003

Got Dean?

Some Progressive pundits have expressed concern about Dean's foreign policy. They perceive that Dean is not as dovish as his press might indicate. He opposed war in Iraq, not because he is opposed to the use of force, but because Iraq did not pose any genuine threat to U.S. security. Also,the pre-emptive and unilateral nature of the Administration's aggression sets a dangerous precedent in international relations and places the United States in a very disadvantageous position, financially, militarily, and diplomatically.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who think that no candidate who opposed war in Iraq can be a taken seriously as a potential Commander in Chief. But Dean is not a dove; he is a realist who is determined to protect U.S. security, by force if necessary. He supported the invasion of Afghanistan as a legitimate use of military power for self defense and he thinks the Bush administration is soft on Iran and coddles Saudi Arabia.

The theme continues in domestic policy, where Dean is a centrist and an empiricist. He supports universal health care, but proposes a less than perfect plan that is most likely to be passed. He opposes centralized regulation in several areas, not out of ideological conviction, but for financial and historical reasons and to respond effectively to local conditions. He wants to expand some social spending programs, such as Special Education, yet his first priority is to balance the budget.

Being a moderate is often a difficult prospect; both ends of the spectrum tend to demonize you as a heretic. Dean is one such moderate, unlimited by the foolish consistency of ideology either left or right. He is neither a peacenik, nor a hawk. Neither a unilateralist, nor an internationalist. Neither a progressive, nor a conservative. As such, he does not fit comfortably into categories, which makes the press uncomfortable, and more significantly, generally inaccurate in their portrayals of Dean. But to voters his lack of ideopathology is refreshing, sensible, and pragmatic; it's why Dean draws support from across the traditional spectrum. Some will always claim he has failed to act or speak consistent with some predetermined label they presume he bears willingly, and it is so. Yet voters don't care.

Dean is a new kind of politician who does not sort easily into the standard pigeonholes of political classification. He borrows liberally from the whole spectrum of ideology for ideas with which to address problems pragmatically. Dean, in many ways is the founder of his own new party; the Rationalist Party.

Dean's Rationalist Party eschews doctrinal purity and ideology, both of which force one to view reality selectively, possibly ignoring important information and useful solutions. The Rationalist Party rejects policies that are based on prejudice or conventional wisdom, and embraces policy solutions with a proven record of success. The Rationalist Party strives to obtain the best information before making policy. For instance, Dean has been ridiculed for his stance on medical marijuana. He wants the FDA to evaluate it for medical efficacy before making a decision. It's as if journalists think that making sure your policy is based on sound science is simply an excuse to refuse to stake out an uniformed position. And the Rationalist Party refuses to make the perfect, the enemy of the good.

People recognize that Dean is a problem solver, a practical man, a healer, and a passionate politician who believes that government is meant to make peoples' lives better. More people every day are discovering this unique politician who combines integrity, personal charisma, and the courage to speak truth to power. There comes a moment for people when they realize that Dean must be our next President; at that moment they suddenly just "Get It".

For me, the moment I "Got It" was during the first Democratic candidates' debate with the nine candidates in a cramped and dull auditorium and running opposite Bush landing on an aircraft carrier and strutting around in his flight suit. There was something about Dean's demeanor and his common sense, which made Bush's antics seems even more absurd to me. Pondering that contrast, I suddenly saw that Dean was the one who would show Bush up for the grandstanding shallow-draft showboat that he is. Dean would never take that aspect of Bush seriously, and he makes you realize the emperor must feel a significant breeze up his fundament.

When did you "Get It"?


At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Health Blog said...

More people every day are discovering this unique
politician who combines integrity, personal charisma,
and the courage to speak truth to power.


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