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New Jerseyians Speak Out About Howard Dean
After watching the Democratic debates last Saturday, much was made
of the 'sniping' between our man Dr. Dean and John Kerry.
Essentially the talking heads say: if the Democrats can't keep from
beating up on one another how are they going to beat Bush? Well,
the experts are missing the point!
For those who love and admire President Bush, there is a visceral
connection. His 'fans' are more than that, they are devoted to
him. There is a belief, one that is cultivated by the White House,
that President Bush can do no wrong. The followers of Bush are all
too willing to agree, and the conservative talk-radio hosts do all
they can to perpetuate that notion.That idea is powerful and a vast
number of people are quite willing to go along with it. But the reality
is quite different. Parenthetically, there is also a mean spiritedness
to Bush supporters I have not seen since the early days of Reagan.
Which leads me to ask the question: why were all the Democrats,
save Dean and especially Kerry, making nice on stage last Saturday
night? Why all this bending over to be to be polite? Perhaps in the upcoming
election more than any other a Democrat must emerge from the pack sooner
than later. And being polite is not the way to do that.
Bush, what ever one feels about him, is obviously resolute in his
beliefs and convictions. He boils the position down to the essential
element. Bush is an either or kind of guy. We Democrats are seen
as too accommodating, too indecisive, too willing to hear all sides.
In short, too cerebral, hence the notion that Democrats are elitists.
Republican 'issues' are made for a sound bite world.
We Democrats can learn from that.
So how does this all pertain to defeating Bush in 2004, and specifically Howard Dean?
Dean is passionate about his beliefs, but what's more, he's a feisty
son of a gun. Dean is a scrapper. I have faith that Dean will show
that "You talking to me...!?!" attitude I believe him to have, and
The debate was a staged event and the gloves were on. Kerry's
attacks were scripted, transparent, and not even heartfelt. I would
have preferred Dean slam Kerry back hard, but as it was, he acquitted himself well.
Well, the campaign has started, so it's time for Dean to take off
the gloves and start mopping the floor with the other pretenders.
We know he's the smartest one running for either party. What's more
Dean knows it. What is required is a systematic dismantling of the
opposition. And not some long winded dissertation but a few pointed
bullets. Nothing deflates an opponent's argument like an
indisputable fact. Dean is expert at this. He needs to get on with
it....round one is Kerry. Round two is Bush. I see a knock out in
Can you imagine how Dean would destroy the President in a debate?
My God, it would embarrassing. Bush is worse on his feat than Dan Quayle.
I sense that Dean has been holding back. He needs to let loose.
So...you Beat Bush by going strait at him...with an unending barrage:
--Where are the weapons?
--Where is the proof?
--Why was there NO thought/plan for after the war?
--Why are you allowing fundamentalism to take a hold in Iraq?
--If your economic plan is so great why did we lose 400,000 jobs -- last month alone?
--Why haven't you put forth a plan to deal with corporations looting pensions ( Enron )
--How can you dare to support the elimination of overtime?
--Why are you cutting veteran benefits?
--Why have you failed in your oath to protect and defend the Constitution by signing the Patriot act. Is that not alone dereliction of duty, or worse, treason?
And the list goes on.
The loony right spews forth a never ending torrent of falsities and
vitriol on a daily basis. The time has come to join the fray and
Howard Dean is the only candidate with the brains and the cajones
who can do it!!! So Howard, I say to you...next debate..come out swinging.
If you make it through the primaries, and I know you will, the general election will seem like walk in the park.
Response by David Brown
Yes, I also got the "anti-intellectual" feeling from Bush. By
over-simplifying things, he captivates many people who feel "too busy"
or only superficially interested in things like international
relations. It seems he has many people who share his "skip the details"
approach. He seems to like to use the phrase " . . . no-nonsense,
down-to-earth . . ", and I feel that the "nonsense" he refers to are the
factual details that he'd rather not bother with. My problem with this
is that it makes it easy to credibly propagate untruth, which clearly
has been happening.
The question was asked why Democrats, and people generally, have been
only moderate, or quiet in criticizing Bush and his international
actions. Of course there's an instinctual tendency for any group,
including a nation, to be more united when danger from outside the group
is perceived. This is a natural defense response. I'm convinced that
the perception of danger is largely created by the Bush administration
as a strategy to create support for itself. The single most influential
experience which persuaded me to take this position was a three-hour
interview of perhaps the most respected expert on danger in the world
--- Gavin De Becker, on the radio show Coast to Coast AM, aired on April
24, 2003. De Becker seems to be not "politically involved" person, but
is universally respected as a top expert on terrorism, safety, crime
prevention, self-defense, and fear. He's a fact person. He wrote the
best seller "The Gift of Fear", and his new book is "Fear Less: Real
Truth About Risk, Safety, and Security in a Time of Terrorism". Some
interesting facts revealed in the interview: Airline hijackings were
not new in 2001. There had been many for decades, but not much had been
done about it. Specifically, on September 11th and for years before
then, every New York City taxicab was far more hijack-protected than
most $200 million jumbo jets loaded with passengers. The cars had
entry-resistant driving areas, and the planes did not --- in fact crew
members passed through the cockpit door numerous times during a flight.
De Becker has served many US presidents and corporate executives as an
assasination-attempt and kidnapping prevention consultant. In the
interview he said the "war on terrorism" and the orange and yellow
alerts are nonsense, and that there is more danger of violence in
schools and the workplace. He said an acquaintance was canceling a trip
to Cairo because of a government announced "traveler's alert" to avoid
that city because of the threat of terrorism. De Becker pointed out to
this acquaintance that staying in his home city of Detroit would be far
more dangerous than going to Cairo!
I consider this important to the Dean Campaign and the anti-Bush
movement, because much of Bush's support and influence seems to be
generated by the current "national crisis". De Gavin's seems to be a
calm and objective voice, based on factual evidence, convincingly
stating that the "emergency" is largely a fabrication designed to
manipulate the American people --- to increase political support for
Bush and his administration, policies, and actions.
Numerous other interesting subjects are addressed in the interview,
including the influence of violent video games on children. I think it
may be available on the internet, at http://www.coasttocoastam.com/