Friday, September 26, 2003

Beyond The New Patriotism...What Is Success?

Democrats have a habit of assuming that everyone is as sure as they are that voting Bush out is the top (if not only) priority in 2004. They're wrong. Most people are not that passionate about it one way or the other, yet, and are just going about their lives.

With that in mind, those who are angry should be catered to at this point, because they're the ones who are paying attention, driving discussion, and raising unexpected tons of cash for the Demos.

Don't mistake all these angry people for Democrats either. Many are independents, Greens and Progressives who are more than willing to get behind Dean. They like what Dean is about, and they are not just about voting out Bush. They've been angry with both the Republicans and Democrats for a long time.

Thus the quandary. You can't expect a strategy of bullying independents and progressives into voting against Bush to work, outright, so you really do have to run on something that addresses that, and their concerns.

Also, you have to run a candidate who can speak to those who are not so passionate about things, or who have yet to become passionate. Howard Dean has the quality of motivating people, of making those who are dispassionate become passionate. In addition, he's not a radical, or a leftist, and hasn't even really promoted that part of his record and platform yet, so he deftly could become the acceptable candidate for moderates as well.

Don't count out Dean. Or any of the others for that matter. And don't expect a majority of Americans just to vote "against Bush". You have to run on something, for something, you have to define what success will be, on your terms. The "new patriotism" is a step, but it should be the default that you can exercise your freedom of speech and expect accountability from your leaders, not a revolutionary new platform.

That's what the Right is doing to this country. They really are moving and framing issues, and limiting consciousness. They've got Democrats selling the ship and believing that the greatest thing they can do is to defeat Bush/Rove.

What a joke. Wake up. Transparency and accountability. Freedom of information. Electoral reform and Instant Runoff Voting. Make the people happy. Really. Give them what they want. For real. Stop being the lesser evil, and start being something good.