Failing To Defend One's Own
The Democratic Party should be very careful in regards to the attempts by media outlets to destroy Howard Dean's candidacy. In their joy of regaining traditionalist control of the party, they may, by failing to defend and stick up for their own (Dean), drive the final wedge between themselves and independents who have been willing to look the other way in order to defeat Bush.
This may possibly lead to a 3rd party presidential run, if the current Iraq, economic, and criminal investigation trends of the Bush Adminstration continue, by someone like John McCain. With a credible candidate and the right message, talking about bringing power and influence back into the hands of American citizens and not big monied organizations, the endorsements of progressive organizations like MoveOn.org and influential individuals like George Soros will not be assuredly Democratic (all are united to defeat Bush, so a better positioned 3rd party candidate would be just as good).
Depending on what happens in the next few days and weeks in terms of Howard Dean, and what kind of support he gets from his party, will decide if a large number of his supporters who are not die-hard Democrats will lean towards the 3rd party (if Dean's campaign is effectively derailed by Big Media, which is not a foregone conclusion).
Moderate Republicans, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, independents, progressives, Greens, the previously disenchanted non-voter are all up for grabs. A guy like John McCain would be able to put forth a credible challenge to win their vote. Such a platform would force the Democratic Party to choose between its liberal or centrist wing, and desperately hope it could keep the rest.
Like I said, if the Democratic Party doesn't stick up for Dean, and what he's done for them in terms of energy, organization, and fundraising, not to mention enthusiasm, then a useful illlusion gets shattered. It's not that Dean has to win, but the man and message is respected and honored by the eventual winner of the party nomination, and when it counts, in the pinch, and not when it's already over.
Some of us care about the issues, about the platform, and about the imminent danger of totally losing control and access to the media, and thus national discourse when the Internet is still much in its infancy in terms of impact. There are great dangers in the world today, not only from terrorism but from the effects of our actions and industries on the environment.
In America, obesity is an epidemic, even amongst the young. Our children are also becoming more prone to asthma and attention deficit disorder. This is no doubt due to the unregulated release of industrial chemicals into our communities, rivers, and natural reserves, the decreasing nutritional quality of our food, polluted air and water, and a dumbing down shallowicization of our culture through the influence of television and lowest-common-demoninator media marketing.
To me, the freedom of information and distributed media access and control is the number one issue in America, and for dealing with the immense challenges we have before us, and which our traditional political parties really have no feasible plan to deal with, if they even acknowledge them, in a timely and appropriate manner.
In their absence, someone will step up to accept the mantle. This is the first law of free markets. We must defend these free markets, especially in politics, or we will lose them. There is a growing danger facing us, and we are not institutionally prepared to deal with it. It's time to change. From this man, you will never hear "anyone but Bush" (though I'm not saying that when the time comes that will be the thinking behind my vote - it's just not a worthy rallying cry for the greatness of our times, especially to brag about or promote).
I'm not going down with the ship without a rational and engaged effort to plug the holes and get back on course. Right now, all hands on political deck are engaged in infighting, with the holes being ignored, and the course set by political expedience to win the smaller partisan skirmishes. This is unacceptable, and possibly will lead to a nonlinear development that overwhelms our ability to "weather the storm".
It's about time we wake up and take responsibility.