“We’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York. We’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington D.C. to take back the White House. Yeeeeaaaah!”
Those were the words of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean after a devastating loss in the Iowa caucuses of 2004. But those words are appropriate for what very well may come in the near future.
A reawakened Democratic Party may be on the horizon. Dean is set to be the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee after his final remaining competitor officially bowed out of the race this week. His proven leadership has the potential to finally give the GOP a run for its dirty money. So, the question before us today is: Can the party change for the better and gain back all of what has been lost over the past eight years, perhaps even more?
There’s no doubt that this campus is infested with liberals. But how many of you blindly supported Sen. Kerry just because he was not Bush? If you were angry about the loss, your anger would have been directed properly only if it was at Sen. Stiff and the Dems, not Bush.
Let’s get real here. Yes, there are a substantial number of people brainwashed by corporate media. Then there’s always the “fair and balanced” FOX News Channel, the de facto propaganda machine for the Republican agenda of global hegemony, corporate welfare and the destruction of domestic social programs. Certainly, the Dems put up a fierce resistance.
If you cried on Nov. 3 like me, it should have been at the fact that Kerry – allegedly one of the most liberal senators, mind you – could not differentiate himself. I’m still paying off my Kleenex bill, by the way. Anyway, the bottom line is that Kerry moved to the center, and this strategy doesn’t work in theory or in practice. There are two fundamental problems with it. The first is that it alienates the liberal base of the Democratic Party, and the second is that it sends a subtle message to undecided voters that there must be something right about the Right’s agenda.
I’m no expert on red states. However, I know that many who voted for Bush because “he’s a good Christian man,” actually know that they are getting screwed over by him on economic issues. They know that his tax cuts for the wealthy shift a larger burden on them. They know that he’s going to dismantle Social Security to their detriment. In fact, many even support universal health care. If Kerry could have articulated himself as not just having other positions, but rather, clearly different positions on these issues, he may have been elected president.
We’ve got Dean now, though. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Screamer is in the house. Dr. Dean is now in a position to revolutionize politics for a second time. He speaks his mind and tells it like it is. This is a rare, but extremely admirable quality in a good leader. Although unsuccessful in the end, the Dean campaign revolutionized grassroots politics in 2004. His run proved that a campaign can be sufficiently funded by people like us. Their addiction to corporate and PAC (political action committee) money is why many people believe the Democrats can’t actually be Democrats. The time has come for the party to really stand for the people that can bring the life back to it.
Maybe I’ve lost my mind at the thought of the next four years, but Dean as DNC (Democratic National Committee) chair is truly my silver lining to the dark cloud that is the Bush administration. I have to admit, I never really felt any affinity toward the Democratic Party until now.
Ash Roughani is a senior philosophy major.