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Praising Dean

Beth Erickson | Wednesday, December 3, 2003

I like Howard Dean.

That is not to say that I think the shoot-from-the-hip Vermonter is the nonpareil of Democratic candidates, or that I believe his platform is entirely unsullied.

In fact, Dean’s only irrefutable selling point is that he isn’t Bush.

So what catapults him to the top of the list of contestants for Bush Whack 2004? In the words of his opponents: shock and awe.

In the midst of high finance campaigning and mindless moralistic jargon, Dean’s grassroots approach and outspoken intellect certainly astonish.

However, Dean’s shock value does not reside in his characteristic bluntness, but rather in his unexpectedly middle-of-the-road mixture of social progressivism and moderate economic stance.

Despite the image that the GOP would love to project, Dean is a far cry from a bleeding-heart liberal. He exempts himself from extremes, rebuking liberals and conservatives alike.

He rejects the tax-and-spending of liberal democrats, asserting that fiscal conservatism is crucial for the realization of his social reforms.

Americans have become accustomed to politicians who sit the fence and let their Teleprompter speak for them in fear of malapropisms and misinformation. Dean’s frank delivery reminds us of that which the American political sphere revolves around – intellectual contention.

He’s admittedly headstrong. Opinionated. Even arrogant. But should the leader of a world superpower be a weak, mindless pushover?

In addition to his intelligence and can-do attitude, I like Dean’s principles and his staunch adherence to them.

Most significantly, I applaud Dean for his proposals to promote the rights of homosexuals and to reform the overzealous system of capital punishment in America.

Finally, I appreciate the fact that he did not support Bush’s war against Iraq. While Dean supported the disarmament of Iraq and the ousting of Saddam Hussein, he perceived that America was not in immediate danger and that we were not prepared to help Iraqis once we won the war.

And he was right.

Now that we have alienated ourselves from our allies and have left an entire country in a state of dissolution, and now that we know that our entire populace was duped into believing in non-existent nukes, we need a new man in charge.

America needs to renew its focus on social justice and peaceful intervention, and Dean might just be the man to get the ball rolling.