Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Good Words from Howard Dean at Stanford University

Kos diarist sdf has the summary of a recent Howard Dean visit to Stanford University. Choice bits (many of which are loose quotes of Dean):

Radical right wing politics in America will eventually end up where they belong, in the trashcan of history.

I don't think there's a person in this room who doesn't think they could do a better job than George W. Bush.

He was asked about the voting irregularities, and here, too, he didn't shy away. He began by noting that perhaps the most troubling thing was the obvious voter suppression in places like Ohio (with the artificially long lines, etc.) He said that the point was that even a recount can't tell us much with Black Box Voting machines (some of you may recall that Bev Harris gave him a hands on tutorial on how easy it was to hack the vote). And he said that requiring a verifiable paper trail to audit, and electing Democratic Secretaries of State should both be priorities.

Community was the uniting theme of his (otherwise sometimes wandering) speech. He was asked explicitly about Lakoff in the Q&A and quite openly said that he has been tremendously influenced by him, that what he is saying comes right from Moral Politics and urged [if you only have time to read ten pages between now and Christmas] read the last ten pages of Don't Think of an Elephant.

One of the biggest applause lines came when he challenged the radical right's claim to ownership of Christian rhetoric. Jesus, he declared, was about including the downtrodden, and the Republicans, with their insistence on public displays of religion, resemble nothing more than the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

And because I know all of you out there in the blogosphere, and indeed all of you everywhere, have been brainwashed by the media into thinking this is an "issue" worthy of being addressed:

He used the "scream" speech as an intro. (He began, "Let me get this out of the way: Yearrrgh!" to raucous applause; which he followed by asking "Now was that so terrifying?"

Dean said that the day after The Scream, when the 60 reporters who had been following him around for weeks were asked by their bosses why they hadn't turned in stories about the "news", they said things like "but that happens every night."

So far NAFTA, the WTO, et. al. have only done half the job: they have provided free trade, freedom to operate for coorporations. Until they complete the equation by also extending labor rights and environmental protections, globalization will end up producing nothing more than continued worldwide resentment to America and its brand of capitalism.

Dean's speeches now often (always?) include him asking the members of his audience to run for local office.

We need to win the country back one vote at a time, one precinct at a time.


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