After having a nice discussion about my Dean comments with a GU visitor, I thought I would add a bit to my Dean bashing. First, I have nothing against Mr. Dean personally; he seems altogether a decent moderate with independent leanings. I’m happy he is doing so well because I loathe the Bush administration and what they have done so much. However, my only point is that in our society, it’s hard for people who aren’t extremely privileged and wealthy to succeed in politics. This is why I am a supporter of campaign finance reforms – whether forcing the media to give all candidates a certain number of free ads, limiting large donations, or limiting campaign seasons, all of which have been instituted to great success in a variety of other countries.
I also recognize that to a certain degree, these things must change slowly – for whatever reason, a lot of people still won’t vote for a black man for their senator (for example), but I think that things are improving. I think that there are an over surplus of people who would do a good job as president, I only wish they all had an equal shot at it, regardless of their race, class, career, and where they went to school. Just because people have privilege doesn’t mean they can be very qualified, decent, people whom I would support – as long as they are honest with themselves and the country about these problems. I think the Democratic candidates are, and perhaps some moderate republicans like John McCain.
I am thinking on two planes: personally, and societally. Societally, I wish our nation was at a place where the Lynn Rivers of the world would be able to compete with the John Dingells, but we’re not. Politics on the right and the left are run by mostly rich white people who went to ivy league schools. Personally, I think Dr. Dean is a qualified, intelligent moderate, whom I probubly will support if he is nominated by the Democrats.
Also, I think Dean will probably threaten Bush more than Karl Rove thinks, since when you get right down to it, he’s nowhere as liberal as a Mondale or Dukakis. Also, people who are too embedded in party politics to see the real picture quickly forget that in each election, only about half the electorate votes, and in 1992, Ross Perot won 19% of the popular vote. Clearly, there are a lot of people who would vote for someone who had an independent streak, regardless of party, and if a candidate can motivate a lot of people to vote for him or her, they can skew what both Democrats and Republican wonks think will happen. The more I read about Dean on the issues, the more he sounds like a calculating moderate playing to the left. For example, the NRA likes him because he has said he thinks gun restrictions should be decided on a state level. I disagree – what is legal in some states will be accessable in every state, and I believe it can be argued the federal government can and should regulate guns.