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FF Sparks (Casual)

Political Musings

I find it funny that, looking at West Wing, we have a character (Josiah Bartlett) who was an academic turned governor from New England. He starts as a total nobody in the race, and espouses views that some people believe make him completely unelectable, but gathers grassroots support for the strength of his beliefs and from people tired of what they've had for a while.

Then we have the person who was considered the front-runner, Hoynes, who is a bit more conservative. He's considered the best bet, because his views are more 'palatable' to the masses by being a little more conservative while still Democratic. Yet while Hoynes is a good person and a decent candidate, he lacks the ability to inspire the sort of fervor and devotion in listeners that Bartlett does.

Yet because of the sheer fervor that Bartlett manages to muster among voters, in the end, Bartlett ends up with the party's nomination, and Hoynes as the vice-presidential nominee to help him carry several areas. And Bartlett wins.

Though West Wing premiered in 1999, so the characters are obviously not based on the current candidates in any way...Jen's observation is that Senator Kerry is Hoynes; he's a good candidate with 'palatable' views, and is seen as electable because of that. But he somehow lacks the passion to inspire that Governor Dean has. The interesting thing is that, looking back now, many of the more extreme views that Bartlett was expressing (views on children and poverty, views on education, etc.) are similar to the stances that Dean has. And Hoynes' more cautious views do match Kerry's in some ways.

And that's finally helped me really put a finger on why I'm a Deanite rather than a Kerry supporter; I want a President Bartlett.

No, not a fictional character or anything. I'm just drawing a parallel; I want a president who can inspire that sort of belief. I want a president who doesn't just tell me what he intends to do, but who believes it so deeply, so strongly, that anyone who listens to him can't help but be swayed...even if they don't agree with him. I was a casual Deanite before hearing him speak, but after hearing his speech in Seattle I have to echo the sentiment of so many other Dean supporters inasmuch as that he made me believe in his vision.

I've not had a politician do that for a while. That's what I've missed...a candidate I can not simply agree with, but believe in. Even when I agree with their views, even when I think they make a good speech, I've never felt it came so much from the heart, so fervently, as I did listening to Howard Dean.

That's why I found my candidate. That's why I'm a Dean supporter.


Yay! DEAN!

That's exactly it. We don't have to have a mediocre candidate. Most people in this country believe that education is the most important thing we can spend our money ont. Most people believe that the environment is important to maintain. Most people want a stable economy, not one built on deficit spending that's going to hurt interest rates for the next thirty years.

Dean wants those things. He believes. He says what he believes. And that gets me riled up for the government we -should- have, one that actually serves the people and helps makes their lives better, not one that caters to big oil and big business.

Yeah. I want Jed Bartlett. But Howard Dean's pretty damn good, too. He should call up Martin Sheen and do a photo op. :)
Actually, I think when I realized Howard Dean was a candidate who really spoke from the heart, to the heart, was when I realized you and I agreed on him.

We NEVER agree on politics. The fact that we can agree on Dean says something. :)
I just want a Democrat who can win the electorate in 2004. That's why I'm behind Kerry. ;)
Frankly I think you underestimate Dean's 21st century savvy. The man groks the internet and knows how to use it to his advantage. And his message speaks to both thinking Democrats and disgruntled Republicans. Something the DLC-based people don't know how to do...

Thinking traditionally is not going to work for this election. Bush has too much in his war chest for that. The way to win this is not on the boob tube, but on the 'net and in the streets. People power will win over bucks if it's organized, and Dean knows how.

Pass it on.
See, that's the thing; I think Dean can win the electorate. I realize he's way further away from the traditional middle-of-the-road, but I think lots of people are simply so fed up with government lately and have started to see the flaws, that they want a candidate they can truly believe in personally.

Jen, who is traditionally more conservative and closer to right-wing than me, and I have rarely agreed on politics in the past. During the last presidential election, there were some truly heated political discussions in the apartment! But /both of us/ agree on Dean. That not only impresses me, but I think it says something about the people being ready for change.

That's why I'm going to vote where I believe, rather than 'settling for someone less extreme' because they seem electable. 'cause I believe the extremity is what we need, and I think Dean's record in Vermont says he can do it -- he took office with a huge deficit and lots of problems, and now Vermont has a balanced budget, good health-care, and well-funded education. I want to see that on a national scale, and while Dean might not be able to make it all happen since the national government can't be turned on a dime...I believe he's going to certainly /try/.

And I'm far from the only one. Dean's campaign is growing, and it's made up of more than just Democrats. Fed-up Republicans, Libertarians... it's actually quite impressive. :)
Howard Dean for America, as the sticker on my car says.

I think Dean has caught on partly because he's the one candidate who hasn't hedged his bet by, say, supporting the Iraq war. It's not so much that we all agree with him--although many of us do, there's more to it than that. No, it's that Dean has been willing to hit back.

So many of us Democrats (I'm a registered Washington State Democrat and was a Clinton delegate to the 1996 state Democratic convention) have been disheartened by the acquiescence of so many candidates to the Bush agenda because it's "popular," never grasping that a certain amount of "popularity" just comes from seeming to have a spine. This is why Kerry is faltering, and why Dean, a candidate who actually stands up to the opposition, is in first. Go Dean. So what if Bush and Rove think Dean will be the easiest to beat? It'll be all the more satisfying to see the blush on Rove's fat face when he loses to the man.
That is definitely a big part of it.

I think another thing is that you know Dean says what he means. You definitely get the impression he's not speaking an assembled platform intended to pander to the masses, but that he's speaking his mind and beliefs. His record in Vermont tends to back this up... he says 'I want to do x', and you look at Vermont and hey, he /did/ do it there. So I come out feeling 'he really /means/ this, these aren't empty promises.'

And that's something I haven't felt about a candidate in... well, ever, since I reached voting age.