This is my last Dean post for a while, I’m sounding kind of like a Howard Dean fanboy. (As I was typing this, someone just hit my weblog searching for “Howard Dean evil” on Google!) It occurs to me that if he were the Democratic candidate, that he would be a pretty effective neutralization of the “Nader effect.” If any of your Usual Suspect Senators are the candidate, it is back in play. I, along with many on the left edge, flirted with and mulled over some of the Nader rhetoric. Frankly, Dean is the best of that world – the independent guy without a lot of corporate ties – and he’s also got the mainstream Democratic party mojo. To be able to encapsulate that and head off at the pass the Nader argument that “there is no difference between these candidates” is to both cease that criticism as well as appeal to those who felt that a compelling argument.
I’ve also seen written that people think Dean is “peaking far too early.” I’m going to be optimistic here and think that this isn’t a typical short attention span, election cycle phenomenon, but the early days of us changing the way we go about living our American lives. Like the story about the Dean supporters working at the shelter not once, but every weekend indefinitely, perhaps this movement isn’t about “buzz” or which candidate is “hot”, but about us returning to the fundamentals of what is important: compassion for each other, doing the right thing, helping those that need help, saying what you really believe, living without fear, loving who you want to love, accepting those who are different, giving a shit, putting concerns for people above money, caring about the common good, fighting the good fight and winning it. The candidate I vote for will be the one who can make me believe these values are their values and the values by which they will govern, and today Dean is the one who does that.