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Common Sense for a New Century

| 1.1.04
Common Sense for a New Century, by Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

"No one is going to change America for you. You must participate to make it happen." --Howard Dean

This short pamphlet outlines Howard Dean's commonsense vision for returning America to its past position of moral leadership, democratic example, and idealistic benevolence in the world. This is a vision that Dean believes has become especially obscured and darkened during the current Bush administration. The key theme is simple: ordinary citizens need to get involved in the political process and take back power from extremists on both sides --especially moneyed extremists.

Weighing in at only 8 pages, the pamphlet doesn't get into too many detailed policy positions. It's more about a general vision. In order to really do your homework on Dean's views, I'd recommend two sources. First, see where Dean's campaign is coming from by reading the Dean for America web-site. This will give you Dean's positions from Dean's perspective. Secondly, go to Google News and run a search on Howard Dean. This will give you access to hundreds of news stories and blogs about Dean, from all kinds of different perspectives, especially critical ones.

Every candidate bellows about special interests, claims to be in favor of fair elections, and says they want more ordinary people involved in the political process. What makes Dean so compelling, however, is that in his case the claims are demonstrably true. The Internet has revolutionized the way political involvement can happen, and Dean's campaign has utilized this technology to hear the voices of some of those 50% of eligible voters who just choose to sit out election day. They have also revitalized the marginally active voter like me, who always votes but had never contributed monetarily or through boosterism.

Dean has raised far more money than any of the other candidates going up against George W. Bush, and he has done it with contributions averaging only $85. (as of last November). Bush, by contrast, raises most of his money from people who can afford to give the maximum $2000 a person contribution. Nobody I know. Yet if just 2 million people contributed $100, Dean would have as much money for this election as Bush does!

My state (Minnesota) doesn't have its caucus election until March. Normally by then the results of the nominations are a foregone conclusion, and it feels like one's voice and vote don't really count. In Dean's campaign, by contrast, I was able to vote last fall in an electronic primary sponsored by Moveon.org. Dean won that primary, giving him an early boost. The decentralized, Internet-based structure of his grass-root supporters has given him the edge, and inspires me to dare hope that individuals can actually make the difference in a presidential campaign.

For me, the Dean campaign epitomizes a revolution in the way politics can operate from the grassroots on up, instead of dictated from the top down by party insiders. I support Howard Dean, and give him my personal and official endorsement for the nomination, and for President in 2004.

But even if you don't agree with Dean's views, I think that the increased involvement of ordinary people in politics is nothing but a good thing for America. Watch out special interests, here we come!

PUBLISHER: Dean for America, 2003.
LINKS: http://images.deanforamerica.com/docs/cs/commonsense_all.pdf (1740 KB PDF document)

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