Howard Dean?s bold honesty, clarity, and his powerful fund raising skills make him the ideal candidate for the new chair of the Democratic National Committee.Hopefully, Dean?s recent DNC victory can pull the Democrats
in the right direction and ensure that the party stands for progressive ideals once again.
During his campaign for presidency more than a year ago, Dean raised more than $40 million, a record-breaking amount of money for any politician. He was savvy enough to use the Internet to spread his message
and collect contributions from people across the country who hoped Dean would be the candidate to face George Bush in the 2004 election.
Though Dean lost the Democratic primaries to Sen. John Kerry, his campaign was a success because he turned young people on to politics. The former Vermont Governor ran on an anti-war platform, spoke from his heart and injected life and passion into the party.
This encouraged thousands of young people across the United States to work for the Dean campaign.
That same energy that Dean had during the Democratic primaries will be a powerful tool to pull the Democratic Party in the right direction now that Dean is confirmed as the head of the DNC.
Already as the new leader of the DNC, Dean has vowed to change the party and fight for progressive ideals. “Above all, we need to stand up for a different vision,” Dean said to a crowd of supporters in Washington a few days after he was confirmed as the new committee chair in February.
Since his presidential campaign, Dean has not been hesitant to criticize his own party for acting too much like republicans. If Dean continues this honest criticism, he can influence the party and stop democrats from moving further to the right.
As the head of the national committee, Dean has also vowed to reach out to red state voters in the south and mid west, yet it is still unclear if people in red states will listen to Dean?s passionate, fiery speeches because they could turn some people off. However, Dean should succeed at energizing the democratic base and sparking activism within his own party.
Since clenching his new position, Dean has continued to sharply critique the Republican Party. He called Bush?s economic plans “fiscal recklessness,” and said that the new budget Bush wishes to propose, which would cut beneficial domestic programs to fund the military and weapons budget even more, would bring “Enron-style accounting to our nation?s capital,” according to the MSNBC Web site.
During the primaries, Dean constantly spoke against the war in Iraq. Recently, he admitted his views against the war have not changed. As the new leader of the DNC, Dean should dissent against the war in Iraq and Bush?s economic plans because the democrats have done little of that in the last four years. The Bush administration must be held accountable.
For the most part, the democratic party has accepted Dean?s leadership because they understand the inspiration Dean can ignite in the party. “He has used the power of technology, the force of his personality and the depth of his ideals to bring new people into the party,” Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said after Dean won the position, according to the MSNBC Web site.
Sen. Kerry has donated $1 million to the DNC and encouraged his supporters and the democratic base to support Dean.
“Let?s make sure he has everything he needs to start strong,” Kerry said in an e-mail to his supporters a few weeks ago.
Howard Dean?s new leadership is a breath of life into the Democratic Party. His explosive energy and passion is what the party needs to mobilize young people and encourage other democrats not to act “Republicanlite.”
Brian Fanelli is a junior majoring in comparative literature with minors in creative writing and journalism.