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Heart and Mind

Read an article today that suggested people who vote with their minds vote for Kerry, and people who vote with their hearts support Edwards.

Well, by that same line of reasoning, people who vote with their hearts and minds support...

Howard Dean.

I know that the results from the primaries and caucuses thus far are not encouraging for Dean supporters. He's not throwing in the towel yet, with the second highest delegate count, though, admittedly trailing Kerry significantly. The press, of course, has written him off, choosing to focus on Edwards instead.

Regardless of the outcome of the Democratic nominating process, I am proud of Howard Dean and his campaign for the presidency. I do believe that it is tremendously important to oust Bush from the White House. If you'd asked me this time last year, I would have told you that I would support anybody but Bush. John Kerry supporters I've spoken with list his competitiveness against Bush as one of their top reasons for supporting him. That's how I felt last year... I would probably be a Kerry supporter too if the only thing I cared about was getting Bush out.

But along came another, totally unexpected, alternative. Instead of the fear... instead of just trying to find something less negative, all of a sudden, I began to see a movement, yes a movement, that Howard Dean's campaign embodied. I've spoken at length in this forum about Decentralization. Howard Dean's campaign promises a fundamental change in the system. By the very nature of how he ran, and the nature of his support, I could sense that not only was it possible to get the tyrants out of Washington, we could truly have a say in the government of tomorrow. For people who are passionate about their lives and how their government affects their lives and the lives of everyone in the country and, indeed, the world, Howard Dean became a bastion of hope.

Despite the passionate work of his supporters, a silent plurality of Democrats have spoken. I am beginning to understand that for most Americans, involvement in politics is a once-every-four-years commitment, if even that. What Howard Dean's campaign is failing to do is polarize those voters whose commitment is limited to their vote. All of the Dean supporters I have come in contact with lately have struck me as just being so involved and truly, so heartfelt in their support and activism. It has been inspiring. But most people aren't like that. They show up, vote, and then expect the details to be handled accordingly until the next election. That's not the kind of country or world that I care to live in, but it is the way it is.

So where do we go from here? Joe Trippi has some ideas. I, personally, will support Howard Dean until he either wins the White House in November, or formally withdraws from the race. Should the second, more unfortunate, of those circumstances come to pass, I will write more about my plans at that point.

But regardless of the outcome, the impact has already been felt. Nationally, regionally, and personally. Even the most negative media outlets have admitted that Howard Dean's campaign has brought life back into the Democratic Party, and renewed interest in politics, especially among younger voters. This goes right down to a very personal level, because if it wasn't for this man's candidacy and his vision for a responsible, prosperous, truly free, democratic, America, I'd still be mired in fear and negativity. Being involved, even on the limited basis that I was, with this campaign has been liberating, and I want to thank Howard Dean and the campaign for that.

Thanks for all you've done for me. You've renewed my hope... and "hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."

PGP Signed Entry