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Open Letter to Howard Dean and the DNC

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Your six point plan for America, which I became aware of on the eve of the recent elections, brings to the table a handful of concepts that sound very nice:

- You will end the Republican culture of corruption and bring us real ethics reform, accountability, honesty and openness at all levels of government. You'll make certain the government serves the peoples' interests and not that of big business.

- You will protect Americans at home and tell the truth to our troops, citizens and allies. You'll have a strong national defense, win the war on terror, ensure success in Iraq, and free America from its dependence on foreign oil.

- You'll eliminate billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop energy alternatives.

- You'll create jobs that stay in America and bring us a budget discipline that reduces our deficit. You'll support fair trade agreements that raise standards for all workers here and abroad and make American businesses more competitive. You'll provide every child with a strong foundation of education.

- You'll make sure everyone has access to affordable health care, invest in stem cell research.

- You'll ensure retirement with dignity, starting with pension reform, prevent privatization of social security, and work on new ways to help hard-working Americans create retirement savings.

I like these grandiose notions, but I fear they are exceedingly fuzzy-headed and nothing more than fancy words on paper. For a starter, we have already seen Nancy Pelosi cozying up to the second largest lobby in Washington, the Israel-American AIPAC, explaining that the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza have nothing to do with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. So we have already set out on the wrong foot in the wrong direction, by lying to our troops, citizens and allies, and not missing a beat in continuing the culture of corruption in Washington.

You're going to win the war on terror? Is there some particular means by which you hope to do that? Has the DNC even defined what the "war on terror" is? If so, would you please state it publicly, so that Americans and the world do not have to keep on guessing?

I would ask the same for your definition of "success in Iraq." The only success I can see is that we get out immediately, make reparations of some unfathomably large kind, and perhaps try to find other parties who might be willing and able to sit at the table, talk, talk, and talk some more-in the absence of our troops that virtually everyone wants out of Iraq-and make sure that the Iraqis get control of their own oil supplies and help with putting their infrastructure back together.

You are going to bring us energy independence? Is there a single physicist in the DNC who has the slightest clue as to how this might come about? Can you give us a hint as to how this highfalutin concept will filter down to reality? I've been trying to figure it out for over thirty years, and I honestly don't see how to get from here to there without the most radical and immediate changes, none of which I hear you proposing.

How exactly are you going to create jobs that stay in America? What's the plan, Sam? Give us even a tiny hint, please. And how are you going to make American business more competitive? Near as I can see, American business follows the simple principle of worshiping the Almighty Dollar, looking out for itself and itself alone, seeking tax breaks and laws and bogus fronts that time after time make the public pay for the benefit of a few. When the "the bottom line" is the highest principle in American business, how exactly are we going to see anything other than exporting jobs for cheap labor, ripping off resources elsewhere in the world where environmental and social concerns are minimal or non-existent, and giving short shrift to American employees? But prove me wrong, please-give us some specifics and cease with the lofty mumbo-jumbo.

Universal health care and stem cell research? Wonderful, but where does the funding come from, and how are you going to get these projects in place? It's great to have lofty goals-I get a few myself every New Year-but can the DNC give us a little detail as to how these things are going to be accomplished?

It's claimed that the DNC will ensure retirement with dignity. Well, that's great too, but there's quite a few of us out here wondering how and when that's going to happen. It looks like a pile of poop so far. Near as I can tell, it will take a miracle such as I have never yet seen in politics.

Please pardon me for the tone of this letter, but I'm sick and tired of words, words, and more words, when they don't translate into anything that might be conceivably recognized as reality. And I'm sicker still of such words when they pop out just before an election, in such a blatant last-ditch effort to win a few votes.

You and the DNC have not offered a vision. You have offered a mouthful of malarkey that does nothing but sound slightly better than the stream of lies we've had to endure from the present administration. But you've offered absolutely nothing that is tangible or believable, and you've already sprinted off in the wrong direction with Nancy's first big lie, described above, and then with the appointment of Mr. Hoyer, who led the charge against Democrats taking a strong position on Iraq, while serving himself as a mouthpiece for George Bush. You yourself have told us in the past that you won't touch the Pentagon budget, which in fact uses war to justify its own existence. So stop the nonsensical talk, please. It gives me severe headaches.

If you are serious about change, why not get behind the one politician who has done far more than flap his lips? That one Democratic who works quietly and steadfastly for the very principles that the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for? That one who grew up in poverty and thus has an outlook that is 180 degrees opposite that of George Bush? One who has clearly, specifically, and in no uncertain terms described a Vision for America that will take us out of the hell we've gotten into.

It's what we need, Howard, a real Vision for America, and the actual steps that will take us there. I challenge you and the DNC to show me one person who has shown more vision, more courage, and more adherence to principles than Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He has time and time again "gone out on a limb" to put actions ahead of words. He has more clearly thought through and defined practical and intelligible solutions to the problems this country faces. He has boldly posted those without mincing words for the world to see on his website, where they've been for years. He spoke out strongly against the Iraq War, advice that in itself would have already saved us untold lives and trillions of dollars, dollars that are so desperately needed here at home.

As long as the DNC continues "playing politics," it is aiding and abetting and directly fueling business as usual, and offering absolutely nothing that will change the course of this country.

Given that there is one and only one politician who has offered a real vision for our country, and shown that he is willing to do whatever it takes to implement it, I propose that the DNC appoint this person, Dennis Kucinich, as Head of the Democratic National Committee. Let this country and the world know what the Democratic Party stands for, and what it is really going to do to bring about changes. Let us stop flapping our lips, offer no more snake oil in the form of worn out and meaningless words, and get down to the business of creating a livable society and world.

I spent many dollars, many phone calls, and many hours drumming up the vote business for the Democratic Party. I inadvertently damaged a valued friendship. To see the DNC immediately do an about face and cater to those in Washington who so clearly don't belong there, is nothing short of nauseating.

If there is some particular aspect of the DNC, or personality within the party that I have overlooked, which holds a higher Vision for America than the one Dennis Kucinich holds out, I am most anxious to hear it. But short of that, the DNC is leading the country in ever larger and more insane circles, squandering what natural and cultural heritage we might have left that is worth passing on to our children and future Americans.

I offer this letter as a standing challenge. If you can't rise to the occasion, either by proving me wrong with some vision I have not yet learned about, or by elevating Dennis Kucinich to the position that he and he alone is worthy of, please do not expect my vote or my support, ever again. The time for game playing has long ago expired. If the Democrats now elected to office can't do more than cow-tow to those behind the scenes, or fear for their own shadows, the slide into further chaos, hopelessness and despair, and eventually, the collapse of this country, is as inevitable as the rising of the sun.

Does the DNC have what it takes to make the changes we so desperately need? To stand tall on the bully pulpit that is theirs if they but use it? Or are we going to see business as usual, until the Democrats come crying for money and help again in two years, telling us why we should elect whatever blind and gutless person they then hold out before us?

The hour is late for this rapidly vanishing democracy called the United States of America. It may well be too late, even with the greatest effort. But its demise is assured when there is no vision, no tangible hope on the horizon, and no indication that the light of reason might triumph over the dark forces of greed.

I anxiously await your reply.

Sincerely,


Daniel Geery
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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly want: (more...)
 

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Thanks for a reality-based view of our world and t... by Joel S. Hirschhorn on Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 10:11:01 AM
I had thought myself the only person to believe Ho... by ardee D. on Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006 at 7:20:24 AM
I thought they loved us. Didn't Howard Dean say th... by Timothy V. Gatto on Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006 at 10:35:52 AM
I went through a long, painful period of disillusi... by Prónius on Friday, Nov 24, 2006 at 11:35:13 PM