I’m continually amazed at the words that fall from the lips of the Democratic National Committee Chairman, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.
By way of review, I’d like to remind you of some of his more recent attacks, oh I mean statements, about conservatives and Republicans.
“I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.”
“The issue is not abortion. The issue is whether women can make up their own mind instead of some right-wing pastor, some right-wing politician telling them what to do.”
“This country was the moral leader of the world until George Bush became president.”
“Well Republicans…a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives.”
He’s also called Republicans “evil,” and described the party as one that is “pretty much a white, Christian party.”
I need not comment on those quotes. They speak for themselves.
I’ve come to expect those kinds of irrational, demeaning statements coming from him. It has, to be very honest, made me happy when I think of elections but sad for the sake of the state of the national debate. It’s a ridiculous commentary on our society and our political system when a man who thinks and talks like Howard Dean is the best that one of the two major parties can do.
I was pleased to hear that Dean took on a slightly different tone this last Monday. It turns out that Dean channeled his passion towards his own party. Please allow me to share my favorite Howard Dean ‘deep thought’ first.
When he addressed his Vermont audience, he informed them of his revelation that “There are Democrats everywhere.” I, too, sometimes manifest a similar gift of stating the obvious. Perhaps it was one of those you-had-to-be-there moments. However, I cannot imagine what response that insightful statement received from the Democrats (or any other party members) in the room. Should he get out more?
He made several other statements that would take too much time to cover and would, honestly, be difficult for me to write about without cracking up. Suffice it to say that there was more of the same.
However, he went on to make some interesting, seriously, remarks about the Democratic Party. He said, “We need to position ourselves as the party of change. I think we have learned that when big changes happen in the House and Senate, they happen because one party nationalizes the race and becomes the change agent.”
For all of Dean’s ranting and screaming, I believe he has landed on solid ground here. While I disagree with his perceptions of the two parties and while I don’t believe in his vision or direction for our nation’s future, I can appreciate the notion that both parties take on a proactive stance.
Two parties moving forward with a vision rather than attacking the other party’s lack of vision. Two parties on the offense with our nation’s security and prosperity in mind and not simply repudiating the other for its apparent ‘special interest.’ Two parties working together, despite their differences, for the sake of a better tomorrow for the United States and not each pointing the finger about how little the other is doing.
Furthermore, I’d love to see the day that candidates from both parties have such a positive and empowering vision for our nation and its people that it would be a challenge to decide for whom to vote. I’d love to see candidate walking in such integrity, honesty and demonstrating faithfulness and care for their loved ones and their communities on both sides of the aisle. I’d like to see pro-life liberals and conservatives pitted against one another on the ballot and working alongside each other at the capitol.
It is, I admit, entertaining to poke fun at Dean’s irrationality. But, I realize that this kind of lopsided leadership really is not best for our country. What’s best for our country is quality character and leadership in both parties. Political races may be more difficult to win. But, in the end, they would be victories for the nation and not just a political party.