The Dean Scream
Alexander S. Peak
13 November 2005
Am I the only person in America that actually liked the ‘Dean Scream’?
Let me start off by saying that Dr. Howard Dean was not perfect. No politician is. But, he offered what I at least say as a slight libertarian influence. He supposedly believed in cutting spending, and was thus more fiscally-conservative than Bush. Sure, he had some distinct economic drawbacks, such as wanting to actually save Social Security (not that Bush doesn’t have essentially this same exact goal), and to impose a National Healthcare System on us (which at least Bush appears to oppose)—but considering that Gov. Dean had cut spending and balanced the budget of his state, he did seem like a better candidate than Bush. As for Dean’s view on government as it relates to society: it, too, wasn’t perfect, but was still preferable to Bush’s. Obviously, Dean was opposed to the war (as it seems this was the only aspect of Dean’s candidacy the media liked to focus on). I liked that he’d gotten an ‘A’ from the NRA, and he also opposed the USA PATRIOT Act, which the likes of Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Hillary Clinton both voted for. However, unfortunately, he supported the war on drugs, including the criminalization of marijuana. But so did Bush. Overall, ultimately, Dean did seem the somewhat-more-libertarian of the two candidates, which is why I was hoping for the Democrats to nominate him.
Sen. Kerry really didn’t have a chance against Bush. Why? Because the “honourable” Senator did nothing in his campaign to make himself distinct from Bush. The whole time, up until about a week or so before the election when he finally came out against the war (too little, too late), he wasn’t touting himself as the Peace President (something Libertarian Michael Badnarik did tout himself as), but rather basically touted himself as the better War President. John Kerry was the most disingenuous presidential candidate I’ve ever seen. He lost the election for himself, and I would argue that he never had a chance.
Nobody is going to vote for you if you offer generally the same “solutions” as your opponent, if you make yourself look like ‘your opponent-lite.’ They will, however, vote for you if you present fresh ideas, which Howard Dean did; which is why, if Dean had been the Democratic candidate (despite the media claiming he was too much a leftist), he would have taken the White House. I have little doubt about that.
Then came the ‘Dean Scream.’ And his whole campaign was unravelled. But why? I know I loved the Dean Scream. I mean, who didn’t? That was Rock ’n’ Roll! The man was livin’ it up! He’d come from behind as the most obscure candidate to the number-three spot. Let the man have his moment in the sun.
I believe his campaign unravelled because the Democrats in the media, believing they needed a more “moderate” candidate (i.e. Kerry) to beat Bush, purposely opted to play the ‘Dean Scream’ over and over in a very negative light so as to sabotage his candidacy. Of course, this is only a guess. I have no empirical evidence for this. And I don’t think the media Democrats met in a secret room to conspire this, I think it’s just what happened.
So, the public got stuck with John Kerry, a man who, on the one hand, wanted to play revolutionary and throw his medals on the White House lawn (which I actually respected), and then, on the other, wanted to use his military experience as a veteran to skate into the White House. At the Democratic National Convention, Kerry said something to the effect of, “I’m John Kerry, reporting for duty!” while saluting. Oh, shut the fuck up, John.
Ultimately, I voted for Michael Badnarik. I couldn’t vote for either Bush or Kerry and still look at myself in the mirror. I’d rather have shot myself in the foot than vote for either of these “mainstream” candidates.
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