Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

October 23, 2003

by J

Northern Evangelist

Nice article on Dean in The American Prospect. It's possible that some people in 'the establishment' are finally beginning to 'get' this guy.
The more one watches him on the stump (and watches his admirers watching him), the more it becomes apparent that he comes out of, and is reviving, a tradition of small-town, New England civic and religious fervor that is all but forgotten in American politics today. He is something the country has not seen in a very long time. He is, essentially, a northern evangelist.

One astute observer has credited Dean's appeal to the doctor's grasp of psychology and the contemporary rhetoric of self-empowerment that laces many of his speeches. But Dean's grasp of the American political psyche is firmer than that: Dean's bet is that somewhere -- buried in some back corner, under layers of Oprah and American Pie, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Eminem and the latest Field Poll from California -- there's a little bit of Thomas Paine in each of us.

This quality in Dean's rhetoric -- that he is appealing not just to people's partisan leanings, nor to their particular ethnic or gender identities but to their history and identity as Americans -- is what has made him compelling to so many liberal voters who feel America is no longer even trying to be a "City upon a Hill." Instead of fearing the legacy of northeastern liberalism, he has embraced it as the philosophy that founded contemporary democracy, created America, kept it whole during the 19th century and fought to expand the franchise so that African Americans and women could participate as full citizens.

Posted by J at October 23, 2003 10:35 PM

It also doesn't hurt that he hasn't gotten in bed with the Bush administration!

Posted by: Dawn Summers at October 24, 2003 02:10 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

In Association with Amazon.com