I've just switched back to being a member of the Democratic Party. I was in the Green Party and voted Green in the last two Presidential elections. So, for the last few elections I've ended up voting Green because I just really was not excited about who was going to be in the White House if I didn't vote Green and this was the first election in some time that I was looking with real interest at who the Democratic candidates were — really excited to get Bush out of the office. I was thinking that I was going to have to hold my nose and pick a candidate and I started looking at Dean and I was, like, "wow, this guy is actually exciting!" There's something here? this is someone who I don't need to choose — am I going to vote for someone who has a chance of getting into office or vote for someone I can believe in? This is someone who I can believe in who has a real good shot.
Part of what was exciting there? I was talking with my upstairs neighbor about it and she was kind of excited about Kucinich and we were going back and forth? I said I felt that Kucinich was someone who, if you already believed everything he believes, he's going to thrill you, but if you don't already believe it? he doesn't reach out. There's a way that Dean talks about things that are just so right and he talks about them in a way that makes sense. People hear it and they're, like, wow — common sense. I said I kind of feel that this is someone who my parents in the Midwest, in Michigan, would be like "this guy makes sense" and they would vote for him. It turned out that a few weeks later, I got an email from my Mom in Michigan saying, "hey — there's this new Democratic candidate, he's the first Democrat whom I've been excited about for quite some time. Howard Dean — you should check him out," and I was thrilled.
I'm excited about a lot of his positions, excited that he told the truth about the war before other folks were talking about it, excited that he was willing to do unpopular things in Vermont, that he was willing to toe a line between not raising spending as much as many of the liberals wanted him to and not cutting taxes as much as the conservatives wanted and as a result, we've got a Vermont that doesn't have the same deficit problem that my state, California, or a lot of other states have right now — I was excited about that. I was excited? In some ways I think that a lot of his positions have excited me and, in some ways, even more than his positions have excited me, I love the way that he talks about that he doesn't have the power to set things right in America, but that we do. I believe that. I believe that he has the potential to help us remember the power that we've got to set things right.
I've really enjoyed the way that the campaign has been run so far. I like that? I love seeing a candidate who is able to raise a lot of money from little contributions. I love that there's lots of people like me who don't make a whole lot of money who are donating 10, 15, 20 bucks to match the huge $2,000 per head donations that Bush is getting. I love how grassroots it is — I got to write a handwritten letter to some folks in New Hampshire, writing and telling them why I was excited about Dean. I love how many people across the country who are excited about a candidate — not just willing to vote for one, but excited about a candidate and how the Dean campaign has been smart about using that enthusiasm to have him be the frontrunner and hopefully carry on to the White House.
I've been involved in a lot of political causes before, have been involved as an activist in things, but I've never really been behind a political candidate because there hasn't been a candidate whose candidacy has seemed important enough to me, either because they had no shot at winning or because them winning wasn't going to push the country forward in the direction that I thought it needed to go. So there's never been a campaign that I've put myself into the way I'm putting myself into the Dean campaign. It thrills me that there's a candidate that both my parents and I are really excited about. In the last couple of elections, I've voted Nader and they've voted for the Democratic candidate. I've always respected their decision, they've always respected mine, but we were just beaming when we realized that we had one candidate who really? a Democratic candidate, Howard Dean, who I knew was going to take our country in the right direction, who they knew was going to take our country in the right direction and that all of us were really excited to put our names behind.
I talk about Dean in different ways with different folks. I love noting that he was really able to shift consensus in Vermont around the issue of domestic partnership. I love that he stood up for what he believed was right even though he knew it might politically hurt him. I love that when he first started advocating for it — I don't know the numbers exactly, but something like 60% against and now it's like 70% for it? that Howard Dean has the power to shift consensus in a place. I love also talking about the fact that he has balanced budgets before, that he's the only candidate that I know of that has balanced a budget... I love that Howard Dean's a candidate who can talk about the things that matter to me in a way that just come off as common sense. You hear him talking about things that are so important, that are so right on in a way that if you haven't heard someone talk about it before, you're like — wow, yeah, that makes some sense to me.
My name is Jeff. I'm a quality assurance engineer and I'm taking back my country.