Stay and Fight

December 31, 2004

My local newspaper in Vermont has published several articles since the November elections about disenchanted people moving to Canada. Yes, the Presidential election was a disappointment to a lot of Americans — about 48% of them. But this is our country too, so my attitude is, "Please stay and fight." Over the next four years we have a chance to lay out a vision and a message that appeals to the best in all Americans.

Our message has to be about rebuilding community. The community we want to rebuild is one based on mutual respect. The community we want to rebuild is one based on fiscal prudence, where a dollar saved is a dollar earned so that our kids can have at least the same, if not better, opportunities than we have. Our community will be one where Americans who work hard, no matter what their wages are, have a basic standard of living which includes adequate health care. Our community will be inclusive. Our community will not turn its back on those who are members of minority groups, on American Indians, on single women with children, on people with disabilities, on public employees, on gay Americans, or on working people who make minimum wage.

Our community will be based on fairness. Our America will be a community where all really are created equal. Our community will be one where people of faith are welcomed and held up as role models, but it will also be one where those who seek to use religion as a wedge issue to teach intolerance and hate are treated as the sinners which they are.

This community will be based on values of strength, toughness, respect for others and their ideas. And above all, the notion that loving thy neighbor — all neighbors, not just some — is an essential American value.

Americans are too tough to give up easily. As we start a new year, please continue to build our community — together we can take our country back.

Howard Dean

Posted by Howard Dean at 10:25 PM

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