We were part of the majority that voted against George W. Bush in the election of 2000. We could only hope that there was some sincerity to his promises of a “humble foreign policy” and “compassionate conservatism.” And especially after receiving less than half the popular vote, we really hoped that such an indication of our nation’s diversity would cement his resolve to be a “uniter, not a divider”.
Unfortunately, the man who once said, “If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator” has made many of us wonder if he was really joking. Bush has acted recklessly in the areas of education, the environment, foreign relations--well, pretty much in every area we can think of! It quickly became clear to us that the United States could not afford a second term of the Bush administration.
As the war in Iraq approached, we became increasingly aware that if you questioned or cricitized Bush publicly, you risked being reviled as anti-American. We sought out forums where we could discuss political issues with like-minded individuals, but we discovered that the cynical and angry-but-resigned nature of the discussions were only making us feel worse about America, not better.
Then we heard Howard Dean speak on television. He was one of the few people to challenge Bush in a political environment where everyone else was being far too “careful”. It was exciting to see a presidential hopeful say on television the things we had been saying in our own home for months. When we heard Dean’s positions on the issues, we knew that we would vote for him. When he said, “I want my country back!”, we knew we had to work for him.
We started going to Meetups, and we started following the campaign on the official Dean web site and blog. What we found was an energized, optimistic group of people who were angry about what had become of their country, but who, along with Howard Dean, were going to take it back. We found that these same people were ready to put their time, energy and money where their mouths were, for the benefit of all Americans. We found people with a wide range of talents and resources who were ready to work together and do what was needed. In short, we found reason to believe that Howard Dean was right when he said we have the power to take our country back.
When a group of people comes together to work toward a common goal, we find that we have different passions, talents and resources that we can contribute to our common cause. Dean has said, "We are the great grassroots campaign of the modern era, built from mousepads, shoeleather and hope." Many of you are using your shoeleather at every opportunity to get out into the community and spead the word about Howard Dean. We want you to know that we’re here, behind the scenes, using our mousepads to try to make your jobs easier.
Our site is called People-Powered Graphics, because, like Dean’s campaign, it is a grassroots endeavor. We want and need your input so that we can create the most useful, effective visuals possible. Those of you who are passing out Dean literature at community events know best what types of questions people are asking, and what kinds of handouts and posters would be most likely to “hit their mark”. For this reason, People-Powered Graphics is linked to a Live Journal where you are invited to add comments about new posters, bumper stickers and flyers you would like to see, and brainstorm ideas with fellow Dean supporters. We are excited to be part of this 21st century grassroots campaign, and to be working with you to take our country back!