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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, March 17, 2003


Dean - antiwar candidate

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, March 17, 2003 permalink View blog reactions

We are on the eve of war on Iraq. Collectively, we deaniacs have been trying to make the case that Dean's apeal transcends his position on war, and have been striving to explain how his position is more complex than simple "no war" but hinges on recognition from the UN, without sacrificing America's sovereign right to act in defense.

However, as Bush goes to the nation tonight and delivers his ultimatum, it is important to switch gears and explain to anti-war Americans why Dean does truly reflect their views, despite the qualifications above.

Few Americans believe that all war is wrong and that war must never be waged for any reason - especially after 9-11 it is hard to find anyone but the most extreme left who advocate dismantling our armed forces or other such pacifist measures. Most Americans who are against war feel this way simply because they feel that the case for war has not yet been made.

President Bush no doubt believes that there is a strong case for war. However, he has not really made this case to the public. Implicit in Dean's position is the recognition that there must not only be a reason but that the people must be given that information. Dean would not view dissent as harmful - his administration would not seek to prevent rallies in New York City against war or threaten grave consequences when the Parliament of other sovereign nations such as Turkey vote in accordance with their people's wishes instead of his.

If we were to make a case for Dean to an American who is against war, how could we communicate these ideas effectively? Regardless of how the war goes (and it likely will go very well), how can Dean preserve the support of Americans who are anti-war but who may be dswayed by Bush's success? How can Dean remond people of the political environment today, 6 months from now?


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.