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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, November 01, 2004


John Kerry for President

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, November 01, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
When it comes down to it, i can live with a President with whom I disagree on social issues, the environment, the role of government, etc.

However, what I can't abide is a threat to the basic freedom of our citizenship. The Bush-supporters often cried, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact!" - to which my response has always been the New Hampshire state motto:
Live free or die

The real reason I am casting a vote for John Kerry is because I see the GOP as a party of extremism. George W Bush, though the standard bearer of that party, is actually quite moderate. He believes in civil unions, he thinks that teh war on terror can not be "won" in the conventional sense, he understands the need for immigration reform and public health plans. Were he ever freed from his cage (perhaps Wednesday...) he might well have been as genuinely moderate as ... Nixon. Who abolished the draft and created teh EPA, I might remind us all.

The GOP is dangerous. David Neiwert has been doing yeoman's work for the past three years documenting the slide of the far right towards the seductive allure of certain methods - unity of message, discouragement of dissent, public proof of loyalty, and one-party political dominance. His landmark essay on fascism is essential reading, as is his new series on the morphing of the conservative movement into pseudo-fascism and a recent Washington Monthly article on the K-Street Project. Republicanism has replaced conservatism, with great ill-effects to the tradition of debate.

Make no mistake - I reject the far left as utterly. But they wield no power, have no dominance, and lack the unity required for them to ever succceed in installing a communist framework over the Constitution. What level of socialism we have in our society is reaonable and the subject of consensus, not dispute, between left and right: welfare, social security, minimum wage, unions, etc. Communism no more discredits these benign forms of socialism than do tin-pot democratic "elections" garnering Tyrant A 99.99% of the vote discredit American democracy.

Terrorism is a real threat to us. But it is a threat that can be met and one that can be extinguished. That requires transformative change abroad as much as it does simple reliance on multilateral alliances. In that vein, I share at least one goal of the neo-cons, though I label myself a neo-wilsonian because of the very important way in which I disagree.

But what does it gain us to triuph over terrorism to find we have lost our soul in the process? If there is a lesson from history, it is that freedom cannot be extinguished from outside - only when it is willingly snuffed from within. We must preserve our liberal (in the classical sense) freedom, or there's no point in succeeding over terror. The fellow-travelers of the GOP today have no interest in maintaining that freedom. They would impose their own western sharia upon this nation instead.

John Kerry is not perfect, but he does represent the moderate center. That center is a broad tent, comprising of the mainstream of American politics. It covers Barack Obama and John McCain, it covers Chuck Hagel and it covers Howard Dean. And it covers me.

And to succeed against terror, and to help shape the world so that our classical liberal freedom spreads to the corners of the globe, we must make sure that we, the messengers of liberty, remain unsullied.

Stay tuned for changes at Dean Nation. New faces, new viewpoints, and a fresh outlook on our mission. It started here.


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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.