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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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Thursday, January 16, 2003


Clarification: Dean quotes on the issues

posted by annatopia at Thursday, January 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Prompted by a comment left by Ariella, I found some direct statements which clarify Dean's stance on some "hot-button" issues.

Dean on gun control: "If you say "gun control" in Vermont or Tennessee, or Colorado, people think you want to take away their hunting rifle. If you say "gun control" in New York or L.A., people are happy to see Uzi's or illegal handguns taken off the streets. I think Vermont ought to be able to have a different set of laws than California. Let's keep and enforce the federal gun laws we have, close the gun show loophole using Insta-check, and then let the states decide for themselves what if any gun control laws they want. We need to get guns off the national radar screen if Democrats are ever going to win again in the South and the West, and if we can't win in the South and the West, we can't win national elections. In 2000, guns cost us at least West Virginia, Tennessee, and Montana, and with them the Presidency of the United States. Just as we resist attempts by President Bush to dictate to the states how we run our school systems and what kind of welfare programs to have, we need to resist attempts to tell states how to deal with guns beyond existing Federal law."

Dean on the environment: "There are few things we in public office can leave to our children and their children more important than the spectacular wilderness, clean waters and healthy forests that we now enjoy. One hundred years from now, long after my governorship has ended, Vermonters will continue to hike, camp, hunt, fish, farm and log lands that will be forever undeveloped. Vermont's population may triple in that time, yet our essential character as a state will remain unchanged because we have protected more than one million acres of land from development... We have to make practical trade offs. We need houses, jobs and opportunities for growth. But we don't need to poison ourselves and our heritage in order to have growth."

Dean on fiscal policy: "Ask most Americans if they would rather have a tax cut or better health coverage, roads and bridges, and schools for their children, they will choose the latter. They also understand - despite hollow Republican promises - that we cannot do both. The budget must be balanced; we must build the Social Security Trust Fund; and we must invest in Health and Education once again."

Dean on children: "If this nation wants healthy adults and less expensive social programs, we need to cut back on the empty rhetoric so prevalent in Washington and make a serious investment in our children. Talking about children is not the same as nurturing children, and the American people know the difference."

Dean on health care: "As a doctor, I understand the fear facing families without health insurance. As a Governor, I am proud that virtually every child under 18 and more than 90 percent of adults in Vermont are eligible for health coverage. But as a country, the United States can do better on this front... Guaranteeing coverage to all Americans will involve a mix of state and federal programs, as well as the existing private sector. Similar to our program in Vermont, states should be required to guarantee coverage for all children under age 23. In return, the federal government should assume responsibility for drug and acute medical care for Americans over age 65."

Dean on foreign policy/defense/trade: "Our long range foreign policy ought to embrace nation building, not run from it... Defense is not just about building better bombs and intelligence capacity, although these are important. Good defense policy is also about long range vision, and that means engagement with the world."

These are simply a few snippets. Please visit the links and read the full quotes, as they are much more extensive than what I've posted. I also realise some of this may be a rehash to our return visitors, but with all the attention this site has been getting lately, I felt it was important to revisit these positions.


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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.