Debate: Dean makes a house call for America

Does 'Generation Dean' appeal to you?

I support Howard Dean. And not just because he addresses Bush's mistakes head on, but because he inspires me. He's not just a politician, he's a statesman. When he speaks I hear the ideals that I share with so many in my generation, expressed in a full and honest voice, not one muffled or compromised to ease indecisive minds.

Dean serves as a solid advocate for civil rights in America, rights that have been infringed upon in so many ways by the Patriot Act and other legislation. In recent months the climate in America has changed. Once a safehaven of justice, today minorities in the United States are profiled and subjected to various probes into their lives. The expansion of the Patriot Act makes it possible for investigators to tap their phones, enter their homes and otherwise destroy their civil liberties without the proof that has always been required by American law. Dean recognizes the danger of intruding on these liberties. Without requiring the proof and reasoning that has always been necessary, investigators could eventually turn their power to suppress others, whether they be minorities based on race, sexual orientation, religion or simply a different way of thinking.

However, just because Dean wants to protect every citizen's basic human rights does not mean that he's soft on terrorism. Dean supported the United States as we ventured into Afghanistan. He fully recognizes the threat that terrorists still pose to the United States and will focus on those threats, not on fabricated connections to terrorism.

As some warn against religious fundamentalists abroad, Dean will protect people against such closed-mindedness at home. In Vermont, Dean provided gay and lesbian couples with the same rights as heterosexual people through civil unions. Republicans are currently threatening to define marriage and the rights that marriage entail to include only heterosexuals. Can you imagine loving a person for years and not being able to visit them in the hospital if they were injured, or not getting the same benefits others in your situation are afforded simply because you're both the same sex? Republicans claim that gay and lesbian unions will lead to the legalization of bigamy, incest and other sexual crimes, the same argument that was made when interracial marriages became permitted. The gay and lesbian citizens are just that, citizens. They pay taxes, work, produce and consume just like everyone else in the world. Dean recognizes this basic, obvious fact and thus treats them like citizens. Simple enough, but more than many politicians can say.

Dean also knows how to balance a budget. In Vermont he created jobs and supported the working-class families who need it most. With so many in need in our country, Dean knows that giving tax cuts to the rich cannot stimulate our floundering economy. The disparity between the rich and the poor in our country continues to grow at astounding rates. History shows that when this happens economies and governments collapse. To turn around the economy Dean knows that we must start with the average American, not the billionaire CEO. Dean knows the everyday citizen must have a job and an income and he's proved his support with a 100

percent pro-labor voting record in the legislature. That directly helps the working and middle classes, and even helps the upperclass, who won't have to "support" those out of work.

Dean's knowledge and innovations in healthcare have provided 92 percent of all Vermont residents with health insurance. In the United States most healthcare money goes toward paying huge pharmaceutical companies, not even the doctors providing patients with care. Fewer and fewer Americans can afford to pay for these corporation's expensive medicines. Dean's policies ensure a healthier America.

Dean's environmental policies also ensure a healthier future for the American people and our landscape. Dean has consistently voted for higher environmental checks and standards to reduce the waste that Americans have sadly become known for.

If his innovation, tireless efforts for others, and inspiring, honest and sound policies weren't enough, even just the fact that he's Web-based shows that his connection with our generation is in a realm beyond that of any other presidential candidate.

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