Howard Dean came to Seattle on Tuesday night, and gave a great speech about what the Democrats have done, are doing, and what we're going to do in 2007, 2008 and beyond.
Gov. Dean gave the core values that he is recommending the Democrats run on in 2008. Those values are Strength and Toughness, Fairness and .. oh, yeah, Fiscal Discipline. Strength and Toughness because we need to fix the impression that Democrats are weak on security. Fairness because it's an good way to frame the cultural issues that drive our country apart. And Fiscal Discipline because, well, the Republican's haven't shown any.
It was a good speech, but it was the speech of a party chair, not a Presidential Candidate. So, I'm going to do my duty as a citizen of this country and a member of this party who wants something more to vote on than STFFD. I'm going to reframe and articulate these values my way.
The Democratic Party is the oldest political party on the planet. We've been fighting for progressive values since 1792. We've slipped a few times, but in 2008 we're going to return to our roots as the party of Thomas Jefferson. The Democratic Party defines our values in terms of the colors on the American Flag. Red, White and Blue.
Red is the color of SACRIFICE. Shared sacrifice is how our country came to be. "We must all hang together or we will certainly hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin. We are all in this together, and we must never lose sight of that. Red is the color of blood on the battlefield, and it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. Red is the color our eyes get when we honor our losses. We recognize that there will be sacrifices made to uphold our principles, and we are willing to share those sacrifices as a united country. Our fighting men and women come from every state, every race, every creed, every kind of background, and they deserve the best from us whether we are talking about the training that they go through, the equipment they have or the treatment and support they get when they come home. We support our military by giving them missions that they can be proud of, and by giving them all of the resources necessary to accomplish those missions. We also need the sacrifice of time, money, and energy offered by patriotic citizens every day of the year, whether we're at war or not. As JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
White is the color of FAIRNESS. It is the color of the white paper ballots that we vote on. It is the color of the paper that our laws are written on. With the rainbow of diversity in ideas, races, religions, and other things that define our country, it is critically important to write our laws in black and white to be fair to everyone. This is where Civil Rights comes from. This is where our position on the LGBT community comes from. We understand that if laws are written or enforced to discriminate against any part of our society, the rest of that society is just as vulnerable. We pledge to be fair, and to push that idea of fairness to every aspect of our country, from fair treatment for mental health to fair trade deals in a fair market environment that lifts everyone up instead of giving anyone an advatage over anyone else.
Blue is the color of OPPORTUNITY. It is the color of the blue sky on the horizon that we all strive for, whether by wagon train in the 1800's to today's airline flights towards a new city of adventure. The blue field on the flag has 50 stars, and we recognize that in order to be able to reach for the stars, we need to be standing on a solid foundation. We need a fiscal policy that helps to build that foundation. We need our physical infrastructure of roads, power lines, water and sewer pipes and communications networks to be able to stand up to the challenges of our needs now and into the future. We are focused on building that foundation and making it strong underneath all of our feet so that everyone in our country has what they need to reach for the stars and reach for their potential. We are the enemy of anything that would damage that foundation. As Rev. Ian Paisley of Ireland said, "If the Foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
This is my framing for the 2008 election. Throw out any issue, and it fits into this frame. If you want to improve the health care situation, the Democratic Party will work with you because it is part of a solid foundation. Without Health Care, people lose hope, and can't reach their potential. If you want to protect Net Neutrality, the Democratic Party will work with you because it is a question of fairness. The Bill of Rights is sacred, especially the right of free speech and a free press. Education is a critical part of our foundation, because if we don't help our children, they will not be able to continue to build and maintain our infrastructure, nor will they be able to reach for their own potential.
We are the Democratic Party. We stand for the Red, White and Blue. Help us return America to our moral foundation by letting us write the laws of our land in Congress and at all levels of government to be fair to everyone, and help us with shared sacrifice to make sure that everyone has a solid foundation under our feet so we can reach for the stars together.