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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Monday, April 18, 2005
 
Dean Speaks in California
This is from mydd.com from somewhere on the California State Democratic Party site, the full text of the Governor's speech to the Democratic State Convention in California.

"Howard Dean - The Voice of the Democratic Party Grassroots


Introduction by Art Torres, who said he though this was the best speech Howard Dean has ever given:

It was in 1998, in a high rise in San Francisco, that a Governor of Vermont came to visit. I had never met him before, but he was very important even then, because he was the Chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association. He told me he was going work very hard to help elect Democrats to state houses across the country. And I want to thank him personally for helping us elect Gray Davis in 1998 as Democratic Governor after eighteen years of Republican rule. That was Howard Dean. When he ran for President and did not succeed at first, he didn't stop. He didn't say I'm done, I quit, I walk away.

He went back to work. He went back to work for the Democratic nominee for President and Vice President. He went back to work for Governors, City Council Members, School Board Members, County Supervisors, members of Congress, legislators across the country, because he did not give up on the Democratic party. Those of us who are here know what candidates for President sometimes do. They fade away. They say thank you very much I'm off to do other things. Not Howard Dean. Not Howard Dean.

His Democracy For America has transformed the politics of America. His political experience has given him a unique perspective, not only in the 1980's as the County Democratic Party Chair. Many of you don't realize this in Vermont he was the County Democratic Chair...In 1983 he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives. He was elected to be Lt. Governor and then re-elected. In1990 he became Vermont's Governor on the death of Gov. Richard A.Snelling, on Aug 14, 1991. He was in his medical office, never thinking he would be Governor and being called to say that a vacancy had occurred and he was now the governor of Vermont. The rest is history. He did not give up on us and we have not given up on him.

Rather than go away, back to Vermont, great maple syrup and other things from that great state. Did Dean decide to fade away after 2004? No. He came back not to run for President, but to help rebuild the national Democratic party and revitalize it from the bottom up.

As he did so, he created more enthusiasm and more energy because for the first time grassroots people realized for the first time, especially as the officers of the state Chairs of the Democratic party, realized his man is for real, he was committed to the grass roots and the fact that he wanted to head the Democratic party and work from the bottom up, reassured all of us that this party has a future in America.

So I am thankful for the conversations we had by cell phone during his campaign. Late at night, calling from Vermont, me calling from San Francisco. exchanging ideas and exchanging visions. To know that I played a very small part in supporting him to take over this national party along with many other state chairs from around the country, is one of my proud moments. Because we are truly committed to the people in this room. People can talk about commitment, but as other speakers have said, Howard Dean follows through on his commitment and his word.

Please welcome Vermont's favorite son, America's National Democratic Chair, Governor, Doctor, Man Of The People, Howard Dean.

Howard Dean: Thank-you. (Standing O) Thank-you. . . . Thank-you. . . . Thank-you. . . .

(Imitation of The Ahnold) I'm here to announce that I'm running for Governor of Caleeforneya.

You have three great candidates for Governor in California so I'm not doing that. I appreciate everyone being here. I really appreciate Art's kind words and his help. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate Mike Honda and what he has done. He is a complete team player and has been working his heart out, so that we can have some semblance of honesty back in Washington D.C. Mike we thank you very much for that.

I also want to make sure we recognize Alice Travester who is a Californian, who is Secretary of the Democratic National Committee. Stand up and wave. I can't see anything up here with all of the lights in my face.

I want to thank Alexandra Rooker the Vice-Chair, and congratulate both Art and her on their re-election a few hours ago. I appreciate all of your help a lot. If only California had been the first primary state. What I want to know is what is the legislature doing moving it to June 6th?

The first thing I want you to know is that this is not my chairmanship it is our chairmanship together. There is nothing one person can do by themselves. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I sought this office is because of you. A lot of people here are people who have not been to a Cal Dem convention before or have not been on assemblies before or consider yourself a Dem three or four years ago.

I watched what happened in California during the Assembly District elections a few months ago. Once again the grassroots got it before I did. I watched and I thought if you were going to reform the party from the ground up and I thought I'd try to help you reform the party from the top down.

Together we need to do a lot of things.

I've been really pleased by what I've seen in the last few months. People used to say the Democratic party was really not a party, just a collection of interests. That isn't true any more. The future of the country is threatened. We're going to do what we need to do and work with who we have to work with to make sure America gets back on the right track again.

The first thing we did was start to put organizers in all fifty states.

You have seen the last eighteen state Presidential campaign in America. We can't win if we don't campaign in all fifty states. I went to Mississippi a few weeks ago, because I think if you don't show up in a state, how are people going to respect you if you don't even ask for their vote? So I went down to Mississippi. The Chairman of the Republican party called me all sorts of names before I even got there, which is what your do when you don't have anything to show for having been in power for five years.

When I got there I found that 900 people were waiting to get into an 800 capacity ball room. All four former Democratic Governors of Mississippi were there, which is unusual because they usually run the other direction when a national democrat shows up. They are desperately hungry to win in Mississippi. They are hungry to win in Tennessee. They are hungry to win in Kansas.

Because the truth is there are no red states there are no blues states. There are only American states, and we all share the same values as Americans. Our problem is not that Americans don't share our values. Our problem is that we don't communicate what those values are very well. Our problem is not that we need to change our values. Our problem is that we need to talk to people in language that is relevant to their lives and not just ours.

Democrats are cerebral people. Sometimes we make policy, but

We don't communicate to people why that policy is important here.
We have a young pollster who did a fascinating poll for us.

Which among other things shows there is a group of people who have the highest level of anxiety that I have every seen in America. About one quarter of Americans are worried. They are worried about the President sending more of their jobs overseas than ever before. They are worried about losing their health insurance, even more than has already been lost. These people are one check away from losing their mortgage. One check away from having to go to a bankruptcy court. And yet they vote overwhelmingly Republican.

At the other end of that anxiety about economics, there is an enormous anxiety about their kids. These people are terribly worried about what they see coming across their television at their children, and they don't know what to do. They are worried about the Sheriff who just discovered the methamphetamine lab two counties over and they know it's headed for their school. They are worried about moral values. They are worried about gay marriage and abortion and all of that stuff.

But what they are worried about more than anything else is that they've already lost control of their life economically. The only thing they have left that they can't lose control of is their kids and their families. We need to talk to those folks. We need not to react to the backlash and the differences and opinions about gay rights and things like that, because that's the symptom.

What is real is the fear and we don't address it. We come across like "Well that's unreasonable, that's irrational." Then our next reaction is we have three programs that are going to help that: early child hood education, early intervention and universal health care. All good things. What they hear is "Oh, I see, you want to take over raising our kids for us."

We need to change the way we talk to folks. We can'tkeep talking to people talking from here. We need to talk to people from here. Seventy percent of Americans vote from here. We don't have to change our core values. I've been to Mississippi. I've been to Tennessee. I've been to Kansas. If you stand up for what your believe, people will respect you. We may not get one single additional vote from those states, but we will never again be demonized the way the President demonized Democrats.

We need to show that we respect folks. The best way to show we respect people in all fifty states is to show up and listen to what they have to say and understand them. Not that we should ever agree with a violation of civil rights or equal rights under the law for all citizens. That is a core belief for all Americans and certainly for every Democrat.

I think we need to talk about abortion differently. And I'll tell you just what I mean by that.

Republicans have painted us into a corner as being pro-abortion. I don't know anyone who is pro-abortion. I don't. They back us into getting into an argument over whether abortion is a good thing or not. Did you know there has been a 25% higher rate of abortion since George Bush was President than when Clinton was President? We can make common ground with folks.

The issue we need to debate is whether a woman gets to make up her own mind over what kind of health care she's going to get or whether Tom DeLay gets to make up her mind for her. That's the issue we need to debate.

When I was campaigning for this job I ran into a lot of women in the south who said they were pro-life. They would tell me "I wouldn't want an abortion and I wouldn't want my daughter to have an abortion, but I'm not sure if I'd want to tell the lady next door, if she was in a fix, whether she should have an abortion."

We call that person pro-choice, but she calls herself pro-life. The minute we start talking about choice, she's not listening to us anymore.

When we say this debate is about whether a woman has a right to make up here own mind Every woman in America has been told what to do by somebody else once in a while. Every woman in America gets that Democrats believe that individuals should be allowed to make up their own mind and that politicians in Washington will not make these decisions for Americans. (Standing O)

I want to talk about moral values for a moment. It is a moral value not to leave more debt to your children than then the debt that you encountered. That is a moral value. We have not seen one Republican President balance in the last forty years balance the budget of the United States of America. Borrow and spend borrow and spend borrow and spend. We can't trust the Republican party with our taxpayers' money.

Social Security is a moral value for people who have worked all their life. They deserve to retire with dignity. We ought not turn Social Security over to the same people who gave us Enron.

A strong defense of United States of America would be stronger if we continued to have the high moral ground in foreign policy. If we were only the admired nation that America was before George Bush took office. We would have a moral foreign policy and that would give us the ability to defend America. America is not going to be defended simply by having a strong military. We also need to have high moral purpose.

It is a moral value, as some of our evangelical friends have recently pointed out to conserve and steward the earth and the environment we were so lucky to have been given. Environmental preservation is a moral value.

It is a moral value not to cheat hard working middle class Americans by telling them that you've given them a tax cut when you raised their property taxes and exercised federal control over their schools. It is a moral value to tell the truth. It is a moral value to be honest in our dealings with others.

It is not a moral value to be reprimanded three times by the ethics committee and then trying to get rid of the committee.

It is not a moral value to have 204 judges confirmed and then try to get rid of 200 years of Senate precedent, to get the last 10 on the bench.

It is not a moral value to create the largest deficits in the history of the U.S. of America and have our creditors be those who may one day be our enemy.

It is not a moral value to threaten judges of the United States of America because they made a decision that you don't agree with.

It is not a moral value to insert yourself into the private and most personal life and death decisions of a family at a time of their greatest need.

We can't win if all we do is talk about the problems that the Republicans have given this country. We can only win if we have a positive agenda. And that positive agenda includes jobs for Americans that will stay here in America. That positive agenda includes making labor unions stronger, so that every American can have the great dream of making sure that their children do better than they do.

That positive agenda includes committing America to join every other industrialized nation on the face of the earth and have a system of health care that every single American is covered by.

Every one in this room is here because you were able to give some money to the Democratic party. Everyone one in this room is able to give some money to the Democratic party because for the most part, you're doing OK. You may be struggling , but you're doing okay. Thank-you for that too.

Everybody is here and can afford to give a little bit to the Democratic party because somebody, either your parents or their parents, or their parents, came here, or in the case of native Americans were here before we got here. You're here today as a success because somebody in that chain between those who came and those who are here tonight, benefited from a free and public American education.

What we will do as Americans is make sure that when the Democrats are back in power, that public education is supported. We will say no to Gov Swarzenegger's attempt to take $2 billion out of the education fund last year and break his promise by not putting it back in the education fund this year. Governor, keep your promise to the children of California and fund public schools. That is how we get ahead in America.

Governor, don't go down the same road as Tom Day We can't use any more corrupt Republicans in office in this country. Governor, give our children the $2 billion you promised to make our public schools a success. The school system has been harmed enough.

Education, opportunity, a health care system that works for everybody, including a middle class people who are afraid it may be bankrupted. an economy that relies again on budgets that are balanced. Imagine every Republican Senator voting no on pay as you go bill that Republicans put in. The idea that we would ever in our life time see Republicans become the party of fiscal irresponsibility to me is astonishing, although very little is astonishing in Washington any more.

We want to rebuild America. We want to rebuild America's infrastructure. Which is being gutted by a tax policy that forces states and municipalities to raise taxes or go without. We want to rebuild American morals so we care about each other again and can publicly say so again. You know Social Security is not just about money. Social Security is about whether we have responsibility to each other in our community or not.

We will make sure that we are one nation. And part of being one nation is including every body. Including everybody and being honest with each other again, and that won't be easy all the time. Democrats make mistakes. Lord we've made plenty of them.

We don't have that far to go. We got 48% of the vote after all of the mistakes we made. We don't have to do a whole lot to come back. All we need is three percent of the vote. Three percent of the vote to cast aside the propaganda of Fox News. Three percent to bring our health care policy in synch witht the rest of the world and three percent of the vote to take back moral foreign policy and be the shining example of opportunity and compassion and caring that this country once was.

Three percent to say to the people of California that we will fund California schools. Three percent to look ourselves in the mirror and say we are not leave enormous amounts of debt to our children. Three percent of the vote , we dcdan do it.We need four year campaigns in all fifty states. We need one other thing.

Some of you have heard this story before, but I'm going to tell it again anyway.

When I was campaigning for President. There was a lady in New Jersey who helped us enormously. She raised a lot of money for us. Very smart people including people from previous Democratic administrations and so forth. One of the guests was this woman's 30 year old daughter, who was a school teacher from Texas. We were talking about things and Church and State came around and everybody was talking about that. And all of a sudden the woman from Texas popped up and said "Governor, I don't agree with you on that, I'm an evangelical Christian we don't believe there ought to be separation of Church and State, we believe this is a Christian nation."

You could have heard a pin drop. Everybody was a little uncomfortable. And we changed the subject to something else and went on.

At the end of the evening I was saying good by to the guests. I asked her Tell me how it is that you happen to support me. You can't possibly agree with my views that a woman has the right to make up her own mind about her health care or that gays ought to have the same rights as everyone else.

She looked at me and said "we are deeply troubled by you views on gay rights and a woman's right to choose. But we support you for two reasons. The first reason is that our child has kidney disease. That means In Texas that we cannot get health insurance for our child, we can't get health insurance for anybody in our family. We think everybody ought to have health insurance.

The real reason we support you is that evangelicals are people of deep conviction and you are a person of deep conviction. What we look at more than anything else is not if you will agree with every single one of our convictions, but if something happens to our family or our community or our country, that the people who are going to make the decision to help us are people who will make that decision will not make the decision based on focus groups but out of deep conviction.

We can put money into every state and knock on every door, but the only way to win a race in American politics is to stand up for what you believe in. (Standing O)

The reason that this party is the party that has always led in times of change, and there are so few Presidents who you can think of on the other side who have really made a difference in America, is because there are a lot of people, not just political leaders in this party, but people who stood up to make a difference, at some personal sacrifice, and sometimes their lives, to say who they are and be proud of who they are and stood up for what they believe in.

If we say what our values are If we refuse to be bullied. If we inform Americans about what we believe instead of letting the other party do it. If we stand up and bring people to us, to lead towards change again, vote by vote, election by election, precinct by precinct, year by year we will take this country back for the people who built it. You are the people who built America. We want our country back. Thank-you very much. Thank-you. Thank-you very much. (Standing O)

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It’s 11:00 in the morning and your energy is waning. Minutes seem to tick by like hours and your mind feels foggy. You’ve still got six more hours to look alert and act productive and get over school anxiety, so how do you cope with the afternoon blahs? Follow these six tips!

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