The question is still what kind of country do we want to live in?
Republicans often play to the worst impulses in human nature and separate people from each other, scapegoating minority groups and dismantling our community support systems. We have a better answer.
We know what we believe.
We believe in community. We care about our neighbors and we help each other. We can provide a bright future to our children with a quality education and we can provide a secure retirement free from poverty and dependence for our grandparents. And we can accomplish it within a reasonable budget so we don’t leave a burden of debt on the next generation. Democrats are responsible and balance budgets. Democrats lift up the community and make sure that everyone has a chance for a future.
We believe in security. We will foster strong partnerships with other nations to ensure the secure and safe prosperity for all. We will reduce our dependence on resources that make us vulnerable to attack. We will use our American ingenuity to strengthen our own economy and our environment. We won’t start wars of choice and then perpetuate them to keep the military contractors in business. We will fund schools and investment in green jobs over funding bombers and missile defense our military doesn’t need or even want.
We believe in liberty. We respect every American’s right to practice their own religion and to live a life free from bigotry, abuse, and harassment. We will fight discrimination and deliver on the promise of equality for all Americans. We believe that no one, not multinational corporations nor the government, has the right to your personal information to keep tabs on you for profit or unwarranted policing.
We believe in community, security and liberty and we will never back down.
We will fight to live in a country that values those things we hold dear. Whether we are fighting corporate greed or right-wing attacks, we will stand up for what we believe.
So what does that mean for us in the next two years? That means that we must fight for our values against Republican attempts to dismantle any progress we have made. It will be our mission to make sure Americans know the difference between our values and Republicans — a choice between strong communities, security and liberty — or Republican division, greed, and fear.
President Obama said it best at the memorial service for those who were tragically gunned down in Arizona, “As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
I know we will fight even harder in 2011 and 2012 than we did in 2008 to make sure no Republican can turn back the clock on the advances we’ve made so far. We will defeat those who stand against the advances we have yet to make. We will not compromise our values in the name of political expediency. We will always fight to move America forward against those who are determined to force us back.
I want to hear from you. What do our shared values mean to you? What should be our priorities for the coming year? How will we work together to move America forward in 2011?
Our movement is best when it’s a conversation. You just heard from me and I want to hear from you. Please take a moment to a let us know your thoughts at DemocracyforAmerica.com or join me live at Daily Kos tonight at 9pm eastern for a live chat. I’ll answer questions and discuss with you what you care about most and your ideas on how to move forward on our shared values.
The State of the Progressive Movement is strong. This is our time to recommit to our work for a better America. You are the reason why we have come so far.
I look forward to working with you in 2011 and beyond.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
Founder, Democracy for America