Three years ago, Howard Dean began to reach the conscience of many
disenchanted people who were demoralized with the state of affairs.
Characterized as liberals and progressives who were marginalized by the
Democratic Party, and completely nonexistent to republicans, we
answered the call to action by the governor that mobilized at first
thousands, then eventually millions who wanted to take back our country.
His rallying cry was antiwar, but as his campaign progressed, we saw a
candidate who maintained his integrity. When the entire negative aspect
of politics beared down on him, Dean refused to lower himself to his
opponent’s level and maintained his positive message. In so doing, he
was revered as a man of honor.
Even in defeat, we saw by his example that maybe, just maybe,
progressive politicians could run on the issues, and on their merits and
vision to persuade a caustic electorate to jettison politics as usual.
He created a template that we hoped would inspire our candidates to
maintain the high ground.
Sadly, his example is threatened not by republicans, but democrats
running against each other in primaries. As we knew that negative
campaigning would suppress voter participation, turn off even more
people to the political process, and take the wind out of grassroots
activists, we decided that divisiveness and demoralization still rules.
What negative and positive campaigns did you experience, and
what are some ideas to address these campaigning techniques?