Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Wow, We're Famous!

Just got the note from The Nation last night that they are publishing my response to William Greider's article on "Dean's Rough Ride".

Dear Editors,
In William Greider's article "Dean's Rough Ride" he muses over the age range of Dean's supporters. The profile reported by the media - namely that Dean supporters are mostly young - had always confused me because I have participated in MeetUp, blogforamerica, and chatforamerica since last summer. You could argue that people were lying about their age online (though WHY you would want to say you were an 80-year-old grandmother for kicks, I don't get), but the ages at MeetUp were definitely right there for me to see. I'm 33 and there are plenty of others in that age group (let's call it 30-somethings), including one of the organizers. But most of the attendees are older than me. There are a few poignent exceptions, like a new attendee at the February MeetUp who had JUST turned 18 and was excited that she could make her first presidential (primary) vote for Howard Dean. At the same meeting one beautiful and vivacious older woman (at least 60 if she's a day) reported on her trip to Iowa and her enthusiasm for the Dean campaign. She had lived in both Vermont and Massachusettes and had VERY strong opinions on the differences between Dean and Kerry.

But you know the greatest part of MeetUp, and the Dean campaign in general? The young listening to the old. The old listening to the young. The liberals listening to the conservatives. The conservatives listening to the liberals. We all feel that there is something much more important than our own agendas afoot. My sister has said for a long time that we all want the same things, we just disagree on how to get it. Howard Dean helped us to rise above our petty squabbles by effectively framing not only what he wanted, but how to get it. One of his big messages was about rebuilding America's sense of community. When I go to my March Dean MeetUp I'll know that he's done a good job of it. Because his campaign wasn't just about Howard Dean becoming president, it was about learning how to change America for the better. And we're not going to give up on that.

Thanks for your time and attention, Susan

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