I’ve Got Something to Say Back
by Michael Dukes – 2/18/2004


It was just brought to my attention that you wrote an open letter addressed to me at this Toronto In Focus website. I don’t visit this site, so I would not have stumbled across your letter myself, unless a friend of mine informed me of its whereabouts.

Now, did you actually believe your letter to me would prompt a response? If so, why? There’s no evidence I visit this site, and without being notified by someone who actually visits this site, your letter to me would have went disregarded, perhaps making me look ignorant to the other visitors to this site. You should have attempted to dig up my mailing address or phone number and notify me first before posting this letter, so then I could have replied respectively. That is if you truly wanted a response, but then again, you’d come off much more cerebral if you lambasted my letter, without receiving a rebuttal. That’s why I’m somewhat skeptical concerning your true motives for writing that letter. If it were written sincerely, with you actually believing it would receive a response, then no offense taken, although I would have appreciated a heads up. However, if you written it with the intent of not receiving a response, painting me as inept, then I’d consider you to be pompously repugnant.

I’ve had a few letters published in the USA Today, and first, they primarily print letters fewer than 300 words, and secondly, they tend to print letters that are clear, concise, and to the point. So that’s why my letter came off as somewhat succinct to you, because I play by the USA Today guidelines in order to get published. It’s not like I could have called Dean smug, and then ensued to describe his smugness in 1,000 words. The USA Today would not have printed that.

Before I address your refutations to my letter, I’ll explain my political philosophy. I’m an Independent, with Libertarian inclinations. I tend to be socially liberal, and economically conservative on the issues, and find moderate Democrats and Republicans to be the lesser of the evils. Fascist Republicans who rape on our personal liberties scare me, as do collectivist Democrats who implement excessive socialistic programs that rape our wallets.

Until we get a third party candidate, someone not as kooky as Perot was, although I dug some of his ideas, I’ll continue to vote for the lesser of two evils. Sure. Voting for the lesser of two evils results in receiving evil. However, is not less evil better? That’s why I always vote for the least harmful candidate.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll address your rebuttal to my letter.

Yes. Dean has been arrogant on the campaign trail, and here’s my endeavor to convince you as to why. Dean claims he’s a Washington outsider, which is fallacious to begin with. If you actually believe an established politician is a Washington outsider, regardless if their office being outside of Washington or not, you’d be naive. Secondly, staying on the Dean is a Washington outsider theme, if Dean’s such a Washington outsider why did he fire Trippi, and hire Washington insider, former Gore advisor, Roy Neel to run his campaign? Third, why would Dean, being a Washington outsider, allow Gore to publicly endorse him, considering Gore is a reputable Washington insider? Those are reasons as to why I feel it’s arrogant for Dean to campaign on a theme of being a Washington outsider, when it’s superfluously evident Dean is indeed a Washington insider. I find smugness in Dean’s attitude in acting like he’s above it all, that he’s this rebellious outsider, who will drastically change the way Washington does things. Do you actually buy into Dean’s Washington insurgent diatribe? From the way you write, you come off as lucid, so please acknowledge Dean has been smug on the campaign trail, regarding his Washington outsider hogwash.

Concerning my criticism of Dean’s proposition of rescinding all of President Bush’s tax cuts, I still stand behind my theory, that if Dean were going to take on Bush using a raise taxes on everyone platform, he’d be slaughtered. Nobody wants their taxes raised and you claiming that there was a poll that showed the majority of Americans would rather have their taxes raised if it meant an increase in more socialist government programs sounds pretty fictitious. As far as I’m aware of, the vast majority of Americans loathe taxes, aside from the lower class that practically pay no taxes. Of course the lower class would be in favor of a tax increase, because the middle and higher classes would be working diligently to foot the bill to provide them with more benefits.

Discouragingly, Dean reminds me a lot of Walter Mondale, who when running back in 84′ for the Democrats, proclaimed on the campaign trail he would raise taxes. As a result, Mondale went on to lose by a landslide, with Ronald Reagan winning 49 states. This is why I was so anti-Dean before the Iowa caucuses, because it looked as if Dean was going to be the Democrat’s nominee, running on a raise taxes platform, which would have meant 4 more years of Bush. I haven’t read Dean’s reversal of his idea to repeal all of Bush’s tax cuts, but if he has recently reversed that decision, it just goes to show you how duplicitous of a candidate Dean truly is.

Regarding my point that Dean used too many attack ads, which turned off voters, I still stand behind that. I wasn’t in Iowa the weeks leading up to their caucus, but I watched CNN religiously, and they had political pundits on there testifying that Dean’s excessive attack ads in Iowa hurt his cause, and Dean did have a disproportionate amount of ads on the air compared to the other candidates, considering how much money he spent in Iowa.

It’s not like I just took these pundit’s words for it, CNN aired a few of Dean’s attack ads, and I distinctly remember one with him attacking Kerry and Edwards voting for the war, and then CNN interviewed a few Iowa voters, and they claimed to be turned off by the ad. Secondly, regarding Dean’s loss, I also thought it had to do with a few ads that Kerry and Gephardt ran asserting Dean was going to raise taxes on the middle class. As I will reiterate, raising taxes turns off voters, and I’m willing to bet that when voters heard that Dean was going to raise their taxes, they lost interest in him as a candidate.

Getting back to Dean’s deceptions, what about Dean emailing his supporters telling them it’s all on the line in Wisconsin, and that if he loses Wisconsin, his campaign would be over? Dean raised an excessive amount of cash that day, and later when questioned about his email ultimatum, Dean called it a ‘brilliant ploy’ to raise money. Then a few days later, Dean informed the media that even if he loses Wisconsin, he was not dropping out of the race, but then a few days after that Dean said he would reassess his campaign, and then finally before the Wisconsin primary, Dean said he was not giving up. It was disgraceful for Dean to deceitfully dupe his followers into donating more money on his false pretenses. How can you support such a hypocrite?

It’s like Dean has been bipolar when it comes to decision-making. ‘I’ll give up. No wait, I’m going to fight on. No. I’ll give up. Wait, I’ll just reassess my campaign. Well, I just better give up.’ It takes forever to get things done in Washington with flip-flopping like that. I do understand each candidate must re-examine their campaign if they are losing state after state, but Dean shouldn’t have come out and said he’ll never give up and that he’ll keep fighting on, when those statements become falsehoods when he does decide to drop out of the race.

What infuriates me the most about Howard Dean is how he criticizes the Bush Administration for keeping too many secrets, while hypocritically, he himself, concealed documents from his days as governor of Vermont. I understand George Bush’s gubernatorial records were concealed too. However, that gives Dean no right to conceal his. By concealing his gubernatorial records, Dean can’t be chastised as much on his previous follies, while someone like Senator Kerry has the vast majority of his Senate documents out in the open, giving Dean fodder to attack his record. Seriously, any politician that conceals or even attempts to conceal their records should be reprimanded, and you supporting such a candidate goes beyond my comprehension.

As far as concealment is concerned, I felt President Bush should have been impeached for censoring the U.S. congressional report that alleged an anonymous foreign nation provided backing and support for al-Qaeda prior to the attacks on September 11, 2001. Of course it’s obvious that government was Saudi Arabia, a country that was homeland to 15 of the 19 hijackers, and still harbors al-Qaeda terrorist training camps. I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but this still perplexes me.

After September 11th, President Bush stated on numerous occasions, you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists, and if you harbor and provide support to the terrorists, you’ll be held accountable. Well Mr. President, why aren’t we holding Saudia Arabia accountable? They harbor terrorists, and provided financial backing to the terrorists who atrociously attacked our country on September 11th.

Furthermore, the Saudi government oppresses their citizens by failing to provide freedom of speech, press, and worship. They abuse, rape, and torture their prisoners, whom many are imprisoned for non-violent offenses. Saudi women cannot receive an education, get a job, or even leave their homes without approval of a male guardian. Women are also prohibited from driving.

Saudi Arabia has an abysmal human rights record, and is directly linked to the attacks of September 11th. Hence, why war with a non-threatening Iraq, and not Saudi Arabia? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Saudi Arabia is one of the leading oil exporters to the United States, would it?

I apologize for straying off subject there, but I just loathe Bush so much, I couldn’t help myself. Now getting back to my intentions as to why I want the Democrats to nominate Kerry, it’s because I firmly believe Kerry can beat Bush. That’s something very imperative to me, seeing Bush lose, considering how horrendous he has been for this country. As I will reiterate, I’ll only be tempted to vote third party, until there’s actually a decent candidate out there who possesses serious potential to win. That’s not going to happen in 2004, where it’s going to be a showdown between Kerry and Bush. Therefore, I’ll more than likely be inclined to vote for the lesser of two evils, i.e., John Kerry.

Look. Unless it turns out that Kerry has been contributing money to al-Qaeda, he’s going to win the nomination. Both Gephardt and Clark have endorsed him, and the majority of Democratic voters are rallying around Kerry as exemplified in the primaries. Dean has now dropped out, not sure if he’ll endorse Kerry or Edwards, but it’s obvious the Democrats are going to nominate Kerry. I would prefer seeing Edwards win the nomination, considering he’d be less harmful for this country than what Kerry will be, but Edwards won’t attack Kerry with his patented optimistic campaign, so Kerry is going to breeze by the rest of the primaries, perhaps losing only a few more to Edwards.

Edwards is more of a quintessential vice presidential running mate for Kerry anyway, especially adding his Southern roots to the ticket. I’d be more than confident about the Democrats chances with Kerry debating Bush and Edwards taking on Cheney, who recently came out of seclusion, still looking, talking, and acting grotesquely.

In closing, it appears we both share malcontent for President Bush, and will both take pleasure when Kerry dethrones him come November. That much we are simpatico on. However, I truly don’t know what your motives were writing that open letter to me, because if it would have went ignored by me, which it almost did, I’d be misconstrued as undignified and dense for not responding.

You can nitpick at this response all you want, perhaps frivolously exploiting my grammatically erroneous ways, call out some of my adjectives as redundant, detect a hyperbole I used, but this much is factual, you were wrong in your letter, and you should acknowledge it. Your candidate Howard Dean was smug and hypocritical on the campaign trail, and if the Democrats had nominated him, it would have meant 4 more years of Bush, something we would all suffer from.

Michael Dukes

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