Dean might not be smooth, but he speaks hard truths
It is fascinating to watch people going nuts over what Howard Dean has been saying lately. Dr. Dean may or may not be the smoothest talker in the world, but as the Jack Nicholson character said in the movie, A Few Good Men, "The truth, you can't ...
It is fascinating to watch people going nuts over what Howard Dean has been saying lately. Dr. Dean may or may not be the smoothest talker in the world, but as the Jack Nicholson character said in the movie, A Few Good Men, "The truth, you can't handle the truth!"
I practice law in western North Dakota. To say that many of my clientele are plain speaking (though not necessarily smooth) is the truth. That is one of the things that has attracted and kept me in western North Dakota. Plain speaking, rough-edged types are people I trust. I could write a book filled with anecdotes about their depth of character and their verbal gaffes.
As a white Christian, I was not offended by Dr. Dean's reference to the Republican Party as a party of white Christians.
Look at the voting demographics in the old Confederacy, for example. The percentage of whites voting Republican and blacks voting Democrat is remarkable. In my opinion, it is the remnant of the Jim Crow days.
Sadly, even in the centurys after the Civil War, there is a racial divide which would be more comfortable to ignore. There are people on both sides who are race baiters. We should all share a goal of being beyond that. Does anyone doubt there are those who imply the Democratic Party is a coalition of shiftless blacks and shifty lawyers? Those accusers may be subtle, but the subtle are the most lethal.
The more fundamental elements of Christianity have been leaning Republican lately. Those elements of society who would rather see fertilized eggs thrown in the trash than utilized for stem cell research have the right to their opinions. Those elements of society who believe that brain dead persons in vegetative states should be kept alive by artificial means at taxpayers' expense have the right to their opinions. Those people who think that life begins at conception have the right to their opinions. Those people who think that life begins after the kids have grown up and the dog has died have the right to their opinions.
Christianity is not a monolithic label. Dr. Dean was not smooth, but he is a truth teller. He was crudely attempting to motivate moderate Christians to get off their duffs.
Howard Dean may not be smooth, but don't sell him short. He is a hard worker. When he was running for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he actually called hillbilly lawyer types in western North Dakota three times asking for a vote.
For those of us who have coached, we like to see players dive for the ball. Guys with clean jerseys rarely win games.
Dean has raised more money than his predecessor (who was a master fundraiser). Dean is focusing more on smaller contributors. He has pledged financial help to North Dakota.
I like people who aren't very smooth. When there is trouble, they are the ones you can count on. Platitudes sound great, but they are like cotton candy. Dr. Dean is like cod liver oil. He ain't tasty, but that is what it may take to clean the system.
Maxson is a Minot, N.D., attorney, former state legislator and current Democratic National Committeeman for North Dakota. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org