Sunday, September 07, 2003

Power WITH Purpose

I previously linked to an essay by Michael Cudahy, a Republican organizer, in which he endorsed Gov. Dean for President ("...To Dare Mighty Things...").

Cudahy is back with another essay in which he expands on his previous endorsement and urges a restoration of a sense of conscience in our political process:

When I sat down to write my first essay for Greater Democracy.org, I was motivated by the advice of one of my early political mentors — Ambassador Elliot Richardson. He told me on a number of occasions that, "whenever I found myself conflicted over an issue I should always allow myself to be guided by principle."

What has saddened me over the last few years is how principle in the Republican Party has been replaced by a cynical manipulation of the political process, and how organizational and personal conscience has been discounted in a relentless pursuit for power.

Power without purpose is what we are fighting against here. The Republican Party has been taken over by a cadre of individuals who believe that they have a God-given right to be the ones in charge, regardless of whether they have the ideas or the skill to actually do anything useful with that power.

The purpose for which they want power is power itself.

Cudahy and Dean are arguing towards a politics that looks beyond mere winning and towards victory. No victory over our political opponents but victory over our baser instincts. A victory over our fears. A victory over our desire to hurt as much as we ourselves hurt.

This is what it means to have a conscience. This is what it means to be a human being. This is what it means to be a leader. This is what it means to be an American.

Power without purpose is pointless. It leads to nothing but depression, despair and, eventually, suicidal destructiveness.

I am committed to the vision Governor Dean expressed in his announcement speech when he said, "The history of our nation is clear: At every turn when there has been an imbalance of power, the truth questioned, or our beliefs and values distorted, the change required to restore our nation has always come from the bottom up from our people."

I look forward to working on this process with all of you, and to attending what should be an extraordinary party celebrating our victory.

I'll be right there with you Mr. Cudahy.

(Afterthought: Both the Republican and Democratic parties have been taken over by a desire to achieve power without much thought given to what that power is to be used for. Winning is more important than actually accomplishing anything important. Being the boss is the #1 priority. The only difference between the parties on this point is that the Republicans are a whole lot better at it than the Democrats are.)

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