To the People of New Hampshire

You have an important decision to make today. You have a choice between the one Democratic candidate, Howard Dean, with the guts and gumption to take on George W. Bush this coming fall, and an ordinary Democrat like John Kerry or John Edwards.

Howard Dean is far from perfect. I disagree with him on many issues, especially the war in Afghanistan. And it’s a little weird to know that your president sometimes growls like a Siberian snow leopard. But none of the other major contenders can beat Bush.

First and foremost, the nation has become so polarized that the “swing vote” has all but disappeared. I discovered this trend while researching my new book. What used to be a 40% Democratic-20% Independent-40% Republican nation is now closer to 45-10-45. The key to electoral success, as Gore and Bush discovered in 2000, is energizing your party’s base. All of those pumped-up twentysomethings–the successor to the Gen Xers who elected Clinton in 1992–are not going to vote for pro-Iraq war Kerry, or vote at all. Old-line liberals won’t turn out in sufficient numbers. In the final analysis, the difference between Kerry and Bush isn’t great enough to convince the American people to make a change.

Bush is a disaster. He has nearly bankrupted the federal government and many states with his profligate spending policies. He has planted the seed of fascism in the highest levels of government with his concentration camp, red-baiting and increased surveillance powers for Das Homeland. And it’s a fair bet that he’s planning more unwinnable wars for 2005. The Democratic Party needs its best chance at defeating him this fall, and that chance isn’t in the form of John Kerry.

I fear that too many Democrats, and too many Americans, don’t get it. If Bush wins this election, there may never be another one.

If you live in New Hampshire, vote Dean.

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