Community. Security. Liberty.

January 21, 2011
By Levana Layendecker | 0 comments

This is the full post from Gov. Dean that appeared last night on DailyKos: (To read the comments he added click here.) I want to hear from you. What do our shared values mean to you? What should be our priorities for the coming year? How will we work together to move America forward in 2011? Our movement is best when it's a conversation. You just heard from me and I want to hear from you. Please take a moment to a let us know your thoughts at or join me right here on Daily Kos at 9PM for a live chat. I'll answer questions and discuss with you what you care about most and your ideas on how to move forward on our shared values. The State of the Progressive Movement is strong. You are the reason why we have come so far. I look forward to working with you in 2011 and beyond. We've come a long way together over the years. We've had many victories and our share of setbacks. The next few years aren't going to be easy either. It's going to be a fight to stop right-wing Republicans from rolling back progress and forcing gridlock in Congress. We'll need to work harder than ever to accomplish real change and reelect President Obama in 2012. But we've never been afraid of hard work. We've never sat back and hoped for change, we've always done what it takes to make it happen. Which is why, it's time to discuss the State of our Progressive Movement. How we can move forward to unite our country for a better future and take stock in how far we've come. We must decide together where we go from here. Before we talk about where we'll go, we must remember how we got here today. When we decided to create Democracy for America in 2004, we were inspired by the grassroots action and leadership empowered during our Presidential campaign. We knew you wanted to keep the energy of our movement going. We knew you had tapped into something bigger than a race for an office. You made me realize more than I already had on my own that we're in a fight for the fate of our country. We were united in a belief of what kind of country we wanted to be -- a country that valued strong communities, security at home and abroad, and the liberty to be free to live the lives we choose. Yet, why haven't we been celebrating all the progress we have made to create a more equal society with a stable economy and strong national community? There is a reason why our nation got stuck in a rut of fear and blame. About 30 years ago, right-wing conservatives started to organize with the Christian Coalition, radio talk shows and other media and in the absence of a better alternative, their messages emphasizing what divides us was catching on. By spreading fear and by vilifying many of the key accomplishments of the progressive era that led our country to be strong and stable, they wanted to turn back the clock on progress that allowed more Americans to get and keep their piece of the pie. And that meant more for the elites at the top -- regardless of what they had to do to get it. The time had come to fight back against these right-wing attacks on the fundamental values of our Democracy. We needed our own "Christian Coalition" willing to reengage and reform our movement. That's why we founded Democracy for America. Together, we went to work going door to door in places Washington insiders thought were forever lost to Democrats. We talked with people about what we believe and we shared what we had in common. We were truly all in this together and we needed each other to move forward as a nation. It worked and the first steps worked quickly. In 2006, we won back Congress and 2 years after that won the Presidency. Those were great victories and a testament to the strength of our values and your hard work. But, today, we must recognize that our work has just begun. The first steps toward change were not easy. There are forces who will stop at nothing to retain their choke hold on power and wealth -- even if it means perpetuating ridiculous lies like "death panels" or "a government takeover of health care" or inciting people with fear and anger without any regard for the potential consequences. The truth is that our political victory came at a difficult time economically. People are rightfully afraid for their economic future, their job, their health, their family. The question is still what kind of country do we want to live in? Do we want to play to the worst impulses in human nature and separate people from each other, scapegoating minority groups and dismantling our community support systems? We have a better answer. We are all in this together and our American community can come together and move forward toward a brighter future. This country works when we work together and pull each other up. We know what we believe. We believe in community. We care about our neighbors and we help each other. We can provide a bright future to our children with a quality education AND we can provide a secure retirement free from poverty and dependence for our grandparents. And we can accomplish it within a reasonable budget so we don't leave a burden of debt on the next generation. Democrats are responsible and balance budgets. Democrats lift up the community and make sure that everyone has a chance for a future. We believe in security. We will foster strong partnerships with other nations to ensure the secure and safe prosperity for all in the future. We will reduce our dependence on resources that make us vulnerable to attack. We will use our American ingenuity to strengthen our own economy and our environment. We won't start wars of choice and then perpetuate them to keep the military contractors in business. We will fund schools and investment in green jobs over funding bombers and missile defense our military doesn't need or even want. We believe in liberty. We respect every American's right to practice their own religion and to live a life free from bigotry, abuse, and harassment. We will fight discrimination and deliver on the promise of equality for all Americans. We believe that no one, not multinational corporations nor the government, has the right to your personal information to keep tabs on you for profit or unwarranted policing. We believe in community, security and liberty and we will never back down. We will fight to live in a country that values those things we hold dear. Whether we are fighting corporate greed or right-wing attacks, we will stand up for what we believe. So what does that mean for us in the next two years? That means that we must fight for our values against Republican attempts to dismantle any progress we have made. It will be our mission to make sure Americans know the difference between our values and Republicans -- a choice between strong communities, security and liberty - or Republican division, greed, and fear. President Obama said it best at the memorial service for those who were tragically gunned down in Arizona, "As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let's use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together." I know we will fight even harder in 2011 than we did in 2008 to make sure no Republican can turn back the clock on the advances weve made so far. We will defeat those who stand against the advances we have yet to make. We will not compromise our values in the name of political expediency. We will always fight to move America forward against those who are determined to force us back. This is our time to recommit to our work for a better America.



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