You Have the Power : How to Take Back Our Country and Restore Democracy in America
If you are worried about the way America is being governed and want to reclaim the country you know and love, now is the time to take it back. Governor Howard Dean argues that you have the power not just to defeat George W. Bush in this election but to change the future course of America.
You Have the Power is an energetic and detailed guide to restoring American democracy. It exposes the radical extremism of today's "mainstream" Republicans and shows Democrats how to be Democrats again. By reigniting hope, by tapping into the energy and ideals of the American people, Dean writes, the Democrats can restore America's strength and standing at home and abroad.
Drawing on his experience in the 2004 presidential election and the hope and inspiration of the people he met on the campaign trail, Dean shows how real people -- ordinary Americans like himself -- can come together to take their party, the political process, and their country back.
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Simon & Schuster
August 31, 2004
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Excerpt from You Have the Power by Howard Dean
"I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!"
The words just rose from my gut. And when they hit the room on that sunny March day in 2003, everything seemed to stop. The California Democrats, who only minutes earlier had been milling around, talking among themselves, and half listening as presidential candidate after candidate had made a play for their attention, paused. Everyone seemed to take a deep breath. And then the whole convention just exploded.
"WE WANT OUR COUNTRY BACK!"
"I don't want to be divided anymore," I said.
"I don't want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore.
"I want America to look like America."
People were weeping quietly. Some were openly sobbing. Others were screaming. Standing on their chairs and stamping their feet.
Outside in the corridors, people were spontaneously writing checks and throwing them at my staff. They lined up, they mobbed us as we tried to make our way through the lobby. Some came away crying again, my aides later told me, because they'd been able to touch my suit.
My old $125 JCPenney suit.
I had no idea campaigning for president would mean becoming a part-time rock star. I was completely stunned. Overwhelmed. And humbled.
When I left the crowd and took off for the airport, when I got to the plane and found my seat, when the dust had settled and I was anonymous once again, I had a moment to reflect, and something became crystal clear:
What had happened in that room had very little to do with me. I'd been the catalyst for an eruption of feeling that was much deeper, more powerful, and, I would learn, more widespread than anything I'd ever imagined.
It was a low-burning fire of resentment and rage. All it needed was a simple spark in order to explode.