Bellingham, Wash.

William Greider’s “Dean’s Rough Ride” [March 8] is one of the best political articles I’ve read lately. It was a wild ride and is only going to get more “interesting” as more people join the struggle to take back our politics and our country.

JAMES F. FOX


New Haven, Vt.

Thank you, William Greider, for telling the nation about the real Howard Dean, from us Vermonters who have known and loved him for twelve years. Despite the journalistic lynching, we are proud of Howard. His style and his ideas will outlive his candidacy.

SUSAN W. BENNETT


Middletown, Md.

A fervent thank you to William Greider for his summary of the Dean campaign. It’s especially reassuring to see some of Dr. Dean’s more substantive (and inflammatory) statements in print, since the mass media ignored their very existence. For a few short months, I believed that real change at the heart of our political system was possible–that it was really going to happen. I should have known better. But for those months, I was made invulnerable to the disasters of the current Administration and the blunders of the Democratic Party by a joyful and unreasoning hope. Greider has summed up that wild ride, good and bad, with sympathetic yet analytical eyes.

MARC MONTEFUSCO


Savannah, Ga.

William Greider has made me feel a little better about the way Dr. Dean was treated and his wonderful points ignored. I will still vote for Dean in the Georgia primary but will hold my nose and vote for the Democratic nominee in November to get rid of Bush. Thanks for the help in overcoming my depression.

A 70-year-old Georgia Deaniac,

NANCY M. SHEA


Brooklyn, NY

I am a 22-year-old woman interning for a nonprofit concerned with media rights. I think it’s amazing how much the Internet has done for educating the young on what’s going on. Everyone now knows MoveOn.org, as William Greider mentioned. Unlike the revolutionaries and activists of the 1960s during the Vietnam War, we will not combat the injustice of our nation’s policies with chants and passion (although we feel these beat in our hearts). We will join forces using knowledge, wit, support, and the spread of media literacy to obtain what we desire. By using our intellect and differences, “we shall overcome.”

LAUREN STRAUB


Boulder, Colo.

God bless you, William Greider, for so eloquently summarizing all the reasons I have been and always will be a fervent Dean-ocrat.

I am a 47-year-old mother and have never been involved in politics before. Dr. Dean has given me a voice and a fire in the belly that I will use, in concert with the hundreds of thousands of other citizens similarly inspired by the Dean campaign, to “impose new technologies and new social realities on tired old institutions.” We are, indeed, “witnessing the early stages of small-d democratic renewal”!

KAREN CONDUFF


New York City

Invigorated by Dr. Dean, I was moved for the first time to put my money where my mouth is. Never did that before. I’m 67 and have actively observed and participated in politics for many years–Republican and Democrat.

I will not transfer my support of Dean to any of the remaining candidates, least of all John Kerry, whose record is long but dismal. Edwards is charming and refreshing but untested. Therefore, I will vote for Dean in the New York primary and throw my support to Democratic Congressional candidates so that Bush and his gangsters can be overturned.

SYLVIA KUROP


Ruckersville, Va.

William Greider muses over the age range of Dean’s supporters. The media reported that they’re mostly young, which confused me, because I’ve participated in MeetUps, blogforamerica and chatforamerica since last summer. You could argue that people were lying about their age online (though why would you say you were an 80-year-old grandmother?), but at MeetUps the ages were definitely there to see. I’m 33, and there were plenty of others my age, including one of the organizers, but most were older. There were a few exceptions, like a new attendee who had just turned 18 and was excited that she could make her first presidential (primary) vote for Howard Dean. At the same meeting one beautiful, vivacious woman in her 60s reported on her trip to Iowa.

But the greatest part of a MeetUp, and the Dean campaign in general, was the young listening to the old, the old listening to the young, liberals listening to conservatives, conservatives listening to liberals. We all feel that there is something much more important afoot than our own agendas.

When I go to my Dean MeetUp in March I’ll know that he’s done a good job, because his campaign wasn’t just about Howard Dean being President–it was about learning how to change America for the better. And we’re not going to give up on that.

SUSAN HEROD


Albany, NY

I’m one of the 650,000 who signed on to the Dean campaign and one of the 100,000 who gave money. I also wrote letters to Iowans and to New Hampshirites. I followed the blog religiously and still follow it.

I haven’t worked for a political campaign since I was in college twenty years ago. I haven’t read The Nation since I was in college. The Dean campaign inspired my progressive streak, long dormant. We need great change in this country.

TIM GERGICH


San Jose, Calif.

As someone who was heavily involved in the Dean campaign, these last weeks have been especially hard. Dean renewed my faith in the ability of the common man and woman to have an effect on politics. And while we certainly did have an effect, it’s a crushing blow to see our candidate obliterated and made into a late-night television joke.

It was also very disheartening to see the power the media establishment has over people’s opinions. Throughout his campaign, Dean got the shaft when it came to fair news coverage of what the campaign was all about. I can’t count the number of times I sat in front of my TV or read a newspaper or magazine and was frustrated beyond expression at how Dean was being portrayed.

I look forward to the next couple of months, when Dean announces his plans for continuing the movement he created. I can only hope it will result in a group to balance out the DLC. The DLC represents the corporate interests in the Democratic Party. DFA will represent the people interests in the Democratic Party.

MARC LOVE


Grand Rapids, Mich.

I want to express my gratitude for the wonderful article on Governor Dean and his unconscionable treatment by the media and the DNC/DLC. Howard Dean was too much for them because he awakened our yearnings to take our nation back. I will keep Greider’s quotes from Dean’s speeches so my children and grandchildren will perhaps understand what great hopes abounded in the nation for a brief, wonderful time. Once again we vote on the lesser of the worst.

FLORENCE MURPHY


Warren, Vt.

I’m one of Clinton’s average Joes. I drink beer and watch football with my son and friends on Sundays. I own my business and consider myself a leftward libertarian. My football buddies laugh at me because I care about politics and social policy. When Dean was running strong the laughter stopped. The conversation became animated. Here was a guy, though a middle-of-the-road Democrat, who expressed himself honestly and brought some of the real issues to the table.

When Dean pulled out so did my football buddies. Politics is once again just more of the rich guys ruining the country. I’m voting for Nader.

ROBIN LEHMAN


Prescott, Ariz.

Talk about being brutalized. At least Dr. Dean got coverage. Dennis Kucinich has been marginalized to the point of invisibility–by all the media.

CAROL OLDERSHAW


Milwaukie, Ore.

Recently Senators Kerry and Edwards have appropriated Howard Dean’s (my candidate) message that “you have the power” to change this country. Now that the nomination process is nearing the end, the story will begin to change, unless we can keep it going.

To keep the excitement and the debate alive, I propose to Democrats that we throw open the vice presidential contest, just as Adlai Stevenson did in 1956. That event introduced excitement and drama into an otherwise stale convention (when Kentucky Senator Estes Kefauver narrowly edged out Senator John F. Kennedy).

Democrats from the bottom up would have another way to participate in the decisions about who will lead the ticket. The talking heads will get to appear on more cable news shows to speculate endlessly on this choice, keeping the debate on our territory for more months to come. I would trust the collective wisdom of our party’s delegates to make this choice. Would John Kerry?

DAVE MCTEAGUE


Cambridge, Mass.

Greider’s commentary gets it right. I was the director of the Internet group at the Dean campaign for the final two and a half months and a volunteer for several months before. I am also a senior fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

Howard is Howard. He is fresh, courageous and enjoys identifying problems and working to solve them. The messier the problems, the better: child sexual abuse, child neglect, AIDS, the war in Iraq, the rot of the Democratic Party and the dominance of big media. He had the boldness to take on party leaders. And he had the sense of truth to say to Wolf Blitzer, on camera, that Wolf is in the entertainment business.

People loved Howard when they heard him in person. They loved him because he spoke of their concerns and because he obviously cared about them and the future of the country. They loved his truth-telling, his–to coin a phrase–compassionate indignation.

And Howard really does believe that the only way to improve the country is to engage the people. Our challenges are not technical. Our real problems–racism, the economy, the environment, healthcare, two Americas, special interests and the corruption of government–require citizens to find new ways to come together and shape the future. This was just too radical for the big boys.

Thanks for a wonderful piece. Your appreciation is valued at a moment when many of us who have been in the campaign are feeling pretty beaten down.

By the way, I was alerted to Greider’s editorial by a friend who circulated it on the “webteam” internal list at Dean for America. Her comment: “Amen.”

JIM MOORE