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January 26, 2004

Dean's Scream

People don't like the fact that politicians will say anything to get elected. They don't like the fact that their leaders are not honest and forthright. People say they want leaders who are human and down-to-earth.

But I don't think so.

All last week I heard (ad nauseum) that Howard Dean, in his campaign for the US presidency, went on a crazy, screaming rant-fest. Reporters were shocked. People questioned Dean's sanity. Some said it ruined his political career. When the phrase "primal scream" kept being repeated, I decided to check it out.

So I did. And then I was also in shock. Not because Dean had "lost it," but because I couldn't believe such a fuss was being made over such a minor expression. It was not an "anguished wail," it was not the "ravings of a mad-man," it was just a fiery pep-talk with an extended "yeah!!!"

Big deal.

Now I know one major reason why politicians lie and don't show who they really are—when they do, the public turns on them. In so doing, we, the public, are creating our own political monsters. In so doing, we get leaders who are dishonest and repress their feelings—like George W. Bush, who calmly wages war, murdering thousands of innocent children, women, and men. It is the repression, not the expression of emotion, that is dangerous.

A.S. Neill, the founder of Summerhill School and a champion of freedom, once said that if a Summerhill student ever became Prime Minister, he would have failed. Why? Because the system ensures that politicians at the top are false. And I'm guessing that if Howard Dean is true to himself he will not become President of the United States.

I find it sad to think that emotion is still so misunderstood, maligned, and repressed. Step out of line and you get a spanking or the cold shoulder. To hell with that. I say, "Howard, be yourself." Maybe people will see.



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