Michael’s Declaration

Michael Cudahy has posted another stirring piece on GreaterDemocracy.org: A Declaration of Conscience. Many were moved by Michael’s first piece, “To Dare Mighty Things,” quoting Teddy Roosevelt. Again Michael details his reaction to watching the Republican party leave him, causing him to campaign for Governor Howard Dean.

A transformative event for Michael was his experience as the Director for the Republican Coalition for Choice (it’s remarkable that the organization should sound like an oxymoron). Finally, he had to leave the position because he was receiving death threats, and Security would not allow him to open his own packages. The immense insight came when this man, who campaigned hard for George H. W. Bush, realized that the people who wanted to kill him were fellow Republicans.

His announcement has inspired the kind of spontaneous expressions of hope that you see at Howard Dean’s Blog comments. (Doc liked my conclusion that Dean’s thousands of donors are buying hope, one month at a time.)

He Gets Letters…

Michael has agreed to let me post some of the many messages of support he has received. I gain more from the character of people’s writing than from all the useless news drivel. When emotions like these are stirring, what can a narrow bigot like Rove do to counter it?

The Old Party is lucky to have someone like Michael Cudahy to help it be Grand again.

09-06-2003 02:42 PM ET (US)

I posted “…To Dare Mighty Things…” on a local internet discussion forum usually dominated by progressives. The post resulted in a lively discussion between several self-described conservative Republicans. Two of them repeatedly posted comments that sounded like Fox News soundbites, which is consistent with their usual tone. The third conservative, however, repeatedly challenged their inaccurate statements and faulty arguments. He finally stated that he didn’t know much about Howard Dean yet, but he’d vote for Nixon’s corpse before he’d vote for Bush again.



Sep 8th @ 10:42:08 PM
Subject: Balance

You have generated quite a bit of hope here Mr. Cudahy, both by your presence on deanlink and with your statement at GreaterDemocracy.

Tony Dorsano
Minnesota, MN


Sep 5th @ 05:14:33 PM
Subject: Many Thanks

I have passed your inspiring – as always – piece on to as many people as I can think of right now.

Daniel Carr (aka Long Haul)


Sep 5th @ 04:42:25 PM

Great! Thanks for the Update!
Michael, this is fantastic. You are *truly* a patriotic American. Thank you for taking such a strong stand. May other Republicans follow in your footsteps.

Patty in VT


September 04, 2003 7:02 PM
Subject: Re: “To Dare Mighty Things” (2)

Roger Wilco… I’ve posted the email at Greater Democracy.org
If it’s possible, I’d appreciate it if you could let us (…our name is legion and we are many) know when you post your next piece.
Once again, thanks for what you’re doing – having spent many years working for outfits like Smith & Harroff I have some appreciation of what it means and tremendous respect for your courage.


Sep 4th @ 02:54:45 PM
Subject: Independents for Dean

It is a pleasure to be able to talk to you in person. As a fellow moderate conservative I was greatly moved by your statement at Greater Democracy last week and linked to it at our website, Independents for Dean (www.deanindependents.org) Good luck with the campaign and I hope to talk with you soon.

Scott Gamel (DeanIndependents.org)


Sep 4th @ 05:22:04 PM
Subject: Greater Democracy

It was only after the irrepressible Patty in VT sent out an email disclosing your correspondence with her that I even thought it might be possible to contact you personally.
I keep telling people what a significant piece it is that you wrote for Greater Democracy.
For some time now I have been strongly advocating the concept of a Republicans for Dean site/group. Long before the Dean people got around to it, though I don’t know if I had much influence on its creation. The idea actually came to me from a video I saw of Dean speaking at a house party in Vermont back, I think, in June. He at leasting half-jokingly mentioned the idea and it caught fire in my hot little brain. 😉
Just so you know, I was raised a Democrat, evolved into a political radical in the late 60s (the only other Presidentail candidate I ever worked for was Eugene McCarthy in 1968) and then basically made politics a very secondary part of my life. I agonized through the mess of the 2000 election but then put it out of my mind until the aftermath of 9/11, when I began to see our country veer onto a dangerous course.
In short, I was as surprised as anyone that I would suddenly feel this…affinity?…for Republicans. They were, after all, the life-long “enemy.” Right?
If there is one thing I have really begun to see and understand since 9/11, it is that we really are a community. And in order to continue as such a community and to continue to be a beacon of hope and promise for people of the world, we have to commit ourselves to the difficult process of finding common ground and working even more closely together. That is one of the great promises I see in Howard Dean’s candidacy.
Thanks for what you said. It deepens the hope I already feel. Your voice is a very important one in this time. Please continue to speak out.

Daniel Carr (aka Long Haul)


September 03, 2003
Dare Mighty Things
Below is a letter I wrote to Michael Cudahy in response to his essay “… To Dare Mighty Things …” .
Mr. Cudahy,

I’ve just read your essay posted to Greater Democracy and I thank you. Your essay served to fuel my conviction that, buried beneath so much partisan noise, there remains a rational public that recognizes the value of reasoned debate. More than that, you re
mind us that we are all Americans and the vast majority of us share common goals and values.
For a long time I never thought of myself as a Democrat or a Republican. I hold opinions on a variety of issues, some conservative and some liberal, so putting a label on it always seemed overly restrictive. I, like Eisenhower, often answered that I am an American. However, I have become chagrined of late at the reprehensible behavior of my fellow – Republican – Americans. The refusal to enter into rational debate, the unwavering certainty, the rejection of facts that do not support positions, faith-based foreign and domestic policy – these actions are antithetical to the deepest values of American society.
While still claiming to be an American, the sheer divisiveness and rancor that’s been generated by the radical politics of the party in power compelled me to choose sides. The Republicans make poor winners. They have taken their majority position and abused their new-found power. Rather than ‘compassionate conservatism’ we have been handed a radical agenda that is clearly at odds with the will of the people. For the last two years I have called myself a Democrat in order to distance myself as much as possible from what I viewed as a poisoning of the American political process.
But your essay has given me hope. And your words remind me that the defense against radical partisanism is not a dose of the same, but rather to stand firm on the principles in which we Americans hold so dear. So I shall continue to engage in reasoned debate with my fellow Americans. I shall not throw the baby out with the bathwater, but recognize that we have differences of opinion and the essence of political endeavor is compromise.
I join you Mr. Cudahy, not as a Democrat or a Republican, nor even an independent, but as an American. May each one of us share in your courage to stand up for what is right and dare mighty things.

Thank you,
Jon Wiley
Austin, Texas


September 03, 2003 4:03 PM
Subject: Re: “To Dare Mighty Things”

As we say in this part of the country, you’ve got some cahones – so from all of us rubes in bib overalls, thanks for having the courage to stand up and say what needed to be said.
Keep it up!
M. Lamb
Chimayó N.M.


09-02-2003 11:53 AM ET (US)
This was my letter to Michael Cudahy
Dear Mr. Cudahy,
I was recently forwarded a statement attributed to you by a Howard Dean listserv that I’m a member of. I found it heartening and inspiring. I consider myself a small and large ‘D’ Democrat but reading your essay I was struck with a feeling that had been missing since my youth.
When I was growing up I engaged in lengthy debates with various members of my family who didn’t necessarily share my outlook and yet, because we were grounded in a common respect and affection for the founding principles of this country, almost always came away having enlarged each others’ viewpoints. In short, I learned the valuable lesson that “honest men can disagree” and that respect is the key.
As a person deeply committed to the insights about the internal workings of human relationships embodied in the struggle to create and maintain the Constitution of the United States I welcome you as a fellow participant in our common experiment in, as Lincoln said, “the last, best hope of mankind”.
I look forward to celebrating the election of Howard Dean in 2004 with you. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of other things to talk about after that.

All the best,
Geoff DeWan
Los Angeles, Ca.


08-31-2003 07:05 PM ET (US)

Thanks Michael for posting this insightful piece on what’s happened to American Democracy today. Those who benefit most form dividing rather than uniting the American people will always come out ahead when the electorate is complacent, dumbed down, and disinformed. Rove, spokesman for the conservative think tanks is well informed in these matters, since they are schooled by the likes of Machiavelli and Goebbels.
This is the last election “we the people” will have a chance to be heard. If Bush wins another four years, this country will belong to the highest bidder on his leave. You ask why I support Howard Dean? He is changing the face of contemporary politics by energizing the people into participating once again in the democratic process. Neither the media, nor the old style politicians know what to do with this US, Dean’s movement is coalescing together.
One more point, media is also in danger of extinction. Blogs on the internet have access to real time news, as “we the people” communicate globally in ways never seen before. Journalists are already beginning to mine them for views and news. In the not so distant future, the world will belong to those who want people feedback, rather than those who want to extricate and exploit us.



08-29-2003 11:16 PM ET (US)

Thank you Michael for very eloquently expressing what I feel. I myself have never been active in Politics before. I am a 56 year old machine operator. The reason I got into politics is George Bush. I am very scared to see the direction my country is heading under his extreme right wing ideology. I do support Howard Dean. The DLC, DNL and all of the self important political whores on cable news just don’t get it.
1. “They” say that Dean supporters hate Bush because of Florida…..that’s not true for me, Even though I voted for Gore, I didn’t have much invested in the outcome of the race.
2. “they” say that when Deans supporters find out that he is not a liberal, we will desert him. We know exactly where he stands on the issues. We don’t even agree with him on some of them.
3. “they” say that Dean is too angry. Well I’m angry too! Angry and scared. Dean had a petition on his web site for John Ashcroft to stop trampling on our civil liberties. It was sad to find out that many people were afraid to sign it they were afraid of reprisals. Some remarked that their name might be put on the “no fly list” or they might be in for a tough tax audit. Scared of our own government-How did we come to this?
The reasons I support Howard or HoHo as he is called in Vermont, is that he has a vision for the US that cuts across ideological lines. He’s proved in Vermont that he can work with all parties. He is also willing to compromise. This means that just perhaps everyone in government can work together and give us the community that we sorely lack now.
You don’t know how heartened I was to read your post. It makes me feel that we will “Take Our Country Back” After all, it does belong to all of us.

Thank you.

08-28-2003 10:52 AM ET (US)
Thanks for posting this. I spend too much time being angry because I am afraid, and at times hopeless. Words such as
these are inspiring. We can do this..together! Thank you!

Sep 4th @ 04:33:26 PM

Thanks for the article you wrote. That took some courage considering who you are and the people you know. I’m a Republican also. I’m a moderate.

Gina Coleman


Sep 4th @ 04:30:54 PM
Hi, I’m Gina in Indiana

I saw your article and I wanted to thank you for it. I’m a Republican also. It’s easy for me to support Howard Dean. It can’t be easy for somehow of your background. What you did took some courage. Thanks for saying what needed to be said.

  Sep 4th @ 03:59:09 PM
Thanks for the reply. Good luck to your efforts in the coming months. Guestblog whenever you’d like on Dean Independents.
Scott Gamel (DeanIndependents.org)

Sep 4th @ 03:56:47 PM
Hello Michael

Saw your article and was incredibly moved! Welcome!



Sep 5th @ 04:42:25 PM
BRAVO! Michael!

I was deeply moved by what you wrote on why you are supporting Howard Dean
If you haven’t seen it yet, you should know that there is another Republican — a
blogger — who is reflecting on the light you shine on his/her blog. Take a look:
I would also like to invite you to the Republicans for Dean discussion group which can be found here. I know they would be honored to hear from you —
Welcome to our merry midst!
I hope we get to meet you in person someday — maybe at the Dean Inaugural Ball!

Patty McIntosh (aka Patty in VT on the Dean Blog)


1:20:47 AM    

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