Why Howard Dean Will Win In 2004

by Manuel García, Jr.

January 19, 2004


Howard Dean has captured Cool. Cool galvanizes the Golden Horde, and they have flocked to Dean. The market gravitation of the Golden Horde will tow corporations along by their marketing departments, and the familial connections of the Golden Horde will tug at the heartstrings of their corporatist elders when they "come home" to their parenting and intergenerational connectedness. In combination with the Old Labor constituency of rustbelt heritage, formerly high-tech postindustrial now-labor (the Burst Bubble Bunch), and the base stratum of oppressed, discarded, and inner-urban people, the Golden Horde with its corporate accretion will overwhelm the Bush constituency of corporate boards, military brass, finance-centered business, money-centered wealth, and religious fanatics (by definition right-wing, since there is no such thing as a left-wing religious fanatic). Dean has captured Cool, and this will draw in youth- and future-focused business, and low-stratum Funk and Beat as well. Bush has got Old Money to keep his side pumped up, but the emphasis there is on the "old," and the high pressure has nothing to do with effervescence and everything to do with Uptight. Think Ashcroft and Orange Alert.

What follows is a prolix repetition of the previous paragraph, somewhat free of idiomatic argot.

Howard Dean will win the US Presidency in 2004. How do I know? I don't, of course, but I have no fear of being proven wrong, so I am free to predict with boldness. Here goes.

The key to Dean's success will be the corporate support he gains. He will gain such support because he has galvanized the youth of the nation, from the teens to post-college young professionals, who in aggregate represent the single most desirable and lucrative market in the sights of all forward-looking corporations -- the Golden Horde. This is the population all advertising -- such as TV programming -- centers on. They spend.

As a group they are now preparing to leave home, or have just freshly departed from home, in many cases a home of a member of the corporatist population. In a few short years they will be making spending decisions for units of the economy they have moved into overseeing, and they will also be making decisions on the terminal arrangements for their elders (remember this about your children).

Forward-looking marketing lusts to mold the spending attitudes and allegiances of the Golden Horde now, so when they command major resources they will be conditioned to accepting suggestions from these marketeers. This is why forward-looking marketing is obsessive in its focus on Cool. If it picks up on Cool before is goes flat, or "melts," then it can use the images, language, and symbology of the momentary form Coolness is taking to reflect back at its target audience as a wrapper to embedded marketing messages -- like Hip-Hop (w)rapping Sprite torpedoes shot at Golden Horde pocketbooks.

But, the greater potential is one of conditioning for future profitability, the embedding of attitudes that can be tapped into later when the Golden Horde have far greater control of assets, like a sleeping legion of Manchurian Candidates awaiting activation once risen into the centers of power.

Some in the Republican Party look gleefully at Howard Dean as if he were the George McGovern of 2004, and that George W. Bush will steamroll him in the general election. Dean may well be today's McGovern, but McGovern was right (correct) in 1972 after all, and the voters this time might not want to (re?)elect the Nixon of 2004. (1) A large segment of those voters are members of the Golden Horde.

Dean is sufficiently mainstream that he does not represent any threat to the economic status quo, despite his anti-corporate rhetoric. He's not going to socialize medicine nor threaten NAFTA. Where Kucinich would simply cancel NAFTA, Dean accepts it. He might alter NAFTA's cosmetics to soften its public appearance, framing this suggestion as a renegotiation to include undefined labor and environmental standards. Both he and the corporations know this, which is why he freed himself from campaign spending limits -- that was the handshake.

The political calculations in the boardrooms come down to deciding between garrison capitalism in overt conflict with the depoliticized general population and its Dean-entranced Golden Horde, or a relaxed public posture going along with the sweet youthful wrapper of Dean's Cool around a publicly muted though structurally unaltered corporate and globalization-imperialist core. In either case it comes down to voting for pocketbook.

And pocketbook is key, because the Golden Horde is the pocketbook of the future. What each corporate interest has to decide is "when does that particular future start?" Those who are attuned to sniffing out Cool will decide it starts now, and follow their market by backing Dean. Those whose lens on the world always focuses to reaction will thicken the walls of the Garrison of Privilege, backing Bush in the relentless campaign to keep the future from flooding in.

It is both the Cool-centered and familial-motivated corporatists who will lavish on their young the resources and love they need to realize their ambitions. The self-interests of these corporatists, in both love and money, will be enhanced in backing Dean. Their bond with the Golden Horde will be the core of the warmer détente between the general population and the boardrooms in a Dean administration, and it will be the core of the engine that pushes Dean's political campaign to success. The remaining elements of Dean's camp will be the legacy constituency of the Democratic Party: Old Labor and the non-wealthy, both new and old.

No matter how much money pressurizes Uptight, it will fall flat when matched up against Cool.

For the record, I'm voting for Dennis Kucinich every chance I get, because that's where my heart is. The predictions here are just cold-blooded logic.

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America the 'beautiful' on Swans


Manuel García, Jr. is a graduate aerospace engineer, working as a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He did underground nuclear testing between 1978 and 1992. He is concerned with employee rights and unionization at the nuclear weapons labs, and the larger issue of their social costs. Otherwise, he is an amateur poet who is fascinated by the physics of fluids, zen sensibility, and the impact of truth.

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1.  James Carroll, "But George McGovern Was Right," The Boston Globe, Tuesday 06 January 2004, also see: http://truthout.org/docs_04/010704J.shtml (as of 7 January 2004).  (back)

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Published January 19, 2004
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