I want to applaud Carol Anderson and Chistopher Wright for expressing much of what I felt the need to say regarding the recent reporting of the Democratic Party presidential campaigns and caucus in Juneau. I will add some additional thoughts.
At the Juneau Democratic Party presidential caucus on Saturday a crowd of enthusiastic citizens who chose to become involved in the democratic process met together with shared excitement about addressing serious issues facing our state, nation and planet. It was the largest attendance at a presidential caucus of this major party in Juneau since 1972. Diverse views yielded heartfelt collaboration, not conflict. Party regulars and newly invigorated party members worked together amicably, regardless of individual differences of support for the several candidates, resolutions or party platform revisions. Notably, there was an unusual diversity of citizens present, some representing segments of society typically alienated from party politics, including some very young, first-time voters.
Our nation has experienced at least two unique national campaigns this year that have taken the United States in new directions politically during very troubling times. Both have been within a major party. Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich have helped to quell cynicism and to open up the Democratic Party to needed reform. Both of these candidates have inspired many citizens who have become numb and hopeless, sometimes cynical or at least uninvolved.
What happened in Juneau on Saturday is a microcosm of a larger national shift that should not be ignored. Dean and Kucinich are both accomplished politicians and political leaders who have energized the Democratic Party in very positive ways.
Dennis Kucinich won 54 percent of the delegates for Juneau's two house districts. Kerry won 24 percent. Dean, who is no longer on the ballot, won 22 percent. These are significant results and Saturday's Democratic Party caucus was a significant historical event. Neither was adequately reported to the citizens of Juneau in the newspaper that is often their only source of news.