For those who are interested, below is the text of a statement I posted on my law school's free speech forum in my capacity as campus Dean leader.
Statement of Duke Students For Dean on the Suspension of Governor Dean's Campaign
Many Americans are disappointed by the results of the Democratic Primary, and many more will be disappointed by the time it is through. Nevertheless, we must not allow disappointment to bring disengagement or confuse a roadblock with the end of the road.
We supported Howard Dean because, alone among the viable candidates, he recognized the imminent threat presented by Mr. Bush. Howard Dean opposed the Iraq war. He demanded a balanced budget, and he has a strong record of supporting equal rights for even the most unpopular minorities. In these interesting times, however, we must not forget that all Americans, Dean supporters and otherwise, share a common enemy.
George W. Bush is soft on terrorism. He has overspread our military in pursuit of a non-existent threat. There are no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Yet now only one quarter of our standing army is stationed at home and ready to respond to a terrorist attack, a far cry from the two-thirds rule which is Defense Department policy. If 9-11 happened again tomorrow, we would be unable to defend ourselves.
George W. Bush is soft on the economy. While Ken Lay and Bernie Ebbers' stocks soar, the American economy continues to hemorrhage jobs. 2.6 million jobs have been lost under George W. Bush, the only President to suffer a net loss of jobs since Herbert Hoover. Worse, the national debt is a record $7 trillion, with a yearly deficit of over $500 billion. If a fiscal crisis struck tomorrow, we would be unable to maintain basic services, much less engage in necessary Keynesian stimulus.
Finally, George W. Bush is soft on civil rights. The day after Martin Luther King's birthday, Bush appointed a known segregationist to the Federal Appellate bench. He has fought to enshrine discrimination in the US Constitution, and has campaigned for members of hate groups, such as Council of Conservative Citizens member and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.
Duke Students For Dean calls upon all Americans to support the eventual Democratic nominee not just as voters, but as volunteers. Our great nation cannot ignore the grave and gathering threat in the White House. We cannot allow the smoking gun to be an unanswerable attack, a second Great Depression, or the destruction of our very Constitution.