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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Iowa Guest Writer: Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen gets a hand from Rob Reiner in Iowa, where both are campaigning for Howard Dean this week

Today I'm writing from Iowa, where I've joined more than 3500 volunteers who've converged here for the Perfect Storm for Democracy, to get out the vote for Howard Dean.

I keep thinking back to almost a year ago when Howard Dean stood up and spoke at the DNC and, later, the California Democratic Party Convention. He stood up against the war and against a Democratic party that had lost the will to fight. He stood up and told the truth about this president's misguided policies  --  the truth about the war, about Bush's tax cuts, about No Child Left Behind, about an administration that was selling our government to the special interests. About a government that was forgetting the people.

The pundits at the time all thought it was political suicide to openly question a president who was so high in the polls. But this campaign has never been about doing what people expected. It's about doing the impossible. It's about doing what is right for our country.

And the roar that came back from the crowd when Howard Dean had the courage to stand up for what was right -- that was the sound of hope.

I want you to imagine where we would be today if Howard Dean had not had the courage to stand up, and if hundreds of thousands of Americans had not had the courage to stand up with him.

We'd be left with a personality contest between the same old Washington politicians -- hedging their bets, following the polls, retreating from a single controversial word.

Instead we are filled with hope. We've awakened a movement. And we've made this election meaningful -- a real referendum on the direction of our country.

Now, the establishment candidates who supported Bush's war are trying to sound like Howard Dean. Now they say they will fight George W. Bush. Now they say they'll fight the special interests and empower the American people. But these are the election-year shifts that have discouraged so many of us from participating at all. It's not enough to second-guess your vote now that the war is unpopular -- we need someone who will stick to his guns even if it means defying the pundits and the poll results, and who has the judgment to know what's right from the beginning.

I support Howard Dean because he spoke sanity when nobody else would.
We have to take action now to win. We need to do this to beat Bush.

Today is the last day to write a letter to a voter in Iowa.
Volunteer to go to Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Arizona, or South Carolina.  Contribute now to support the work of volunteers in these states

Thank you,

Martin Sheen

As reported in this morning's news roundup, the Des Moines Register runs a story today on Sheen and Reiner's efforts in Iowa.

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