Opinion: The Case for Dean Phillips 

Billy Fried

It’s no secret that our democracy is in peril. That trust in government is at an all-time low. That Donald Trump’s popularity is the perception that he is an anti-government disrupter and crusader.

And that, despite a strong economy that averted recession, the suppression of Covid, progress against climate change, infrastructure rebuilding, and the defense of Ukraine without sacrificing a single American’s life (plus a stable and scandal-free White House), people believe the world is worse under Joe Biden. Truth has been devalued, and the media defenestrated.

People don’t trust journalists and their vital, civic role of speaking truth to power. Meanwhile, the two-party system is beholden only to money, and most politicians are desperate careerists who spend their time fundraising for re-election instead of making policy.

Back in 2016, the Democratic party presided over a coronation rather than an election. Yep, those privileged few who run the party apparatus decided it was Hilary’s moment despite clear evidence there was little excitement for her, and she was rife with flaws (not necessarily of her own making). Meanwhile, an obstreperous old white Jew from Brooklyn was winning the hearts and minds of young people from both parties because of his insistent message that income inequality created two sets of intractable realities in America – prosperity and instability. And that another way could be imagined that did not denounce capitalism but simply redistributed a small part of it so more people could thrive.

But his voice was suppressed by the party, and he was denied a platform to reach a larger audience. I felt betrayed, as did the many young people who got enthused about politics for the first time.

And now the DNC is about to repeat the same error. And it risks being even more devastating. For whether you appreciate Joe Biden and the relative stability he has brought us with his calm, stately demeanor, he is nonetheless a deeply flawed candidate who is being annihilated in the opposition media. And with good reason. We love ya, Joe, but you should be sunning in Rehoboth!

And yet Democratic voters are being offered no other choice. The DNC made the proclamation months ago that it’s Biden, Biden, Biden. A small cabal has dictated who should be our party leader. But does that sound like a free and fair election? OK, yes, I believe Biden could very well beat Trump when it comes right down to it. But really folks, can we take that chance? And is that the best we can do? I thought Biden was the placeholder.

It’s time for new leadership. There’s still 10 months to go, plenty of time. And the best that I’ve seen is Dean Phillips, the little-known Congressman from Minnesota who threw his hat in the ring 10 weeks ago. He’s our last hope, and a damn exciting one. I’m betting most of you have never heard of him. That’s partly because the party doesn’t want eyeballs on anyone else, lest they siphon votes away from the chosen one. And yet, in this week’s New Hampshire primary, Dean garnered 20% of the vote. Just imagine what he could have achieved if he was 20 weeks in.

He doesn’t demean or insult anyone. He compliments and congratulates both party candidates (how refreshing). He’s smart and articulate and fast on his feet with thoughtful centrist policies on immigration, education, and healthcare. He refuses to take PAC or special interest money and is the #2 bipartisan legislator in Congress. Meaning he leans across the aisle to get things done. He also likes Joe. Just thinks he can’t win. And that’s why he’s running.

Dean graduated from Brown and then was a very successful entrepreneur (Belvedere Vodka and Talenti Gelato) who’s now pursuing the biggest entrepreneurial gig of his lifetime. I believe it’s good to have someone with successful business experience in the driver’s seat. The US government is perhaps the world’s biggest corporation, requiring deft management. Dean Phillips represents a new generation of leadership who is more in touch with the real world than a 50-year political careerist who never ran a business and can’t read a balance sheet. He’s our best hope to turn the page on old, establishment thinking, on hopelessness and cynicism in government, and once again instill pride in this grand experiment called democracy.

Want more? His father died in Vietnam when he was a toddler. He’s only 53. And on the “guy you’d have a beer with” meter, he plays guitar – and hockey. Like a regular Midwesterner. Plus he’s funny. And that’s a bonus.

Dean’s a sensible, moderate Democrat who agrees with a lot of Republican policy. But he’s frustrated with the way politics are now played. And did I mention he’s 53?

I know he has a remote chance. But if enough people do what I’m doing – spreading the word – perhaps the Democratic party will feel pressured to at least have him debate Biden. Isn’t that our right in a free democracy – to hear from all the candidates and make up our own mind? Sure, I’ll vote for Biden if he’s the nominee. But I believe Dean Phillips has a far greater chance of beating Donald Trump and getting this country moving again. I am all in until the fat lady sings!

If you want to know more, go the Dean24.com.

Billy is the CEO of La Vida Laguna, an outdoor adventure company. Email: [email protected].

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  1. Biden Vs Trump: While this has been discussed over and over the DNC really has to run someone else for President, otherwise they are handing the election to Donald Trump. Wishing the outcome could be different will not make it so. The perception is that Joe is incompetent and the media is projecting that image, and people are buying it.

  2. Because it’s true??? Incompetent, dementia, unable to form sentences – yeah, just who I want to lead our once great nation that he has helped bring down.

  3. No Billy, Biden. Trump can walk off a stage, climb AirForce1 steps without falling, form complete sentences, doesn’t slur his words, and most importantly, puts the United States first. Biden on the other hand, can’t do any of those things and apparently loves illegal aliens more than residents – letting in 5,000 illegals a day is OK??? Giving them all the things (food, shelter, health care, cell phones, transportation to wherever they want to go) that hard working Americans who have paid into the systems are denied. Fine – vote for Biden again. We are already so lost as a country thanks to the lack of strong leadership the last 2 1/2 years. Sad. Not the place I’d chose to leave to my children and grandchildren. As proof look at the illegals who beat up 2 NYC cops this week. Let go immediately. On their walk out they gave everyone the finger. Yes, fine upstanding people we want here.


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