As host of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Lou Dobbs delivers the news on a nightly basis. But lately Dobbs himself has been the one making the headlines over his staunch opposition to illegal immigrants.
His show, CNN’s second best rated, has created followers who have become known as ‘Lou Dobbs voters,’ meaning they’re middle class independents with concerns with issues like immigration, trade, and sovereignty.
In fact, the ‘Lou Dobbs voters’ are becoming major players in the political scene. In an October 22 article on politico.com titled, “ ‘Lou Dobbs voters’ will decide ‘08”, Christopher Gacek says, “CNN anchor Lou Dobbs may be the most important person in the 2008 presidential election aside from the candidates themselves.”
And that was even before his book was released.
His new book, Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit, which Dobbs will be signing November 28 at the DePaul Loop Center Barnes and Noble, covers the state of politics through the eyes of a self-proclaimed “independent populist.”
Dobbs says that he felt compelled to write the book because of the country’s path.
“Very simply, the country is heading in the wrong direction and a lot of people are suffering as a result of blind allegiance to partisanship and ideologies that have failed to produce answers over the last 30 years,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs concerned not only about the older generation, but to the youth today. He admits he doesn’t know what direction the college-aged generation is heading, and that he’s appalled at where his generation has taken the country.
“I’m frankly so concerned with my generation and it’s failure to deliver on the promises of the past 200 years in a time when our society for the past 20 years have simply been observing as individual rights and liberties have been constrained and equal opportunity both in education and economically have divided a large part of our society. That is going to be the challenge for your generation.”
In his book, Dobbs talks about the need for great leaders in America. He sees the 2008 election as one of the most important elections in history and the chance to change America’s course. However, he has been disappointed with the candidates, saying that “we’re still looking” for that great leader he talks about.
“There’s not a single clear choice of leader, whether Republican or Democrat, who has demonstrated great accomplishment in their lives, great capacity for leadership, and great character,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs says that there is more than just good candidates that are lacking, but the two political parties don’t offer the options that Americans need as well. In response, he has been encouraging people to register as independents for the last two years.
“Both parties are simply opposite wings of the same bird, and the American people are the ones getting the bird,” he said. “It’s critically important for young people to be independent thinkers, exercise independent critical judgment and stay away from the nonsense of partisanship, which is nothing more than a branding exercise and a fundraising organization.”
In fact Dobbs says that perhaps the two-party system has run it’s course and something new should be considered.
“Our political system is no longer one in which the consent of the governed is required or ‘we the people’ are leading the country toward its future,” Dobbs said. “The only way that’ll change is with a powerful third-party movement, simply to serve notice that they won’t be taken for granted or for the fools that they have been for the last 20 years by both of these parties.”
Dobbs has become defined by the issue of illegal immigration. In many senses, he has become a polarizing figure. On October 31, he called New York Governor Elliott Spitzer an ‘idiot’ for issuing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Although college students would probably say there are other issues more important than immigration, Dobbs says that illegal immigration and border security is important for all ages.
“The leadership of the Democratic party on Capitol Hill, and the Republican leadership in the executive branch are leading us through a global war on terror, but at the same time have not rationalized why they have left our borders unsecured and only 5 percent of incoming cargo inspected,” Dobbs said. “That’s an absurdity. Either it’s a phony war, or a war being fought by fools in the White House. Only time will judge which.”
Dobbs, like many, doesn’t like the current state of the country. He says that the youth’s bleak outlook at the future is justified, but when asked if he still has hope for the future, he gave a resounding answer.
“Hell yes, it’s America! Every one of us is fortunate to be in a country where we can seize our own destiny and create a future. But it’s not going to be handed to us, it’s going to require action, intelligent thought, reason, and coming together around our basic founding values, which are individual liberty and equality for all.”
But he says that if there is going to be change in America, the time to act is now.
“We can’t leave it to anyone else,” Dobbs said. “If another generation fails this nation as my generation has failed this nation, we are in serious trouble.”