Friday, January 25, 2008

Kucinich for President, RIP

It goes without saying that Dennis Kucinich never had a chance of receiving the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. Still, in spite of his weirdness (the encounter with UFOs and a spouse young enough to be his daughter), Dennis was one of the few, very few progressive voices running for the White House this year. He deserved more support than he received from the left, many of whom seem obsessed with some right-wing libertarian.

Ironically, in 2008, Dennis received almost a thousand more votes in the New Hampshire primary than he tallied in 2004 (3,901 to 3,104 in 2004). His campaign is actually polling higher in 2008 than 2004, as well (about 3-4% this time around compared to 1-2% back in 2004). Of course, 4% is 4%, and after facing a tough battle for reelection, the Congressman thought it prudent to run for the one office he has a shot at being elected to. It is an understandable reasoning, to which I wish the Congressman the best.

What I find less acceptable is why there were so few progressives, outside of some actors and entertainers, to support the Kucinich candidacy? We are hardly a majority in this commercial polity, but we are more than 4% in the Democratic Party. And I am not mentioning those liberals who are foolish enough to think that Hillary Clinton will serve their interests. I am expressly referring to those progressives who complain constantly about the centrist and rightward shift of the Democratic Party under the Democratic Leadership Council and President Bill Clinton. The people who likely voted for Ralph Nader, at least once. The kind of people that still believe in principle. Where were they? Supporting John Edwards or Barack Obama? It is really hard to be motivated about what remains of the Democratic field, unless one wants to cast a protest vote for Mike Gravel (who has an even less of a chance of getting the nomination than Dennis Kucinich).

I am certain of this much, however. The lack of a candidate to center our support around is only going to make us even less significant, particularly to a Democratic Party where its lead candidates get into tussles over trivialities like how someone made a living twenty five years ago. This is what is supposed to get us excited, apparently. When was the last time any of the three main Democratic candidates made the Iraq War a main theme of their campaign? It is almost as if we are not even at war at all. No, someone was a corporate attorney or a flack artist for a slum lord. That is the new politics, or as the good people at Onion "news" call it:

The saddest part is this is supposed to be satire.

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