Friday, August 31, 2007

Pack a lunch and donate to Kucinich!

     Since Kucinich is not going to be doing the corporate world's bidding while in office, it's important that we help support his campaign get enough money to give him sufficient publicity. If everyone just donates a little then we can really make a difference. We don't need to be able to raise as much as Clinton or Obama will (which would be nearly impossible) but if we get our numbers up there high enough then it will be enough to get the message out (at some point the money raised starts to give diminishing returns I'm sure). It's very easy to pack a lunch instead of going out to a restaurant, buying one less beer at the bar, or skip some other thing you do each day and give that money to Kucinich.

     Yesterday I gave my first contribution ever ($20) to a political campaign. You can give to Kucinich via the ActBlue link to the right hand side of the screen. Or, equivalently, you can give on this website which is this blog's ActBlue fundraising page. As you can see 1 person has donated on this page (moi). You can also click on Kucinich's name and see how our blog is doing in terms of ranking against the other Kucinich ActBlue fundraising pages.

     Actually, the good feeling I get from giving that $20 is worth more than what I could have otherwise bought with it. Looking back on this a couple of years from now I will be able to say that I helped finance the president who has just given us universal health care and instant runoff voting. Or, if things don't turn out that way, I can at least say 'Don't blame me for the war with Iran, I supported Kucinich".

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Unofficial Kucinich merchandise

     With the official Kucinich store not online yet (you can order over the phone though) I got anxious and decided to create some of my own bumper stickers. In the next few days I'd like to also create a shirt. I currently have 3 designs for bumper stickers, but I have a free CafePress shop so I can only put up one design at a time. If anyone wants a bumper sticker with the following designs on them let me know. I'll put it on the CafePress website with zero markup. The website is here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

'I no longer fear the Kucinich Revolution' cartoon

And the text that does along with the cartoon:
Most folks I know have a preferred candidate - Hillary, Obama, Edwards or Gore. But the crazy thing is, they will turn right around and say, “you know who I really want to vote for? Kucninch.”

I have those same feelings - I love Kucinich and think he would make the best President. His values most closely resemble my own. Why not vote for him?

Irrational fear. Total fear that the Republicans will lie about Kucinich and Fred Thompson will win the election. Wait, the GOP is gonna lie anyway, no matter what, so why the fear?

One thing I finally noticed about Kucinich during the AFL-CIO debate was how Kucinich always made more points during his alloted time than other candidates. I have been thinking about this and found the answer when I was reading the transcript. Kucinich doesn’t equivocate. He doesn’t dance around an issue - he goes straight for the explanation and since his past is not littered with idiotic support of bad bills, HE has nothing to fear, so why do I?

Yes, why do I fear? Do I think Hillary can win? No. I think she loses the election, the second she is nominated. Isn’t THAT something to fear? Do we think Fred Thompson, Gingrich or whatever other ass-wipe the GOP nominates will give a shit about universal healthcare, the environment or peace? Nope, it will be a straight continuation of 8 years of BushCo. Isn’t my fear displaced?

Who is the strongest Democrat in Congress? Kucinich.

What Congressman never LOST their spine in the politically crushing days after 9-11? Kucinich.

Who knows how to answer a direct question asked by We The People? Kucinich.

I think something changed for Kucinich during the AFL-CIO debate - I can’t put my finger on it, but something changed. Maybe it was his eagerness to address We The People with truth, honesty and integrity? Maybe it was just the other candidates equivocating on whatever nonsense answer their staff prepared for them months ago?

Maybe it was because the other candidates showed fear and Kucinich didn’t. He never flinched.

That is leadership as I see it. And from this point forward I will NOT fear to support Kucinich.

He is just like me. My values are the same as his. If I was in Congress, I would vote like he does. I no longer fear. I refuse to allow the GOP to manipulate me into supporting lesser candidates.

That just might be called courage

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The progress of the Kucinich campaign

    For a grassroots movement like ours I think it's important that we occasionally evaluate our progress and determine in which areas we need to improve or accelerate our efforts. We can't just turn on the news and see how the various campaigns are going when the mainstream media is trying to fix the outcome, so that avenue is out of the question. We need self-evaluation, and while I'm most definitely not the most qualified person supporting Kucinich to do this, I'd like to give a couple of my thoughts on the matter.

    For one, polls. For those of you who are involved in the Kucinich Action Center you are probably already familiar with this (if you're not sign up!). But Kucinich has been doing VERY well in polls on the major news media websites. For example, take a poll by ABC news asking "Who do you think won the Democratic debate" (the debate held last Sunday) which at the time of the following screenshot had over 42,000 people voting.

As you can see, Dennis Kucinich is firmly in the lead (click on the picture to make it larger). While some of this lead may very well be due to the large activist community surrounding him, it is promising nonetheless (and to be fair, part of Obama's ranking is probably also affected at least some in this same way). If you didn't get to vote in this poll you can do so here. As far as I know, ABC, nor any other mainstream news outlet that also had polls on their site where Kucinich was winning, has decided to write an article about the result.

     On the youth front, things are looking positive as well. On a Facebook political poll Kucinich is in first place, with Gravel in a secure third. If you add up Kucinich's support with Gravel's they combine to total almost 47% of the votes. While those who voted in this poll are surely more of the activist type, the good news for us is that among the youth there are many more Kucinich and Gravel activists than there are for the other candidates, although Obama is in a very close second. Here's a screenshot of that poll.

    Secondly, a political questionnaire over on this website has shown how closely the average American's political views are to Dennis Kucinich's. This site asks you to specify your position on many issues and also rank how important they are to you (whether they are 'meh','important', or 'key'). The site is not just for Democratic candidates, but also Republicans. At the time of this writing there have been 137,492 total submissions, and out of those 79,401 of the results ranked Dennis Kucinich as the best match. This shows what we've thought all along, that Dennis Kucinich stands for change and that America wants it. The trouble we face is countering the media and letting the public know that Kucinich's views match their own.

    I think we have a good foundation. We have a candidate, no, the only candidate, who is in touch with the American people. And after 8 years of neocon rule, the American people are ready to try something new. There probably hasn't been this much disgust and mistrust in our government in quite some time, and it's the progressive movement's responsibility to seize on this historic opportunity to make a real change for the better in our lives.

     But to do this we really need to build a powerful grassroots movement. I mean really powerful. Not only do we need to convince people to vote Kucinich, we also need to still convince people to become volunteers in the Kucinich campaign. We have to be everywhere, and must force Kucinich into the national dialogue. We still have to work on methods of organizing political action in areas that we aren't necessarily strong in (the Red states come to mind). We need to get out there on the streets putting up fliers and talking with our neighbors because not everyone engages in political discussions on the Internet (of course the vast majority do not). We need to not only have the organizational skill to convince people that Kucinich is the best candidate, but we also need to be able to develop ways in which we can reveal to the people who support Kucinich how many others do as well, giving them confidence that Kucinich can actually win this election. You can't count on the media to do this for you once you reach some critical level of support. It most likely, if history and economic forces mean anything, will not. You have to assume that the media will actively sabotage the campaign, and so develop countermeasures against it. I hope to talk about more of these issues in later posts.

     But what if Kucinich loses? It's certainly not impossible, we are the underdogs after all. I feel that some Democrats think that supporting a losing candidate is a waste of their time, as if all the activism was worth nothing. I think this is completely wrong. Working for the Kucinich campaign, whether he wins or loses, helps to bring about a more progressive tomorrow. Each person you are able to convince to support progressive ideals keeps that knowledge with them, changing the way they think about politics and increasing the chances of progressive success in the next election. By struggling against the things that keep progressive candidates from winning (lack of money, the media, etc) the movement learns to develop strategies and organizations that help to combat these problems. And lastly, political struggle makes you a more politically conscious individual. By struggling against our existing institutions, the contradictions that exist within our economic and political system rear their heads and our awareness of them becomes much more acute. Just imagine how many Kucinich volunteers are for the very first time struggling with the idea that the mainstream media might not accurately represent reality. And not only are they hearing explanations about the effect of media power by others in the campaign, but they get to see it firsthand and this real life lesson stays with them longer than anything they could have read in a book. I'm sure each one of us will learn something concrete by working in this political campaign, whether we are fully aware of it or not. In the end, whether Kucinich wins or loses, we can make this election season a victory for progressivism. If we work hard enough, who knows, maybe we'll even have a progressive in the White House.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Economist - Clinton, Obama are right-wing

     I don't usually read The Economist because the magazine is a right-wing publication, but as I stood around waiting in the Paris airport last week for my flight back home I picked it up with an interest in what they had to say in the article Is America Turning Left?. In the article we find the following commentary:
Second, America, even if it shifts to the left, will still be a conservative force on the international stage. Mrs Clinton might be portrayed as a communist on talk radio in Kansas, but set her alongside France's Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany's Angela Merkel, Britain's David Cameron or any other supposed European conservative, and on virtually every significant issue Mrs Clinton is the more right-wing. She also mentions God more often than the average European bishop. As for foreign policy, the main Democratic candidates are equally staunch in their support of Israel; none of them has ruled out attacking Iran; Mr Obama might take a shot at Pakistan; and few of them want to cede power to multilateral organisations.

     This probably comes to no surprise to those who read this blog, but I thought it was nice to find this statement in a typically conservative media source. After 8 years of Bush, don't we deserve a truly progressive president, not one who is still conservative with respect to what is typically seen in Western countries?
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