Thursday, September 13, 2007

I no longer fear the Kucinich revolution: Part 4

     Another great comic from Town Called Dobson.

In Parts One and Two, I discussed the support Kucinich has and the irrational fear also associated with electing Kucinich. In Part Three, I discussed Kucinich’s time as Mayor of Cleveland and how the GOP slander machine stating “he drove Cleveland into bankruptcy” is an out right lie. Today we are moving on to the real important stuff - issues.

I have heard a lot of talk from the candidates stating “any Democrat running for President will be better than Bush.” I believe that sentiment is true. But I also believe there are varying degrees of HOW MUCH BETTER they will be than Bush. In the comments in the previous parts of this series, there are claims that the changes we (The People) want to make to this country “can’t be done.” “The shift is too fast, these things will take time to change.” Oh I hope not.

We have 50 million people in this nation without health care. The rest of us have health insurance that is precarious. My wife just got a letter from our policy holder, Blue Cross, asking whether her recent yearly physical was the result of a work related injury - she has been out of the workforce for over ten years, yet we had to go through the damn motions with these chuckle-heads to get the claim paid. If it was something serious like cancer, I can’t imagine the red tape that would get thrown at our face. With Americans daily needing health care that either allows them to live or die, this is not a problem we can gradually ease our way out of. We need swift, decisive legislation and leadership to get us out of this mess. Kucinich is the lone candidate that has universal health care for all as part of his platform - everyone else is offering “insurance.” I have enough of insurance. Haven’t you?

Our jobs are being sucked out of this country at an alarming rate. A very alarming rate. When I was growing up in the real town of Dobson, NC, the town of 1,200 people was teeming with textile mills. They were everywhere. Even the gas station across from the court house had rented out one of the car repair bays to a guy who was making socks day and night. Jobs were plentiful, parents could send their kids to UNC or NC State and there was enough money to retire at 60. That was the horrible days of the Carter Administration in 1980. When Reagan got into office, the borders began to open for business and the jobs from my hometown were siphoned off and weren’t replaced with new jobs. Now, the number one industry in North Carolina is logging. People in that Congressional District (NC-05) have had to go through “skill retraining” several times since then. You simply can’t have a single career anymore in rural America. Hell, you can’t even keep the same employer for more than four years - right about when you would receive matching funds for your 401K you find yourself out of work. Now, 27 years later, our economic base, the middle class has been pushed off a cliff and they (we) are tumbling toward a very nasty end. Our open border policies need to be clamped shut and not over the span of three decades. We need to exit NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and the WTO today, now, 10 minutes ago. Which candidate has this as a policy? Take a guess. Kucinich. And oddly enough, this actually makes him appealing to conservatives.

This brings us to the mother-fucking war. BushCo wants another $50 billion on top of all the other requests. Hillary wants to keep troops there, Obama wants to take our time getting out of Iraq. Biden wants to split Iraq into three pieces and keep troops there (that means we will be fighting a six front civil war). No thanks. We need out, we need out now. Kucinich is the only one willing to state the obvious - the war was a failure and we need to get out. He was the only one in the race not snookered into voting for the damn thing to begin with. Hillary was for the war up until six months before the 2006 election. If it took her that long to figure out the war was an idiotic idea, then for me, she doesn’t have the mental capabilities to get this nation out of the cesspool of despair we are in.

If you look at Kucinich’s voting record and his anthology of submitted legislation over the past 10 years, they read as if written by someone with prescient abilities. I am not saying he is a soothsayer or a prophet from Ohio, I am saying he is one smart guy and we need more of people like him in Congress, not less.

Our nation is in serious trouble and we have long since passed the point where half-measures would make any difference. Unless we get a President that is willing to actually take, Honest-To-God bold steps, we may be seeing the last days of Jefferson’s America.

Hillary, Obama and Edwards would be an improvement to what we currently have in the White House, but their histories show they are ill-equipped to handle the challenges ahead of us.

Only Dennis Kucinich has risked ridicule and even his political career to do the right thing. His political past has been nothing BUT a series of career-ending decisions, but every decision has been for the benefit for the citizens, never corporate interests. That is why he keeps getting re-elected.

He is the only one that has ever gone out on a limb for We The People. Now, I wonder how many VOTERS will join him? How many will join the Second American Revolution?

Friday, September 7, 2007

On the Need for the Progressive Movement to commit to victory

     This is a post I put up over at my DailyKos diary about a week ago. I thought I'd post it here for comments and criticism:

     This is in response to calls that I see from well-meaning progressives that our principles should be sacrificed in the name of the immediate 'winning' of an election. To be specific, I'm talking about the progressives who have already dismissed Dennis Kucinich as being 'unelectable' and in preference prefer one of the other Democratic candidates who, while they surely are more easily elected than Dennis Kucinich, do not represent a major shift in policy from the current Republican administration.

     What I might ask is, at what point do we start putting in the effort to make the 'unelectable' electable? The progressive movement, like any other movement, is supposed to deal with challenges and often even defeat. But I believe it's important that our goal is always clear and we strive towards it. Each time we neglect a progressive candidate and start campaigning and supporting one which does not adequately represent our values, we distort our message to those we are trying to convince. Political campaigning is not simply about getting more votes for an upcoming election, political campaigning is an education process by which the political consciousness of the average American should be transformed. When people go out and campaign for a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton, the people that we are trying to get interested in politics get the wrong message. They see otherwise intelligent progressives enthusiastically supporting minor refinements to the status quo. This not only leads to a lack of interest in politics, because of course if the candidates from both parties have very similar views and in the end will do more or less the same thing then it's pointless to care which one wins, it also makes it unclear which principles one should defend. Instead of trying to convince Americans that peace and diplomacy are important, people who hear the campaigning of the conservative Democrat supporters get the message that war, as long as it's waged effectively against the inherently evil terrorists, is perfectly fine. And then what happens once the conservative Democrat comes to office and disappoints the American people? Those who are jaded by this event may turn to the GOP having associated the problems with the Democratic administration with progressive values themself, which they were told that their candidates embodied.

     Imagine how much more effective a progressive movement would be that, instead of sacrificing its message to support the lesser evil of the two corporate-approved candidates, spent its time and efforts convincing Americans of the need for progressive change, to distrust what they hear on the corporate-owned media, and to commit to their principles and the struggle for real change. It may not be able to win the next election, but a movement that stuck to its principles would gather momentum and eventually would achieve success. In addition, members who see the movement as being dynamic, principled, and committed to actually changing the country are much more likely to be enthusiastic about it and help propagate it. A movement which has no apparent principles and is not commited to significant change is not going to excite any interest.

     The conservatives in power must feel very lucky. After 8 years of some of the worst administration that they could dish out, the progressive movement appears to already be giving up on the historic opportunity that this gives it. In a political environment where an end to the Iraq war is a highly politically favored position, many on the left refuse to support a pro-peace candidate and prefer to support one which wants to end the war as soon as 'possible' (where the 'possibility' of ending the war depends on when the imperialist objectives that originally started it will be accomplished). I think it's time that the progressive movement lives up to its name, both in the sense that it should be progressive, but also in the sense that it should 'move' and work towards long-term progress.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Don't let the media decide your vote for you

    Here's a good video to spread around the web. YouTube source here.

Monday, September 3, 2007

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