I Heard Kucinich

Listening to Democracy Now! the other day, I heard Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich actually make sense, and still manage to stay within the confines of a long sound bite. The man’said, If youre for peace, you dont vote for war funding. He was explaining his opposition to the legislation recently passed by the House of Representatives supplying more money to warmonger Bush but also setting a timetable for withdrawal. Hes willing to learn from U.S. partners overseas. In discussing health coverage, he pointed out that his opponents ideas leave intact the system (and Id say power too) of the insurance companies. Kucinich proposes to have a countrywide publicly funded system. The money saved by eliminating the profits that private concerns naturally expect would go a long way towards offsetting such an arrangement. Unfortunately, these and other rational ideas tend to go largely undiscussed, even undisclosed, because Kucinich is not a big-money candidate and the corporate media, constituting the overwhelming majority of the means of communications, will ignore these proposals. Why? Because its easier to focus on the horse race aspect of the election: Oh, gee look, so-and-so is an irrelevant percentage ahead of the other in the polls. Its ridiculous. But theres more to it. These same media are owned by larger corporations with economic interests that are not served by a full and reasoned discussion of issues impacting the common good. What happens when a corporate behemoth with interest in the defense industry owns a major media outlet? How effective will coverage of war and defense spending be? What about energy? What about transportation? Health? You get the picture. Traditionally, DK-like candidates have served to shift the discussion in the proper direction simply by being present. This, combined with the breathing room the November congressional power shift created for reasoned, analysis-based decision making, it might even be worth hoping for more in this election cycle. Plus, Kucinich seemed much more eloquent, smoother, than I remember him being four years ago when he ran for president too. Here we have an opportunity. Given the interest generated by the continuing Armenia’s and the Left conferences, its clear that end of the political spectrum in our community is hankering for greater relevance and impact. They have an opportunity to get on board a presidential campaign that can be believed in. Whether he wins or is defeated, if we become involved in the mechanics of a presidential campaign, we gain very valuable experience that can then be used in future settings. Having such competence to offer to campaigns can only enhance our political stature and ability to pursue our goals on the federal level. If youre interested, jump in, whether it be Kucinichs or any other candidates local (or larger) infrastructure. Do let the ANC know though. If the effort is undervalued by lack of coherence, it wont be as effective.

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