I feel utterly hateful and dispirited. Last night, because we live in a democracy, (MS)NBC decided that Dennis Kucinich, a legitimate candidate for President of the United States should not be allowed to debate Clinton, Edwards and Obama. (MS)NBC already showed its contempt for Kucinich by asking him about a passage in a Shirley McClain book where she writes that he saw a UFO. “This is a legitimate question,” Tim Fat-Boy Russert deadpanned. Ok. Then why didn’t he ask Hillary about killing Vince Foster?
(Side note – As pointed out on a Talk of the Nation a few weeks ago, “Hillary” cannot be construed, as some would claim, as denigrating Hillary since all of her campaign signs read…well…Hillary)
Kucinich’s answer to the UFO question should have cinched the deal right there. “Yes, I did,” he said, “and so did Ronald Reagan”. He didn’t back down from the question. “I don’t know what it was. That’s why it was unidentified.” Even if you hate Kucinich you had to respect him. There was no bullshit or spin in his answer.
The mantra of this election is, stupidly enough, “change”. Which is basically the mantra of every election, especially when the White House is thankfully up for grabs. bush fucked up so badly that nobody wants to continue down the path to The Rapture that he’s halfway down already. It was the same thing when Clinton left – “we want something brand new,” everybody cried, “give us CHANGE!”
Chris Rock said it best more than a decade ago – why do we ooh and aah when a politician says something like “all babies should eat”? And yet, here we are again listening to campaigns costing $50m dollars talk about “real change” and “remaking government” and “fixing democracy”. And here we are again buying the same tired line like a barfly thinking that this next drink will be the last one and everything will be fine. Even worse, we know instinctively that democracy will not get fixed. Otherwise it wouldn’t cost $50m a head to fix it.
Every election delivers a candidate that actually would bring change. Anderson, Perot, Nader and now Kucinich and Paul. You would think that the fourth estate, the folks responsible for telling truth to power and other such platitudes, would relish an election where the status quo was actually at stake. But, as their ball-gagged submissive performance in the lead up to Oil War 2.0 showed, that’s not the case. Rather than the guardians of democracy they are the guardians for democracy – get too close and suddenly you’re seeing UFOs and getting swiftboated on live TV by Tim Russert.
Throughout this all, ObaRomClintiani supporters chat earnestly about the need for really ever so-slight change (a tweak, really) that, while targeting a favorite issue, does nothing to address the root rot that calmly spreads, Zelig-like, until a tiny change seems like a revolution.
Dear sweet jesus, I sound like I should be on a street-corner with a bottle of Mad Dog 20-20 in my hand.
The point I was actually trying to get to is this – if you want change vote for actual fucking change. I spent 20mins on the phone with a friend as he twisted, turned and pirouetted around the fact that, while Kucinich was the only true Liberal Democrat (or even Democrat-Democrat) in the race, wasn’t he really just taking votes away from someone who had a shot at winning the presidency and shouldn’t we put the emphasis on getting a democrat into the office instead of someone who represent his actual beliefs? How many times do you hear this? How many times do you listen to someone and feel your heart pounding in your chest because their vision is your vision – their dreams are your dreams – only to find yourself saying, “well, isn’t he a little short to be president” or “but would the rest of the country really go for this?”
Well, they would and many do. Kucinich is not crazy nor all that radical. He’s well spoken and intelligent. Why doesn’t the rest of the country know this? Because “news” outlets made editorial decisions that excluded fully covering what should be the most important event in American life – the election of our President. He comes across as radical because the only press he can get is in radical newspapers. It’s the same thing with Ron Paul. They make the fatal mistake of starting with actual beliefs. Kucinich and Paul are truly anti-war – period. They’re not voting to invade Iran. They’re not apologizing for voting for Iraq or the Patriot Act. They’re not coyly qualifying their position. They’re anti-war.
If you are truly anti-war then you cannot vote for anyone else. You can’t. If you believe the culture of War-On (drugs, terror, obesity) is a waste of time and should be scrapped then you can vote for anyone else. You can’t.
If you believe in actual substantive change then stop looking at your neighbors’ paper and vote with your heart. When people stop pretending their pollsters and politicians then they’ll stop second guessing each other and perhaps true change will come.
Of course, I could just be drunk.