Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Polemic by Alison Ross

Fear Not What Your Country Can Do
by Alison Ross

I could just weep when I think about the sincerity and integrity that 2008 Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich exudes. In fact, I have cried over things he has said, and the things he stands for. Never mind that he's a Democrat. Sure, that party is crawling with corporate creeps, no different, in the end, than The Republicans. Oh, sure, I'll take any Democrat over Bush or Cheney or Condi, but that's because our country is in desperate straits, not because most Democratic candidates represent anything resembling reality for millions and millions of Americans.

Let's face it: Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama, John Edwards, et. al - these candidates represent Wall Street interests, not people interests. The only reason they look even remotely "good" is because our vision is tainted by the tyranny of Bush. "Anyone but Bush," we wail out in anguished tones. Of course, we don't really mean that - we wouldn't take Charles Manson, for example, over Bush, even though Bush undeniably mimics Manson's psychopathic approach to life in some regards. The point is, we're desperate for change, and Diet Bush, in the form of a corporate Democrat, seems palatable to us. We have actually sunk that low.

I could also weep over how many so-called progressives take on a cowardly, defeatist attitude when it comes to Dennis Kucinich. These so-called progressives have self-inflicted spine-wounds that impair their ability to stand erect and fight for what's good and just. They claim admiration for Kucinich while offering up their full-fledged support for charlatans like Barrack Obama or Hillary Clinton. They support hypocrite Hillary, who during her husband's reign pushed for universal health care but who now is the largest recipient of healthcare industry money among all politicians. Or they back oily Obama, whose rhetoric sounds progressive yet is void of concrete ideas, and who claims to be anti-corporate but in fact accepts such donations which in turn shackle him to corporate pimps.

Dennis Kucinich, on the other hand, runs a campaign funded by the people, and by himself. He only accepts donations from common people like you and me, because we are who he represents. He believes in social democracy for the people, not socialism for the corporate and wealthy.

These so-called progressives who claim admiration for Kucinich refuse to support him on the inane pretex that "He's not electable." Since when did a TRUE progressive back someone based on their electability? That's a defeatist attitude and only perpetuates Kucinich's perceived unelectability. If everyone who said that they liked Kucinich but wouldn't vote for him because he was unelectable actually had the testicles or ovaries to vote for him, then Kucinich WOULD be electable. He would be electable because people who claimed they liked his ideas actually voted for him, and gave him a chance to shine.

But so-called progressives are not really progressive if they follow the absurd line of thinking that says, "I like everything he says, but he doesn't have a chance, so I will not vote for him." They are cowards, not progressives. They are not worthy of Kucinich, in the end, because they vote their fear, not their conscience. Kucinich is a man of creative and courageous conscience and of pristine principles. People who think that Obama or Hillary have much in the way of scruples have no scruples themselves. They can't see through the flimsy facades of these Mockeries of Democracy. They willfully gouge out their eyes so they can't discern the rude reality. They are weak because they cannot countenance the truth.

Sure, perhaps Dennis' ideas are rather bold for some more conservative types. Perhaps even if progressives did band together and nominated Kucinich, Kucinich would still face an uphill battle in order to get elected over whatever neo-con candidate du jour was being served up. After all, Kucinich is not safe, because he seeks the truth, and the truth is frightening.

But buried deep inside even the most stalwart conservative types is a progressive persona. In the end, we ALL have a peaceful potential, a compassionate core that only needs to be stirred from its slumber. For that's what progressivism truly is: compassionate concern for all sentient creatures, and for the earth which cradles us.

Here is just a sampling of the luminous ideals Kucinich espouses, from Kucinich For President 2008 :


Dennis Kucinich is the only Presidential Candidate with a plan for a Universal Single Payer, NOT FOR PROFIT Healthcare system, known as Medicare for All.

The plan is embodied in HR 676 the Conyers-Kucinich bill, written by Dennis Kucinich & John Conyers

The plan covers all healthcare needs, including dental care, mental health care, vision care, prescription drugs, and long-term care - at NO extra cost!

Kucinich's plan, HR 676, is supported by 78 Members of Congress , more than 260 Union Locals , and 14,000 physicians and is endorsed by the New Hampshire House of Representatives.


Two points of Kucinich's 12-point plan:

1. The US announces it will end the occupation, close military bases and withdraw. The insurgency has been fueled by the occupation and the prospect of a long-term presence as indicated by the building of permanent bases. A US declaration of an intention to withdraw troops and close bases will help dampen the insurgency which has been inspired to resist colonization and fight invaders and those who have supported US policy. Furthermore this will provide an opening where parties within Iraq and in the region can set the stage for negotiations towards peaceful settlement.

3. Order a simultaneous return of all US contractors to the United States and turn over all contracting work to the Iraqi government. The contracting process has been rife with world-class corruption, with contractors stealing from the US Government and cheating the Iraqi people, taking large contracts and giving 5% or so to Iraqi subcontractors.

Read the full Iraq proposal here


Kucinich says:

The EPA under the Bush Administration has stood for Every Polluter's Ally. The air and the water and the land are viewed by this administration as just another commodity to be used for private profit. We as a nation must turn our efforts towards the great work of restoring our air and our water and our land. We must view our natural resources as the common property of all humanity -- even more, as the commonwealth of all humanity. And so my candidacy arises from a philosophy of interdependence and interconnection, which respects the environment as a precondition for our survival.

I am not tied to any corporate interests that would strip our forests or pollute our air or water. Throughout my career, I have worked for structures of law that protect the environment, and the principles that animate my campaign are principles of sustainability. The principles that animate my life are principles of sustainability.


Kucinich says:

As a necessary component of the living world, we must extend compassion to one another and to every living thing. Our mission as human beings can truly be to elevate this world from a condition of suffering and cruelty to the planet's creatures, and towards a condition of compassion and inherent respect. Through elevating the cause of every creature, we elevate our own humanity.

We lift up the cause of humanity by reaching out and connecting with all things living. It is our sense of interconnection with all living things that brings us to respect the rights of animals; to understand that animals are not to be "lower than"; that animals should not have less of a claim to existence, less of a claim to the possibility of survival, less of a claim to dignity.


Kucinich says:

Our country is a nation of immigrants. They have enriched our heritage and enlivened our culture. As millions of newcomers continue to work hard, raise families, serve in our armed forces, and study at universities, the Bush administration has waged an assault on immigrant's rights. Undocumented workers have been left in legal limbo, while local police forces have been pressured against their will to hunt down undocumented workers, which jeopardizes their relationships with immigrant communities. Thousands of immigrants have been detained in secret, denied due process, and deported.

In the economic sphere, undocumented workers have become convenient scapegoats. Yet the reality, as shown in study after study, is that they pay more in taxes than they receive in government services.


Kucinich says:

The "Patriot Act" is not what American patriots have fought and died for. To allow our Bill of Rights to be nullified without judicial supervision invites tyranny. The Attorney General has been handed unfettered power to wiretap, search, jail, and invade our most sacred right to privacy. The government must not be allowed, without probable cause or warrant, to snoop on our communications, medical records, library records, and student records.

Dennis Kucinich is dazzlingly forthright and compassionate. He's a dream candidate, and his values and dedication are on par with the great peace-wagers like Gandhi.

Here's what I propose for people who love everything Kucinich stands for but end up voting for corporate cowards like Hillary or Obama. Give these people their own island where Hillary or Obama can be president, and where they can continue the lovely legacy of imperalist wars, constitution shreddings, and corporate giveways. These voters do not deserve Kucinich. Only people with courage and conviction deserve Kucinich.

Or, these so-called progressives can let go of their cravenly fears and vote for the very person whose values they claim to cherish and even emulate. They can become full-fledged progressives; they can enter into the gleaming being that they truly are. They can dissolve their fears and push toward a REAL social democracy.

America can be a nation of courage and conviction if we reach for the peak of our potential. To do that, we have to persistently push for progressive ideals.

Postscript: As Clockwise Cat went to press, the Kucinich campaign was engaged in a heated exchange with ABC over a cover-up of its Democratic Debates poll results, wherein Kucinich emerged as the clear leader. ABC also cropped Kucinich out of photo of all the Democratic candidates. This story basically verifies what most progressives already know: the media conspires to shape a given candidate's viability (which in turn shapes public opinion). Given that Kucinich is anti-corporate while the other candidates AND the media are owned by corporations, it should be no surprise that such savaging of Democracy takes place. The sunny side of this story is that clearly, Kucinich poses a threat, or there wouldn't be such asinine attempts to muffle his message. Read the whole story here: Kucinich Wins Debate Poll, ABC Covers Up Results

No comments: