On Tuesday, in the Ohio Democratic primary, Dennis Kucinich lost his seat in Congress. The circumstances behind his demise are why I totally dislike traditional politics.
Redistricting is just another tool used by both major parties in their constant quest for power. It is just one big chess game to see who can outmaneuver the other; there are no lines they will not cross in their pursuit for power and control.
In order to be allowed to play in the game you must demonstrate your patronage and willingness to conform to unwritten rules. Traditional virtues are of little importance as long as you can show the ability to win the vote and convince the leadership that you are on their team. Neither party cares much about principle. If you are charismatic, articulate and handsome, they will find the money to support your candidacy.
Dennis was courageous and outspoken, but irrelevant even in his own party. He couldn’t be counted on to follow the party line. He wasn’t taken seriously and was considered simply a somewhat entertaining sideshow by his colleagues. The real bottom line was he became an irritant to both parties. His biggest problem wasn’t his diminutive stature; it was that he wasn’t willing to play by the party rules. He was actually concerned with the plight of America and the average citizen!
But his political demise may be greatly exaggerated. Dennis has always been underestimated, and he may return with a vengeance. He is still one smart cookie!
At the Boulder County Democrats’ Truman Dinner on September 24th I heard from one of my two or three favorite politicians. One of the things that make Dennis Kucinich so special is his willingness to speak the truth regardless of the political consequences.
In this day and age when to be successful in politics you need to play along to get along, he is exceptionally different. He is considered too extreme by many in his own party. How he has been able to survive in this political world of money and patronage is somewhat of a mystery.
He is obviously a very polished and experienced politician, but the power brokers in Congress also realize he is just a side show that has no real chance of upsetting the apple cart. His truth telling makes the legislators feel good about their pretended moral compass, although they have no intention of actually supporting his unconventional ideas. Amen, but don’t forget to pass the hat.
He is someone who actually advocates for the rights of the people, who believes in the power of truth, who really believes that democracy is about the survival of an educated, engaged and informed citizenry.
He wants to change the structure of some of our basic institutions to benefit the public, move the central bank into the treasury, reform the fractional reserve system, install meaningful regulations on too big to fail banks. He understands that you can’t have social justice without economic justice. It is my opinion that neither major party wants to change the system, only continue their struggle for control of the system. It is this us against them attitude, this war between ideologues with no real regard for the welfare of the citizens that has gotten us to the point we are today!