Who Says Kucinich Doesn't Have A Chance
by Rob Kall
August 30, 2003
Dennis Kucinich is my choice for Democratic candidate for president. He beats all the others by light years when it comes to clearly defining policies and positions that resonate with my politics. Most progressives I talk to agree that he's the most progressive of the candidates. But they almost all say he doesn't have a chance. A lot of them have heaved themselves onto the Dean Juggernaut.
Now, I don't dislike Dean. I could vote for him. But it would be a compromise. As one liberal colleague observed, you don't have to settle with Kucinich. It's not a compromise, progressive politics-wise.
I'll cut to the chase on this article. Kucinich came in second in the MoveOn.org primary. He beat out Kerry, Lieberman, Edwards, Gephart, Graham, Mosely-Braun and Sharpton. During the voting in the primary, my web-stats magic predicted, within less than one percent error, that Dean would win and what percentage he'd win with. I took a fresh look at those stats, which are based on the web activity of hundreds of thousands of people-- not a few hundred, or a thousand, like most polls. And Kucinich came in fourth. That puts him ahead of Lieberman, ahead of Edwards and Graham-- three players who are seen as serious contenders.
I know. But Kucinich's recognition factor is really low. That's true. But something interesting is going on here and it suggests that just like Dean roared out of the bottom of the pile, Kucinich has more to his campaign than meets the ordinary pollster's political eye.
He is beating three of the serious contenders and not far behind Kerry, the other serious contender. The point is, the people who say that Kucinich doesn't have a chance are wrong. He's already doing better on the web, based on hundreds of thousands of people, than the candidates who the beltway crowd predicted would be on top.
I just got word of another indictor that Kucinich is not nearly as far behind as people say.
Here are some stats from the meetup website, showing the numbers of people signed up for different meet-up groups.
1. Dean in 2004 (>93,200 members)
2. Kucinich in 2004 (>10,200)
3. Clark in 2004 (>10,000)
4. Kerry in 2004 (>9,700)
5. Democratic Party (>3,500)
6. Million Moms (>1,500)
7. Republican Party (>1,300)
8. Edwards in 2004 (>1,200)
9. Gore in 2004 (>1,000)
10. Bush in 2004 (>1,000)
11. Anarchy (>900)
12. Gay Rights (>800)
13. Animal Welfare (>800)
14. Peace (>700)
15. Green Party (>700)
These stats show Kucinich ahead of all the candidates except Dean, who was the one who popularized the meet-up site in the first place. Again, this is not a poll of 500 people, but actual stats representing over 100,000 people.
There is also this talk, patially spewed out of the DLC, that we don't want another McGovern disaster. This is another time, a totally different world and there's no reason to assume that one has anything to do with the other, except, that the faux Democrats of the center (which used to be the moderate republican position until the far right kidnappe the republican party and dragged it into the far right) will use anything they can to scare voters away from real democrats.
Most of the people who like Kucinich who write him off as not having a chance say things like he's too far left or he's a total unknown. I don't think either of these are true. He's a lefty alright. But his policies are right on the money when it comes to labor and unions. And his attitude toward NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO) ought to warm the hearts of workers and corporations that have been killed by the abolishment of all protections from cheapest labor. I will have a hard time voting for a candidate who supports the WTO.
Ralph Nader could bring the Green to the Kucinich table, and has as much as said so. Those extra percentages could swing some states and win the election right there.
Kucinich is a Catholic. He used to oppose abortion. I trust him when he says he's seen the light on this issue. But my guess is his religion might just pull some people away from Bush-- the good Catholics who can no longer stand the smell of Bush and his gang of lying, greedy, corrupt, pigs-- pigs who disrespect people, science, veterans, education and the environment.
Kucinich's health care plan will cover everyone AND save money. He does it by kicking out all the corporations that are grabbing a ttoo big of a percentage of the cost of health care. Kucinich is getting ready to put forward a voting law that will clean up the vote. He's the only politician who's talking about the outrageous, insanity happening at the pentagon, where they have failed-- I call it refused-- to account for over a TRILLION DOLLARS in funds.
One colleague says Kucinich doesn't have the leadership skills. Well, he's been the mayor of Cleveland and that's more and better experience than the senators have. And the city of Cleveland, with 500,000 population, is comparable in size to the populationof Vermont, where Dean was Governor. I know Cleveland went bankrupt when Kucinich was mayor. That happened because he stood up to corporations that were trying to privatize the local power company. One of those corporations that was privatized was at the center of the most recent, and worst Power Blackout in history. Kucinich took a tough stand and the banks and corporations screwed him. But he did the right thing.
Kucinich did the right thing on the war too. He opposed it. You can trust Kucinich to stand up to Megacorporations and that's what America needs. Taking back America is not about taking it back from Bush. Bush is a punk little shit the megacorporations -- oil, defense contractors, automotive, energy -- all manipulate and hide behind. I'm glad he posed for those pics with the flight suit. They will, over time, become part of the massive Bush-the-idiot joke library. But I digress. Taking back America is all about taking it back from mega-corporations and the super rich and giving it back to the people, to small, local businesses.
Kucinich is not a tall man. But when he speaks he roars like a lion, expressing passion and courage, wisdom and intelligence that our country sorely needs.
I'll vote for whichever Democrat wins the primary. But please, even if you're already supporting one candidate, if you're a progressive, take a long, serious look at Kucinich. In your heart, you'll find he's got the best fit. And America needs a man who has the courage, the brains and the vision to lead us. That's what the Republicans say the Democrats don't have. But we do. Kucinich is the right man for the job. And hopefully, he'll find a southern woman as his VP running mate.
Rob Kall is publisher of the progressive news and opinion website Op Ed News.com (www.opednews.com) and organizer of cutting edge meetings that bring together world leaders, such as the Winter Brain Meeting and the StoryCon Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is copyright by Rob Kall, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached