Tag: Cynthia McKinney

Some questions after an interesting few weeks.

It’s been quite interesting the past few weeks as far as what’s been going on and the blogosphere’s reaction towards the happenings. I thought it might be a good idea to ask some questions and see what the responses are. I have my own thoughts, of course, but it would be interesting to see yours and the reasoning behind them.

Free the Gaza 21!

It’s rather interesting to read various ‘progressive’ and left blogs about the capture of the Gaza 21. Let’s face it, the response has been splotchy at best. There have been several, such as Dandelion Salad, which have made the right choice (IMHO) on the issue. They’re calling for the release of the Gaza 21. I think they also understand that if it were any other crisis which this happened in, everyone not on the right would be calling for their release.

Why does Israel own Obama?

So let’s get this straight.  Somali pirates capture an American civilian ship captain, and Obama sends in the Navy Seals to kill the kidnappers.   Obama’s the Big Man for this.

Iran has a near-revolution, and Obama vehemently supports the rioters, talking a big game about human rights, and Democracy, and all that stuff …  

But Israel captures one of our American citizens, kidnaps her right off a boat which is carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, something Obama recommended we do, and he says not a damn word.

Not only is this woman an American citizen, she’s a former House member and was a Presidential Candidate.  Furthermore, another person kidnapped off this boat, by Israel, was Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire.

When it comes to Israel, Obama is nothing but a big pussy.

Why is that?  

“Strategic” voting doesn’t work.

Also available in teal.

Every time I state my intention to vote, or that I have voted, for a write-in candidate for president I am blasted with vitriol about how I’ve wasted my vote, or that I’ve helped the Republicans win.  To that I say, “bullshit.”  Why do I say this?  I say it because it’s true.

We are told that our options are limited to a choice between “bad” and “worse.”  “Good” is denounced as “perfect,” the “enemy” of the “good,” but this overlooks the fact that no one expects or asks for “perfect.”  We want good politicians who will represent our interests in public office – that’s it.  We don’t expect miracles, or even success 100% of the time, but we do expect and demand that those we elect to power try their best.

It is a sick joke to be told that our votes for third party, independent, or write-in candidates are a waste, and it’s nothing short of fear-mongering to threaten a Republican victory if we don’t throw our principles out the window.  We’re lectured about how there is “too much at stake” in the current election cycle to vote our principles now, that we can vote our principles next time.  The best we can do, or so we’re told, is to vote for Democrats and hope they’re not as bad as the Republicans.

Again, this overlooks certain facts, chief among them being that there’s always going to be “too much at stake.”  That mythical “next” election cycle during which we shall be free to vote our beliefs and principles isn’t going to come as long as we continue to throw our votes away on politicians who represent the establishment and maintain the current regime.  What good does it do us on the left to compromise our principles if the result is always the same: bad politicians who support the status quo?

The strategy of electing “more and better” Democrats doesn’t work because we keep voting for the same corrupt politicians who say one thing but do another, namely, alienating progressives and disenfranchising voters.  As the last two years have shown us, we cannot hope to reform the Democratic Party from within because it has been thoroughly compromised by the lure of money and power.  The number of actual progressive Democrats shrinks every cycle, as the base wakes up to this fact and leaves the party.  It doesn’t help that the duopoly has the assistance of the corporate-owned media, which actively suppresses dissenting voices during campaign coverage.  This is illustrated by the marginalization and elimination of Democrats Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and John Edwards in last year’s debates.

This inevitably leads to weak corporate candidates such as Al Gore, John Kerry, and now Barack Obama for president.  Each of these politicians ran right-leaning campaigns against their hard right Republican counterparts, thus ensuring that voters would see little or no fundamental difference between them.  This, combined with weak campaigns that allowed the opposition to define the candidates, allowed the GOPhers to get just enough of the vote to steal the elections.  That the votes were so close in the first place speaks volumes about how low the Democrats have sunk in terms of putting up viable candidates; Gore and Kerry should have soundly defeated the shrub, by double digits, in their respective campaigns.  Instead, they ran so far to the political right that they turned off their party’s base.

Finally, there is the imperious attitude among partisan Democrats that none of this matters – it is up to the voters to shut up and go along, rather than the politicians listening to their employers and running effective, progressive campaigns.  That this turns off the base and drives it to look elsewhere for representation should have been a harsh wakeup call to Democrats to re-evaluate their core beliefs, failed strategies and tactics, and unearned sense of entitlement to non-Republican votes, but this hasn’t happened.

So we end up back where we began, on the losing end of elections that should have been in the bag.  If progressives are to break the cycle and have a chance of competing with the corporate duopoly, we must recognize that failed strategies must be abandoned.

Help these Progressives in their campaigns!

Dennis Kucinich is running for re-election to his House seat in Ohio’s 10th District.  Please donate to his campaign.


Cindy Sheehan is running to unseat Nancy Pelosi in California’s 8th District.  She needs your help to remove the failed speaker.


Anthony Pollina is running for governor of Vermont on the Progressive Party ticket.


Also on the Progressive Party ticket in Vermont is state attorney general candidate Charlotte Dennett, who vows to prosecute the shrub for murder.


Thomas Hermann, an Iraq war veteran running on an anti-war platform, is another Progressive – he’s running for the U.S. House of Representatives.


Ralph Nader is running for president again.  I’m not voting for him, for reasons I’ll explain later, but I do support his message.


Cynthia McKinney is running for president on the Green Party ticket.  She, more than Nader, perhaps has the organizational power to make some kind of impact in November.  She isn’t going to win, obviously, in this rigged system – but enough votes may begin to help build the Green Party further.


Please donate whatever you can to these progressive candidates.

How not to talk to Progressives during the campaign.

Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for president, and because this is a crucial election year it is only natural for Democrats to try to win over progressives — especially the disaffected variety turned off by your candidate’s hard right turns.  If you plan to do this, choosing to ignore Obama’s strategy of pandering to right-wing and bigot voters who’ll never cast ballots for him, good for you.  But there are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind as you venture forth.

1.) Whatever you do, don’t threaten people with a McCain victory if they don’t vote for Obama.  For one thing, people don’t like to be threatened; for another, if a voter isn’t convinced that your candidate will govern any better than McCain, it’s a fairly useless thing to do anyway.  It’s best if you avoid doing this altogether.

2.) Whatever you do, do NOT bash Ralph Nader or any third party candidate.  Criticize if you will, but do NOT attack.  The reason for this is that true progressives, while partisan in a broader ideological sense, are not so in terms of supporting specific political parties.  More often than not, we vote for individual candidates who have the records to back up their rhetoric than we are to vote along party lines.  If you must criticize Ralph Nader, focus on this argument: “it takes an organized political party to win power, starting from the ground and working up, and though I respect Ralph I don’t think he’s going about this the right way.”  Don’t mention ego or stealing Democratic votes (ballots belong to no political party), even if that’s what you think, because neither argument is true and it has a tendency to turn people off who might otherwise consider your candidate.

3.) Listen to what people’s concerns.  Remember, Obama is running as the pseudo-change candidate.  Even if true progressives feel compelled to vote for him out of misguided notions of pragmatism, they still care about the issues that matter.  Don’t brush them off or try to convince them that once Obama is elected they needn’t worry, because they have every reason to worry.  Don’t be condescending; listen to people.

4.) Finally, talk about the issues, know them by heart, and have solid responses to questions — especially those coming from Nader or McKinney supporters.  Obama MUST be able to address their concerns.  If he can’t, and if you can’t, you’re better off not bothering.

That’s pretty much it.  If you follow these steps, you might succeed in swaying a few progressives.  If not, don’t complain when you receive the proverbial cold shoulder.