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Hello, My Name Is Kevin and I am a Recovering Democrat

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During January of this year, while on my semester break, I sat back in awe as I watched the mainstream media keep Dennis Kucinich out of the debates and effectively put an end to his quixotic campaign.

Kucinich dropped out in January to return to Cleveland and save his congressional seat.

After Dennis dropped out, I wasn't sure what to do. I knew too much about Obama to throw my support to him. I spent the next few months thinking less of Kucinich for letting up on impeachment and read up on the candidacy of Mike Gravel because he had not dropped out. This gave me the ability to not support a corporate pro-war Democrat and still maintain active participation in the election.

After listening to a few interviews and reading his book, Citizen Power, it was clear that I had been unfair when arguing for the debates to be opened up for Dennis Kucinich and not Mike Gravel.

While Dennis Kucinich uttered many great lines during the Democratic debates, it is Mike Gravel who we owe for alerting the American public to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment during the debates by confronting Hillary. If a war with Iran erupts, the amendment will be pinpointed as one of the first acts of war against Iran.

I also began to participate in rallies in Chicago and began to organize small protest events with the World Can't Wait ---Drive Out the Bush Regime chapter in Chicago.

The members, who are exceptional individuals, taught me the significance of acting outside the system and not relying on voting for change.

In April, Ralph Nader announced that he would be running yet again on Meet the Press. Elated with joy, I found another way to not have to support Barack Obama and I was convinced that I could do so much good for this nation by supporting and participating in the Nader campaign.

Up until a medical emergency in May, I was planning on Road Tripping for Ralph all summer to help him gain access to ballots in as many states possible. For myself, his campaign became a historic campaign to end ballot access obstructionism and put a dent in the political bigotry so many Americans have towards third party and Independent candidates. At this point, it still is and the next step is to achieve 10% in a national poll and get into the Google debate.

After surgery, I peeled myself off of my hospital bed, defied the wishes of my family who wanted me to stay home, and went to the National Conference for Media Reform sponsored by Free Press. This conference exposed me to more people frustrated with the Democratic Party and ready for something more than what Democrats were putting on the table.

The highlight of the conference was seeing Phil Donahue present his documentary Body of War, which showed the two parties that dominate American politics supporting war and ignoring the words and wisdom of the great Sen. Robert Byrd. A close second was John Nichols' statement that if the debates did not include Barr, Nader, and McKinney this fall they would not be fair debates.

In July, I ended my vacation on the Outer Banks in North Carolina early and hopped on an airplane to Chicago to help cover the Green Party National Convention. The conduct of the presidential finalists during the presidential forum the night before the official vote for the nomination exposed me to a level of civility between candidates that is rarely seen in Democratic or Republican debates.

The highlight of the convention on a personal level was when a Green Party candidate for a local election in Illinois walked up to me and said, "Hey, aren't you that guy that writes for OpEdNews? You're a Kucinich supporter."

On a different level, the lack of media attendance to the few press conferences despite the enthusiasm of many in attendance---many who themselves are Green Party candidates in local and state elections nationwide---was hard to stomach. It was only made worse when Rosa Clemente, McKinney's VP, drew attention to the fact that news publications that profess to be liberal or progressive were not here covering the convention, which in contrast to the Democratic Party was actually nominating a candidate whose campaign would advance progressive ideas.

Now, I am prepared to participate in actions in Denver to voice my discontent with the Democratic Party and support the Nader/Gonzalez campaign and the McKinney/Clemente campaign at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

I have polled people here on OpEdNews and there is widespread support for such action. I will make myself present for those who wish to be there but cannot afford to make the trip to the DNC.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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