But is it a useful or appropriate response to the current campaign scene?
I think not.
Idealism died in this country some time in the 1970's. With the possible exception of Jimmy Carter (and I'm not letting even him entirely off the hook), we haven't had a Presidential candidate offer true hope and optimism that transcended pious platitudes since the Kennedy years. Neither party has acquitted itself particularly well when it comes to the task of providing the nation with a choice between statesmen and leaders; rather, we've generally faced a selection of Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber. Too often, we've voted for the lesser of two, not evils exactly, but more like two empty suits.
And far too often the excuse offered for such insipid lack of insight or analysis into the candidates and their stands on issues has been the invisible cloak of "electability." Rep. Dennis Kucinich represents real and serious change in this country. I happen to support him but even if I didn't, I'd commend an open discussion of his viewpoint, his ideas, his dreams and ideals and hopes for our country. But he scarcely gets any media attention at all.
I recently ran a quick search on Google News, which indexes 4,500 news sources around the clock. I don't know how far back in time their searches go, but what I do know is that if you search for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards, you'll find upwards of 19,000 mentions. Sen. Clinton approaches 30,000. How many times is Kucinich's name mentioned? 1,932. Just under 10% as often as Edwards (19,099) and Obama (20,394).
Particularly this early in the process, I think those media folks -- and citizens who allow them not only to get away with their shoddy and shallow coverage but are influenced by it -- do the nation a grave injustice. Electability isn't a trait you can bestow on a candidate. It is, rather, something that the candidate earns over an election cycle. To the extent that we allow overworked and under-qualified journalists to dictate the terms of the debate, we should not be surprised to find ourselves constantly saddled with White House occupants who are not deserving of the title of "President."