Yesterday saw another victory for you. You managed to get people to vote Hillary and those people managed to show up in more numbers than the young people of America who are inspired by Barack Obama’s clarion call for change. You managed to open this race back up for the establishment favorite, Hillary Clinton. What you did not manage to do is erase Dennis Kucinich from this election yet in the same manner you erased Mike Gravel.
Now, I’ll admit. The difference between Gravel and Kucinich is profound. Kucinich holds a seat in Congress that has allowed him to impeach and hold accountable the forces or powers that be even when the Democratic establishment has decided it is not worth it to do so. Gravel holds no seat and so while Dennis can get attention for his campaign by talking about actions taken in Congress or hearings held, Gravel cannot, which is why the only news headlines he has made have been from YouTube videos that have caught people’s attention.
You would have thought after keeping him out of Iowa and after being complicit in his exclusion by Disney and ABC recently from a debate, he would be gone. After getting 0% in Iowa and 1% in New Hampshire, how could that be a good sign for Dennis’ campaign when such numbers show he has no chance? And those national polls in the media show him just below 5%...how could he keep campaigning when he will never win?
Yet, you have failed to take out a true voice of discourse and voice of the American people. You have failed to keep Dennis Kucinich from reaching Americans and filling them with hope for change that is far greater in magnitude than what Barack Obama or John Edwards calls for. You have failed to narrow the field down to a healthy narrative that is profitable and historical: black man vs. white woman. More importantly, you have failed to make this nomination about the man who can lead the most on the issues that need the most leadership.
You have chosen to play it safe again, which will cost American lives and possibly your establishment the election. You have chosen to play it safe on the Iraq war and especially a future war with Iran or Pakistan. You have chosen to play it safe on No Child Left Behind as evidenced by the New Hampshire debate where Richardson spoke about getting rid of it and yet all the other candidates looked expressionless when that was said. You have chosen now for the third time (the first in 2000 with Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and the second in 2004 with John Kerry and John Edwards) to ignore the need for single-payer health care system and settle once again for a managed health care system that would be cloaked under the description “affordable health care.” You have kept discussion of the rise of fascism, “shock doctrine” policy, the economy’s subprime loan scandal and federal reserve problem, and an end to this “war on terror” out of this election.
You have chosen to follow a backwards mantra that words speak louder than actions by claiming you would hold the Bush administration accountable and failing to pursue impeachment or investigations into torture or illegal wiretapping.
For playing it safe, it is this Democratic Party that will suffer. Safety will lead to populism exiting this election. People will become less enthused as they realize that who you are putting up for election will only create the veneer of change and will not actually build the structures for change that should be changed. And it will be you who pays after a Republican wins in 2008 because you chose to alienate the people and keep them out of this process because their influence would have meant giving in to some of their demands.
What exactly do you expect to happen after the Democratic nomination? What do you expect to do about the many potential Democratic voters that are voting for Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Ron Paul who will soon be lost as they join a third party or choose to not vote in 2008? How will you win without these people fueling the fire to elect Obama and Clinton? How will you win a lesser of two evils election that you have lost in the past two presidential elections?
How will you bridge a divide that has one half of the Democratic voters spitting in the face of Hillary and refusing to shake her hand and one other half defending her and whining about how unfair people have been? How will you bridge the generational gap---the one between young voters who demand changes in the structures we have created and older voters who just want incremental change from what Bush has changed this country to in the past seven years? How will you end polarized politics and still create the change that is needed without making weak compromises?
You’ve limited the issues that Democratic candidates could make statements on and win votes on. You’ve ignored what’s important to the American people. And you’ve allowed the media and corporations to pick and choose for the American people who they have the right to vote for in the primaries and in November’s election.
You’ve done this all and all the frontrunners except for Dennis Kucinich have played along.