Monday, February 04, 2008

My Vote In Ohio's Primary

I post this the day before Super Tuesday, which is tomorrow, February 5th, 2008. My state, Ohio, holds its primary on March 4th. As you may already know, I was backing Kucinich for president. Of all the candidates running for president at the time, his were the positions that most closely match my own on the issues important to America. On health care, I favor a single-payer not for profit system. Kucinich has introduced HR 676, which if passed would bring about such a health care revolution.

Kucinich's positions on the environment, on jobs, on ending NAFTA and U.S. participation in the World trade Organization, are also positions I hold. So my choice, given the options before me, was clear from the beginning. On ending the occupation of Iraq, Dennis's was the better way -- an immediate start to bringing the troops home and getting the United Nations in to help us repair what we have broken even as we begin the inevitable and ultimately necessary withdraw.

I would vote for Dennis Kucinich.

But he, along with former Alaskan senator Mike Gravel, was shut out of the Democratic race for president by a mainstream, corporate media that absolutely will not abide a true Progressive getting anywhere near the White House. After being shut out from debates, after being excluded from the Texas ballot for refusing to sign a fascistic loyalty oath, and after Cleveland's corporate interests decided to put up well funded primary opponents for his Congressional re-election campaign, Dennis had to withdraw.

With Chris Dodd -- the only other leader on standing up to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and standing up for the Constitution and rule of law -- having dropped out of the presidential race, my options were pretty limited. Of the Big Three media darlings, only John Edwards had positions on the issues that were anywhere near mine. But now that he has dropped out, having been shut out of the media spotlight to the point where he could not gain enough votes to remain in contention, what else is left?

What are my options, now? I can vote for one of two corporate Democrats, neither of whom gives any more than mere lip service to addressing the issues important to Americans; I can vote third party, but that would leave me unable to cast my vote for Kucinich in his primary battle; I can simply refuse to vote for president at all; or I can vote for Dennis as a write-in candidate, thus sending a message that the two prima donnas in this race have not earned my vote and must do and say certain things in order to earn it by November.

Given this rather limited range of options, there is only one I can make and still be able to look at myself in the mirror. So I shall cast my primary ballot for president for Dennis Kucinich. And before anyone starts in on me about how that is a waste of my vote, I ask you: why? Is this or is it not the primary season? Am I or am I not supposed to vote my beliefs? Are or are you not supposed to vote yours?

I am, and you are. To hell with what conventional "wisdom" dictates. Conventional "wisdom" dictated that we vote for anybody but Bush last time around, and we listened, and look what that got us: another four years of an outlaw regime destroying not only Iraq, not only Afghanistan, but America. Grinding three countries into the ground -- all for the profit of a relative handful of greedy, old, overgrown, dishonest, and bestial children with delusions of empire. THAT is what we got for listening to conventional "wisdom".

If you, dear reader, are not sold on Obama or Clinton tomorrow; if you supported Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, or John Edwards; don't you owe it to yourself, your loved ones, and your country, to vote your beliefs? Whoever the nominee ultimately is, don't you know with all your soul that the candidate can, should and must earn your vote in the general election? What incentive does that candidate have, if you surrender that vote to him or her without making that person do everything reasonable and honest to assure you that your vote shall not be wasted, that the Democratic nominee will run the necessary campaign and on the necessary platform to not only win the White House but actually get sworn in as president?

And that is what it all boils down to, dear reader. Tomorrow, for better or worse, we shall have perhaps the biggest chance to stand up and make our voices heard. Instead of throwing away your vote on Obama or Clinton, neither of whom is fit to be president, why not stand up and say to them both with one loud, clear voice, "you want my vote? You'd better fucking earn it. And this is how."

So in my state's primary, probably the general election, my vote is decided. I'm voting my beliefs. I'm voting Democrat. I'm voting for Dennis Kucinich. And I am making my voice heard. If you want to condemn me for that, so be it. But I'll be able to look at myself in the mirror. Come Wednesday, come November -- come this time next year -- shall you be able to boast that?

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