Kucinich just lost my support…

Readers of my blog probably recall that I have been a vocal supporter of Dennis Kucinich because of his strong stance for genuinely progressive values and his commitments to peace and universal healthcare. I continued to support Kucinich both by talking about him to people and financially supporting his campaign despite the fact that his virtual silencing by the mainstream media made him all but a lost cause.

Today that changes.

Here are the relevant news articles:

Kucinich has called upon his supporters in Iowa to back Barack Obama as their second choice candidate. Obama’s campaign is high on hopeful sounding language with little meaningful content and close examination of his record gives the lie to his image as a candidate for any real change. While by no means perfect, John Edwards is a much better choice than Obama in that he is raising class issues and talking about fighting corporate power while Obama talks about compromising with it.

Obama and Clinton are more of the same old corporate Democrats who dominated the Clinton era and who currently dominate this utter disappointment of a Congress (whose approval rating is even lower than the President’s abysmal rating). Edwards is the one chance for real change in a “mainstream” candidate if not quite the change that Kucinich would represent.

By lending his support to Obama, Kucinich has betrayed his progressive base and lost my support. I pray Edwards can carry the day in Iowa today. If not, it’s looking more and more likely that I will have to abstain on principle from the election in November.

Why I Support Dennis Kucinich

As an anarchist, I have extremely mixed feelings about participation in bourgeoisie elections. Reading the excellent A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, one gets a deep sense that real political change almost always occurs through direct action taken by the people rather than through participating in elections and appealing to politicians in hopes that they will listen to the people instead of their backers in big business.

That is why historically many if not most anarchists have been opposed to voting. The argument is that participating in the election rat race with sacrifices of time, energy, and money in the hopes of getting a candidate elected who will then bring about change once in office is usually a doomed effort that ultimately results in little more than draining people of energy and enthusiasm that they could have instead devoted to organizing and direct action. I can understand this position, and I have felt some of the effects that it predicts first hand.

Despite these experiences and despite the risks of losing sight of the true battlefield within our hearts and out in the streets and halls of society, we cannot completely shun elections, for they can sometimes (though not often) prove beneficial to the cause of human freedom and progress. Continue reading →