Dennis the Menace & Why it’s Important to Watch Candidates Closely
Many people have never heard of Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic Congressman from Ohio. Kucinich is running for President in 2008, and is considered to be one of the most progressive candidates on the Democratic side. In my view is right on on most of today’s issues: Iraq, the media, health care, and others. I think he did very well in the debate this week. All in all, a guy I’d vote for.
Kucinich actually said this:
This is particularly troublesome because the concerns of African Americans should take precedent over what network is broadcasting the debate…Those candidates planning to skip this debate clearly are trying to avoid a forum where there will be hard-hitting questions from people who may not agree with them. But taking questions from all sides is part of politics, and part of being President. I’m running to be President for all people in this country.
This is what I like to call literal B.S. Kucinich is race baiting, plain and simple. He is trying to use this alleged chance to “speak to Black people” as a ploy to get votes. Well, he just doesn’t get it.
Kucinich tries to act like he’s standing up for Black folks, while ignoring the fact that most Black people think this is a horrible idea. If he had listened to Black talk radio, read Black blogs, or took a look at Black newspapers, he’d realize that the CBC is woefully out of step with Black America on this. Either he didn’t bother check how Black people actually feel about this debate, or he knows and he doesn’t care. Whatever the case, it didn’t stop him from betraying his penchant for recognizing and pushing back on corporate control over legislators. In this case, he’s playing right along, and in the process, furthering marginalizing the voices of everyday Black folks.
The reason this hits home for me is because I found myself ready to throw support behind someone I had not taken the time to fully understand. I encourage everyone who is preparing to vote in their local, state, and national elections to spend some time getting to know the people begging for your votes. It doesn’t take a whole lot. Here are some good ways to keep tabs:
Search online for the candidate’s name
Most have websites these days. This site will give you at the least the person’s contact information, policy stances, and a schedule of events. This will also give you a chance to find out more about them if they do not currently hold an office.
[If they are an incumbent,] find out how they vote
Members at every level of government cast votes. All of these votes are public knowledge. Go to your state’s website, and from there you can find the voting record for your representatives at every level. This is the best way to see if a person in office agrees with you and votes like it.
Have a conversation
Talk to someone about a candidate. Chances are you know someone at work, school, the gym, somewhere who you consider knowledgeable about this sort of stuff. Engage that person and use each other as information resources. This is the best way to spread information.
When we vote, we are making a choice. It is choice to support a person, a position, a policy, and/or an idea. Let’s be sure that we examine these choices closely, make truly informed choices, and vote for what is truly in our best interest.
Don Hazen from Alternet has coverage on this, so take a look at his analysis.
One Love. One II.