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.

The above reasons are why it troubles me so much that he is SO ABSOLUTELY WRONG about the CBCI/CBC-Fox New Debate Issue.

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.

James Rucker of, the leader of the fight against the Fox News/CBCI debates, a fight that The SuperSpade has been an integral part of, wrote:

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.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

One response to “Dennis the Menace & Why it’s Important to Watch Candidates Closely”

  1. tihopilik says :


    I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but shrug. I just don’t have anything to say recently.


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