Sunday, June 22, 2003

Political Forum Today 

I just watched a political forum sponsored by the Rainbow Coalition on C-Spann. The candidates Dean, Gephardt, Kerry, Kucinich, Sharpton, Braun and Leiberman participated.

I'm tired folks, worked today, so this is going to be a simple review of the forum.
I am immensly encouraged by what I saw today, seven candidates speaking with a seemingly united voice. There may be some difference in the beliefs and platforms of these candidates, but I didn't sense much difference in their values.

The candidates were awesome. The forum dealt with intelligent questions, intelligent answers, and there was much room for passion. At times the forum felt more like a revival.

I'm going to say this: our current crop of candidates is the best that I have seen since I started voting, 26 years ago. Now you know my age.

These are exactly the people we need running at this particular point in time, and I am going to speak on each of them. I am greatly appreciative of what they all bring to the debate.

Let me start with Kerry. He lends gravity to the debate. He speaks with an almost presidential aplomb, a seemingly solid knowledge of the issues. Leiberman is getting on the bandwagon of challenging recent economic policies that favor the rich. He is beginning to find his voice in this ongoing debate.

Dean was more than solid, and very impressive. My friends at the Daily Kos ought to be proud.

Gephardt had a great line today. "Let's kick the money changers out of the temple of government". He brought the house down. All of the candidates played off of each other points and issues raised.

At one point Kerry couldn't contain himself and reached over and patted Sharpton's arm after Sharpton gave a rousing speech.

Which leads me to Sharpton. He was positively brilliant today. His answers were sharp and right on. The man is an orator. He has a brilliant command of language and metaphor and uses humor with an ease that none of the other candidates can match. We need him in the debate.

Braun was good today. Clear, softly passionate. I imagine she gives much courage to women and particularly, African-American women, to let their voices be heard. She is not perfect. She doesn't have a perfect history. But I could see from today she has something to add to the debate. Comparing her record to the robber barons we have in office today, and we know that her sins were small change compared to these looters. I hope she has learned her lesson, and will be around for many years to come adding the female, black voice to the political debate that needs to be heard.

This leads me to my favorite candidate, Kucinich. I noticed people laughing at times when he spoke. My mother and I giggled at times when he was his most forceful, and I realized why we are all laughing. We were delighted at the firm confidence with which he challenges the powers that be, with a clear vision and firm determination that he will accomplish.

We are no longer used to politicians that aren't wishy-washy. That's why we all giggle when he speaks. Shear delight. He alone, with candidate Sharpton, have taught the other candidates to be better speakers, more passionate speakers, and to take on the issues directly.

He said he will use the Justice Department, if elected, to file suit against media, energy and agriculture monopolies. The man means business, and he means to practically and pragmatically apply the values of this country to his actions to try to actualize our most cherished beliefs. Is he unelectable? I have no idea, but he brings a level of discourse to the debate that we desperately need at this time.

We can't afford to beat around the Bush any longer. I believe this election is life or death for this republic. Will you lend your voice?