Thursday, July 03, 2003

Kucinich can Win. 

Daniel Patrick Welch wrote this inspiring article concerning his belief that Kucinich can be elected, and sent it to me via e-mail. You can link to the article here, and I'll print a little teaser for you:

It's a remarkable surge in just a few days, and with the resultant influx of sorely needed cash, it is only a matter of time before people start voting where they really want to--the buzz is that Dennis is people's "I would, but..." candidate. And all the notables who take note of Kucinich, even some who overtly or implicitly endorse him, "concede" that he doesn't have a chance.

I think they may be selling their man short. My answer to those who say we can only win by playing the same game is that--what seems completely logical to me--it's the only way we can lose. The money and the media will always favor the right--unless we can learn to run an insurgent, Kucinich--type candidate and campaign and win successfully, we are screwed. Why is this news? Why should U.S. elections be so special--they are some of the most corrupt and money-polluted scams in the world.

We need to look elsewhere for models and quit whining and focusing on old-school gamesmanship. It is nothing new for progressive populists to run against moneyed candidates with "only" the Truth and the People on their side. Why should this be a losing proposition? Lula did it in Brazil. Chavez did it in Venezuela. Allende did it in Chile before the CIA mowed him down... Not only is it possible--it may be the only way to win, especially as time goes on and the demographics further favor such insurgency. It's still Jackson's model: without bringing millions of new people into the process, by energizing and mobilizing base constituencies, the left is suicidally following the right's game plan and ignoring its own overwhelming strengths. The Emerging Democratic Majority may well be ours--but we have the power to blow it by convincing future generations of Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and others that their growing numbers are not of interest to us and they have nothing to gain by participating. The right is quite justifiably following a smart strategy which is the only way they can win. They have even succeeded in getting most Democrats to follow a strategy which is the only way they can lose.