Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Commentary :: Government & Elections

SpecialK MoveMent Has and IS IN The Public Interest

ABB VoteSlave? or Act Be-Bold Vote to SAVE-Emerging BuildingBloc,By,For & IN the "Public Interest." Man or Mammon? Conviction or Expediency? People Policies or Power & Polls,I see? Can Dems Clean UP Coporate, Cash and Carry Country as a Club Clique, Collaboration to Keep Civic-Minded concerned constituencies Heads,Hearts and-HANDS OFF!,the Executive Branch,People of the Web-need to be a Jammin' Just Jury to make sure relevance Of Jeffersonian roots don't commit Hari-Kerry.
Kucinich the KulturBarer
by Stephen Dinan

With current polls showing John Kerry leading at 60% for the California primary next Tuesday, I begin to wonder if our culture of innovation, independence and frontier adventure is beginning to fade.

C'mon California: Kerry?

Two months ago, Kerry hardly registered on the radar here. Most thought him too patrician, too dull, or at least too conservative on issues from the Iraq war to NAFTA to gay marriage. Few people in California contributed to his campaign. Top honors went to Dean and Kucinich in terms of donors and number of volunteers. Both have revolutionary fire and some shoot-from-the-hip West Coast attitude. They are bold, authentic, and willing to rattle conventional opinion. They give speeches straight from the heart and aren't afraid to go off script.

Kerry is safe. He is the frightened man's bet for the race against Bush. He's the compromise candidate, a man about whom we will say, "I suppose that's the best we could hope for." He has the pedigree, the power broker network, the height, and the moderate positions on everything. When many people I know talk about voting for Kerry, it is with a sigh of resignation rather than the hurrah of freedom.

It does not have to be this way.

Californians have been seduced by the media trance that has ordained Kerry the winner. However, we in California are supposed to CREATE the spell of the media rather than be seduced by it. We make the magic of movies and push the frontiers of technology. We innovate, pioneer, and explore. We don't march to the beat of the establishment drum.

Next Tuesday, I would like to see some spunk in the California vote, some fire to send to the convention. Let's tell the party that we want substantial change. We want a rainbow of color rather than shades of gray. We want nectar of the gods rather than stale bread. We want a Democratic Party that doesn't feel like it has had the lifeblood sucked from it.

I don't want to believe that California has sunk into numb lethargy. This is an oasis of idealism, a Petri dish for the future. Do we really line up in the Kerry corral just because he's won the popularity contest so far? Or do we set our own course and chart our own destiny?

Here is the simple truth: if you are interested in positive social change on ANY front, from the environment to trade reform to peace to organic food to health care reform to economic justice to personal growth to electoral reform to busting corporate corruption to reducing discrimination to gay marriage, Dennis Kucinich should be your man.

In fact, if you have ever
* shopped at Whole Foods
* stretched into a yoga asana
* carried a protest sign
* read Noam Chomsky
* sung along to Bob Marley
* admired MLK, Gandhi, or Mandela
* ... bought Julia Butterfly certified products
* resented multinational corporations
* resonated with Ani DiFranco lyrics
* reminisced about Burning Man
* worried about child labor in Indonesia
* approached an issue holistically
* homebirthed
or any of a thousand other things that put you a bit ahead of the change curve, then Dennis should be your man

That said, the great thing about Dennis is that while he advocates a boldly progressive platform, he does so with very ordinary, middle-class America packaging. He's just as comfortable with bowling and polka as he is on stage surrounded by hip-hop artists or a drum circle. He offers substantial, deep, visionary change in a way that everyday people can understand. In his home district, for example, he's made a business of converting Republicans into Democrats and now wins with 75% of the vote in a previously Republican district.

Dennis is like a bridge over which the major changes of an emerging culture can enter mainstream politics.

More traditional Democratic populations are vital in this cultural shift, and Dennis has impeccable credentials to reach them, authoring legislation that helps regular working class families across the board rather than a powerful elite. However, it's the folks stretching the change envelope that I'm speaking to at the moment because I believe you are the key to breaking this campaign through to the next tier. You are the ones that lead the revolutions: the activists and the artists, the rebels and the dreamers, the eco-freaks and the idealists, the healers and the hipsters, the meditators and the musicians.

We've got to lead the way in reminding California of its roots and its destiny: to blaze brightly for the rest of the world. Hawaii has laid the groundwork, with a second-place finish for Dennis and 27% of the vote despite a virtual media blackout. Let's outdo Hawaii's results in California.

So send a positive change message to the Democratic establishment by voting for Dennis next week. Neither Kerry nor Edwards sends a meaningful message for change now. They are the safe candidates. If you want to play it safe and scale down on your dreams, they are your guys. If you want to go boldly towards the future, Dennis is your man.

Making this statement is even more important now that the media tidal wave is sweeping Kerry along and threatening to wash the progressive wing out of the party and into Nader terrain. A vote for Kerry is now a wasted vote. A vote for Dennis is a signal for change and a protection of the progressive base in the Democratic Party. It is a clear notification that the NEXT America is waking up and taking a stand. It states that the movements that have been gathering steam across this country for decades are beginning to feel their power and use it.

The Swedes have a relevant term ú kulturbärer. A bearer of culture. It refers to someone or something that acts like a sherpa for a culture as whole, carrying it forward. In a very real way, Dennis is a kulturbärer. He is an _expression of the convergence of all the movements for positive change: social justice, consciousness, peace, sustainability, women's rights, gay rights. He's at the leading edge of these trends, integrating them and talking about them in a way that conventional folks can really understand. Dennis represents an emerging culture that is growing up and starting to feel its power.

The only problem is that the emerging culture, which is actually vast, doesn't recognize its potential yet. Change movements have been splintered and thus have felt small. Together, they are enormous. The sociologist Paul Ray has studied this culture and pegged its size at 50 million in America alone. 50 million people that share an increasingly similar new vision for America and a new vision for the world! However, they are stuck thinking of themselves as less powerful and less numerous than they actually are.

This emerging culture needs to feel its strength. It can do that in a substantial and meaningful way by rallying behind a kulturbärer, someone to hold the torch in the public sphere. Dennis Kucinich can be our kulturbärer.

Bear in mind that he may be ignored. And ridiculed. And dismissed. And disrespected. And you may feel pain when you watch it happen. But also remember that agents of change are always treated that way and that it is part of the process of cultural growth. In that spirit, I encourage you to see that when Dennis is dismissed, know that he is taking that hit for you, for your children, and for the planet. Someone has to carry the torch for the emerging culture into politics and as Dennis does so, the entrenched power structures will resist. That is why our kulturbärer must be so resilient.

Fortunately, he is. He's perhaps the most optimistic person I've ever known. He wakes up each day excited and hopeful. Even after getting dissed, dismissed, and marginalized, he keeps his eyes clear, his heart compassionate, and his compass set clearly on the future goal. He knows that he is carrying the torch for a movement that will produce a major evolution of our country. Carrying that torch is a sacred role and he therefore carries it with dignity, optimism, and honor.

Do Dennis the honor of voting for him and supporting him so that a new vision of America can emerge. It is time. We are ready.

For more information on the campaign, see For more writings by Stephen Dinan, see the Steven Dinan Wiki Page.

Odd Man In
Dennis Kucinich is nobody’s fool.

It’s the same with politics. Over and over again we have been told, in a million different ways, that a certain kind of idealism is actually childish weakness, and that the only pragmatic way of approaching life upholds force and commerce as the chief engines of social organization. That is why we laugh at people who use words like peace and community but praise as tough, responsible leaders anyone who’s willing to drop the most mother-of-all bombs on defenseless foreign populations. We laugh at a person who uses the word peace for the same reason that we laugh at the person who works as a temp or at McDonald’s: because we’re afraid of being lumped together with him. We’re afraid of being the proverbial punchline to the proverbial Dennis Miller joke about John Lennon and Joanie Baez and that goddamn Cat Stevens song, "Peace Train."

I will never forgive America for what Dennis Kucinich went through this year. Because he has had the audacity to call for an end to all wars, to announce plans for the creation of a Department of Peace, to question the very culture of viciousness and intolerance and crass commercialism that rules our public discourse, he has been labeled a lunatic by nearly every "responsible" press organ in this country and cruelly mocked to a degree that no civil society should allow an honorable man to endure. The New Yorker, that revolting beacon of glib, self-satisfied affluence, runs a cartoon showing Kucinich sweeping to victory in a primary held on Mars. The New York Times first angrily demands that he not waste any more of our time, then actually physically disposes of him after the passing of some self-imposed fictional electoral deadline. Even the more genuinely funny and more intelligent people in American public life–I’m thinking particularly of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon–can’t resist savaging Kucinich whenever they get a chance. All because he’s funny-looking, and because he uses the word peace without kidding.

I am a Dennis Kucinich supporter because I believe America’s greatest problem is its incivility, its intolerance to new ideas, its remorseless hatred of weakness and failure, the willingness of its individual citizens to submerge their individual cowardice within the vicious commerce-driven standards of our national self-image. George Bush is a terrible president, but he is merely a by-product of these wider national tendencies, which exist outside of him and independently of him. And these tendencies are symbolized exactly in the laughter directed at Dennis Kucinich. To vote for Dennis Kucinich, I believe, is to vote for man’s right to publicly be who he is and not be ridiculed for it. If we are peaceful people, it is a vote for our right to merely be who we are.

This is not a small thing, because we are in danger of losing that right in this country. If you are the wrong kind of person, even the New York Times would have you disappear from the stage entirely. That is why it is important to understand this vote not as a pragmatic choice for a winner, but as a passionate act of self-preservation. We must stand with the man who is taking all the abuse that most of us are too afraid to take in our own lives.

Cage Match by Matt Taibbi
This attack and misrepresentation of the positions of Kucinich, Dean and other antiwar forces within the Democratic Party is an attempt to now marginalize the very forces that revitalized and emboldened Democrats. (Kerry’s unwarranted attacks against Kucinich and Dean on other issues have been detailed by others in essays on Common Dreams, e.g. John Nichols on the issues of NAFTA and free trade on Sept. 30, 2003 and Stephen Zunes on many issues including Israel, the September 11 investigation, etc. on Jan. 7, 2004. While I am mainly focusing on the war here, I do not mean to minimize the importance of Kerry’s votes for the Patriot Act, NAFTA, No Child Left Behind, etc.)

While Kerry regrets that President Bush did not work for more international backing before going to war and while he wants America to seek the aid of other countries for the occupation, he does not criticize the war itself. In fact, Kerry’s Dec. 16, 2003 speech reiterates his belief in the soundness of his vote authorizing war and even comes across as celebrating the war and the occupation of Iraq by “the greatest military in history? as an “advance of our ideals? that with the overthrow and capture of Saddam sees “Jefferson’s promise was fulfilled again.?

Those presenting a clear difference from President Bush resuscitated the Democratic Party, but the Kerry momentum has swamped that difference and threatens to offer little choice about the war in the coming election. Many of us remember 1968 when the grassroots campaign of Eugene McCarthy drove President Johnson from the presidency over Vietnam. However, thereafter the establishment Democrats reasserted themselves and we ended up with Hubert Humphrey as the Democratic candidate. Humbert Humphrey 20 years before had been a cutting force in the Democratic Party for civil rights and labor rights. In 1968 he represented Johnson Vietnam policies. Instead of a change for the better in 1968, we ended up with the streets of Chicago at the Democratic Convention, disaffected Democrats, the election of Nixon, and seven more years of war.

On John Kerry
And the Marginalization of Emboldened Democrats

By David H. Mitchell
money or Moxie
cash or Creativity
hubris or HeART
brawn or Brains
mool ah' or mAnnA
shimmer or Shiine!!

Nelson Mandela's beautifully haunting words are apt:

"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we
are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most
frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of
God: your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing
enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around
you. We were born to make manifest of the glory of God within us. It is not
just in some of us, it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are
liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others."
SOS Save us from Our Saviors
This is the 21st century we don't want to repeat the war,famine and
pestilence of the last century
we are doing Our homework to get back Home
The millenium celebrations People,Music,Dance and One Earth Spirit were
We need international help , we cannot Live and put up with and Work in a
police State
We want unhindered,non-manipulated,Creative,Symbiotic,Natural Evolution
Mass Media Feeding Mass Mania, we are rich country full of pioneering
ingenuity, we do not accept the fearful victimized attitudes continually
foisted UPon the masspsyche I have moral fortitude and Deep Gratitude
Refuse to sell short the Human Race,never doubt the power of Truth,the
Desire,Pressure of the Human Spirit or the Respect for the Primacy of
Nature, and if you doubt the Primacy of Nature try not breathing for That amount of time! We don't want to tinker with your laws, We want to change you from the inside OUT.
This is not a political protest.
this is an uprising of the Soul.
Foreign policy? nothing is foreign must be called PLANETARY POLICY
Peace and Truth HAVE KISSED! -a brother

New site with some WebWisdomWonkWonderWritin'

New Comments are disabled, please visit


No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event


Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software