Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Because I Agree With Them...

The defeat of Dennis Kucinich in a primary last week brought some thoughts to mind. Kucinich, 65, "is the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 10th congressional district, serving since 1997. He was furthermore a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections." [Wikipedia.} He was also mayor of Cleveland back in the 1970s when the city defaulted on debts.

During one of his two presidential runs there was one of those computer-based questionnaires that asked a bunch of issue-based concerns and where I stood on them. The result was then to give me the Presidential candidate who came closest to my views. The answer, by a landslide agreement with my views was Kucinich. Not a surprise. I am not known to be particularly politically conservative and Kucionich is known to be consistently liberal.

But that did not mean I was going to vote for him.

Any of us who tend to be more than a little off the political midstream should be quite cautious about having a someone who is 100% on our side in office. It doesn't matter whether it is the left or right; Occupy Wall Street or the Tea Party. When an ideologically based candidate gets into office, he or she has two choices:

  • bring their ideology into play and piss off more than half the country or
  • be willing to compromise to get the job done.
Hence I will not vote for someone who is as left-wing as I myself am. That is dangerous- and toxic- to a democracy. We see it playing itself out day after day in the current campaign. We see extreme hatred showing up; over-the-top anger masquerading as political stances; ideological extremism as patriotism. We will most surely lose as a nation if that becomes the political playbook. Fear will guide decisions; purity will trump reason; small (or large) litmus tests for correctness will be the guide.

Democracy is collaborative government. It's greatest threat is control by one side or another. I want a President (or Governor, Senator, etc) who can work compromise and arm-wrestle with others. I want them to keep the options open for the rich AND the poor, the religious and atheist, the Republicans and Democrats.

It is essential if we are to remain a nation built on ideals in conflict and move forward.

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