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Web Letters | The Nation

Election '08 > Letters

Web Letter

So you've examined all the candidates and found Dennis Kucinich to be most closely aligned with the values of your magazine. No surprise there--he's the only progressive running in this election. So when does he get your endorsement?

Are you going to be yet another major voice that is silenced by the MSM for fear of picking a loser? Time after time, I hear people, organizations, publications say that Dennis represents their positions, but he isn't electable. If everyone who agreed with him would simply vote for him or give him an endorsement, he wouldn't just be electable, he'd be unstoppable.

How about showing a little courage? The kind of courage Dennis Kucinich shows every time he stands up to the political and corporate machines that try to silence him. If for no other reason, because ABC excluded him from the New Hampshire debate and the Democratic Party stood by and let it happen, you should give him your support. Stop hedging your bet. You can get on a different train if you must after the primaries. We need actual change in this country, and that means we need Dennis in office.

Come on, Nation, walk your talk! Get behind Dennis Kucinich where you belong!

Morgaine Swann

Eastern, KY

Jan 7 2008 - 2:32am

Web Letter

We have a faulty electoral system that promotes the candidates capable of collecting and spending the most money in order to get elected. Shouldn’t we be looking for the candidates capable of achieving the common goals while spending the least amount of money? Unfortunately, our media cannot promote this simple principle for being addicted to this faulty system (clearly benefiting and profiting from it) marred by out-of-control campaign-related advertisement spending.

No wonder that after every election campaign donors are better off, while the general public is worse off than before. If we cleaned elections from the corrupting influence of money, we would get politicians loaded with necessary skills, not burdened with fulfillment of directives from special-interest patrons.

Only in a corrupted democracy like ours it is impossible to implement a simple, cost-free measure that would protect the lives and health of millions of Americans.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Jan 3 2008 - 1:31pm

Web Letter

"But for reasons that have to do with the corrupting influence of money and media on national elections as well as with his campaign's shortcomings--such as its failure to organize a grassroots base of donors and web activists--a democratic mass movement has not coalesced around Kucinich's run for President." This is extremely un-unconventional wisdom. You are the media. Don't just hang your heads and sigh, note that his campaign's failure is your failure as well, and do something about it. Listen to your readers, who have endorsed him. Listen to PDA, to DFA, to the independent primary. The only thing keeping Kucinich down is the Idea, propagated even by your doomed and quixotic magazine, that he can't rise above this nonsense.

How could you write that Obama has not taken money from "lobbyists" without noting that he has, through an intricate and massive system of "bundling," taken just as much money from the same corrupt sources as Clinton? He's received more money from Wall Street than any other candidate. Goldman Sachs, for Christ's sake, is his biggest contributor. What the hell is wrong with you people? Who wrote this?

Also, who cares that he was a "community organizer"? I live in Chicago; there are thousands of community organizers here--I was a community organizer. Does that qualify someone to be President?

Finally, yea, great foresight in opposing the war. Are you his bumper sticker? Have you read anything about him besides his website? He was in the Illinois state senate, not the national senate, casting a symbolic vote of no consequence. The vast majority of his black progressive base opposed the war from the start; he would have been casting an insane vote that went against common and political sense if he had voted Yes. Dick Durbin, the Democratic National Senator at the time, also voted against the war. He'd run for President, but I suspect his sense of duty supersedes his personal ambitions.

None of the "top-tier" candidates (whom you make "top tier" every time you call them that) have an actual exit strategy for Iraq. None of them oppose the death penalty or support gay marriage. The idea that these plans are "universal" in the Nixonian sense is nothing to jump for joy about. Kucinich is strongest on every single progressive value. Contrary to what you say, he is an amazingly capable and practical politician. Obama hasn't even authored and enacted a single bill!

I feel like I'm losing my mind. After Bush's "radical experiment" there is tremendous potential energy for an unprecedented progressive backlash. Giving Clinton and Obama (don't say that he isn't "triangulating" as well, please,) this kind of credibility, while squashing Kucinich, is a disgraceful, treasonous act. You are literally smothering your soul.

Alexis Croken

Chicago, IL

Dec 28 2007 - 6:17pm

Web Letter

I, too, am disappointed that The Nation does not expressly endorse Kucinich. The fact that you mention a vote for him would be a principled vote should bother your conscience when you turn around and don't endorse someone who stands for your principles!

Let's say that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was to have taken that position about finding racial equality. "I cannot find justice right here, right now, so I'll accept any sort of consolation prize I can get. It may not be what I want, but what I want is perceived to be unreachable. So, I guess I can't reach it. If I can't reach it, what would I settle for?"--is that acceptable to you?!

Shame on you for not sticking up for your principles--which says to me that you don't believe in your principles with conviction. "I can't get what I want because someone else tells me I can't." Really? The Nation is turning into "The Little Engine Who Could Dream."

Sorry, I don't approve. If you fought for Kucinich, it would focus the other candidates (who like to change political positions depending on how the wind is blowing) on the ideals on which they are not properly focused. Fight hard enough and politicians will realign themselves according to the strongest wind that blows.

Is The Nation going to promote its principles or not? And what do you think is the best way to show what you stand for?

Go, Dennis, despite that your "supporters" don't really support you.

Robert Dutton

Winter Park, FL

Dec 28 2007 - 5:27pm

Web Letter

Cowards! If Dennis Kucinich, "comes closest to embodying the ideals of this magazine," then why don't you have the courage to endorse him? The left is so weak and marginalized in this country because they don't have the strength and courage to support true liberals and build a significant progressive movement. The Nation contributes to this weakening of the liberal agenda by not backing the best liberal in the race, Dennis Kucinich. The Democrats and America gets what it deserves by acquiescing and not voting for those people who best represent them. As another letter writer said, if all the people who like Dennis and what he stands for would simply vote their conscience, then Dennis would have a chance at winning. But like The Nation's editorial board, most liberals are fearful and thus vote against their ideals. They then wonder why their government no longer represents them. It's just sad and frustrating from my perspective.

Jon Ralston

Tucson, AZ

Dec 28 2007 - 3:11pm

Web Letter

Kudos to The Nation for endorsing a progressive movement instead of an individual candidate! A group of progressives in Iowa is actually going to hold a "Caucus of the Future: Direct Democracy in Action" in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 2 and 3. Its meant to be a complement to the traditional Iowa Caucuses, but its about building a movement independent of the political parties. I encourage The Nation's editors/reporters to check it out. More info on my blog on the Des Moines Register Young Adult Board: Iowa Counter-Caucus: an independent alternative to business as usual.

David Goodner

Iowa City, IA

Dec 27 2007 - 6:50pm

Web Letter

I'm surprised and disappointed in The Nation for this weak editorial. The Nation should stop acting like the MSM by fomenting the notion that a Kucinich presidency doesn't stand a chance.

It's really quite simple--if everyone who agrees with Kucinich's platform would vote for him, he would win. It is not the place of the media to imply that he's unelectable or that he lacks the progressive vision to rule.

The last time I checked, in a democracy, that is for the voters to decide.

Ellen Brown

San Diego, CA

Dec 26 2007 - 8:37pm

Web Letter

It’s Christmas Eve, and here I am in Canada reflecting on how I became an expatriate American. Sadly, it’s because the US is an inhospitable place for my partner and me to be. Not only is the US an oppressive environment for same-sex couples but because my partner is from South America, we had no real choice--move to a country that would accept us, or be apart. From where I sit, America has taken a wrong turn, and as far as we are concerned, "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" should now come with a footnote that explains who gets those rights and who doesn’t.

Of all the Democratic candidates, only Dennis Kucinich’s principled stance for the equal rights of all Americans provides a believable approach that we would someday be welcomed back. I don’t see either Clinton or Obama having the political will to push for absolute equal rights, they are too politically cautious; and Edwards, by his own admission, feels uncomfortable reconciling gay marriage with his religious views. At best, we might see half measures from them, and surely we can do better.

Living here in a country that recognizes the rights of same-sex couples gives you a very visceral understanding of how members of the LGBTQ community in the US are second-class citizens. Like many others, I don’t understand why progressives, or at least the progressive media, haven’t embraced Kucinich as a viable candidate; he alone speaks to the core of our liberal values. Is it the American obsession with glossy perfection that has caused him to be labelled unelectable? Can it really be all about money?

I expect Thomas Jefferson would be a Kucinich supporter. He had a distrust of pretentiousness and the influence of financial interests. He believed in the average person and in "certain inalienable rights" for everyone. America needs to get back on track to fulfill those visions of a fair future for everyone by giving true progressive candidates--even, as The Nation labeled him, “quixotic” ones like Dennis Kucinich--a chance.

Edward Johnson

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Dec 26 2007 - 3:18pm

Web Letter

I think The Nation should support Kucinich because of the ideas in his campaign. He will probably not win, but it would focus attention on his domestic program, pulling out of the WTO, along with NAFTA and getting out of Iraq. It would start a discussion on real issue, that effect ordinary people. I see this magazine as source of ideas and solutions to problems. The movement for change can begin here and now in The Nation!

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Dec 21 2007 - 5:59pm

Web Letter

I find it interesting that The Nation's well-thought-out lead editorial on this incredibly important election season includes some very strongly embracing statements for the potential birth of a "progressive insurgency". At the same time the editorial speaks glowingly of the John Edwards run as the campaign that has "most effectively responded to the spirit of progressive populism," yet The Nation declines to make a candidate endorsement.

It seems to me that a more forthright stance is called for, especially in the light of the powerful language you've chosen to use--e.g., "historic opportunity," "ferment in the air," "yearning for change," "resuscitation of America's most inspired dreams of justice and equality" and "the kindling is in place."

Why not just come out of your cautious shell and endorse the candidate that is speaking with the same vibrancy, electricity and intellect that The Nation has a tradition of upholding?

If The Nation magazine cannot see fit to endorse a strong voice for progressivism at this critical time in American history, then perhaps they should simply announce that it is their standard policy to not endorse individual candidates.

And one more thing. Why the cover portrait of the two mainstream media darlings at a time when I would wager that many of your readers are probably fed up with being force-fed those two?

Heidi De Young

Indianola, IA

Dec 21 2007 - 12:55pm