I read the sad news on grist.com this morning. Perhaps the most progressive voice in U.S. Congress, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) lost the Democratic primary for Ohio’s new 9th congressional district on Tuesday. It seems the Republicans have been strategically redistricting to pit Democrats against each other and Kucinich was unable to keep his seat. For that, the target on his back because of his political views, and a few other reasons I’m sure, Kucinich lost his seat.
Tom Morello once said Kucinich was probably as far left as you could get for 2008’s presidential candidates (including then candidate Barack Obama) but the he himself was far to the left of Kucinich. I also consider myself to the left of Kucinich if we’re going to use the left right paradigm but this is a real loss for progressives.
During the presidential Democratic primaries Kucinich was my choice and when he dropped out of the race and ceded his voters to candidate Obama that was a meaningful endorsement to me. He was an unflinching ally to environmentalists, the poor, those who wanted a real change in the health care system, those who opposed these wars from the start and more. They just don’t make Democrats the don’t flinch or take unpopular but right stands all the time anymore.
During his 2007 presidential run he had this to say to Grist:
“As president of the United States, I’m going to shift the entire direction of America. We need to see the connection between global warring and global warming, and it’s oil. Sustainability is the path to peace. … peace means being in harmony with nature. If you’re in harmony with nature, you don’t exploit nature. You don’t ruin the land, you don’t extract the oil, you don’t take the coal out of the Earth.”
Hopefully he finds a place in government again because the people and the planet need him to. In the meantime, apparently there is talk of him writing a vegan cookbook in the future! Best of luck Dennis Kucinich!