On the Road with a Short Vegan Loser

Last week brought a pleasant reminder of the validity of Yogi Berra’s statement: “It ain’t over till it’s over”. Now that hunt season really is over, this blog may see more emphasis on some of my other obsessions. It would certainly be tempting to hope Berra’s observation could apply to the Democratic presidential nomination, which officially ain’t over until the convention in July. But although my man Dennis is still running and actively campaigning, even he acknowledges that it’s over.

So why is he still running? As he explains, he hopes to have an impact on the Democratic party platform by demonstrating that there is a groundswell of support for his positions.

It’s really frustrating that the US media monopoly prevents candidates like Dennis from getting the exposure they deserve. Lisa Loving of the Willamette Week spent some time on the road with him as he campaigned in Oregon. After reading her story, you wonder how anybody could not want to vote for him. But then you remember that not many people get an opportunity to read stories like hers. As she points out, in spite of his courageous political agenda, “Peter Jennings and The New York Times don’t talk about his political agenda, they just keep repeating two things: Kucinich is short, and he’s gonna lose. End of story. Oh, yeah, there’s a third thing: He’s a vegan.”

With that kind of treatment by the media, it’s hard for a candidate, no matter how good, to get his message across. Only a small percentage of voters have the opportunity to meet a candidate or hear him speak. The rest have to rely on the media to shape their opinions, and the media don’t like Dennis Kucinich. Loving’s brother Blair sums it up nicely: “Other than the fact that he’s totally right on about everything, I can’t see why he’s been blacked out in the media. If he were a Kennedy, he’d be in there. As it is, he’s a short guy from Cleveland and he’s easy to ignore…the fact is the powers that be shut out any and all voices they don’t want to hear about. This guy is totally credible, totally intelligent, and he’s blacked out?”

At some point, I’m going to have to acknowledge that it’s over and get on the Kerry bandwagon. But my Kucinich yard sign is staying up at least until after the Kentucky primary next month, and maybe until after the convention. He’s short, and he’s gonna lose, but he’s still the best candidate in the race, and he deserves that exposure.

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