Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is once again running for president. But you
wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, which have been spending all their
time focusing on Clinton, Obama, and sometimes Edwards.
It seems like the only time we hear about Dennis Kucinich is when the
talking heads make fun of him. They ridicule Kucinich's short physical stature
and his elfin appearance, and they make creepy comments about Kucinich's
gorgeous young wife.
First of all, this is supposed to be an election, not a beauty contest.
Kucinich may not have Obama's height or Edwards' good looks. But what he does
have are ideas that are often much more in line with what the American people
really want. But, for some reason, we can't get past the jokes and get down to
Unfortunately, the ridicule took on a new dimension when Kucinich
admitted, during a recent debate, that he had seen a UFO -- an unidentified
flying object. From the reactions I've seen, you'd think he had admitted to
seeing little green men inside that UFO.
Yes, that's a little weird, but did that question even really belong in
Is it any weirder than the fact that former presidents Jimmy Carter and
Ronald Reagan had also seen UFOs?
Is it any weirder than the fact that Ronald and Nancy Reagan consulted
an astrologer before making major decisions?
Is it any weirder than the fact that George W. Bush believes that God
speaks through him?
No, what's weird is that the issues are being ignored in favor of
schoolyard-style ridicule. If the pundits and the Congress could get past the
nonsense and focus on the issues, Dennis Kucinich might have a chance to bring
about some of the change that the American people have been more and more
impatiently waiting for.
Like bringing our troops home from Iraq.
Like holding the vice president accountable for his manipulation of the
intelligence process to deceive Americans in the run-up to the war in Iraq, and
for threatening aggression against Iran absent any threat to the U.S.
Like keeping jobs here in the U.S.
Like protecting consumers.
Like promoting the development of clean, safe, renewable energy sources.
Like taking care of our sick.
And like enforcing our country's ideal that all persons are created
But those things are hard work. It's much easier to just sit back,
collect money from the special interests, and ridicule Dennis Kucinich.
Because he's short.
Because he's not so telegenic.
Because he's married to a beautiful redhead.
And because he speaks for those of us who have a heart.
Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist. She is a former Philadelphia
Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty
International, and her views on politics, human rights, and social justice
issues have appeared in numerous online forums and in newspapers and magazines
worldwide. Note that the ideas expressed here are the author's own, and do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of Amnesty International or any other
organization with which she may be associated. E-mail: email@example.com.