Friday, January 25, 2008

Why, Dennis, why??

I am going to cry now.

Kucinich drops out. Now I know why my brother doesn't vote.

I found this link on someone else's blog. I wish I could tell her thank you, but I would have preferred to be blissfully ignorant for a while longer if I could. Sob.

He was the only one with an environmental policy that I could get behind. I think now I'm left with John Edwards, whose environmental ideas as stated on a MoveOn town hall video that has since disappeared from their web site made me laugh out loud ("and then we'll have lots of farms in Africa!" was the punchline), and whose ideas about universal health care make me want to run screaming into the night. Sigh.

Maybe some time with the spinning guild will help me snap out of it. Lots happened this week, so I'll post a more upbeat update later.


  1. Hi Darcy,

    I was an avid Kucinich supporter in the last election cycle and even got to meet him at a rally here in Taos, NM. I almost burst into tears when I saw him enter the convention center. His platform is still the most congruent with my own values and ideals and I respect him immensely.

    Unfortunately, thanks to our corrupt political machine that is monopolized by the two-party system, I don't think Kucinich is electable. He is truly ahead of his time.

    This time around, I am supporting Barack Obama. I realize that his health care ideas might not be as progressive as Kucinich's, but I truly believe he is the most qualified candidate in this race. Like Kucinich, he causes shivers to run down my spine when he speaks, and I feel more inspired by him than by Edwards, who elicits an "eh" response from me. You can find out more about Obama's environmental and health care plans at:

    Finally, I hope you do convince your brother to vote in this election cycle. Our system may be disappointing, but it is the only vehicle for change that we currently have, and it's a lot more than many people around the globe have. My mother grew up in Communist-bloc Czechoslovakia and wasn't allowed any say in her life on any level for decades. She is thrilled to now be able to vote in US elections (she became a citizen in the 80's).


  2. Darcy: I don't know who that Kristina was above... but it wasn't me!!!

    Sorry to hear your candidate dropped out. Your political system seems far more complex than ours... sigh.

  3. Sorry for the Kristina confusion! It's fun to encounter another Kristina with a K...

    I am Kristina Orchard-Hays from the Bryn Mawr class of '95 and posted the original comment. Darcy's blog is linked to our alumnae online network, Athena's Web, and I read her "Why, Dennis, why?" remark on there.

    Where do you live, Kristina B? I am based in Taos, New Mexico...

  4. Kristina O-H, Thanks for the links, but Obama lost me at hello. I won't vote for a smoker. My own experience is that everyone I know who smokes has unresolved anger problems. I admit that my sample size isn't vast, but it does basically apply to every smoker I know well, so unfortunately, Obama is not the candidate for me.

    Kristina B, It's so sad, because what you say is true. Electoral votes? Good gravy. Say a prayer for us come November.

  5. Kristina O-H, I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. So I don't have to worry about voting in your elections, although I am watching with some interest.

  6. Darcy,

    I can relate to your views on smoking. One of the reasons I have never picked up a cigarette in my life was due to my father's incessant chain smoking. Still have bad memories of choking on the clouds of smoke in our house as a child and of having to go to school with smoke-infiltrated clothes. Ugh.

    Obama, however, has been working mightily to end his smoking habit and is not a chain smoker. I respect that and my friends who smoke do too. They know just how tough it is to beat an addiction to nicotine and support his efforts. Remember Ronald Reagan and his jars of jelly beans? I don't know how accurate your theory about smokers and anger issues are -- I'm sure there is some validity there but what about people who avoid their problems by gross overconsumption of food or other deadlier addictions? I have lost a relative to alcoholism and it was truly horrible to watch him die of liver failure. Still, he was one of my favorite relatives and I do not judge him for his addiction. Sure, he had some major issues that the alcohol masked, but that didn't detract from him being a wonderful father, son, husband, friend, neighbor.

    On a national level, what about our huge addiction to oil? Isn't that just as obscene? My nephew almost died in Iraq, and ten of his close friends from West Point and the Army did in fact lose their lives. And for what? What George Bush has done to our country and the number of lives he has cost is far worse than enjoying an occasional cigarette.

    And what are our Democratic party alternatives? Hillary? UGH UGH UGH. Can't stand the woman. Edwards. Eh. He bores me.

    Kristina B, you're lucky to be living in Canada! My mother recently moved to Newfoundland and loves it. I don't know much about your political system but your standard of living seems much higher than here.

  7. Kristina O-H,

    First let me say that a jelly bean addiction was the LEAST of Reagan's many flaws. I think dear Anne summed it up nicely when she said, MAY THE FUCKER ROT IN HELL. You don't actually think I voted for that lunatic, do you?

    And I don't dispute that there are MANY substances that people can and do abuse. I'm trying to kick sugar myself, not to mention TV, and that's even with me only watching pre-recorded commercial-free stuff. I would question, however, whether the children of the alcoholic relative are in complete agreement with you that he was a wonderful father. You have my sympathy for your loss, and he might have been a really cool guy, but alcoholism does not make for good parenting. Anyone who thinks they were parented well by an alcoholic can probably use a few sessions on the couch themselves.

    I also agree that the nation's addictive attitude toward oil, and all the niceties it brings us, is a bigger problem than one candidate's nicotine habit. But how is voting for Obama going to change the national consciousness? Whatever president we get next can implement all the policy changes they want, that addictive attitude isn't going to go away overnight. I think it takes individuals making conscious personal choices to change addictive habits, and I'm trying to do that with The Compact and our eating local and whatnot. I'm not convinced Obama can change the country's mind on that one, and his energy policies aren't nearly ambitious enough to satisfy me.

    I can appreciate your eh feeling about Edwards. He doesn't knock my socks off, either, although I am impressed that he hasn't waited to get elected to start doing things that will make this country a better place (his work in New Orleans, etc). I'd rather be bored by a candidate, though, than actively turned off by him, and I don't see my turned-off-edness toward Obama changing.

    And Hillary? What a joke. I'll write in myself before I vote for her. I don't think we'd be better off in her hands that we are under W, and that's saying something.

    My brother is a hard-core socialist. There is no way he's ever going to vote in our elections, much as I've nagged him to do so in the past. My point in the original post is that now I understand why he doesn't vote. I can finally see the inherent corruption of our media-driven presidential races, and the pointlessness of the not only two-party but practically two-candidate-per-party system. It's a joke.

    Kristina B, keep a spot warm for me in Canada, okay? ;)

  8. Darcy - if I can find a warm spot, I'll leave a little space for you as well... but it's hard going these days! We're well and truly in the deep freeze.

    I can relate to your brother. In practically every election up here since I've been of voting age (aside from municipal) I have officially declined to vote. Is that not a process available to you? (basically you show up at the poll and say "I decline to vote". However, this is not widely known except among us lefties ;-)

    Kristina - I do feel lucky to live here. From what I can gather the standard of living is quite a bit higher, although it can be expensive. We still pretty much have universal health care (although of late there have been some cuts), for example. I just saw Michael Moore's movie Sicko and although I know he exaggerates for effect, I was quite surprised at the health care setup in the US.

  9. So now what do we do? No Kucinich and no Edwards. :(

  10. I don't know what to do now, because I really REALLY don't want to (I want to say won't) vote for either Obama or Clinton. I am so devastated, and I am also angry. Kucinich I can understand. He's far too progressive in his thinking for much of America to get on board; even if the public had heard about him, his was a long shot. But Edwards seemed like he could go the distance, and I'm sad and pissed off that he just bailed on us. When I'm done mourning, maybe some new path will occur to me, but I don't see how, because it's not like someone new will get on board. I can throw my vote away by writing someone in, and I might just do that. Honestly, given the choice between Obama, Clinton, and a Republican (any Republican), I pretty much say, what's the difference? It's a matter of degree of the shittiness of the situation, not a positive outcome versus a negative one.

    Kristina B, Far too many Americans decline to vote. No formalized system here, though; they just stay home. I never imagined myself being one of them, but now I don't know. Does declining to vote have any outcome in your elections? Like if more people showed up to decline than for any of the candidates, would they have a do-over or something? I know so little about Canadian politics. Okay, nothing about Canadian politics.

  11. Wow, Darcy,

    That's quite a statement you made about my brother-in-law without knowing anything about him, other than his struggles with alcohol. For the record, my niece and nephews adored him and thought he was a wonderful father. Better than my own father, but that's a whole other story. No, alcoholism doesn't go hand-in-hand with good parenting, but Charlie was so much more than just his addiction. His memorial service was absolutely packed with people and all three of his children gave moving tributes. Both of his sons served in Iraq and that's a whole other story as well.
    I can only hope that as many people will remember me after I'm gone and look beyond my own struggles with addiction (sugar, caffeine, gasoline, etc.)

    It's easy to pontificate from the couch when you're not being *directly* affected by our country's disastrous political policies and systems. I can't respect anyone who refuses to vote -- too many people have sacrificed so much to give us this privilege and to just throw it away strikes me as not only disrespectful but also disastrous. If you refuse to participate in the political process, decisions about your life will be made for you. You can bet your best interests won't be on the table either. Perhaps your brother should ask someone who has actually lived under a supposedly "socialist" system what it was like. My mother married an American to escape it.

  12. You may have already seen this women voters email being passed around, but it's a great motivator for women to vote. It talks about a documentary from HBO which outlines the history of women fighting to get the right to vote here in the United States. The post will be up on the 12th.


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