Kucinich won’t leave the Democrats, Nader is still punished for not obeying them

Sharon Smith’s excellent article in CounterPunch takes you step-by-step through Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s biggest flaw: he’s a Democrat party loyalist to the end. Smith concludes that

Kucinich must therefore be faulted for compromising his principles in one crucial respect. He remains beholden to the Democrats-a ruling-class, imperialist party that coexists in a power-sharing arrangement with the Republicans-offering voters no genuine alternative to the status quo. If Kucinich truly believed his own rhetoric, he would leave, creating the possibility for building a viable third party that could provide an electoral vehicle to express popular opposition to corporate rule and the imperialist wars it inevitably produces.

Does the last sentence remind you of anyone–someone who left a party and ran for president as an independent while the Left blamed him when their pro-corporate Democrat didn’t earn his own votes? An Unreasonable Man blows up the myths proper Leftists still hold dear.

There are elected Democrats across the country facing the same problem: they win elections as Democrats even though they agree with Smith’s analysis. The duopoly keeps its strength in part because the people in the Democratic party refuse to leave. And the Democrats have no reason to pay attention to the Leftists who vote for them regardless of what they do (including: supporting invading Iraq, saber-rattling with Iran, eliminating candidates from Democratic party debates, raising ballot access restrictions in concert with Republicans, and scuttling voter registration efforts to keep voter participation at around 50%). Thus the Left marginalizes itself.

I’m not convinced another political party will help fix things, but a small step in the right direction is to give candidates a better chance to be heard. We have the technology to hear from all the ballot-qualified candidates on uninterrupted prime time TV, free of charge to the candidate’s campaign. I’d even go for repeat airings and restricting this offer to candidates that use state funding for their campaign. I’d like it if poorer candidates gained the opportunity to speak to the voters to help make up for what they couldn’t otherwise afford. If we leave candidate messages to the compliant corporate media entirely, they’ll edit critical candidates right out of the picture.