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on the heart and the head

warning: the following is an incoherent, rambling, liberal-leaning, rough draft of a political "essay" which is mostly meant for me. being the narcissist that i am, i thought i'd make it public and see if anyone else was having similar thoughts. if you're a conservative, i hope we can still be friends. whatever your political leaning, send an email and let me know what you think.

i tend to think of myself as a political centrist who is not strongly tied to any particular political party, despite the fact that i almost always vote democratic. i vote. even in midterm and local elections and i do my best to stay on top of candidate positions, although my better half, kristine, is usually much better at this than myself.

but as this election cycle gets rolling, moreso than any other, i'm finding that i'm not vaguely centrist. i'm a liberal. i'm a liberal's liberal. i'm as progressive as they come. o.k. i know i did go to that bastion of northwest liberalism, the evergreen state college , but i'm still as surprised as anyone that i'm apparently becoming more liberal over time. i thought you were supposed to chill out and get all moderate as you age gracefully.

no, instead, i'm feeling marginalized and disenfranchised and i'm tired of it.

so what's a liberal's liberal to do? well, normally you'd support dennis kucinich [ who is, b.t.w., guest blogging for lawrence lessig at the moment ]. i admit to having some initial adverse reactions which were mostly the result of media soundbites on his positions and opinions on his electibility. but when i look at his "progressive vision" , i'd have to say it articulates things in a way that i strongly identify with. so i guess that makes me a progressive, liberal kook. so sue me.

my problem is that i have this heart and head thing going on. my heart says i should voluteer for the dennis kucinich campaign and help him get out the vote. but my head says that i should just go with dean . my heart says that i know they are not the same and i'm sick-and-tired of compromising, but my head says politics is compromise and that voting with the heart isn't necessarily the most effective way to achieve desired polical ends . my heart says, "viva la revolution!", while my head says that things aren't looking so good in kucinich-land when molly ivans, of all people, reduces kucinich to, "... a no-hoper. Can't elect a guy that short and skinny, not to mention vegetarian. Accuse me of cynicism in my old age, but I am interested in winning this one. Decent, kind, excellent: no Elvis, no hope." . a cheap shot, unfair, and despicable in its own way, but we are living in a country where an important electoral state apparently is in favor of voting arnold schwarzenegger into the governor's office , without hearing one word about where he stands on anything substantive. if people are worried about dean being too short to be electable , then i guess kucinich is not viable as candidate based on his haircut alone.

so will my heart or head win out in the end? i don't know. i still have a lot of work to do as a citizen to kick the tires on kucinich's "progressive vision" and decide for myself whether it's tenable or just "feels good".

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8/11/2003 10:41:00 PM 0 comments


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"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

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