In the political equivalent of a â€œblind taste testâ€ taken by more than 67,000 participants, an independent website surveying public attitudes on various issues is reporting that Ohio Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is the first choice of a phenomenal 53% of respondents.
On all but a few issues, average Americans, whether they self-describe as Republican or Democrat, tend to hold views that would be described in Washington as massively, unelectably left-wing.
As of August 3rd (the survey is recalculated every five minutes), more than 35,600 respondents were â€œin syncâ€ with Kucinich on the issues. Democratic front-runner Senator Hillary Clinton was the first-place choice of only about 2,400 respondents (3.6%). Other leading candidates fared even worse: Senator Barack Obama (3%), and former Senator John Edwards (1.3%).
As of right now, Kucinich is still owning the field.
The site’s author writes:
You would probably be interested to know that Kucinich has been the first choice of 72134 people (out of 124997). That wasn’t my intention or expectation when making this site, but it is certainly interesting.
This is not as strange as you would think — I ran across this in a Dec 2005 interview with Noam Chomsky of all people —
Chomsky: Well look I think it’s a very optimistic future, frankly.
Chomsky: Yes very much so. There’s something we know about the country, this country, more than any other. We know a lot about public opinion, it’s studied very intensively. The results are very rarely reported but you can find them. It’s an open society and you can find them. What they show is remarkable. What they show first of all is that both political parties and the media are far to the right of the general population on a whole host of issues and the population is just disorganized, atomized and so on. This country ought be an organizers paradise. And that’s why the media and the campaigns keep away from issues. They know that on issues they’re going to lose people. So therefore you have to portray George Bush as a – look he’s a pampered kid from a rich family who went to prep school and elite university, and you have to present him as an ordinary guy, who makes grammatical errors, which I’m sure he’s trained to make, he didn’t talk that way at Yale, fake Texas twang, and he’s off to his ranch to, you know, cut brush or something.
Kucinich probably is unelectable in our current system, despite the fact that his views are those of the majority of Americans (unless the people who used that choose-your-candidate site were a massively, massively unrepresentative group of people for some reason.)
The news media have written him off before the campaign begins; the popular support his positions enjoy will never be reported on; the massive disjunction between the other candidates’ positions (Democratic and Republican) and the desires of the nation will not be reported on. In fact, their actual positions on real issues will be avoided, in favor of horse-race commentary about who’s ahead this week in terms of massive contributions from corporate donors, and who is rumored to spend how much on their haircuts, and whether Hilary Clinton’s dress revealed a shadow of cleavage, and which of the Republicans is most able to express his willingness to torture “terrorists” while remembering not to call it “torture.”
We’ll get a choice between a Democratic candidate who mostly represents his corporate backers and gives lip service to representing American people, and a Republican candidate who unabashedly serves his corporate backers, especially the ones with military or “security” collections, and openly scoffs at the idea of doing anything for Americans except locking up supposed criminals in profitable corporate jails and bombing supposed enemies with profitable corporate bombs.
Or you can “waste” your vote on a third party, which I would honestly consider at this point, even in light of the nakedly psychotic menace that all the front-running Republican candidates present.
Assuming Kucinich doesn’t get the nomination, maybe we should start a “write in Kucinich” campaign, or some other group like the Greens should nominate him.