Saturday, January 5, 2008


I was watching Dennis Kucinich in his interview with Bill Moyers on last night's Bill Moyers' Journal, and feeling sad and angry that such a man should be effectively excluded from consideration for this country's presidential office by choices that have nothing to do with his quality as a man nor his policies, but have more to do with the power of the media to make or break, to include or exclude from the public's view. Along with many others, I think, I was distressed by his request of followers in Iowa that they shift their support to Obama rather than to Edwards, who is more clearly aligned with his own political positions. And the weakest part of his interview with Moyers was certainly when he tried to explain his reasons. I'd still vote for him, however, over any other candidate, given any real, democratic choice. But I think we can agree that this is not a true democracy: the electoral process in itself, so dependent on the power of money and the media, stands in the way of real democratic decision-making.

And... noting Kucinich's straight back and the equanimity of his demeanor, and knowing his primary, abiding concern with peace, I found myself wondering whether he might not be a fellow-meditator. Which led me, in turn, to consider the impossibility of a declared Buddhist running for the presidency. While it seems impossible for a candidate to be taken seriously unless he or she embraces Christianity, it's my impression that anyone who professed faith in the Buddha's teachings and confessed to a daily meditation practice would be immediately considered too weird to be worthy of consideration. I can barely imagine the mockery that would ensue such a declaration.

Ah, well. We do have both a woman and an African American as serious contenders. Maybe, one day, a Buddhist...


robin andrea said...

Roger and I watched that interview as well, and had the same impression that Kucinich could not clearly explain why he asked Iowans to give their second choice vote to Obama.

It really is a shame that Kucinich is not being considered a viable candidate. Who makes these determinations? Even John Edwards who came in second in Iowa is given short-shrift. Someone other than the voters pulls all the strings, don't they? I wonder when our democracy died? It certainly did so with barely a wimper.

I didn't notice Kucinich's straight back, but you make an excellent observation that it would be considered too weird for a Buddhist to run for President.

They call him James Ure said...

I have the opposite opinion. I was a Kucinich supporter but I knew that his train would derail at some point and so I switched to Obama.

Partly because he did say to vote for Obama. This is because I have such respect and admiration for Dennis that when he says something I really believe him.

I do agree though that we don't have a real democratic process anymore in regards to elections.

Also, I just don't see the day a Buddhist will be president but it looks like we are about to elect an African American so who knows!!