Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cynthia McKinney, Let her shine

Kimberly Wilder notes this video of presumed Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. As Austin Cassidy's Independet Political Report notes, "With Green Party delegates poised to select a presidential nominee this morning, NewsBlaze runs down the contenders and their standings, saying that 'with 419 votes needed to win the nomination, former George Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney leads the delegate race with 304.5 delegates'." In what should be a day that focuses some attention on the Green Party's convention (going on through tomorrow) and taking some civic pride in their nominee (whether it's McKinney or someone else), the reality of our non-democracy comes through best at, where else?, Aging Socialite's Cat Litter Box where Cynthia's presumed victory translates into "Can McKinney Really Hurt Obama?" Everything is not about the Christ-child.

Cynthia McKinney seems to be on the verge of receiving the nomination of a national political party. That is news. That is news all by itself. That is something to celebrate. Whether you plan to vote Green or not, that is something very big.

The honor is reduced when the immediate response is, "What does that mean to Barack!"

Cynthia McKinney is a politician with a history of experience and a history of results. She was crucified not once, but twice by the party 'leaders' in the Democratic Party and, both times, written off for dead. Her presumed victory speaks to her strength and her abilities.

As a woman, her anticipated victory later today is something all (women and men) should take pride in. That would be true if it were 2004 but it is especially true after the Democratic primary this year when women were dragged through the mud, were targeted with attacks and were slammed and lectured to.

As an African-American, what a statement she makes. She says you can be authentically yourself and not attempt to alter yourself to curry votes or favors. She says you can pick up the torch for racial equality and carry it further. Cynthia McKinney is not merely her race but neither does she run from her race. That's a very positive and needed statement in the country today.

For those who value the speaking of truth, it's a huge victory.

Her assumed nomination today translates into so many things including issues because she has run an issue based campaign.

What should be celebrated as embodying the best that country strives for does not need to be turned into, "How's she's going to hurt Obama!"

Can we not take the time, regardless of who we plan to vote for or if we plan to vote, to take pride in the accomplishments and gains that Cynthia makes and represents?

Or are we so divided as a country (and on the left) that we can only see it in terms of ourselves and our own self-interests?

The Green Party represents one more choice in a nation where choice continues to dwindle. You don't have to be a Green or planning to vote Green to celebrate the hard work Cynthia has put into her campaign and the huge obstacles she overcame for not toeing the line. Today is a strong day for democracy.

Presumably, Cynthia will be elected her party's nominee. In a year, it should be noted, when the DNC is attempting to prevent a floor vote at their own convention. Unless it's a drive-by, we're not read by John McCain supporters, but even McCain supporters should be able to see Cynthia's win as good for America. They might not agree with anything she stands for (since they would largely be Republicans), but just in terms of what democracy is supposed to stand for and the fact that we are supposed to root for and value democracy, they should be able to take a moment to take some pride in her accomplishment.

It's really funny, if you think about the end of the Democratic primaries, when some party 'healers' wanted to preach the line that it said something about the country but, strangely, none of them are trotting out the argument for Cynthia.

Regardless of whom you plan to vote for (or if you plan to vote), we should all be able to set aside our likes and dislikes to appreciate what Cynthia has accomplished.

A moment should be manageable for everyone to leave their own political opinions to the side and appreciate her victory.

The Greens are going to be excited (rightly) and some of that will be personal excitement for their party (as it should be) but it's also going to include what is being said about democracy. It'll be a real shame if members of the 'big' parties show off that they're actually smaller of heart and pride in democracy than third party members. (Though that might not be surprising, it will be a shame.)

I'm fully aware that any press -- especially for a third party -- can be seen as good press but I'm appalled that before Cynthia even has the nomination, it's already time to trot out the "what does this mean for ___" columns.

Before a single piece is written noting what it means for Cynthia, or what it means for America, or what it means for democracy, it's time to toss her up against a man and wonder if she'll hurt him?

That devalues her, that devalues America and it devalues democracy.

I don't care for sports, so I'll go to another form of analogy. It's as though today Cynthia was announcing her engagement and someone had to stand up right after and say, "Guess what? I'm pregnant!" Are the gas bags that small and petty that Cynthia (and the Green Party) can't even have a moment after months of hard work?

It is a Saturday. It is a slow news day. And it is appalling that the presumed nominee can't even shine for one day without fear of what it means to somebody else. Sometimes it just means that it's her turn to shine and it's hard to believe that if the "her" wasn't in there, everyone would rush so to ignore the candidate.

For gas bags who need guidance, the angles are Cynthia McKinney, democracy and America. There's no need to pit her against your hero to have an angle. That's not only insulting, it's rather aggressive. Not surprising when you consider the way attacks on women were publicly embraced this year. Did the gas bag set greet McCain's nomination with "What will this mean for the Democrats!" I don't think so, maybe they did. But they damn well took the time to also note McCain in his own right. When the primaries ended, the coverage took time to celebrate Barack's presumed victory. Is it only when the candidate's a woman that we deny her the right to be her own person? That we refuse to bask in the moment?

It's really starting to look that way and another 'angle' can be what the response to Cynthia's victory says about America (reality as opposed to dream). This is her day, let her shine.

The e-mail address for this site is

Since yesterday morning, the following community websites have updated:

Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Cedric's Big Mix;
Kat's Korner;
Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Mikey Likes It!;
Like Maria Said Paz;
The Daily Jot;
Trina's Kitchen;
Ruth's Report;
and Marcia's

Correction, Wally's heard me griping as I wrote this and he and Cedric are going to post Saturday night. (This is written ahead of time and Mike is kind enough to post it after everyone's posted.) So look for Wally and Cedric tonight and they hope to somehow address the topic of the non-response to Cynthia.

The e-mail address for this site is