Kucinich: Vote for Yourself
BY Rachel Dowd
January 03 2008 1:00 AM ET
Like, say, marriage equality.
If the LGBT
community doesn’t stand for marriage equality and
supports a candidate without an established record of
supporting it early and consistently, then how can you
ever hope to win? If you don’t vote your heart,
your heart never wins.
Anyone who saw
the Logo Forum learned a lot about the different
candidates. They can still go to the website because
it’s still up. They can see how people
responded in the moment to the question and see whose
heart is open and whose isn’t. Hillary Clinton is
essentially saying, “It’s not time
yet.” And Senator Edwards is having quite a bit of
difficulty with it. Why? What’s that about? This
issue becomes not only a question of where we are on
the issue but where we stand with ourselves—as
inevitably any issue that concerns the LGBT community does.
Anyone who would have to wring their hands over the issue of
marriage equality doesn’t get it.
To me it’s
a very simple question of equal protection of the law.
It’s a constitutional issue, and as president
of the United States, I’m going to make sure
that people are not denied equal protection of the law for
any reason, including sexual orientation.
What do you say to gays who think you’re
unelectable and therefore a wasted vote?
People have to
know that they can win. It’s not about what candidate
wins. Will LGBT people be winners in this election? The only
way you can win is to have the courage to vote for
what you want. A courageous vote is the only vote
worth casting. As a community of people with courage,
the LGBT community has been able to demonstrate a great deal
of courage and authenticity. So why would politics
represent something different than what our lives
disappointed what the people in the community do.
It’s their right to choose whomever they want.
But I think there needs to be a pretty open and candid
discussion about how you get to where you want to go
if the people you’re traveling with don’t want
what it is you want.
If you want
marriage equality and you vote for someone who isn’t
for marriage equality, then you can’t complain
later on that you don’t have marriage equality.
If you want marriage equality, then support someone
who stands for it -- because that demonstrates integrity.
It’s really simple. You want health care, and
you vote for a candidate who’s in favor of
propagating a for-profit system? Then you can’t
afford health care. You want to end the war in Iraq,
and you vote for someone who decides to keep the
troops there until 2013 or longer? And the next year you
say, “Gee, I wish we were out of Iraq.”
You know what? You voted for that candidate. You have
to take responsibility for the consequences of your
vote. This is a moment when people have to take
responsibility not just for their decision but the
consequences of that decision.
What responsibility do the candidates have?
We are in a
period right now when candidates are unlikely to take
responsibility for the consequences of their decision. We
may say we’re wrong, but there’s no
consequence for that decision. John Edwards can vote
for the war. He can say he was wrong. But where is the
consequence? And it doesn’t show any change in
judgment when he says of Iran, all options are on the
important decision anybody running for president would have
to make is whether to send young men and women to
battle, to put their lives in danger. If you’re
wrong, how do you say you're sorry to the parents of a
dead soldier? How do you say you’re sorry to the
millions of innocent Iraqis who have lost their lives
to a war based on lies? How do you say you’re
sorry to taxpayers whose government borrowed money from
China to finance this war in Iraq?
If elections are
only about voting for the winner, we’re going to have
a Republican because the Democrats aren’t
establishing a clear enough difference between who we
are and who they are.