Lack of leftist ‘08 hopefuls

With the elections of 2004, American politics became largely dominated by the conservative right wing. In 2006, there was a swing in which Democrats won Congress and now many people foresee a Democrat to win the presidency in the election next year. This Democrat, whoever the nominee will be, will claim he or she is a liberal but will probably be far from it. Progressivism was coined during the early 20th century. Progressives believed that change was needed to bring about equality for the common good of all the citizens. Liberalism can be traced back the Renaissance time period in Italy. Liberalism is the belief in individual and civil liberties. These terms now get thrown around too easily in politics. A true progressive liberal would believe that the citizens should be equal and have their own liberty. This would include pro-choice, pro stem-cell research, the decriminalization of marijuana, legalization of same-sex marriage, socialized healthcare, abolishment of the death penalty, easing immigration laws, and of course, anti-war. Recent polls by Polling Report Inc. show Hillary Clinton as the top candidate with 38 percent support. Barrack Obama comes in second with 23 percent. Neither of these candidates can be considered true progressives. Clinton opposes gay marriage and holds a tough stance on immigration. She has also said that she does not regret her vote for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Obama opposes gay marriage and says he would not rule out missile strikes on Iran. One ray of hope for a true leftist shines through in Dennis Kucinich. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 10th district, Kucinich states that he has an aim to help bring the Democratic Party in the right direction. Although he may almost be considered a true progressive liberal, Polling Report Inc. polls report he has received only one percent of the nation’s support. While Kucinich will most likely never win the presidential election, his message is clear. There are still strong supporters of progressive views and they must be taken into consideration. It should be noted that Dennis Kucinich may be strong supporter of real Democratic values, but he is not a perfect liberal. Kucinich claims to be pro-choice, but has amassed a strong anti-abortion voting record. Kucinich voted against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. This Act says that pregnant teenage mothers should be allowed to cross state lines to receive and abortion if the laws prohibit abortions in their own state. Kucinich also voted against contraception coverage in health insurance for federal workers, while Viagra is widely covered by this insurance. Another very liberal candidate is Bill Richardson. He is a four-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize but his drug policies keep him from being a true leftist. It is time for America to come to an unprecedented age of equality, stressing the values of progressivism and liberalism. Many people believe in the values of true liberalism and progressivism, but they do not vote this way due to the lack of a major candidate with these values. The conservative executive branch has been going through a tough time in these last few years with a record high national debt and terrible approval ratings (current approval ratings for the Bush administration are 36 percent). It is time for a change in government that would come from a candidate with leftist values.