Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Shockingly enough, today is Oregon's primary election. Yes, months after the nominee has been selected by a select member of Iowa and New Hampshire residents, Oregon residents have the opportunity to put their asterisk in the history books--our post-selection selection of the remaining candidates.
Had we been the first state, with our electric blue Democratic politics, the "presumptive" nominee might not be John Kerry. Instead, the Democratic candidate was selected by two states whose populations voted 907,932 to 904,865 for Bush. Or put another way, 1.7% of the votes cast in the 2000 election by moderate-right rural populations decided the nominee for the entire country in 2004. Had California (53% Gore), New York (60% Gore), or Illinois (55%) been one of the first two states, it's quite likely my choices today would be Dean instead of Kerry.
(Kerry's a decent choice. He was my third candidate and I'm pleased to have him as the nominee--I think he's the strongest Democrat in a generation. But that's not the point--it's that in this democracy, I had no say in his selection.)
Nevertheless, I am delighted to be able to cast a ballot for my first choice candidate, which is rare. Kucinich, whom I backed early, to whom I gave my first political contribution, and whom I later abandoned whilst staring down the barrel of losing Dean, is the best candidate. Usually they're not on the ballot by the time Oregon's primary creaks into action. But this morning, I took out my vote-by-mail ballot (which, as always, I will hand deliver, having waited too long to actually mail), ticked off Dennis Kucinich, and felt the warm glow of having participated in the democratic process.