The Personal is Political
Here is how Aschenbach has always lived
--A Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
"Perry Kucinich, 52, the youngest brother of Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, was found dead Wednesday morning at his apartment above Becker's Donuts & Bakery on East 71st Street in Cleveland."
Ranger grew up in this neighborhood. My father was a Pennsylvania coal miner displaced to Ohio and working as factory labor in industrial Cleveland. Ranger lived on 77th Street and attended grade school at St. Frances on 71st and Superior. This is the neighborhood in which Perry Kucinich lived and died.
Well, "So what" you say. And indeed. This neighborhood was rough and lower middle class, or upper lower class factory types in the 50's and 60's. A rough place to grow up, and just as rough now. Now it is 2007 and a presidential candidate's brother lives in what can best be described as wasteland. Forget Baghdad -- East 71st Street Cleveland is not a place to visit casually without a 9 on your person.
Much is said of John Edwards humble origins, but what about the fact that David Kucinich's brother actually lived above a donut shop? Ain't that America. No pink houses there. This is a candidate that actually knows the mean streets of America.
I'd venture to say none of the candidates of either party even knows anybody that works in a donut shop, let alone, lives above one. Yet Kucinich, possibly the only candidate who knows the realities of inner city life, is the joke of the campaign.
"Perry Kucinich, the fifth of Frank and Virginia Kucinich's seven children, died eight days after his 52nd birthday and nearly 29 years to the day after he became world famous for robbing a bank."Tragic comedy in the highest. Mr. Kucinich had a brother who robbed a bank and got away with it. A fine credential for any presidential hopeful. It is so Cleveland.
"His brother, unarmed, wearing a red tassel cap, sunglasses and black leather jacket, handed a teller at a bank a Christmas card with 'All your $ or die' written on the back. He took along a light blue suitcase in which to carry the stolen $1,396."
The Kucinich's seem like average Americans. The obligatory photos of his wife show a lovely woman, but one who does not dress ostentatiously, nor in fine, expensively tailored clothes like the rest of the wives. These are off-the-rack people.
Every editorial graphic I found presents Kucinich as wacky. Granted, he doesn't do the hair pomade as well as Edwards or Romney, but as far as representing your average American taxpayer --who's probably a little wacky themselves -- he's pretty representative. But Americans don't buy who they are, they buy a dream package of who they think they are.
Ranger expresses sincere condolences to the Kucinich family, and sorrow and regret at losing a great Clevelander.