With Al Gore out of the race, I propose that in the Iowa caucus supporters of Barack Obama, John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich fire the shot that will be heard around the world and vote for Iowa delegates committed to change the world.

In each local caucus, the caucus-goers can unite behind the leader in that locality with a shared delegate slate that would include supporters of Edwards, Obama and Kucinich.

The headline out of the caucus would be: "Iowa fires the cannon for change," and my hope is that at some point, Obama and Edwards could come together in a formal alliance or ticket with either one at the top.

The objective fact is this: Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE is the status-quo, backward-looking candidate of the insider establishment and all it represents.

Americans do not want a choice between a Democratic, Washington-based insider establishment versus a Republican, Bush-like Washington-based insider establishment.

Americans do not want to trade one set of old politics, insider politics, attack politics and establishment politics for another.

Americans want the restoration not of one family or another, but a restoration of renewal, reform and true democracy where the people are heard and respected by both parties, rather than neither party.

The objective result of Hillaryland is simple: She has aggressively alienated independent voters. She runs significantly behind both Edwards and Obama against Republicans. She is the most likely Democrat to so alienate independents that a Republican is elected. If Republicans nominate a strong candidate, such as John McCain, she is the one Democrat who so alienates the independents that she could lose in a landslide.

Don't believe me, go to realclearpolitics.com and look at the Democratic versus Republican general election match-ups and the facts and numbers tell the story, clearly.

Looking at Iowa, the key fact is this: Hillary could finish first, second or third with a modest plurality. This modest plurality of perhaps 30 percent of total votes for the status-quo candidate would destroy for 2008 the far larger vote for change, with Obama, Edwards and Kucinich together having perhaps 50 percent-plus total votes but losing under the caucus scheme to the status-quo candidate and the weakest general election candidate with 30 percent or lower.

If the headline out of Iowa is "Majority of Iowa delegates rally for change," the change train rolls on to New Hampshire, independents vote in the New Hampshire Democratic primary and the change train gathers steam. If the small Iowa plurality prevails over the Iowa change majority because of the rules, New Hampshire independents swarm into the Republican primary in New Hampshire, which could well nominate McCain, who actually appears as the change agent compared to Hillary.

Frankly, I view Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd as great potential presidents who have gotten a rotten deal from the media, but in truth, a vote for Richardson is a vote for Bill as Hillary's V.P. (though I don't believe he has a chance of getting it) and a vote for Biden is a vote for Joe as Hillary's secretary of State.

The action that matters in Iowa involves the two authentic, presidential-caliber change players of Obama and Edwards, plus Dennis Kucinich, who will not be nominated but is a profound voice for change, and has enough support to be a major power player for change if he sits at the big table, of big-change politics in an change alliance with Obama and Edwards.

Do we really want a 2008 election between a Democrat and Republican who are both status-quo players, who both represent their parties' insider establishment, who both embody the interest-group insiderism of Washington, and who both were leading champions of the Iraq war for almost all of the period of that war, and who both supported the neocon-inspired Kyle-Lieberman resolution on Iraq?

Do Democrats really want to nominate the candidate who is clearly far weaker in a general election than either of the two change players Democrats could nominate?

It is also a fair question: Should America spend an entire generation recycling Clintons and Bushes as though our democracy is like Old England — dominated by warring families viewing statecraft as a War of the Roses between two royal families who view power as a personal or family entitlement?

In the coming hours and days, the caucus-goers of Iowa will fire a rocket in favor of renewal and change, or issue a death knell to authentic change and lock in four more years of the politics of interest-group insiderism and Washington establishment domination of our democracy.

Let the winds of change prevail, let the page of history be turned, and let the great battle for the future of America begin in earnest.

When the Iowa caucus convenes, I propose that the supporters of Obama, Edwards and Kucinich unite together in each individual caucus, and fire the cannon for change that will lift and inspire Democrats and independents who believe it is time to turn the page, in a nation that needs and wants real change.