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Dennis Kucinich Walks the Talk
January 19, 2004
By DiamondSoul, Dover, Dweller, JohnKleeb, Lwolf, Mairead, Rucky, Sweetheart, and Tinoire

Editor's Note: To mark the beginning of the primary season, the editors of Democratic Underground solicited articles from our members in support of the eight Democratic presidential primary candidates. Publication of these articles does not imply endorsement of any candidate by the editors of Democratic Underground.

Dennis Kucinich walks the talk. You can count on him for democracy, social and economic justice, peace, and for the people.

Since the Supreme Court’s stunning decision of 2000, millions of Americans watched in disbelief as our political leadership chose corporate globalization over the welfare of our citizens. We embarked upon oil-enriching wars which endanger the lives of innocent people who echo our anguished cry from September 11: “Why do they hate us?”

While we were asking this question, the Bush administration used our grief and anger to propel us into war. Millions have lost jobs. Living from pay-check to pay-check in the wealthiest nation, we are suddenly fearful of losing everything. Unimaginable figures like $87 billion for the continued occupation of Iraq have become reality. Only two candidates, Kucinich and Sharpton, unequivocally said NO to the $87 billion aid package stating that the money was needed to take care of domestic programs at home, rather than to occupy nations and enrich corporations.

Kucinich, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, has been a staunch, consistent, and outspoken leader in the opposition to the Bush Administration and its agenda of war, fear, and greed. He is the only candidate who has presented a clear, detailed and workable plan for ending the conflict while committing money for reparations and US help in reconstruction. US military casualties in Iraq have now exceeded 500, and the media has begun comparing the figure to the number of US dead in Vietnam in 1965 prior to the significant expansion of US operations there. We are out $155 billion already with hundreds of billions at stake if we remain there. Our continued occupation does not bode well for families with loved ones presently serving or with children approaching the draft age. Kucinich sees the solution to the quagmire in which ‘Operation Iraqi freedom’ has trapped us. Kucinich’s plan will phase our troops out and international peace-keeping troops in within 90 days of its implementation and return Iraq to a peaceful order. "US out/UN in"!

For over a year now Kucinich has been telling us that every dollar spent oppressing the Iraqi people to enrich Halliburton is one more dollar taken from the average American’s dinner-table. $87 Billion is money stolen from inner city schools so that the Pentagon can embark on it’s never ending cycle of self-justification. $87 Billion is a lot of money when you can’t find a few million for job retraining programs.

Our domestic programs and safety nets are in disarray. Kucinich proposes a 15% cut in the Pentagon’s swollen budget in order to fully fund domestic priorities here at home. Beginning with what is an undisputed right in almost all industrialized countries-- a universal, single-payer health care plan in which no American would be left behind. Under Kucinich’s plan, phased in over a ten-year period, medical care will be privately delivered but publicly funded. Kucinich is the candidate whose health care plan has been endorsed by the Physicians for National Health Care Program (which published the first major single payer proposal in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1989). The PNHP and Congressman Jim McDermott requested detailed plans from every candidate and examined them- Kucinich’s plan was singled out as "by far the most comprehensive, because it guarantees coverage to all Americans and overhauls the health care finance system. It would also do the best job of controlling costs among the Presidential contenders’ plans." It has also received one of the 2 passing marks from JustHealthCare.

Our trade policies have caused tragic affects on workers, environment and the job market on a global scale. America alone has lost an estimated 3 million jobs to NAFTA and WTO policy. Kucinich is the sole candidate planning to replace NAFTA and the WTO with bilateral trade agreements. Kucinich also addresses economic exploitation in the United States with a proposal to repeal Taft-Hartley: "Workers’ rights are truly human rights whether they be in the Maquila region of Mexico, Saipan or Chinatown in New York City." (Interview, July 25, 2003)

Like John F. Kennedy, Dennis Kucinich grew up in a Catholic home and his position on reproductive rights is one of the most complex and worthy of respect than any of the candidates’. He has nailed women’s rights issues and garnered the support of women’s rights activists and feminists all over the country. He has a true legislative commitment to the concept of "justice." He recognizes that it isn’t "justice" to force women to bear children in the worst of circumstances by removing the final safety net to prevent such a situation. He recognizes that, for women to be truly equal, they must be free to determine when and if they are able to bear and provide for a child. He knows that the current system for caring for unwanted and mistreated children is ineffective and overloaded. What Kucinich understands is that first we must take care of and meet the needs of those who are here, right now, today; we must meet that challenge before moving on to philosophical discussions about the morality of abortion. Ironically, Kucinich was the first candidate pledging not to appoint any judges who will not uphold Roe vs. Wade. (Kerry has since stated the same intention).

Kucinich is the leader we have searched for. He resonates with Truth. He has revived trust and enthused Americans with HOPE. The great American dream we once had is but a memory now; only one candidate has a realistic platform to recapture that dream for all people. His website, http://www.kucinich.us/ reads like an encyclopedia of solutions.

No chains are needed around our ankles as long as they can chain our minds and imprison our hopes. No acetylene torch is needed to free ourselves from the chains of our country’s current situation. We can snap the chains, walk through the bars. All we have to do is decide to do it.

Vote Kucinich

But don't confuse caring for weakness
You can't put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free

What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth – Willy Nelson

 
For more information about Dennis Kucinich, please visit www.kucinich.us.

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