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Reply #148: Hm. [View All]

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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-04-07 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #128
148. Hm.
This seems pretty goddam grounded to me. Verbatim from Iowa 2004:

The first stop on Saturday was a Democratic party gathering at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, a large, modern facility on the industrialized banks of the Mississippi River. Hundreds of people were in attendance. The event was supposed to be a three-way stump spot for Kerry, Edwards and Kucinich. Kerry, however, got marooned somewhere else in the state because of bad weather. John Edwards showed up in a huge oceanliner of a bus and hit the room to the sound of some orgiastic rock anthem.

His supporters, the youngest of any candidate present, screamed and waved signs as Edwards took the stage. His speech was strong, vibrant and suffused with echoes of the vibe that so electrified the Clinton speeches of yore. His strong performance in the caucuses the following Monday came as no surprise after watching him work on Saturday. The endorsement from the Des Moines Register probably didnt hurt, either.

Kucinich came on next. It was clear that many in the crowd were not familiar with him. That was about to change.

I come from Cleveland, Ohio, began Kucinich. Im the oldest of seven children. My parents never owned a home, and as the family grew, we kept moving because we outgrew the apartments that we lived in. During the 1950s, there used to be ads in the newspapers that would say No Children or One Child Only. If you had a large family and didnt own a home, you were out of luck. So our family kept moving from place to place. By the time I was 17 years old, we had lived in 21 different places, including a couple of cars.

That experience, he continued, growing up in the city of Cleveland, and living in so many different neighborhoods, and moving from place to place, that experience informs greatly my passion for public service, and my reasons for running for President of the United States. I know that it matters to people to have a job, to have a living wage, to have decent health care, that their kids can go to decent schools, that they live in decent neighborhoods, that they have a roof over their heads. I understand this. I understand it because these are the kinds of concerns that my parents had to deal with when we were growing up. These are the kinds of concerns that many families have to deal with today.

In this time of rising unemployment, he said, all the government will tell us is that the statistics indicate that things are looking a little bit better. The truth of the matter is that there are many people not even reflected in the unemployment numbers anymore, because they stopped looking for jobs, because there arent any jobs available. And thats the truth. The truth is that so many American families have breadwinners who are working part-time because they cant find full-time work. The truth is that people working both part-time and full-time are locked into low-paying jobs. The truth is that this country is letting working-class and middle-class citizens just slowly find their economic position deteriorating without any great cause in America to lift people up, to give people the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor. What is this government doing for all of our people?

We see the priorities, he said. Tax cuts for the wealthy. $155 billion for a war we didnt have to get into. A bloated Pentagon - half the discretionary spending in the federal budget goes to the Pentagon. Cuts in veterans benefits. Cuts in health care. Cuts in education. Cuts in housing. Cuts in jobs programs. This country is losing its connection with its people. My Presidency will be about reconnecting America with the practical aspirations of the American people.

By this time, the crowd had risen, somewhat surprised with itself, to its feet in approval several times. Dennis Kucinich? Rocking the house?

I want you, the taxpayers, to think about this, said Kucinich after the applause had died down again. If were in Iraq for a few years, the cost will be over a half a trillion dollars. Thats going to come out of our budget for housing, for education, for health care. Casualties are now over five hundred, and could go into the thousands. Why? When is enough enough? I say enough is enough right now, and thats why we need to get the troops out, and thats why Im ready to lead in that direction.

All across the country, he said, we see the infrastructure of many states crumbling. Bridges, water systems, sewer systems, roads in disrepair. States dont have the money to fix them, and local communities dont have the money to fix them. I intend to take a page from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in the 1930s recognized the need to rebuild America, recognized the need to put millions of people back to work, and have a new WPA program to repair our bridges and water systems and sewer systems. We will put Americans back to work, we will build a new infrastructure, we will build a new chance for America. I am running to lead the way on that.

I am talking about a quest to ensure the economic stability of America, he said. In my campaign around this country, I have visited so many communities where I have seen plant gates locked, and have looked through those gates to see grass growing in parking lots. These are plants where they used to make steel, where they used to make textiles, where they used to make car parts and washing machines and bicycles. All around this country, weve seen this same story of one manufacturing plant after another being closed. We are told that this is inevitable.

Weve had three million manufacturing jobs lost, he said, since July of 2000. Three million. I explained earlier where I am coming from on this. I understand job loss. It is not just a statistic. It means a home that is threatened. It means someone in the family is not going to get the education they hoped for. It means the loss of health benefits. It means retirement benefits at risk. It means instability in a family. It could mean a family splitting up. Tremendous economic pressures are being put on so many American families today, and Ill tell you one of the reasons.

Ten years ago, he said in a rising voice, the United States passed agreements called NAFTA and the WTO which created conditions where global corporations are setting all the rules for trade. You know what it is about? You know what it is about. It is about cheap labor. Wherever they can drive down wages, they do it. Wherever they can get someone to do a job for less than nothing, thats what they are looking for. They dont care about child labor, prison labor, slave labor, they dont care about crushing workers. What they care about is being able to make more and more of a profit. They dont care if they close down a community.

They dont care if they crush small businesses, he said, now in full roar. They dont care because they have the power, with NAFTA and the WTO, and all these trade agreements, to just move jobs out of this country, move out the manufacturing jobs, move out high-tech jobs, move out any kind of job that exists in this country that they can make a better buck off in another country by crushing workers rights. Ive seen it. It is time to put an end to it.

The thunder of the audience shook the room.

The rest:
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