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Thu

22

Nov

2007

The Heroics Of Dennis J. Kucinich
Thursday, 22 November 2007 17:25
by Maryann Mann

He’s short, right? Kinda weird looking? A close friend of mind described Dennis J. Kucinich with rare jocularity following a recent Democratic presidential debate: “He reminded me of a nebbish, privileged student council member”. I actually had to smile at that one.

As witty as my friend’s remark was (and it did make me smile), my grin was born from two very different places: One, a place of remarkable admiration, the other a place of very deep regret.

My admiration for Dennis Kucinich begins with the authenticity of a man who seems possessed of a deft, preternatural ability to resist coercive political pressure and acquiescence to the special-interest briberies which have co-opted Washington D.C. Even David Brooks, conservative columnist for The New York Times, went so far as to stamp the Ohio Congressman as an “aging prodigy”.

Here are five major points to consider:
1.) Dennis Kucinich was right on Iraq. The Congressman stood up to ideological war hawks, refusing to submit to the constitutional calamity of a preemptive invasion.

2.) He was right on the Patriot Act. Kucinich lambasted the serpentine piece of legislation acting as a gateway to eroding our cherished civil liberties.

3.) The Congressman is right on health care. Unlike slipshod “universal coverage” plans proposed by Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama (all of which attempt to incurably fix a broken, private system by virtually mandating that every American buy into it) Kucinich knows first hand that the only morally and economically satisfying version of health care is the one beginning with the words: not-for-profit.

4.) Strength through Peace: The hallmark of the Congressman’s presidential campaign would end using war as an instrument of policy. Haters call him a peacenik devoid of reality. I submit that the intellectually curious might see a president who would embody unparalleled leadership in nuclear non-proliferation and in tackling global warming (mother nature’s WMD) to bridge frayed international alliances, combat climate change and, in effect, revive the plummeting dollar.

5.) Kucinich is right on impeachment. Dennis, as it currently stands – along with 22 courageous signatories – has been the only Congressman brave enough to officially propose articles of impeachment against the dangerously dark Vice President Richard B. Cheney. And on this, he hits the bull’s eye too.

Born in Cleveland, Dennis Kucinich is the eldest of seven children and the son of working class parents. As a child Kucinich was charged with the impossible task of scouring the newspaper in order to find his family affordable housing. Before Dennis was 17 the Kucinich’s moved over 20 times; at several points resorting to the only shelter they could find: their car. Kucinich worked his way through college, going on to receive a master’s degree, and at 31 was elected Mayor of his hometown – the youngest Mayor in the America at the time. In 1996 Kucinich was elected to the United States Congress and, eight years later, the boy who lived most of his early life in and out of a tattered sedan would set out on a quest to become president. Today, that quest continues.

As reported in the Boston Globe:
“If people want to know what kind of president I’ll be,” said Kucinich, “they only have to know my background to know who I’m in government to represent: those who aspire to decent jobs, a decent wage, health care, a roof over their heads, education for their children… I come to the political system as an advocate for people, not an advocate for any special interest group. That really is what distinguishes me from anyone else in this race.”
Barack Obama talks about what it takes to unite all walks of life. Dennis Kucinich knows first hand. John Edwards wears his “father worked in a mill” story on his arm like a badge of honor. Dennis Kucinich lived 17 years of his life on and off the streets to now be standing here running for president.

Impressed? Had no idea? What a story, right? Yeah, I know. This is where the regret behind my grin comes into play.

My regret is in witnessing a media and voting system both configured with such democratic intolerance that it handcuffs the populist magnitude behind a potential Kucinich presidency. “The media do not necessarily tell you what to think, but they do tell you what to think about and how to think about it,” notes communications expert Robert McChesney in his book The Problem of the Media. You’re not allowed to think about candidates like Dennis. And to be sure you don’t debate moderators like the esteemed Tim Russert will ask the Congressman ludicrous, nonsensical questions having to do with: unidentified flying objects.

The trade off is that you’re given “The Horse Race”… a media-hyped framework with a bunch of Hardball “power-rankings” and superficial hoopla drawing lots of ratings and advertising dollars for major corporations like General Electric (which owns Hardball network home NBC Universal), but lacks any sense of fair play or democratic standards when it comes to substantive coverage of candidates or real political diversity.

And yet, despite it all, Kucinich remains.

Given the uphill battle Kucinich faces in the final stretch of the presidential primary, it may behoove him to consider speaking out in remaining televised debates with blunt force on three critical issues:

1.) Direct Democracy. The greatest challenge to voter participation in this country is the people’s feeling of political marginalization. The cure to this plague begins first and foremost with the dismantling of the Electoral College. As the current system now stands, the people of the United States vote indirectly for president and vice president. Most voters assume that every four years they’re permitted to pull a lever and vote directly for their chosen candidate. This is not so. Voters are actually choosing unknown “electors” from their state to cast official votes for the two aforementioned offices. Electors are not required to cast their electoral votes in accordance with popular sentiment and, in effect, work against the health of a vibrant democracy. Dismantling the Electoral College (at the very least dividing the nation’s electoral votes proportionally as is done in Maine and Nebraska) would magnificently increase voter participation by assuring that every popular vote cast in the presidential race would equally count.

Not to mention the vital necessity for a Gradual Random Presidential Primary.

2.) Presidential Dynasty. Should Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination and go on to win the White House the Bush-Clinton two family dynasty would proceed, conceivably, for another eight years. Beginning from George H.W. Bush’s ascension to the vice presidency in 1980 to a possible two-term Hillary Clinton presidency ending in 2016 this country would be staring down 36 years of two-family aristocratic rule. If this was happening in any other country, would we call it democracy?

3.) Media Consolidation. As it stands, the Federal Communications Commission may further ease the decades-old media ownership rules, which includes, according to the New York Times, “repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city.” This is but another in a cascade of slippery slopes into further media consolidation. The final vote on this measure is set to go forth this December. Further media consolidation leads to less diversity and a suffocation to the media propagated “marketplace of ideas”. Ideas like: “Kucinich 2008”.

Dennis Kucinich represents the very best of what America has to offer. Men like him don’t go away. They just need people like us to pay attention.

Maryann Mann is a freelance socio-political columnist whose work has been published with a variety of outlets including: Raw Story, Currents of Awareness, OpED News and Populist America. Feel free to make contact at: maryannmann@gmail.com
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Mari Anderson said:

0
...
Ms. Mann, thank you for your outstanding article on Dennis Kucinich. He is my hero too, since the day I discovered a vegan was running for President in the last election. I went on to learn much more about Kucinich, his honesty, his total grasp of the issues, his passion for truth, PEACE and the Constitution. It has been my privilege to see him speak many times. Each time I come away with a new sense of hope for our nation and the future.

I am not surprised war profiteers General Electric, owners of NBC work so diligently to marginalize Kucinich as a candidate. GE does not seem to be too fond of those who follow a path of PEACE. I see Kucinich far above the fray. His message is reaching the voters who once familiar with his values are loyal supporters.

No other candidate has the same compassion for humanity. Kucinich is a true statesman; he is our best opportunity to elect a great leader. I call Kucinich my little Lincoln, who was kinda weird looking too! I expect Kucinich will take a similar place in American history.
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

Gary Kent said:

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Dennis J. Kucinich
A wonderful article about a truly outstanding man. The lack of respect that Dennis has received should make every politician in Washington and every news person hang their heads in shame. Dennis is the real thing. This man has the moral and spiritual courage to turn this Nation around. It has been a long time since we have seen a man of this stature willing to serve America. He is an inspiration to Americans who really care, and everyone of us needs to get 100% behind him and his candidacy for President. Dennis represents the best of what America is all about. There is no double speak in this man. He speaks from his heart and he has the heart of a giant and he does what he says. This is integrity. Something almost unheard of in a politician in America these days. Dennis goes beyond democrat or republican. He does what is right. The compassion that has been lost by America in our rise to becoming the worlds sole superpower can only be restored when Americans honestly recognize how badly we have failed in this area and how much we need Dennis Kucinich and other men like him to lead us back to everything that is truly good about America.
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

Anita said:

0
Thanks so much..
...for an insightful interview on a wonderful man that most of the mainstream media does not want to talk about. It is because of honest and truthful articles such as yours that the tide is turning and people en masse are learning about and discovering this man who could change our country and it's government around. Like he says and he knows he can create this, "the world will love America again!" Let's make this happen and vote for Dennis in '08!
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

Johanna said:

0
Excellent!
Dennis is the true American hero today. He stands for what so many people want but gets no recognition from the press. Americans have been so brainwashed into believing whatever is dished out to them or in whatever candidate is deemed the front runner, that people don't even try to make a change. It's time to take our country back.... Dennis in '08!!!!
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

Coordinator, december152007.com said:

0
Massive one-day donation for Dennis Kucinich: Dec. 15th
Concerned citizens are organizing a one-day online fundraiser for
Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign. Our goal is to get 100,000 people to commit to donate $100 each at Dennis Kucinich's official contribution web site on December 15, 2007, for a total one-day contribution of $10 million. Please pledge now at http://www.december152007.com/ and tell friends about this grassroots effort.
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

anonymous Reddit user said:

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A close friend of mind
I almost stopped reading after that first line, but I'm glad that I continued.
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

d5 said:

0
...
"a close friend of mind" ???
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

robbb said:

0
very good but...
the tragedy is that the best man will not be anywhere near the running. Middle America is petrified of change; if you cannot drive in one hour to a large body of water you will probably hate everything Dennis stands for. If Dennis does become president however, expect to see radical changes in how the rest of the world views the USA, if not, we can maintain our privileged position as the worlds #1 most disliked country. Again, being that Fox news has more sway in who becomes president than most peoples own frontal lobes, Dennis has little chance. I will be voting for him, I hope that every other intelligent American and many more will do too.
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

Serry J Winkler said:

0
Kucinich the only candidate for 2008
To my fellow Citizens,
As an early primary state, you are once again being called upon to make one of the most important decisions of your life and for the your children's future. This should not simply be partisan. We are at a cross roads of our civilization, our country and what values we choose to embrace. The next leader will need to make difficult choices on the best use of our limited resources.

After our last 7 years, the statement is so obvious, what we do domestically and internationally has consequences that potentially touch every man, woman and child living on this planet. The decisions made by George Bush and Co have taken us to the brink of Armageddon. The problems and the solution can no longer be made with a band-aid. We need to re-evaluate our values, our priorities with a goal towards a world of REAL peace for generations to come. Every action has consequences; they are not executed in a vacuum. We have witnessed the poor choices of the Bush administration. Through their insatiable quest for world domination, they have destroyed our economy, placed millions of citizens on the unemployment lines, have systematically curtailed our civil liberties through the Patriot Act, eliminated all environmental protections for clean air and water. All will have dire consequences for many generations to come. We have become the international class bully regarded by majority of the world’s population. Does this make us any safer? The Bush administration’s policies have fueled mistrust and created an atmosphere of potential terrorists attacked against America.

Tax breaks for the ultra wealthy, deregulation of industry and the insane proliferation of the Pentagon budget has now placed America with a $9 trillion debt. The interest on this debt coupled with $1.3 Trillion expense for re-building America’s infrastructure, the need to totally fund Social Security and Medicare for the baby boomers (a promise that needs to be kept) results in a ‘personal’ check for every man, woman and child of $350,000.

Now we could ask the Pentagon to find the $3 trillion it has misplaced, cancel absurd military projects that the most knowledgeable say are all ‘folly’ or simple eliminate the public education system in America for everyone except the children of the ultra wealthy. Our next leader will need to have the courage to make these very difficult choices. George Bush says we need to sacrifice.

Most Americans are willing to do their part. The question is when is Corporate America willing to do theirs. George Bush has one mantra, legislative policies that have filled the coffers from his corporate cronies and wealthy campaign contributors through privatization and deregulation while gutting all safety nets for the working and middle class of our country.

At first blush you may think of one of our leading democratic candidates who is now a household name. I’m going to ask you to dig a little deeper and ……REALLY DREAM! Dream of a country where we live and love together, that discrimination is an embarrassment of a prior generation, that every child is educated to reach their fullest potential, where our governments’ policies do not foster disease, where we learn to live respectfully with our natural resources and strive to protect them as a gift for generations that follow. Dream of a country that is generous to our veterans and ‘first responders’, and appreciates their sacrifice. Dream of a country where the most important occupation is teaching our youth and compensate them accordingly. Dream of a country where millions of our children are not homeless or living below the poverty level. Dream of a country where 44 million Americans are not without health insurance. Dream internationally that our policies encourage good will and a favorable attitude towards America verses the alternative. Dream that we spent our generosity to alleviate hunger, disease and a poor standard of living. that is fueled by the insanity of NAFTA and WTO. Dream of a country where we champion Fair Trade .

As middle age adults we have stopped dreaming, we accept ‘business as usual’. We are too practical, too reasonable, and compromise is a very lonely decision. When was the last time you voted FOR a candidate not AGAINST one? When you cast your compromised vote; think about your children and grandchildren and the world you would like to leave them. The late great Paul Wellstone said, “vote your conscience”.

There is only one candidate that brings the Democratic Party back to its roots and his name is Dennis Kucinich. He will work tirelessly for the diminishing middle class, who will work to elevate our working poor to a livable standard of living. There is only one candidate who can bring the 50% disenfranchised Americans to the polls for the first time because he hears their cries. If you are not familiar with Congressman Kucinich, I encourage you to go to his website, contact the local campaign office, listen to him speak and by all means read/listen to a “Prayer for America”. Change comes when you take a ‘leap of faith’, when you say ‘no more’! It does not come through evolution, but rather revolution.

If we as the guardians of the Constitution, stop dreaming for a better tomorrow what do we have in its place…more of the same? Is this good enough for the greatest nation on the planet?

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my fellow Americans a happy holiday season and a prosperous and healthy New Year! A vote for Kucinich and his Department of Peace is a vote for Peace of Earth.

Serry J Winkler
A proud Kucinich 2004 presidential delegate
koolkarma817@yahoo.com
USA
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

John Duncan said:

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Aristocratic Rule
By the time Killary is able to finish her 8-year term, Chelsea will be able to fill the gap. Then one of the Bushes, if they so desire smilies/smiley.gif
 
November 23, 2007
Votes: +0

Bianca Reagan said:

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I like Dennis Kucinich too!
I've written about him on my blog at least three times.

Thanks for your article.
 
November 25, 2007
Votes: +0

1nomore said:

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...
Mentioned Dennis Kucinich to a friend on Thanksgiving. She asked, "is that the one who looks like Dr. Spock, with the pointy ears?" I never thought of if, but now I can see it. I also think he is cute and even a little sexy. His wife is gorgeous and intelligent and also compassionate, as is he.

He is excellent in debates--right on top of anything thrown at him. He put Tucker Carlson in his place,
has handled every interview admirably. He is informed well beyond the top three. He's got it!

The corporates, including media, are trying to ignore him. That's a good sign.

Why did he vote against the Patriot Act, he was asked. "Because I read it!" was his answer. I love this guy!
 
November 25, 2007
Votes: +0

marvin said:

0
A grabowski
I was not going to vote for reps or dems anymore but this guy seems as though he would give it his all,,and we really need that. Wonder who he has in mind for VP? Maybe that dopctor that did not make it the last time? He was another good guy.
All the other will be loking for another Spiro Agnew.
 
November 25, 2007
Votes: +0

marvin said:

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...
You can always tell who will be the worst in office. Whomever the the television stations and newspapers advertize the most in thier coverage are the ones that are backed by the big money and the media owners. They know that they can influence the sheep into believing anything. Hence we will get another piece of trash voted in as president and vice president.
I know this because I live amongst them.
 
December 07, 2007
Votes: +0

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