Who is best fit to be the next President? The media is already in a frenzy over Hilary vs. Obama vs. McCain vs. [ insert latest hot candidate here ]. But yesterday someone stood up and said he would fight for a better America. One that would value all its citizens and enable greater equality. One where hope would triumph over fear. Dennis Kucinich declared his candidacy for President in 2008.
Why would I endorse a candidate this early in the game? Because Kucinich is the real thing. He is in this for the long haul, and has continually worked to gain each political office he eventually attained. He will make it to the oval office.
What issues does Dennis stand for? Simple:
- Universal Health Care
- International Cooperation: US out of Iraq, UN in
- Jobs and Withdrawal from NAFTA and WTO
- Repeal of the "Patriot Act"
- Guaranteed Quality Education, Pre-K Through College
- Full Social Security Benefits at Age 65
- Right-to-Choose, Privacy, and Civil Rights
- Balance Between Workers and Corporations
- Environmental Renewal and Clean Energy
- Restored Rural Communities and Family Farms
2)The United States cannot solve Iraq alone. Even if Kazakhstan and our "coalition of the willing" send all available troop strength - we will still be outnumbered. We need a stronger United Nations, if anything to preserve international order. It is unwise for America to undo the UN when it can be used as an international institution promoting human rights globally.
3) Free trade is not free. The environmental and labor regulations are trade partners do not have endanger our planet and local workers. NAFTA is not solving Mexico's economic woes, but exacerbating them - making America seem the only hope for the desparate.
4) The Patriot Act was passed after 9-11 through emotional fear rather than rational dialogue. It hasn't made us safer, and its effectiveness as a band-aid is beginning to wear off.
5) America is the only industrial nation to NOT offer its citizens free college. Do economically disadvantaged students really have to take out loans just to get what the rich already have? The only Federal program we have currently is the Pentagon, promoting lethality in conjunction with tuition.
6) Social Security does need some revision - it needs to be strengthened, not repealed. If SS benefits were offered on the free market, no citizen could afford it. But our government is able to provide this at a much lower cost than the financial market, to the benefit of our entire society.
7) Do we really need to undo the work of 30 years of human rights activism? Let's support the work already accomplished and a part of our culture. What isn't perfect can be reformed without dismantlement.
8) Corporations and business provide us all jobs - at least those not self employed or work for the government. But they cannot flout labor laws and treat its employees like cattle. Nor can employees expect to be useless to their employers. We need accountability on both sides, and a ways to ensure families and communites some economic stability.
9) Let's face it - oil and other hydrocarbons are starting to become more detrimental to our nation. When President Bush stated that America is "addicted to oil" we have made the first step towards ending the addiction - admitting it exists in the first place. Renewable energy can replace our needs more than we realized even 10 years ago. Further R&D in renewables will ensure a more sustainable future.
10) I can't agree more - we need a better agriculture policy than merely subsidies. We need incentives that have multiple bottom lines: more locally produced, biodiversified and nutritious foods, produced without chemicals that treat our soil like dirt.
I cannot think of reasons why Dennis Kucinich doesn't deserve the Presidency. The Democrats have become complacent, but have the opportunity to change that in 2008. I'm not talking about a further tilt to the left or center - but a tilt towards opportunity and hope. The mid-term election this November was a taste of what can be. Dennis Kucinich offers a glimpse of what is further possible.
The big question is: Will Democrats be bold enough to endorse a candidate not deemed "electable" as John Kerry or Mike Hatch were?