Return to Nicholas Johnson Main Web Page www.nicholasjohnson.org

This site was prepared for, and during, the 2004 presidential campaign period. As indicated below, it was last updated March 12, 2004. But this is 2006, and 2008 is only two years away. Here's what Mike Drabble is already thinking about Dennis, as well as other candidates, for 2008: http://www.kucinich08.com. -- N.J., 20060102

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Another Iowan for Kucinich

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(Nicholas Johnson's independent citizen's free speech Web site, unaffiliated with the Kucinich for President Committee -- and last updated March 12, 2004)
Links Within This Page . . .
Watch and Listen to Dennis Kucinich
Internet Sites About DK
Letter from DK
Nicholas Johnson's Writing About DK
Others' Writing
NJ's Endorsement of DK
Dean: Can He Beat Bush?
What Supporters Find Attractive
Ridgeway & Terkel on DK (1) and (2)
How Would Jesus Do?

Dennis Kucinich. Want to see and hear Congressman Kucinich?

Nicholas Johnson's writing about Dennis Kucinich.
Why support Dennis? In  "Kucinich Backers Aren't Kidding" (a Des Moines Register op ed) I put the case that Kucinich not only can win, he may be the only one who can. "Dennis Kucinich and the Future of the National Democratic Party" (text for an October 25 Des Moines talk) continues and expands the theme -- regardless of who the nominee may be. (For a consistent interpretation from a New York Times columnist, see Bob Herbert's December 12 column, "No Will to Win?")

"It's Not Which Candidate Can Win, But Which Policies" is a Des Moines Register op ed of December 12 in which Johnson argues that Iowans should trust the future primaries, and Democratic National Convention, to pick a "winning" candidate for the Party; Iowans should concentrate on helping the Party regain its soul by voting their hearts for the policies they truly support. (And, of course, see the national Kucinich Web site generally, www.kucinich.us, and especially "Is Kucinich Electable?" and its related links.

For a supporting, thorough and detailed mathematical analysis see Daniel Brown, "Kucinich Strongest Against Bush.")

A six-numbered-paragraph summary of the Register piece was published in The Daily Iowan December 18 as "The Electability Myth." (And see, for the season of religious holidays, "How Would Jesus Do?" below.) The latest is "Kucinich Compassionate, Courageous, Electable," in the January 14th Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Following the Iowa caucuses, January 19, Johnson entered an "Iowa Caucus Evaluation" in the Kucinich4President Yahoo! Group discussion. With thanks to Jerry Depew here is a more detailed Excel file listing of the actual numbers of county delegates won by each of the candidates in each of the 99 Iowa counties.
 
Politics, general. "A Great Return on Investment" is an Iowa City Press-Citizen piece by Johnson, also on December 12, 2003, explaining the formula by which Democrats and Republicans alike have been returning to candidates 1000-2000-to-one on their "investment" in campaign contributions -- one of the major contributors to the Party's loss of popular support. In a December 16 Gazette piece, "TV's Presidential Horse Race: Homer to Gazette, Gomer to Television," I praise Dennis and take ABC to task for its emphasis on endorsements, polls and money. (ABC pulled its reporter from the Kucinich campaign the day after he complained about TV's horse race focus during the New Hampshire debate, December 10.) A couple of early op eds, equally applicable to every presidential election season, are "Campaigns: You Pay $4 or $4000" (a Des Moines Register op ed), and "Questions They Never Get Asked" (a Washington Post op ed). When you take the side of this illegal war and occupation, this war profiteering, this process that is killing our young men and women and draining our financial resources, you lose any identity as the party of ordinary Americans. You lose the standing required to accomplish anything else. And you lose the financial ability to accomplish anything else.

-- Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, late December 2003

Dennis on health care. Health care is one of Kucinich's major themes. On December 8 I spoke for Dennis at the AARP Iowa Health Care Forum; here's the advance text, "Kucinich: Health Care, Not Health Insurance."An op ed in the Muscatine [Iowa] Journal of November 29 argues, with regard to the Medicare bill signed by the President December 8,  "Pill Bill Chock-Full of Defects." And here's another opinion piece of mine from October 31, "Kucinich Fights for Health Care", pointing up the other candidates', and mass media's, capitulation to profit-maximizing delivery of health care, rather than Dennis' "single-payer" legislation. There's more on health care in "Kucinich vs. Dean: Pentagon Budget, Pre-Kindergarten and Health Care," Dennis' on-air response to my e-mail to WSUI's "Iowa Talks," November 14.

Dennis on education. Another major focus of the campaign has been education: from pre-school through college. "Kucinich and Education," November 6, points up the importance to college students of Dennis' free college tuition proposal. "Politics and the Funding of Higher Education" is from an "Iowa Talks" radio program of October 27.

Washington Post praises Dennis on Civil Liberties. Juliet Eilperin, "Kucinich Stresses Civil Liberties," Washington Post, Dec. 24, 2003, p. A06.

Others' writing. Here are a couple of the better analyses of the dilemma confronting the Democratic Party and its strategies for victory from Professor Jeff Cox and journalist David Von Drehle.

Lest there be any question as to why we need a replacement in the White House, Eliot Weinberger has provided one of the best summaries in his "What is Happening in America?". A "must read" on this subject is Kurt Nimmo, "Ashcroft Goes After the Left."

Dennis' proposal for Iraq -- "UN in, U.S. out" -- is criticized by some with a line like, "We can't just pull out; there would be chaos." Putting aside the fact we have increasing chaos now, Kucinich has never proposed an immediate, unilateral withdrawal. His is a well-considered, step-by-step practical plan. Now, it turns out, his plan -- rejected by every other candidate -- is consistent with the advice of the best experts available. As Jackson Diehl, "Foresight Was 20/20," points out in the Washington Post, had the Administration read the available literature it could have avoided many of its post-war problems. In particular, "Almost all the studies recommended that the United States try to avoid the political trouble it now has by handing control over Iraq, or at least its political transition, to the United Nations, and by exercising its influence indirectly." That is almost precisely what Dennis has been saying.

Howard Dean. Is he a "liberal"? Can he beat Bush?

It is not the purpose of this Web site to criticize, let alone "attack," Howard Dean. Why comment about him and not the seven others? Because (a) this is a Web site of a Kucinich supporter, not a site designed to provide an independent, journalist's review of all nine, and (b) polls reveal Dean is now (December 2003/January 2004) the plurality choice of Democrats.

Because Dean may very well end up as the nominee, the Democratic Party deserves, at this point in time, as thorough and candid an evaluation of Dean as those of us who are Party activists can provide.

There is much that is attractive about Dean; much to be said in praise of some of his current positions and rhetoric, his obvious success in the use of the Internet, impressive fundraising, and ability to attract enthusiastic support from at least some persons new to politics.

At the same time, he does have some negatives as the Party's standard bearer against President Bush that the Dean loyalists, and Party faithful, ignore at their peril. If he is, in fact, to be the nominee some of those negatives can be fixed during the next 10 months -- and should be. Others need to be minimized, or countered, to the maximum extent possible.

1. Those who consider themselves to be "liberals" or "progressives," and have been attracted by Dean's campaign rhetoric, need to know that what he's saying now does not always square with what he said -- and, more significantly, did -- as a pro-business, social-program-cutting, conservative-to-centrist Vermont governor. They may want to support him anyway, but to avoid a future sense of betrayal they would do well to be thoroughly familiar with his past remarks and record. As Dean himself has said, "I won't be talking like this during the general [election], if I get the nomination" (as quoted in a Washington Post editorial of Dec. 28).

Here's a table where you can compare the positions of Kucinich and Dean. The results may surprise you. Can't believe Dean is that conservative? Here are the sources and backup in my fully footnoted analysis ("Is Dean a Liberal?") in HTML, PDF, and MS Word formats. (And see, "Dean's Remarks . . .," below.)

Why are Republicans backing Dean? Because "He backs many ideals that we Republicans cherish . . ." according to the site, "Republicans for Dean."

A much lengthier, and even more well documented analysis is provided in Keith Rosenthal's article, "The Dean Deception." There is no need to discount the source (International Socialist Review, Nov.-Dec. 2003 issue) and authors' opinions, but even those who take that ad hominum approach will need to deal with the factual record and author's 54 endnoted sources.

On the other hand, as the respected National Journal points out, it may well be that Dean's true believers among progressive Democrats are prepared to "forgive Dean for all kinds of impurities." See the numerous examples provided in Jonathan Rauch, "Howard Dean is No George McGovern," National Journal, Dec. 6, 2003, pp. 3640-41. Not incidentally, Rauch notes that "Dean favored a congressional resolution authorizing exactly the course that Bush took," and yet on this disparity as with many others "the Left didn't mind."

2. Before delegates to the Democratic National Convention end up sending Dean out to do battle with President Bush, if that turns out to be their choice, they need to be fully aware of the vulnerabilities he will bring to that match-up. It is not enough that the Party's nominee be the favored choice of Democrats; the focus needs to be on the election process not the nomination process. Knowing Dean's negatives and weaknesses, they may still view him as their best choice. But with so much at stake for the nation, not to mention the Party, every effort must be made to keep surprises to a minimum.
Dean may be leading in the polls in December 2003 as a Democratic Party nominee, but can he win in a general election against President George Bush in November 2004? The New York Times' columnist, Nicholas Kristof has some doubts he outlines in this December 6 op ed, "There They Go Again."
An ABC News-Washington Post poll, reported December 23, underscores the point. Dean may be the choice of 31% of Democrats, but give all voters a choice between Dean and Bush, and Bush wins: 55% to 37%. Ask voters "who they would trust more with national security, 67 percent said Bush and 21 percent said Dean," the AP poll reveals. (The former can more easily be overcome than the latter.)
For a problem that may be even more serious than national security in a Dean face-off with Bush see, Franklin Foer, "Howard Dean's religion problem. Beyond Belief," The New Republic, Dec. 29, 2003, at The New Republic site (must be a subscriber), or the posting at FreeRepublic.com. The jury is still out on whether Dean's newly-found so-called "Jesus Strategy" can turn this around without alienating more voters than it attracts. "Dean Touts a 'Jesus Strategy,'" The Washington Times, Dec. 26, 2003.
3. There is a perception in some quarters that Dean is a little too facile on matters other than religion as well.
As the Washington Post has editorialized, "[Dean] is now widely seen as the Democratic front-runner . . ..  The first question is, which Mr. Dean? The centrist, fiscally conservative, New Democrat NAFTA backer . . . or the fiery, antiwar, anti-free-trade populist . . .? . . . [W]e are troubled by aspects of Mr. Dean's character and personality."
Dean's tendency to misrepresent his past positions and record is documented with numerous examples beyond my collection of sources ("Is Dean a Liberal?", above) in Jim VandeHei and Jonathan Finer's December 18 Washington Post's report of their research: "Dean's Remarks Give Rivals Talking Points: His Readiness to Lead is Questioned" ("Dean [has a] . . . history of making statements that are mean-spirited or misleading").

Indeed, setting out to pigeon-hole Dean as "liberal" or "conservative" may have been a fool's errand all along. David Brooks' New York Times' December 9 op ed, "The Mysterious Stranger," may have the better view of the man: "[T]he liberated Dean is beyond categories like liberal and centrist because he is beyond coherence. . . . When you actually try to pin him down on a policy, you often find there is nothing there." (Click on the link if you'd like to read the whole column.)

One can become overly enraptured with the political significance of the comments of late night talk show hosts and stand-up comics, but they do seem to both capture, and influence, public opinion. Here's the way Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," tried to put a humorous spin on what many Democrats perceive (and fear) about Howard Dean. In Tuesday evening's show, December 9, following Gore's endorsement earlier that day, he quipped:

"Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean was all smiles, well smirks, after picking up the endorsement . . .. Gore praised Dean supporters in hopes that will ease concerns over [Dean's] lack of foreign policy experience, and his lack of support among blacks and Latinos, and his hot temperment, and perceived arrogance, and policy flip-flops, and campaign glitches."
Jon Stewart may be a humorist. The Washington Post is not. It reports,
"[Dean] he has closed the year with some statements and assertions that have come under criticism or turned out not to be true. They range from suggesting that his late brother was a member of the military to apparent criticism of the politics of the Clinton years, to a reference to party centrists as Republicans, to remarks about Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden that brought rebukes from his rivals. Dean also acknowledged that he will need an experienced running mate to fill in for his lack of national security experience."
Dan Balz, "As Pre-Primary Season Closes, Questions Cling to Dean's Gains," Washington Post, Dec. 28, 2003, p. A01.
4. Finally, there's the problem that while some Dean supporters expect those backing other candidates to come to Dean's aid if he gets the nomination (as, indeed, most have indicated they intend to do), they are less inclined to offer the equivalent. Should this come to pass it would give the concept of "spoiler" a whole new dimention.
"Dr. Dean [has] implied that many of his supporters, particularly young people, might stay home in November if another Democrat's name ends up on the ballot. 'I don't know where they're going to go, but they're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician,' he said." Jodi Wilgoren, "Dean Wants Party Leader to Slow Rivals' Attacks," The New York Times, Dec. 29, 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/29/politics/campaigns/29DEAN.html.
Politics is a fickle and rapidly changing business. There's still 10 months until the election. Half the nation's Democrats don't know much about their candidates or have a firm preference among them. Not a single caucus or primary vote has yet been cast. But there's simply too much at stake for our nation, not to mention Party, to let blind allegiance to a candidate -- any candidate -- prevent our most searching evaluation of our ultimate nominee's strengths and weaknesses.
 
Nobody is going to want to vote Democratic unless the elections stop being look-alike contests, with little Bushies sprouting up all over, from pretty boy John Edwards or that quintessential opportunist, John Kerry, to master of equivocation Dick Gephardt. -- James Ridgeway, "Mondo Washington," The Village Voice, February 26 - March 4, 2003.
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  This could be the catapult for the hundreds of grassroots groups on a thousand and one issues to coalesce behind one banner. . . . It can be done the old-fashioned way, shoe leather and bell-ringing, as well as e-mails. It could be that exciting. . . . Kucinich is like Poe's purloined letter--right there on the table as we helplessly play Inspector Clouseau goofily searching elsewhere. -- Studs Terkel, "Kucinich is the One," The Nation, May 6, 2002.
Don't be fooled by the corrupting, compromising, poll-driven, big money candidates' and conservative, corporate media attempts to marginalize you by trivializing one of America's most substantial presidential candidates since Franklin Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

Can he win? To borrow from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "Let me count the ways."

Dennis Kucinich came out of a working class Cleveland neighborhood to run for City Council at age 21, and was elected at 23. His political career has been built on a series of upsets over "unbeatable" Republicans. As a result, he has served as a big city mayor, Ohio State Senator and U.S. Congressman. He has moved that congressional district from 34 percent Democratic, to 49 percent the first time he won, to 65 percent, and now 74 percent.

His colleagues in the House have demonstrated their respect for his abilities by electing him chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus -- the largest caucus in the House. He has been honored for his record of successful participation in global issues through a number of international organizations. In short, this is someone with decades of serious and successful political and governmental experience at all levels.

Moreover, he has a demonstrated ability to work with those of all political persuasions; he's a progressive who can work with -- without capitulating to -- business. He manages to hold to his idealism while functioning as one of the nation's most practical and successful progressives.

His platform stands in stark contrast to the Bush Administration's programs -- in contrast to those candidates who seem not to distance themselves too far from a popular president and his wars.

But perhaps his greatest winning quality is that he comes across as the kind of genuine human being Americans ache to find in their candidates. This is not just another slick, poll-driven, media make-over, actor. The kind of response he gets from those who've heard him is something the likes of which I haven't witnessed since Robert Kennedy.

Kucinich has been drawing very large, enthusiastic crowds in Iowa and around America because he speaks with a compassion and sincerity listeners find unambiguous and genuine.  He talks about the country's real needs and ideals in a language that is at once both street savy and simple while reflective of a well-informed and thoughtful, educated eloquence, courage and wit.

Can he win? As Dennis Patrick Welch and I analyze it, Kucinich just may be the only Democrat who can.

                                            -- Nicholas Johnson, Iowa City, Iowa

Visit the Official Kucinich for President Site

And check out:

National's Iowa Kucinich for President Site

The Kucinich4President Discussion Group

Massachusetts Kucinich Campaign

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich

Growing List of Endorsements

WeWantKucinich.com

Omaha4Kucinich

Kids 4 Kucinich

What is it about this man? It's a real case of "seeing is believing." So many Kucinich supporters report being truly moved emotionally the first time they are in his presence, hearing him speak. The contrast with the slick, corporate-funded, poll-driven, media-oriented pretty candidates we've become used to over the last 30 years produces a shock that is hard to put in words.

Here are excerpts from the reactions of individuals posted in Yahoo Group discussions that come close to expressing what so many have felt:

Malachi Roth:

We are so used to superficial Ken doll politicians being forced down our throats with expensive advertising that we think it takes a person like that to win . . . .

Dennis Kucinich will be our next president because there has never been a man of such caliber running for president in our nation's entire history. Never has a man so qualified, so honest, so sincere, so morally grounded, so genuine, so mentally balanced and immune to the corrupt nature of power been willing to run for high office.

Rena:
I saw Dennis Kucinich speak today. His presence is commanding. He had no written speech, yet his words affected me deeply. He had just come from what was probably a very tiring engagement, yet he gave us his all. This man speaks for the heart of America. . . . Today he reminded me that there is hope.
Sally McMillan:
It's exciting to have someone who can think clearly and not be afraid to tell it like it is, to stand up to the militarization of our society and put his priority on people's needs, to reach out to the world in friendship, not with violence, to return this country to the principles on which we were founded. . . . [I]t's exciting to have someone of integrity and vision to vote for.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.:
Imagine having someone run for president who is intelligent, principled, spiritual, courageous, a person with depth, humor and compassion!
Gary Sanders:
I personally think he can win support from Gephardt's base. It's because Kucinich speaks from the heart.
Clarity Sanderson:
It wasn't until I learned of Dennis Kucinich that I saw light. His words and vision has lifted that dark cloud of fear. He's reminded me of what it feels like to be a true American, free of fear. Free to say what I want to say, and hungry to be freed of the "protective measures" and terror of the current administration. For the first time, I see hope that we can take back our country and our lives. I want my children to grow up in a world of peace, not terror, and Dennis Kucinich is the man that can bring that vision into reality.
Shannette:
This man Dennis Kucinich is so far different he barely seems contained in any political party. This is . . . exactly what the hope of mankind needs.
Sue Blankman:
Dennis is not only courageous, honest, forthright and determined, but has more heart and integrity than most of us have probably ever seen in a political candidate. He's what Democrats and ex-Dems alike have been waiting for: a values-based long term vision! Dennis has inspired me to be a PROUD and hopeful American again.
Diane E:
Dennis has a way about him that is contagious. It's enthusiasm for changing this world for the better. And he's smart and logical about it all. He makes sense. And people are SO HUNGRY for that.
An anonymous Californian, "JB":
It's the first time I can remember hearing someone in government speak passionately, straight from his heart communicating truth, wisely and compassionately . . . saying what so many of us are starving to hear. Those of us old enough to remember what it was like to be proud to be an American had a taste of that possibility once again . . . [replacing] the despair and helplessness that so long has covered up our long-lost joy and gratitude for being part of this country . . . stirred up in some faraway place in the heart that understood how one could be patriotic.

. . . Dennis' words were like an oasis in a vast desert. They were not contrived. He used no notes. He is bright and articulate. He responded to questions from the audience spontaneously with the ring of truth that everyone listening knew was coming from a place of deep caring. . . . [T]here is someone in our government who is not just another politician. His voice needs to be heard and I urge you to listen. . . . [H]e holds a vision of hope and inspiration that millions are longing to hear. . . . When his voice gets more exposure, it will strike a chord in many hearts who will finally hear someone who makes sense. Anything is possible once people start hearing the truth passionately, eloquently and straight from the heart.  -- JB

Stephen Dinan,
Dennis Kucinich is the most noble, intelligent, compassionate, and visionary person that I have seen run for president. He is a brightly burning flame himself, seeing through the veils of today to a better tomorrow. He is courageous and willing to lay himself on the line, to stride boldly in a time of fear. He is the kind of leader who can take America beyond aggressive nationalism to truly global leadership.  . . . [H]e embodies what I want to see in the world. He is my political dream, in the flesh. Backing him is my statement to the world that THIS is the level of integrity I want to see in our leadership. THIS is the level of consciousness I want to see on the world stage. THIS is the kind of man I want to lead me. THIS is the future I want to see for America. THIS is the image I want to see in the media mirror. THIS is the world I want to live in. When I stand as a burning flame for him, it affects others. One by one. Through that process, Dennis becomes electable and the people who believe in what he represents begin to see themselves as powerful creators of our reality who have many, many, many allies. So dare to become a burning flame for what is in your heart and encourage other people to do so as well. They hunger for it. And you deserve it. [Comment 18499, Dec. 31, 2003]
And from Yumi Kikuchi, the founder of the Global Peace Campaign , who flew from Tokyo to see if DK was for real:
I saw him with various people and how good and compassionate he is with anyone, especially the less fortunate. He speaks the truth from the heart and inspires everyone.  He is the America I used to know and he is going to make our common dream come true if enough of us support him . . .. [O]nce you meet and hear him personally, you feel his vision and integrity  in the heart and body. He is real. He means what he says and he . . . knows how to make it happen politically.  He is honest, intelligent, compassionate, balanced, understands both domestic and international issues and knows what to do about them.

 
In his speech to the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action, criticizing Bush's conduct of the war on terrorism, Dennis Kucinich set the crowd on its ear--one standing ovation after another. Sure, they were all liberals, but what counted was the response on the Internet. The Cleveland Congressman's e-mail box was stuffed to overflowing with 20,000-plus enthusiastic letters. -- Studs Terkel, "Kucinich is the One," The Nation, May 6, 2002.   [Kucinich's] tactics are to cross party lines at will, forging coalitions with conservative Republicans. Kucinich . . . could breathe a little life into the Democratic Party, if the powers that be leave [him] alone, an unlikely prospect given the money pouring into the other mainstream candidates' war chests. -- James Ridgeway, "Mondo Washington,"The Village Voice, February 26 - March 4, 2003.
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(This site, created and maintained by Nicholas Johnson as an independent citizen's free speech Web site, is unaffiliated with the Kucinich for President Committee)


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Excerpts from a June 19, 2003, Letter from Dennis Kucinich:

For four months, I have been campaigning for President coast-to-coast. As journalists have reported, we are attracting the largest crowds, and the biggest audience responses. We have had 1,000-plus gatherings in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Northern and Southern California. Grassroots activists are flocking to our campaign

In four months, we have built an insurgent campaign to challenge not only the Bush Administration and its climate of fear, but to shake the Democratic Party from its climate of fear.

On the campaign trail, I continue to question this Administration's fraudulent war in Iraq and a reckless foreign policy that isolates our country more than the terrorists who seek to attack us. I am the candidate calling for cuts in a wasteful Pentagon budget that rivals the military spending of all other countries in the world combined.

I propose not piecemeal, ineffective changes to our corporatized and crisis-ridden health care system, but a rational system of universal, single-payer national health insurance. Like other industrialized countries, we can afford that -- as well as quality education, environmental cleanup emphasizing clean energy, and secure retirement with the Social Security retirement age returned to 65.

It's all affordable, but only if we end corporate welfare, challenge Pentagon spending that's more fit for empire than defense, and reverse the Administration's tax breaks for the wealthy -- all of them, not just some.

On the campaign trail, I am meeting union workers, family farmers and environmentalists who support my pledge to withdraw from NAFTA and the WTO -- trade deals that benefit multinational corporations, not the public or planetary health.

I am getting support from civil libertarians for my vow to repeal the misnamed "Patriot Act," which I proudly voted against in Congress.

Only a frontal challenge to this Administration's policies, coupled with a serious alternative program, can defeat George Bush in 2004. Half-way challenges, where Democrats concede to him on war and defense policy, will lead to disaster -- like they did in November 2002.

I'm waging a campaign that is a total challenge to this Administration's reckless policies at home and abroad.

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How Would Jesus Do?

An Opinion Piece in the Orlando [Florida] Sentinal, Dec. 25, 2003
Posted to the Kucinich4President Yahoo! Group
by Rajiv Bhushan as message 18194, Dec. 25

Some 2,000 years ago, the birth of an individual, who some came to see as a visionary, others as a highly evolved soul, and still others as the Lord, can today be arguably viewed as the most significant and celebrated event in the annals of human history. Billions are inspired by him, pray to him, are healed by him and are saved by him. His book has been a bestseller for the past 100,000 weeks or so. But if he were alive today and announced his candidacy for the 2004 presidential campaign, you'd have to believe he'd be polling a few percentage points south of Dennis Kucinich.

After all, a bleeding-heart pacifist is more likely to be made fun of nightly on cable than hold elected office. Give away your wealth to the neediest? Un-American! Wealth is to be trickled down. Love your enemies? Treasonous! Enemies are to be rooted out, never mind the root causes. Work toward global healing and the unification of the human family? Unpatriotic!

Sounds like the "New World Order" and the ruin of U.S. interests. Most ironically, many of his staunchest supporters who have even named themselves after him, such as the Christian Coalition, while perhaps not denying him, would work very hard to deny his election.

A candidate who stood on such a platform of love, healing, wealth distribution, peace without war and global community could never be taken seriously. A person like this could have only one place in our society -- being worshipped on Sundays.

Gene Mitchell
Altamonte Springs

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