Dennis Kucinich, At the Democratic Candidates’ Debate, Makes Ohio Proud

During the October 30, Democratic Presidential Debate, Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich, in this listener’s opinion, spoke with clarity, passion and good sense. The entire transcript on the MSNBC event is recorded here. I found myself agreeing with much of what Kucinich had to say and found myself admiring the gumption he demonstrated in presenting his views. Kucinich ideas, it seems to me, within the main stream media are not given the attention they deserve.  The following are excerpts of Kucinich’s comments made in the course of the Oct 30 debate:

We Need to Adamantly Reject Any Kind Of a Move Toward War With Iran:
We have to realize that we have a number of enablers who happen to be Democrats who have said over the last year, with respect to Iran, all options are on the table. And when you say all options are on the table, you are licensing President Bush. And I’m the only one up here on the stage who not only voted against the war in Iraq, voted against funding the war, but also led the effort against Bush’s drive toward war. The problem is: These policies of preemption license a war. Preemption, by virtue of international law, is illegal. Our president has already violated international law.

The war in Iraq is illegal. Even planning for the war against Iran is illegal. Tim, we’re here in Philadelphia, the birthplace of democracy. I want to know when this democratic Congress is going to stand up for the Constitution and hold the president accountable with Article II, Section 4, an impeachment act.

Our Democracy Is In Peril:
Unless the Democrats and the Congress stand up for the Constitution, we are going to lose our country. We need to challenge him on this war, but we need to challenge him at his core, and the core is, there needs to be a separation of powers, a balance of powers. Things are out of balance. It is time for us to stand up for the Constitution of the United States.

We Must Abolish All Nuclear Weapons:
It is time that the United States government enforced and participated in fully the Non- Proliferation Treaty, which calls for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. We must lead the way, and we must have a president who understands the danger of these nuclear weapons and have America lead the way among all nations towards nuclear abolition. When we do that, we will have the credibility to go to an Iran and any other nation that may have desires for nuclear power to say, “Look, we want to take it in another direction.”

We Have to Talk About Practical Questions, Such as Health Care, NAFTA:
The American people have a right to know what’s different here among all these candidates. We haven’t really established that, I don’t think. And I’m the only one up here who stands for a not for profit health care system, which means that the insurance industry has enormous influence in this race. Why shouldn’t Democrats stand for universal, single-payer, not for profit with 46 million Americans uninsured and 50 million Americans under-insured? Tim, I want to tell you something. There’s got to be people watching this at home saying, “Hey, you haven’t talked about me losing my job because of NAFTA.” Well, I’ll cancel NAFTA and the WTO and have trade that’s based on workers’ rights — human rights and environmental quality principles.

Somebody’s got to be saying, “Wait a minute. Who’s talking about whether I’m going to have health care?” I’ve introduced the bill, H.R. 676. You have somebody worried about losing their home. We need to cancel Bush’s tax cuts and flip them so we give the benefit to the 80 percent, while currently it’s going to the top one percent, so people will have more money so they can save their homes. I mean, we have to talk about people’s practical aspirations here. And, if we don’t do that tonight, this debate is a total flop.

Everyone Knows That the War Against Iraq Was About Oil:
This administration was trying to gain control of Iraq’s oil, with the help of Congress. It’s time we had a president who stood for the Constitution and international law. And that’s exactly what I’ll do. Everyone knows that the saber-rattling against Iran is driving up the price of oil. We have to stop the war in Iraq, bring our troops home, end the occupation, have an international security and peacekeeping force that moves in as our troops leave. We have to stop planning for war against Iran. We have to insist that we enforce the Constitution of the United States, which this president continues to violate, and, again, I state that the president and the vice president should be subject to impeachment.

What’s the Difference Between Democrats and Republicans?
The Democratic Party refuses to stand up to Wall Street where there’s over a trillion dollars of unregulated capital with hedge funds. They won’t end the war, as our party promised to do in the 2006 election. They won’t stand up to the insurance companies, the for- profit insurance companies, by joining me in a not-for-profit system.

So people are asking them, “What’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans?” Tim, my candidacy is a candidacy which will protect the interests of Main Street. No privatization of Social Security, make the hedge funds accountable, protect the small investors who are at risk with these public offerings of these hedge funds.

In Our System, Wealth Is Distributed Upward:
The tax system redistributes the wealth upwards. The health care system redistributes the wealth upwards. Our energy policies redistribute the wealth upwards. We have to have a president who is independent enough to be able to stand up to these interest groups and push the Democratic Congress to defend the American people by standing for the end of the war in Iraq, by standing for a universal, not-for-profit health care system, by standing for control of these oil companies, which are out of control, and, finally, by standing for the Constitution.

Cut the Pentagon Budget:
There’s a statue above the House of Representatives of a woman whose arm is outstretched and she is protecting a child sitting next to a pile of books. The title of this statue is “Peace Protecting Genius.” We need to have a country that stands for peace, that gets us out of the wars. We see the connection between global warring and global warming.

If we cut the Pentagon budget 15 percent, $75 billion will go into a universal pre-kindergarten program so our children ages 3, 4 and 5 will have access to full-time day care and more money would go into elementary and secondary education. In addition to that, our college-age students need to know that with a Kucinich administration they’re guaranteed a two- or four-year college, tuition free, and it’ll be paid for by the government investing in our young people. That’s the kind of approach I’ll take to education.

We Need Medicare For All:
I’m the co-author of the bill, H.R. 676, that establishes Medicare for all. As long as you have the private insurance companies in involved in providing health services, people aren’t going to get care. Doctors know that the insurance companies want to substitute their judgment for their practice. Everyone knows that the insurance companies make money not providing health care.

I’m standing for Medicare for all. There is no one else on this stage who is ready to take on the insurance companies directly by saying we should join every other industrialized nation in the world by caring for our people by having a not-for-profit health care system. Just because you say it’s universal doesn’t mean it’s not-for- profit. Even the insurance companies want a universal health care system.

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One Response to Dennis Kucinich, At the Democratic Candidates’ Debate, Makes Ohio Proud

  1. Gary Staiger says:

    Yeah Dennis!! When the rest of the Dummycrats are waffling all over the page [possible exceptions Mike Gravel and John Edwards] Kucinich speaks Truth to Power! Vote to Dennis, vote for sanity!!

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