See also: http://www.kucinich.us/responses_examples.htm
Below is a sampling of letters. Some are responses to media bias or meginalization. Others are creative uses of newspapers’ letters pages. Some small newspapers are open to readers expressing their views without responding to specific articles. The letters page is the most read page of many newspapers, large and small.
Young voter apathy
(Published in the Contra Costa Times 9/14/03)
This past week I spoke with three young men who told me they never voted. One said that his vote wouldn’t matter because most politicians are “owned” by big corporations, another felt it was a waste of time because the system is corrupt and honest politicians can’t win, and the third said he doesn’t register to vote because he doesn’t want to be called for jury duty.
In a conversation with a mother of two grown sons, one of whom just got out of the Navy, she mentioned that neither of them vote because they think voting changes nothing. She has always voted.
I know many people don’t vote, but it’s disheartening that younger adults are so uninterested in determining their nation’s future.
Maybe what’s needed to bring more voters to the polls is a candidate with an inspiring vision for America, someone whose record shows he keeps campaign promises, someone who believes that America can, once again, become the shining light of hope for a better world.
I believe such a candidate is Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio (www.kucinich.us). The media give scant coverage to this man but the disenchanted deserve to know about him.
Re: “Democrats Fire Away on War, Mideast,”
(Published in Los Angeles Times 9/14/03)
Re: “Democrats Fire Away on War, Mideast,” Sept. 10, You got it right at last: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) received loud applause for saying, “I say what we need to do is … bring the U.N. in and get the U.S. out” of Iraq. Kucinich has been getting louder cheers than most other candiates in the debates, and pretty soon people will know about him. Soon former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean will be overshadowed by the true peace candidate, Kucinich. “Imagine” our nation at peace. It’s easy if you try.
Kucinich Shines as Candidate With Vision
(Published in Albuquerque Journal 9/10/03)
AS SOMEONE who was present at Popejoy Hall for the Democratic presidential debate, I want to say that it was a good debate. The eight candidates there all spoke impressively and they came up with some great punch lines that drew audience applause and press attention. However, what struck me is that in substantive content and deeper understanding of the issues, the leadership of the group went to Dennis Kucinich. This was evidenced by the frequency with which the other candidates prefaced their responses with the phrase, “As Dennis said …”
Examples of this were with the trade and the health care issues. Kucinich promised to repeal NAFTA and WTO and replace them with bilateral fair trade. Dick Gephardt’s and John Kerry’s positions were to fix them, not repeal them. If anyone is familiar with these trade agreements, they know that in the context of the present rules, they can’t be fixed. They have to be replaced.
On health care, the other candidates have plans to extend health care coverage, but under the same insurance-based system. Howard Dean’s comment that we do this in Vermont and still balance the budget was put in context by Kucinich’s remark that “Vermont doesn’t have a military.” Kucinich’s plan for a universal, one-payer system gets rid of the for-profit middleman and reduces the tax on employers.
Unfortunately, reports on the debate have mostly missed the substance for the sound bites. Our country needs a president who can understand and prudently, humanely handle domestic and world situations that need attention before they become crises, not after the fact- as with those who voted to give President Bush the authority to attack Iraq and are now deploring the consequences.
Change called for in spending priorities
(Published by the State [Columbia, S.C.] 9/9/03)
Regarding the Aug. 19 article “Sonoco to close 20 plants worldwide,” residents of Darlington County need to beware. This is only the beginning.
I’m a resident of Mt. Pleasant. As a former staunch conservative Republican, I have made a 180-degree turn and am now a Progressive-Independent who will support Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, for president. My flag-waving days are over. I am a Vietnam vet, have an MBA and a wife who is a registered nurse who can’t work due to an injury. Neither of us can get health insurance at any price under $1,000 a month. America needs free universal health care (Medicare for all), 0 percent unemployment, CEOs who don’t require $70 million to screw up a corporation and a president that doesn’t want to attack the entire Third World to search for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Some analysts estimate that it’s going to cost $600 billion to rebuild Iraq so Iraqis will stop shouting “death to America” on TV every week. We are going to spend $13 billion to rebuild the Iraq electrical grid. How ironic.
(Published in the Los Angeles Times 9/4/03)
Contrary to your assertion that presidential candidate Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) is “the alternative for the sliver of the Democratic left that finds Dean too moderate,” I believe that Kucinich is the alternative for the majority of the Democratic Party that will find Dean and all the front-runners too conservative. Dean is succeeding where the other front-runners have failed precisely because he is perceived to bring a return to traditional liberal values like collaboration with our allies, strong public education and affordable health care for all.
However, once Democrats get hip to Dean’s conservative core – his A-rating from the National Rifle Assn., his support of the death penalty and his anti-environment/pro-big business record in Vermont – they will see that Kucinich is the only candidate who truly represents their values.
Will Dennis Kucinich be voted off the island?
(Published by the Tallahassee Democrat 8/29/03)
This fall, in the new TV lineup, is a reality TV show brought to you by the corporate media called “Presidential Election 2004.” The contest is between Bush and a Bush-lite candidate who will be one of the nine Democrats auditioning for the co-starring role in the show.
But one of the actors is not keeping to script and may be voted off by the sponsors. Unlike the others, he opposed the war with Iraq and led the opposition to it in Congress. Also, he has called for bringing the troops home from Iraq and for repealing the attack on the Bill of Rights misnamed the Patriot Act.
If he wins the Democratic Party nomination and gets the co-star role, it should be an interesting TV show. If not, there are always infomercials. The actor is Dennis Kucinich, a United States representative from Cleveland, and he is the one to watch.
Kucinich mysteriously ignored
(Published in the Oregonian 8/27/2003)
On Aug. 25, you trumpeted Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean’s visit to Portland, calling him “the only significant Democratic candidate to forcefully attack President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.”
Yet when candidate Dennis Kucinich — the only Democratic presidential candidate who voted in Congress against the Iraq war and the Patriot Act — came to our city last month, electrifying crowds with his eloquence and vision, I couldn’t find the story in The Oregonian. If it was there, it was a mere back-page blip.
Yet I think this is just symptomatic of the eerie silence among the mainstream media concerning the vigorous grassroots campaign of Dennis Kucinich.
I’m left to speculate that the media are too timid to contradict their idolatrous coverage of the Iraq war. Or perhaps the mega-corporations that own (media outlets) have sent down the fiat, “Kucinich is the real threat; ignore him and he’ll go away. Publicize a ‘safer’ candidate.”
Why ignore Dennis Kucinich?
(Published in the Dallas Morning News 8/23/03)
A Wednesday, Aug. 20, report, “Bush condemns Baghdad attack – Democrats fault postwar efforts,” is interesting, but I’m curious about the criteria that The Dallas Morning News uses for choosing to quote certain Democratic presidential candidates and not others. The News quotes John Kerry, Joseph Lieberman, Howard Dean and Bob Graham, but it neglects to quote the most outspoken critic of George Bush’s Iraq policies, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
According to the latest Iowa poll, Mr. Kucinich has approximately four times as many Iowa supporters as Mr. Graham, so I’m guessing that poll figures are not the criteria by which The News chooses to quote certain candidates and not others.
Given that Rep. Kucinich offers a perspective on Iraq that is distinct from those of other presidential candidates (he is the only candidate to call for the pullout of U.S. troops through a U.S.-to-U.N. transition), I think his statements are very newsworthy.
I encourage The News to cover Candidate Kucinich in the future.
Justin Delacour, Albuquerque, N.M.
Angela Parker-Simkin: Kucinich can buck longshot odds
(Published in the Quad City Times 8/11/03)
I am paying close attention to the candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. I have read their materials and done my homework concerning all of the candidates, meeting many of them in person. After careful consideration, I am supporting the nomination of Ohio Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich.
Among the reasons I have decided to support Dennis J. Kucinich: He advocates restoring rural communities and family farms by breaking up agribusiness conglomerates and monopolies Teddy Roosevelt style, and by banning packer ownership of livestock production facilities.
He is the only candidate advocating withdrawal from the failed WTO and NAFTA. He advocates Social Security Coverage Benefits for all, beginning at age 65. Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate advancing a publicly funded, privately delivered Universal Health Care system with a Single Payer Plan. He supports a guaranteed quality education, pre-K through college, in the same vein as Governor Vilsack. Finally, Dennis Kucinich is committed to re-establishing America as a credible leader in the community of nations, through peace and diplomacy.
Recently, the film “Seabiscuit,” has opened in theaters across the country. It is a film about a racehorse that the experts said couldn’t win, but it did win. It inspired a nation faltering amid the depression. Dennis Kucinich is the “Seabiscuit” candidate for the Democratic nomination. However, what he lacks in money and media exposure, he more than makes up with integrity and heart-felt grassroots support.
IS KUCINICH INVISIBLE?
(Response to NPR from a Kucinich volunteer, 6/9/03)
Dear Morning Edition:
I just heard NPR White House correspondent Mara Liasson, in an interview with Bob Edwards, state that, among the Democratic presidential candidates, only Bob Graham has questioned the administration’s claims of evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. How can Ms. Liasson have failed to mention a Resolution of Inquiry introduced in the House of Representatives on Saturday, June 7, by Congressman Dennis Kucinich and signed by 30 other representatives, demanding that the administration turn over the intelligence to support its unproven claims of WMDs?
Congressman Kucinich is the leader of the House Progressive Caucus as well as a presidential candidate. Of all the Democratic candidates, he has been the first and most persistent critic of the Iraq war. How can it be that his official and very public act of questioning was apparently invisible to Ms. Liasson? Can you please explain?
Santa Fe, New Mexico
IN CLEVELAND, HE CHALLENGED THE ENRON OF HIS DAY
A shortened version of this letter, headlined “Cleveland Hero,” ran in the Washington Post, 5/14/03
When George Will [op-ed, May 6] dismisses Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) as “the only presidential candidate to have presided over the bankruptcy of a major American city,” besides being factually wrong — Cleveland defaulted on bank loans but was not bankrupt — he is dismissing 25 years of history and much scrutiny of that event. And he insults the Cleveland-area voters who keep re-electing Kucinich to Congress and who know that by defending the city-owned power company, their former mayor saved them hundreds of millions of dollars on their electric bills.
Kucinich was elected Cleveland’s mayor on a pledge not to sell Muny Light to a private utility. Knowing it would derail his political career, he held to that pledge in the face of threats from banks interlocked with the private utility that would have gained monopoly status by buying Muny. Today, he stands vindicated in the eyes of voters for having confronted the Enron of his day, and his campaign symbol in five winning elections since 1994 has been a light bulb. In 1998, the Cleveland City Council commended Rep. Kucinich for “having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city’s municipal electric system.”
Our country needs a President who stands up to — and not with — today’s Enrons.
UNIVERSAL COVERAGE = SOCIALISM? (5/9/03)
In Thomas Sowell’s attack on Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (op-ed, May 9), he charges that “universal health care” is a disguise for socialism. What Congressman Kucinich supports is streamlined national health insurance: privately delivered care, publicly financed. By removing private insurance firms from health care — with all their bureaucracy, claims processing, advertising, commissions, etc. — the Kucinich plan puts resources into actual health care, provides universal coverage and allows broader patient choice.
Sowell defends insurance companies, but they don’t treat or cure people. Doctors do, and many of them support this nonbureaucratic single-payer approach, because it shelters the doctor-patient relationship from HMO and insurance company dictates.
“TIRADES AGAINST THE WAR”
(Response to AP from a Kucinich volunteer, 5/2/03)
In a May 2 Associated Press report about the presidential campaign of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, you begin as follows: “Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s tirades against the war in Iraq have been a focal point for his presidential campaign.”
From my perspective, to describe a candidate’s impassioned speeches in favor of peace and in opposition to militarism as “tirades” does not seem befitting of the opening sentence of a press “report.”
As I take a peek at page 720 of my nifty Oxford American Dictionary, I see that the word “tirade” is defined as follows: “A long angry or violent piece of criticism or denunciation.”
Can you honestly say that Dennis Kucinich’s impassioned speeches in favor of peace and in opposition to war have been “angry” or “violent”? Having listened to and read speeches by Kucinich, that’s certainly not my impression.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
“FRINGE CANDIDATE” (5/1/03)
The Wall Street Journal refused to publish this response.
In his April 30 column on “fringe candidates,” we learn that John Harwood would like to exclude Congressman Dennis Kucinich from the debate. That may have been the same wish of pro-war Democrats and President Bush back in September, when Kucinich was a leader of a small group of dissenting Congress members who joined the debate and quickly expanded their influence to the point where nearly two-thirds of House Democrats ultimately voted against the Iraq war resolution.
There’s nothing fringe about the fact that Kucinich co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of Democrats in Congress. No Democratic candidate is drawing crowds as large as Kucinich — more than 1,000 a few days ago in New Mexico, an early caucus-voting state.
Harwood is worried about shrinking “the chances for serious candidates to mix it up” on issues like defense. With our country spending almost as much on the military as all other countries combined, surely debates will suffer by excluding the candidate who has made Pentagon cuts central to his campaign.
Harwood claims that Kucinich is known for “presiding over the financial ruin of Cleveland as mayor.” That insults Cleveland-area voters who keep re-electing him to Congress, and who know him as the mayor who confronted the Enron of his day, defended the city-owned power company and saved Cleveland residents hundreds of millions of dollars on their electric bills.
Communications Director, Kucinich for President
Background: N.Y. Times, The Dissent: Some in Congress, Recalling Vietnam, Oppose War, 9/21/02: A small group of Democratic die-hards in the House is trying to rally opposition to military action.” “Two dozen or so mainly liberal lawmakers… though they may be viewed as outside the mainstream of even their own party, they are raising their voices against an invasion, even if their leadership is not.” The Times piece called Kucinich a “leader of the opposition” and ended by quoting him: “This is an attempt to start a serious debate inside the party.”
PEACE IS PATRIOTIC
This was published in Newsday, 4/30/03
Without offering evidence, Ronald Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger proclaims that Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s anti-war campaign for president is “nearly hysterical” [“War Rattles Democratic ’04 Hopefuls,” Viewpoints, April 21]. Actually, Kucinich has been a leading voice in Congress arguing in reasonable tones that President George W. Bush’s unilateral, “pre-emptive” foreign policy is destabilizing, and makes Americans less secure at home and abroad.
Nofziger goes on to write that candidates who express anti-war sentiments risk “opening themselves up to attack by the president’s supporters as unpatriotic.” History shows us that some of America’s greatest patriots were individuals who opposed U.S. wars, including
Henry David Thoreau, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Helen Keller and Martin Luther King Jr.