As our country faces crises on every front, I have been so concerned about the reckless policies of President Bush and his managers that I felt the most important thing was just to find a presidential candidate who could defeat them. There is so much at stake in this election, we need to make regime change in our own country our first priority.
The media and the establishment are beginning to share my concern that this administration's policies are endangering our economy, alienating our allies and making this a more dangerous world.
Knowing that our chances to win are improved, it is imperative that the Democrats select the presidential candidate who would be best able to solve our many problems at home and abroad.
Many people measure candidates by their campaign war chests, their oratory or their political allies. In the long run, there are three important things we as voters need to know about a candidate. Are their policies right for the country? Do they have the integrity to really pursue those policies, if elected? Are their policies consistent with what they have been doing?
After watching and reading about the Democratic candidates for president, I find that Congressman Dennis Kucinich has the best grasp of the situation we are facing as a nation. For almost every issue I care about, Kucinich has a well-thought-out policy that is consistent with the courageous work he has been doing for years as co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus in Congress.
The imperialistic ambitions of this administration are destroying the best efforts of both parties and most countries for over half a century to contain the nuclear threat, promote treaties and build international institutions to help the world live in peace. It is not enough just to be against the Iraq war now that we know Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. Kucinich rejects Bush's aggressive pursuit of military dominance. He will move us once again to be a trusted partner in the family of nations. Kucinich has long promoted a Department of Peace and led 125 of his congressional colleagues to vote against the Iraq war.
Too many Americans are in denial about the dangers inherent in Bush's plan to build a national missile defense boondoggle and develop new and usable nuclear weapons. Kucinich led 31 congressional colleagues in suing the president to prevent the abrogation of the ABM treaty.
Kucinich knows that it will be impossible to have the resources to provide health care, quality education, environmental protection and still meet the many needs of our country unless we reduce the military budget and rescind the tax cuts for the wealthy.
The safety net that has protected senior citizens, the unemployed, the disabled and the sick is being shredded. Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security and to put prescription drugs under the control of HMOs are only two of his efforts to unravel our safety net.
The single-payer health care plan proposed by Kucinich is by far the least expensive and the most inclusive.
The neoconservatives promote policies that outsource production overseas and create high unemployment at home in order to secure cheap labor. They seek to maximize profits for the rich at the expense of the worker and the environment. Kucinich would work to repeal the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization and replace them with agreements that protect our environment and American workers. He will work for a full-employment economy.
Under cover of the Patriot Act, John Ashcroft has been rapidly eroding our constitutionally protected liberties. Kucinich would roll back these intrusions on our freedoms.
Whether it is health care, the environment, the economy, international relations or war and peace, Kucinich will govern on behalf of the people, not the special interests.
Trust between the governed and those who govern is essential to a well-functioning democracy. The Bush administration has not only lost the respect of much of the world, but he has also lost the trust of millions of Americans. Kucinich has remained true to his convictions and spoken out and organized opposition at a time when many of his colleagues were hesitant to speak up.
The primary season is the time to select the best possible candidate. I welcome the opportunity to support Dennis Kucinich and to do what I can to help him become our next president. I urge your readers to study the candidates and issues carefully. Visit the Web site www.kucinich.us. I am sure that many will agree that Kucinich has the record, the determination and the vision to guide us.
Most Democrats and Greens, as well as many disillusioned Republicans, will agree that defeating Bush is our top priority. After the convention, we know we must rally around the winning Democrat for the general election.
Midge Miller of Madison is a former Wisconsin state legislator who played a critical role in organizing the insurgent anti-war presidential campaign of former U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy in 1968. She has been active in every presidential campaign since then.
Copyright 2003 The Capital Times