True to his campaign, Dennis Kucinich bowed out of the Presidential race with dignity-and with his powerful anti-war message intact.
He told his supporters that he began his campaign because "leaders in Washington, many in my own part, were intent on continuing a war, a war that has cost the lives of more than 4,000 of our brave young men and women and 1 million innocent Iraqis. A war that will cost this nation two trillion dollars."
He added: "We asked for jobs, we get war. We asked for health care, we get war. We asked for funds for education, we get war. We ask for a clean environment, we get war. It is time to end this war. It is time to end war as an instrument policy and have the government start taking care of things here at home."
Kucinich noted how the media excluded him time and time again. "I was locked out of six debates," he said. "There was no way to get the message out."
But he kept his head up and vowed to continue the fight for economic rights, civil liberties, social justice, universal single-payer health care, and peace. Such a fight, he wisely pointed out, "is not about a single day, or a single year, or a single campaign, or a single candidate. It is a lifelong endeavor."
He thanked his supporters gracefully: "I stood strong because you gave me strength. I spoke out because your voices needed and deserved to be heard."
For many progressives, Dennis Kucinich represented the best hope in the Democratic race.
The media disappeared him, and now he is gone from the race. But we owe him a debt of gratitude for speaking out courageously on the crucial issues of our day.
Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine.
© 2008 The Progressive