By Dennis Kucinich
Progressive Democrats of America
February 17, 2008, Cleveland, OH
Friends like those of you in PDA who fearlessly travel the same road and share the same dreams for our country and families are much appreciated. We have traveled together since the first PDA convention at Roxbury Community College on July 29, 2004 where Governor Howard Dean and I linked arms on the stage.
I thank you for all your past help and am asking for your help again. Currently, I am competing against well-financed opponents. Opponents who reject Impeachment and my efforts to defend the Constitution. Opponents who reject the Conyers-Kucinich bill for universal health care – H.R. 676. Opponents who reject beginning an immediate withdrawal of our occupying forces in Iraq. In the last financial report I was being outspent by five to one by just one of those opponents and face a media onslaught.
My political career follows the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. who said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”’
And just like PDA I have never been silent about things that matter. I spoke out 140 times on the floor of the House to oppose the Iraq War and over 100 times in the media to explain that no credible evidence about the existence of WMDs had been produced. That the war was clearly illegal because it violated the U.N. Charter which is incorporated in the U.S. Constitution. In fact, I produced a thorough analysis disproving the WMD propaganda. Remember that I appeared on Meet the Press against Richard Perle, an administration defender, just before the war. I charged that the war was about oil. Perle responded that I had uttered “a lie, an out and out lie.”
The same day On Face the Nation, Time’s Joe Klein called me a “buffoon” for my anti-war and oil claims. Apparently their notes did not reach the desk of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan who recently wrote: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq War is largely about oil.” Nor did they ever read National Security Directive 54 written on Jan. 15, 1991 by our current president’s father. That NSD directive was sitting under my hand at the Meet the Press taping and started with the following: “Access to Persian Gulf oil and the security of key friendly states in the area are vital to U.S. national security.”
But there is a cost for speaking out about things that matter. Those who wish to preserve their privileges and power fight back. I learned that first when I was defeated in my bid for reelection as mayor of Cleveland after refusing to be blackmailed by corporate Cleveland into selling the city’s municipal light system to its private competitor. While it sidelined my political career for over 13 years, it saved my constituents hundreds of millions of dollars.
From that time to this my constituents have known that I can not be bought or bossed. Like my friends at PDA I have never been one to run away from the important battles to defend and define our party and country. To stop the insane militarism and corporatism subverting our democracy. Next year, the average American family of four will see some $15,818 spent in its name on a wasteful, largely unnecessary military industrial complex. The same family will see more than $30,000 spent in Iraq to make us less safe, free and prosperous. I say “wasteful” because no country on earth dare attack us on a field of battle. The idea that we need more $13.5 billion aircraft carriers to fight an enemy without planes (except those they can steal!), a ship or even an artillery piece is as dishonest as the lies that led us into Iraq.
PDAers recognize that when Americans wanted health care, they got war. When they wanted Social Security and retirement security, they got war. And when they wanted better schools and jobs, they got war. With your help we can silence the rhetoric of fear in Congress.
I need your help to fight back against a well-financed campaign to silence your voice in Congress. Each and every day I wake up knowing who and what I represent. I represent working families who are struggling to survive and know that unless we return to the Progressive values that created the middle class, our Democracy and world peace are at risk.
Please go to my web site at kucinich.us to contribute and to volunteer. The congressional campaign phone number is 216 252-9000. Thank you for responding.
Copyright © 2004-2007 Progressive Democrats of America • All text available for public use with appropriate attribution.