Dennis Kucinich: A peace-seeking idealist to the core w/poll

Washington – To understand the importance Dennis Kucinich places on spirituality, scan his generally spare Capitol Hill office: a white cloth from the Dalai Lama, a bust of Gandhi, and a picture representing “conscious light” – a gift from Brahma Kumaris nuns.

There’s a Tibetan dragon washbowl and, on his desk, two heavy crucifixes once worn by Catholic nuns who taught him and who, he says, “saved my life.”

By Amanda Paulson via

The naysayers go after Dennis for his new-agey beliefs.  We’ve all read them, whether in snarky diaries or snide comments.  Isn’t it amazing that they don’t pay attention to where those beliefs lead.

For instance, it might be said that a candidate dedicated to peace won’t work in our current world situation.  I would remind them that our current president and vice-president are as far from peace lovers as we could ask for.  See what we’ve got?

“Obviously, I connect with all religions,” says Representative Kucinich (D) of Ohio, in the midst of his second presidential campaign. “All manners of belief and even non-belief come from a common font, and that is the transcendent power of the human heart…. All those things that would separate us are based on misunderstandings of our nature.”

I may as well put that part in, as it is the part that will be used as naysayers.  To which I ask: “Where do your beliefs lead from?  Where do any of the other candidates?  More importantly, where do your and the other candidates beliefs lead to?”

While his colleagues in Congress recently voted for more military funds for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he is pushing for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and advocates cutting money from the defense budget. In the middle of the war on terror, he wants to establish a Department of Peace. He’s the only Democratic presidential candidate who wants a Medicare system for all Americans, supports gay marriage, and advocates repealing the North American Free Trade Agreement and withdrawing from the World Trade Organization.

Of course, he’s the only candidate running who’s right on all of these issues.  And he’s been right from the start.

“A lot of people don’t agree with Dennis on specific issues, but nobody ever doubts where he stands,” says Andy Juniewicz, Kucinich’s press secretary and a friend who worked as a copy boy with him at the Plain Dealer and has known him for more than 40 years. “He’s probably the most courageous elected official I’ve ever known. Whatever the odds, if he believes he’s right, he’ll buck those odds and push for what he believes is right.”

If one has a strong foundation upon which one’s beliefs are built upon, one is able to stand for them, even in the face of the “cave and call it cooperation” mindset of the current Democratic Party.

“He sincerely believes in the kinds of things he’s saying and stands for,” says Alexander Lamis, a political scientist at Case Western University in Cleveland. Professor Lamis remembers going out to lunch with Kucinich and Carl Stokes, the first African-American mayor of a big city and a friend of Kucinich’s until his death. The conversation turned to Tom Johnson, a Cleveland mayor at the turn of the 20th century and a leader of the Progressive movement. “They talked about how they considered themselves the only two Cleveland mayors to follow in the Tom Johnson mayoral tradition,” says Lamis. “Coming with that tradition is fighting against the well-to-do special interests. It’s just what Dennis believes.”

Fighting against the well-to-do special interests.  It’s not just a slogan, it’s what Dennis does!

Perhaps most interesting is the idea of a country dedicated to peace.  Is such a dream possible.  Can a great and powerful country turn it’s back on war and turn it’s great power to the pusuit of peace?

My answer is yes, and it’s already happened in India under the great Bhuddist king Asoka:

As if it were not astonishing enough for an emperor to confess his remorse and devote his life to making amends for the appalling suffering caused by a war he waged simply to expand his power, Ashoka instituted a reign of peace that extended to all people, within and beyond his boundaries, and then to the land itself-plants, trees, birds, fish, and animals. He banned the hunting of many species of creatures and the sacrifice of any living being. In addition to creating thousands of monasteries, libraries, and hospitals, he set aside wildlife and forest preserves. In his second rock edict, quoted in the Buddhist Publication Society’s translation, Ashoka made provisions for medical treatment for animals as well as humans, and “wherever medical herbs, roots or fruits for humans and animals were not available,” he had them imported. The neem trees planted along main travel routes grew near the rest houses Ashoka had built along the roads. He also had wells dug and other trees planted for fruit and shade so that his people, especially the poor, might not endure needless suffering. The state, Ashoka taught, has an obligation to protect and conserve the entire living community.…

And finally, a bit of Hoosier wisdom it would be well for each of us to pay heed to:

It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.  – Eugene Debs

If you wish to support Dennis’ campaign, you may do so by going to his campaign site,, and contributing online, via US Mail or by phone at 877.413.3664.  You may also donate via my ActBlue page for Dennis!

As always, now more than ever,

Go Dennis!

Vote your conscience, choose peace!

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1 comment

  1. Alexander made Asoka Possible.  Period!

    Go Dennis!

    Vote your conscience, choose peace!

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