Open Letter to Dennis Kucinich

Dear Rep. Kucinich:

I'm writing to you as an individual who hopes to support your campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. I've followed your career since I was a college student and you were the mayor of Cleveland. I've been heartened in recent years to see you emerge on the national stage as a spokesperson for issues of peace and social justice. I know you are committed to the building of a democratic culture and an economic order that serves the needs of the majority of our citizens. I also know that moral and spiritual concerns lie close to the heart of your political career.

Recently I heard you on National Public Radio laying out your goals for the campaign, and, if I hadn't been driving, I would have stood and cheered. You identified a single-payer health insurance plan and canceling NAFTA and the WTO as the key issues for a revival of progressive politics that is connected to the lives of ordinary lower- and middle-income Americans. And you are absolutely right. I am convinced that we who hope for a rebirth of democracy should stand on those two issues and refuse to budge. The Republican Right did that with their issues—limited government, bigger defense, and lower taxes. It took them 16 years, but they eventually elected Ronald Reagan and enacted most of their program. If we show that kind of persistence with "Medicare for All" and "Fair Trade," we will eventually start winning. It may take a while, but you're still a lot younger than Ronald Reagan was in 1968, when he was first a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 2003
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