A few weeks ago, best-selling author and Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore visited Vancouver, and was asked during a public appearance why he doesn’t run for president in 2004.
“Because I don’t want to get shot,” said Moore, who explained that he and his family received numerous death threats after Moore used his March 2003 Oscar acceptance speech to harshly ridicule George W. Bush’s presidency and the war on Iraq in front of millions of television viewers.
Moore opposes the drug war, and also has the guts to question the official mythology about September 11, 2001, suggesting that President Bush and other Bush associates had involvement with Osama bin Laden, the Saudis, and others implicated in the 9/11 attacks.
Those who yearn for an articulate American presidential candidate who says the same radical things that Moore says are rallying behind a soft-spoken Midwestern Congressman named Dennis Kucinich.
Kucinich, who began his political career as mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1977, created a buzz during the Democratic primary season by openly challenging Bush, and his Democratic cohorts.
Kucinich calls himself a Democrat because he believes in pro-labor, pro-working family values that used to be considered Democratic Party traditions. But he is far more intelligent, ethical and radical than the other Democrats who seek to become the Party’s nominee to challenge Bush.
The Democratic Party bigwigs Kucinich is competing against are all “Republicrats” who support the drug war.
While other Democratic front-runners are unwilling to support the rights of medical marijuana users, Kucinich vows to end the war on marijuana and replace the drug war with sane public policy that views drug use as a health and family problem rather than a problem dealt with by law enforcement.
“Most marijuana users do so responsibly, in a safe, recreational context,” Kucinich says. “They lead normal, productive lives, pursuing careers, raising families, and participating in civic life. In addition, marijuana has proven benefits in the treatment of numerous diseases, such as providing a valuable means of pain management for terminally ill patients. In either of these contexts, there is no rational justification for criminally enforced prohibitions. These unnecessary arrests and incarcerations serve only to crowd prisons, backlog the judicial system, and distract law enforcement officials from pursuing terrorists and other violent criminals.”
The Congressman has proposed lifting criminal penalties for most marijuana-related activities, and although he stops short of recommending full-on legalization of the herb, he is the only candidate generating enthusiasm among the marijuana community.
On other issues, Kucinich is equally as innovative.
While other Democrats timidly “criticize” the war in Iraq while backing the occupation of Iraq, Kucinich says the US must immediately pull out of Iraq and let the Iraqi people and the UN take over.
He favors dismantling NAFTA and other dangerous trade agreements. NAFTA is as bad for Canadians as it is for the US; it gives the US rights to Canadian water, oil, natural gas and open space.
Kucinich rips corporations, especially corporate media. Soon after he began accusing mainstream media of scripting news to favor corporate-fascist political elites, major news organizations, including supposedly liberal NPR, pulled their reporters off the Kucinich campaign, and failed to even mention him in the weeks leading up to the crucial Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
The candidate says he doesn’t use marijuana, but says his opposition to the drug war is based on his general commitment to human rights of all kinds ? including women’s rights, gay rights, and minority rights.
He supports universal health care. He says global warming and human destruction of the earth must be viewed as a moral issue and as a serious threat to the long-term survival of our species. He’s a vegan. He advocates dismantling America’s emphasis on military solutions for world problems, as well as the draconian Patriot Act, mandatory minimum drug sentences, and post-9/11 policies that have robbed Americans of basic constitutional rights.
Kucinich calls himself “the peace candidate.” He brings a sincere, spiritual, and sensitive tone to politics. He comes from a poor family that was often homeless during his youth. He fought powerful special interests when he was mayor of Cleveland, was forced out of politics by corrupt businesses, embarked on a “spiritual quest,” and then returned to politics years later, determined to save America from politicians like George W. Bush.
Now, he’s a respected member of Congress, head of the Congressional Progressive caucus, and popular with liberal and conservative voters in his home state of Ohio.
By the time you read this article, the Democratic primaries may be all but over; it’s unlikely Kucinich will be the Democratic nominee.
Still, Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery is urging all Americans who share a pro-marijuana, pro-freedom agenda to back Kucinich with their money and by volunteering to assist his campaign.
Emery urges American voters to check out Kucinich’s website at www.kucinich.us, and to work hard for the candidate and his causes as soon as possible.
“Even if he doesn’t win the primaries, it’s tremendously important to have a national US candidate carrying our message of freedom,” said Emery. “We sent Pot-TV newswoman Loretta Nall to a Willie Nelson benefit concert for Kucinich in January, and Loretta was warmly received by his campaign.”
Nall told Cannabis Culture that Kucinich clearly articulated his desire to see marijuana decriminalized. After she met Kucinich, she and other US Marijuana Party members raised money that purchased full page pro-Kucinich ads that ran in New Hampshire newspapers just before the primaries.
“It was very exciting to be with people like Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, the Doobie Brothers, and committed people from across America who love their country and freedom,” Nall said. “Some members of the Cannabis Culture forum came to Texas with some very kind herb. I sat there listening to the fantastic music, and it gave me goose bumps to wonder if a man as cool as Kucinich could become president of the United States. This world would be so much better!”
? Dennis Kucinich: toll free 1-866-413-3664; www.kucinich.us