US Congressman, Former Candidate for President
(1946 - )
Mr. Speaker, we make war with such certainty, yet we are befuddled how to create peace. This paradox requires reflection if we are to survive. Making and endorsing war requires a secret love of death, and a fearful desire to embrace annihilation. Creating peace requires compassion, putting ourselves in the other person's place, and all of their suffering and all of their hopes and to act from our heart's capacity to love, not fear.
Additional Quotes by Dennis Kucinich
- I am running for President of the United States to enable the Goddess of Peace to encircle within her arms all the children of this country and all the children of the world.
- I believe health care is a civil right.
- I believe sincerely that we should bring in U.N. peacekeepers and bring our troops home.
- I don't want to bash Bill and Hillary, because they're friends of mine, but I do have a difference of opinion about how to take back the House and the Senate.
- I have worked to expand the health care debate beyond the current for-profit system, to include a public option and an amendment to free the states to pursue single payer.
- I think it's inconsistent to tell the American people that you oppose the war and, yet, you continue to vote to fund the war. Because every time you vote to fund the war, you're reauthorizing the war all over again.
- I think we need to look for any opening we can to avoid a war and we shouldn't pass up any opportunity for resolution.
- In the past week it has become clear that the vote on the final healthcare bill will be very close. I take this vote with the utmost seriousness. I am quite aware of the historic fight that has lasted the better part of the last century to bring America in line with other modern democracies in providing single payer health care.
- Iraq does not pose an imminent threat to the United States of any of its neighboring nations.
- The tax code is not the only area where the administration is helping the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It has spent $155 billion for an unnecessary war driven by fear.
- This is a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, which in too many cases has become so corporate and identified with corporate interests that you can't tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans.
- Today we're faced with over 500 casualties, a cost of over $200 billion. And it could rise - the casualties could go into thousands and the cost could go over half a trillion - if we stay there for years.
- War can be so impersonal yet when we put a name, a face, a place and match it to families, then war is not impersonal.
- We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Unemployment is a weapon of mass destruction.
Dennis Kucinich, Democratic Congressman from Ohio and two-time candidate for President lives his life as an advocate for peace and a greener, healthier world. That he has carved out a successful political career holding true to these values is a remarkable achievement.
Kucinich’s early life and career were lessons in persistence and hard work. He grew up in a large family that was constantly on the move for affordable housing, even occasionally forced to live out of their car. He worked his way through the schools he attended, and began his political aspirations by running for Cleveland city council while still in college. He moved from that position to mayor in 1977, becoming Cleveland’s youngest mayor at age 31. His term was very controversial. Kucinich refused to sell the city’s publicly-owned company, Muny Light, a decision so unpopular at the time that a contract was taken out on his life. It was years later before the city recognized that Kucinich, in standing up to the banks and big business, had in fact made the right decision. By then, Kucinich had spent the 1980s as a political pariah. Wanting to continue serving the public, he began his political career over, starting again as city councilman, then moving to the State Senate, and finally to the US House of Representatives in 1996. He remains in office today after making two bids for the Presidency in 2004 and 2008.
As a Representative, Dennis Kucinich makes a point of knowing his constituency and working on their behalf, without giving in to corporate interests. He supports a liberal and environmental agenda. He voted against the NAFTA agreement, the Patriot Act, the 2003 invasion into Iraq, and advocates a withdrawal of troops there. He supports gay rights, including same-sex marriage, and a universal health care system. Kucinich would also have the US government sign the Kyoto Protocol and address global warming and other conservation issues.
These ideas are part of the philosophy by which Dennis Kucinich lives his life, and he brought these beliefs to his two bids for the presidency. His platform included creating a Department of Peace, as when he said, “I’m going to let the rest of the world know that the days of America trying to be a nation above nations is over. We have to quit trying to dominate other countries, and we have to step out of our isolation and into the brotherhood and sisterhood of all people…. We have to be ready to take the lead, but we need to have harmony with other nations.” His firm belief in peace as an integral part of life earned him the Gandhi Peace Award in 2003. His platform also included leading the US into becoming greener and more sustainable, without dependence on coal or oil. As a candidate, Kucinich said, “One of my proposals is to have millions of homes with wind and solar technologies… the role of utilities will change dramatically because it’s not going to be a centralized approach to energy production…. I want to see, eventually, all the homes in this country have the option of that technology. In turn, you can create millions of jobs building alternative technologies.”
Dennis Kucinich left the presidential race in January 2008, and was re-elected to office. His ideas of how government can best serve the people do not always follow Party lines; often he stands alone, as when he proposed articles in 2007 to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, charging him with misleading America into war. He keeps a small copy of the Constitution with him at all times, to remind himself and Congress of their commitment to upholding its principles. In June 2008, Kucinich presented 35 articles of impeachment to Congress; one month later, realizing that number was too large to deal with at once, he introduced a single article to impeach President Bush for “Deceiving Congress with Fabricated Threats of Iraq WMDs to Fraudulently Obtain Support for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Iraq.”
The heart of the matter, for Dennis Kucinich, is believing that “peace means being in harmony with nature.” It shapes his life and his work for a greener and more socially just America.