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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Kucinich Comes to Cambridge

Amidst thunderous cheers, Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich emerged from the vestry at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge last Wednesday, to address a packed house of potential voters for the upcoming “Super Tuesday” primary elections. The diverse crowd whistled, clapped and waved homemade signs during the warm reception, prompting the candidate to remark, “I feel right at home, thank you!”

Life-long Democrat and former mayor of Cleveland, Representative Kucinich (D-Ohio) is running on a progressive platform.

Sans notes, Kucinich spoke into a cordless microphone, walking up and down the aisles as he outlined his vision for the future of America.

“We are here as the heirs and heiresses of a tradition of brave citizens who decided to create a more perfect union, to take and transform the power that is within each of us to change the government,” the congressman began. “To create a nation that can proceed on the world stage fearlessly and confidently and courageously and hopefully and joyously, celebrating our humanity, celebrating our interconnectedness, celebrating our interdependence. This is what we’re in for!”

Kucinich is enjoying a campaign upswing after winning 30% of the votes in the Hawaii primary on February 24, a second place finish behind frontrunner Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

Throughout the evening, the congressman stressed the importance of economic regulation to achieve a more equitable American society.

“We have an obligation as a nation to tame the engines of capitalism, to have them regulated to be able to make sure that there is not a concentration of wealth in the hands of the few,” the candidate argued. “If we do not watch carefully the engines of capital accumulation, we can have our very democracy destroyed.”

Kucinich elicited a boisterous response from the crowd when he spoke about the importance of public education.

“A country which stands for universal college education, free college tuition for all public colleges and universities,” Kucinich declared over enthusiastic applause, “is a country which responds to people’s practical aspirations.”

After his speech, the candidate fielded questions from the audience.

Asked about the pandemic outsourcing of American white-collar jobs, Kucinich remarked, “There’s a heightened awareness now of the loss of jobs in this country because it has started to hit a segment of the population that felt they had economic security because of the level of their training and education. Before that we lost three million manufacturing jobs.

“The reason why America has had seemingly a superhighway one way out of this country for jobs is because the United States passed trade agreements in 1993 and 1994 called NAFTA and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades which created the World Trade Organization which set up trade structures so that corporations could get cheap labor,” he said.

The congressman argued that these trade agreements were written to specifically preclude workers rights, human rights, and environmental quality principles. Breaking with mainstream democratic policy, Kucinich reaffirmed his promise to cancel the WTO and NAFTA agreements as his first act in office. He explained that both agreements have stipulations that allow the president to do so.

An audience member dressed in a banana costume asked the congressman about the importance of the arts in contemporary America.

“President Kennedy forty two years ago talked about the role of arts in our society and he talked about how they really help us connect with our higher capacities. His support for the arts more than four decades ago was very powerful. It was part of a time in America when there was a celebration of music and art,” Kucinich responded.

“We should recognize that art represents the consciousness of our society and also forges the consciousness, creates the consciousness. Artists take us into the future as well as reflect where we’ve been. They enable us to journey to worlds and imagine where we can be at the same time they help analyze sometimes in an excruciatingly truthful way the conditions we find ourselves with.”