Kucinich Against the Security State (and for Reviving FDR’s WPA)

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I stopped on the way home from work tonight at a local community center where Dennis Kucinich was giving a speech. Immediately, I noticed that about 60% of the people in the very crowded hall were about 65 & up. Maybe half of those people were in their 70s and 80s. “We’re seniors and we vote” was sure out in force tonight.

Listening to people talking, and what they were talking about, was predictable. An old lady behind me proudly and loudly voiced, “Oh, and who would vote for that Ron Paul. I mean his foreign policy is okay, but on domestic issues (what can you give us?) he is just awful. He’s for nothing, no programs.” The rest of the chatter was the usual: free prescriptions, free glasses, no medicare co-pays. The old people never cheered for Kucinich’s education promises, which included free daycare prior to the age of 5, a new Head Start program launch, and free college. The old people mostly sat quiet for that. But the younger Moms and Dads shouted and whooped. “Free” stuff!

I sat on the aisle in the second row, where Kucinich stood most of the hour. Odd, but he was so close I can still smell his cologne on my clothes. He’s a terrific personality and speaker, which is one of the reasons why I like him. He’s of blue-collar, Midwest origination (Cleveland), so he’s fairly down-to-earth and lacking the Romney or Giuliani version of Yankee slick. Domestically, he’s bad, but less so than his challengers. Except that he did praise FDR and his New Deal, and in fact he promised to re-create the WPA (Works Progress Administration) on a grand scale. He is going to fix all buildings, bridges, roads, sewers, libraries, schools, etc., and he’s going to do it by using the government purse to provide high-paying jobs.

Yet, as we know, he really shines on foreign policy. He spoke only briefly on war, but much more about the Security State. He’s hardcore when it comes to abolishing the terror state and its antics, wiretaps, torture, and thought crimes.

He filed articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney, but he also said that Bush was next in line for the same treatment.

I like Kucinich alot; he is not a guy who, in spite of his welfare state agenda, you can hate too easily in the personal sense. He’s extremely intelligent, passionate, and can mesmerize an audience quite quickly. He and Ron Paul – if Ron can teach him a bit on market economics and the real New Deal – would make a fascinating presidential ticket.

8:55 pm on January 14, 2008