An inspiring message from the Kucinich Campaign
As a member of the Kucinich campaign, I received this email from the campaign, and thought I'd share it with you all.
July 18, 2004
A year ago, we decided that we cared enough about changing the direction of our nation that we would stand up, speak out, band together, and work within the system collectively to have an impact far greater and much sooner than we could possibly have trying to effect change from outside the system.
We called on the Democratic Party to open its arms to all of us and to all of our ideas and ideals. We trudged through every state in the Union, finding support and encouragement, but also sometimes disappointment and even derision. We fought to expand the base of the Party by demanding that it move away from the comfort and convenience of centrist policies so that, with a broader and more diverse constituency, we could all unite to win back the White House, provide a new vision and new hope for the people of our country, and re-establish ourselves as decent, moral, respected members of the world community.
Has our strategy succeeded? Have we had the impact we had hoped in moving the Democratic Party in a more enlightened and more progressive direction?
Critics, of whom there are many, will say "no." Despite our most concerted efforts in Miami to persuade the Democratic Platform Committee to take bold and principled positions on the most crucial issues of our time, we were overwhelmingly outnumbered by those who preferred to play it safe. We could have fought "to the death," as some critics have urged, and still never garnered enough votes to even force a public debate on the floor. Instead, we succeeded in getting the Party leadership to acknowledge the legitimacy and importance of our issues, offer compromise language they hoped would be acceptable, and eventually agreed to an amendment calling for a reduction in U.S. military presence in Iraq -- rather than an increase.
Was it enough? No. Yet it was a significant step in a direction that would not have even been otherwise considered. Leaders of the Party and the members of the Platform Committee came away with an unanticipated appreciation and respect for the depth of national concern about these issues and the intensity with which these battles will continue to be waged.
Will any of this really make a difference in November? Or beyond? That depends upon us. If we continue raising our voices, challenging conventional wisdom, arguing with heightened fervor for peace and justice and equity in our laws and our policies, then "yes," it will make a difference. The Democratic Party is listening. Little by little, perhaps too-little by too-little, it is moving and will continue to move in the direction that millions of Americans want it to. Now is not the time to abandon our efforts or the principles that brought us together, and we don't intend to.
A year ago, it seemed like something more wishful and hopeful than reachable or real. We believed in the journey we were about to start, but we had no illusions about the magnitude of the challenge. We enlisted in the long-shot Presidential campaign of a candidate advocating "radical" ideas like peace, health care for all, new economic policies that create jobs rather than ship them overseas, protection of our civil liberties, insistence on equal rights under the law, expanded educational funding...a candidate committed to bring about truly progressive change to the politics and policies of our nation, but within the framework of the Democratic Party.
And there we were -- some of us total strangers to the political process: bright, spirited, caring 20-somethings who never imagined themselves as participants in a national political movement. Some of us, the 50-somethings, had either plunged or dipped our toes in the process in the 60's and 70's but left, either disillusioned or inspired to try other approaches. And everyone in between, from all over the country, every age, every occupation and lifestyle, every race and religion, and every life experience.
What united us was our candidate, Dennis Kucinich, and what he stood for. But it was more than that. Separately, and in different ways, the anti-progressive, pro-war, anti-civil liberties, pro-corporate political agenda of a Republican White House and a Republican-controlled Congress united us.
With just a week remaining in the work defined by the candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, we are gearing up to take our issues---your issues--to the Democratic National Convention where our delegates and our supporters will make sure we continue to be heard. Throughout the city of Boston, at rallies, forums, neighborhood meetings, and other events, thousands of similar-minded people will raise their voices along with ours as we continue to push for more progress. And more. And more. To do what still needs to be done, we need the continued financial support of Americans, who believe as we do, that change is absolutely imperative, even if it comes only one step at a time. Your contribution will help ensure that we can continue moving the Democratic Party and the nation in the direction that all of us want it to go. Without your support, we wouldn't have made it this far. With your support, there's no telling how far we can go.
The quest for peace, health care, civil liberties, justice, and all the other issues we believe in did not end in Miami. It will not end in Boston. It will not end in November. It has only just begun. Each day, more and more Americans are saying what we all have been saying since those first early days of this historic journey. It's time for a new direction, a new vision, a new way of looking at what this country stands for and what it needs to do to represent the interests of its people. And it's happening. Right now through a political campaign. We cannot afford to give up on any opportunity. If we are united in purpose and committed to continue the journey, whatever the odds and whatever the setbacks, we will ensure that it happens even sooner.
In the Spirit of Peace,
National Campaign Manager
Contribute by calling 866-413-3664 or online at https://www.kucinich.us/contribute.php or by sending your check to the address shown at the bottom of this page.
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Kucinich for President
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