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Kucinich: Weary Nation 'Must Not Cede to Forces of Destruction'


Kucinich speaking at the 2013 International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

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If Americans can look beyond the political theater of the current lame-duck Congress and the uneasy prospect of Republicans taking over Capitol Hill come January, they could begin to restore a badly broken democracy, says former congressman and two-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

"When you go across the country and talk to people, there's reason to be hopeful," Kucinich told Common Dreams this week. "But the hope is not in a partisan solution. That's a demonstrated fallacy of our national experience in the last few decades."

The former U.S. Representative from Ohio elaborated on comments he made in the wake of the 2014 midterm elections, in which he criticized President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party for blowing a "historic opportunity" to enact real change in the United States and around the world.

"Everyone remembers the autumn of 2008 when it seemed as though we had tapped into a new spirit of the times, one that was very upbeat, hopeful, even transformative," Kucinich said. "You could just feel that the United States was on the threshold of something that was new, unique, and promising of great things. When President Obama took office he had a Democratic House and Democratic Senate. And even more than that, he had the American people. He was in a singular position to be able to appeal to the American people to rally around a program of dramatic economic change... If the president had gone to the people with a powerful legislative agenda that would have created jobs, saved peoples homes, increased wages, provided for child care and a ringing defense of Social Security, and really carried forth the spirit of the New Deal-the country was ready for that."

"We could have taken a new direction in the world," he continued. "The world was ready in 2008 for an America that was neither bellicose nor plotting, but rather cooperative and law-abiding."

Instead, the country is grappling with rampant income inequality, involvement in endless war, stagnant wages and ballooning debt, overpowering corporate influence in elections, and near-constant infringement on civil liberties. As such, Kucinich noted, "It's fair for the American people to ask, 'what in the world happened?'"