Rob Kall: I love the idea, but the other side of it is: we're facing a situation, we've got a world where a handful of billionaires have incredible power and wealth. Some of those billionaires have power that has roots going back a hundred or more years, and we've got systems in place that seem unbreakable. We should be breaking up the Too Big To Fail banks. I've been talking with Thom Hartmann and Greg Palast about the idea of getting rid of billionaires, making it so that it's against the law. What do you think about that? And this whole challenge of this massive banking system?
Dennis Kucinich: I've got a slightly different take on that, and here it is. I think there are people with great wealth who have become politically active out of fear, not out of a desire for a better world; and fear can be a very pernicious motivator. They may not actually be acting in their own long term interest by the kinds of backlashes that are being created about the attempts to upend the rights of workers at state levels, or to try to literally buy elections.
We need to teach wealth creation in America, not just make it available to one class. We need to make sure that everyone has an economic opportunity in this country; we haven't done that. We absolutely need to have a public financing system for our elections, so that no one individual will be able to have extraordinary influence over the Democratic Process, and then everyone can have an equal influence through a public financing system that makes the decisive factor our nation and not our money.
A Progressive tax system is fine. But we need to have more tax payers! (laughs) You know, we have at least ten million people out of work, and we have maybe another twelve million people [who] are underemployed. Get America back to work, rebuild America! Our emphasis, I think, is wrong right now. We're talking too much about austerity and not about the potential for prosperity, in a world where there should be unlimited potential. And the other thing is, Wall Street? Look. There's a major problem, that there was the bailout, that I opposed vigorously, but also that Wall Street was able to continue to make huge profits after the bailouts, to avoid jail - you know, it's like "Banks to Big to Fail, and People to Big to Jail" - and get bonuses, while the Treasury department looks the other way, really shows you that there's an unfortunate decoupling of monied interest from the national interest, and there needs to be some reconciliation there as well.
Rob Kall: One more question. We're just getting to time to wrap up. The other day, Chuck Todd spoke to a group of (I think) Secretaries of State, the people who run the voting in States, and he mocked the election integrity field -- people who have concerns about electronic voting, and the trustworthiness of elections. What's your take on these?
Dennis Kucinich: I imagine Al Gore wasn't in that audience.
Rob Kall: (laughs) Yeah! What's you take on the current safety of a " go ahead.
Dennis Kucinich: Look. Everyone knows that there's a battlefield over the right to vote. That there have been decided efforts to try to undermine people's ability to be able to vote, to try to limit voting hours, to limit access, to limit eligibility, and you would think that in a society that depends on the franchise for the legitimization of the government that there would be universal agreement on universal access to the voting booth. But there isn't.
And through the constitutional history, where people were denied a chance to vote because they didn't own property, or because they were women, or because they were slaves, or because they were black, or a number of different reasons - we still see that pernicious conduct which tries to rig the voting system to deny people an opportunity to feel the full expression of power of their vote. That must remain a major concern of all Americans who love their country, and of all people in those states where Secretaries of State have moved to frustrate the voting rights of people, not to facilitate them.
Rob Kall: And what about electronic voting?
Dennis Kucinich: You know, Call me old-fashioned, but I kind of like the paper ballots. Now, you can cheat an election with paper ballots, that's true; but with the countermeasures that can happen with electronics and databases and hacking - I don't know; I mean, there's people who know more about this than I do, but I will tell you that I'm always skeptical about how you can find ways of changing election results if you have access specific codes and to the tabulators. I'll tell you, I'm a skeptic on that one, Rob.
Rob Kall: OK. So, we've got to wrap now. This is the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM. I've been speaking to Dennis Kucinich. Dennis, do you want to wrap up, say anything?
Dennis Kucinich: Just to let everyone know that your support has absolutely been imperative, and that I'm going to continue not just to speak out, but to act to help all of those that want America to go in a direction of peace, of truth, of reconciliation, of building peaceful communities, of creating jobs for all and healthcare for all through a single-payer system, of standing up for the worker's right to organize, the right to collective bargaining, the right to strike, the right to decent wages and benefits, the right to a secure retirement. Working to make sure that we pay attention to this planet, which as Thomas Berry said, should be "The great work of our" life, reconciling ourselves with the natural world. And so there's plenty to do.
And, at the same time, I'm going to enjoy life. I'm not a member of Congress anymore. I'm able to be a little more expansive in my involvement in the world, not necessarily in the world of events, but in that world that everyone else experiences, just a world of friends and family, and of being able to go out and meet people all over the world who have been waiting for an opportunity to connect with. So, it's' just great to have this chance to be with you, Rob, and your listeners, and I look forward to another opportunity down the road where we can talk again.
Rob Kall: All right. Thank you so much. Bye.
Dennis Kucinich: Thank you.