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On Winning Hearts and Minds

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The following letter was in my inbox this morning:

Dear Friends,

This past weekend, thousands of people flooded the halls of Congress to lobby in favor of Congressman Dennis Kucinich's legislative proposal to enact a Department of Peace. Yesterday, a Cleveland area PUBLIC radio station lambasted Congressman Kucinich and his proposed Department of Peace without fully gathering the facts.

WCPN carried an interview today in which the talk show host, Daniel Moulthrop, raised questions about Congressman Kucinich's proposal for a Department of Peace by asking his guest on the show, Chris Maag, what he thought about it. The Department of Peace addresses domestic abuse, spousal abuse, and other violent crimes. Chris Maag, a freelance writer for the New York Times and Time Magazine, went on to describe Congressmen Kucinich as "a clown, lazy," and falsely chastised the Congressman for not doing anything about what were clearly local law enforcement issues.

In 2001, almost 21,000 homicides and 31,000 suicides occurred and almost 1.8 million people were assaulted. Homicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24. The annual cost of treating gunshot wounds is over $200 billion. Cutting and stab wounds cost an additional $51 billion. The cost of violence, though, cannot be measured only monetarily. To address this culture of violence, Congressman Kucinich, along with 52 of other congressional co-sponsors, has reintroduced the Department of Peace legislation.

On the radio show, Moulthrop's guest Chris Maag criticized Congressman Kucinich and his proposal for a Department of Peace while simultaneously claiming that the Congressman is doing nothing to address the issues of crime and violence.

Call WCPN today at 1-877-399-3307 and DEMAND that they provide the Cleveland area with the real facts about the Department of Peace and that Moulthrop apologize to Congressman Kucinich for belittling such an ambitious and widely supported legislative proposal. Urge them to read the Department of Peace legislation.

Please send a positive yet assertive message to WCPN about the Department of Peace and Congressman Kucinich's vigilant work ethic to usher in a culture of nonviolence into America. Send emails to news@WCPN.org or go to the response box. Also, please call the radio station at 216-916-6100 or toll free at 877-399-3307.

Also, in addition to your phone calls, please help Dennis promote the true message of peace by contributing to Dennis' courageous stand for peace in our homes and communities.

Thank you for all of your help,

Elizabeth Kucinich


Dear Elizabeth,

Calm down and get used to it. Peace out. Get a grip and have a little faith. Little guys-and by that I mean the Really Big Guys, like Dennis-can't fight in the Phoney Big Guys' Horse and Pony Show and expect to win. They can get smeared through the mud for as long as they wish, however, then tarred and feathered, and sent out of town. I don't think that's what we're looking for this time around.

And yes, I am an authority on the subject, having gone around and around the merry-go-round in the Idaho legal system, and then the Ninth Circuit Court of Bozos, for a total of seven years. See the link to my "foibles in education" below, if you have the slightest doubt.

Let these idiots go. Don't waste one more second of your precious time on them, or one more ounce of emotion. Dennis is outside the system because of the very thing he wants to do: Change the system! Conservative rags like the New York Times and Time Magazine are going the way of the dinosaurs, and they'll do that without our help.

Let's be perfectly clear on this, Elizabeth: Dennis is either out to do the very thing Bush jumped up and down and hollered about, and do it literally-and that is to win hearts and minds, along with the votes that will naturally follow-or he is out to make himself a target for legions of idiots and professional liars such as you mentioned.

That is exactly why several things need to happen as quickly as possible. You need to get the Kucinich website fixed so that people we send there will know in an instant what Dennis is really about (without his face on a dollar bill, for heaven's sake!). And so that those people can proceed to learn more and more about Dennis as they wish, on their own time at their own pace.

The public forum pages need to be fixed so they are easy to follow and read.

Let's face it: Dennis WILL CONTINUE winning hearts by doing the very things he's already doing. And he'll get good press for that, as he has been doing. He does not need his fans turning into bulldogs, doing the same frustrating things so many of us (including himself and myself) have been doing for decades, over and over and over and going nowhere but into debt and frustration. What are we trying to do, emulate Bush?

I'd rather think not.

And Dennis will win all the minds he could possibly want by simply fixing his website a little better and then getting people to it. He's already got the issues solved, as anyone will see who visits his issues page. This alone is truly amazing, and surely what has won my mind by the things he says there. People can either agree or disagree, it's pretty simple. But he has done his homework on every damn thing under the sun, and including the sun if you read his ideas on energy. He is completely forthright, and as consistent as a human being can be over time.

I recall going to the "issues pages" of other candidates in the last primaries, and if there were any they were rather pathetic. I remember distinctly going to Wesley Clark's webpage after all the hubbub in the press about him, to see what he was all about, and he didn't have a position on one single issue! There were others like that too.

Dennis is a leader, truly, but he needs to focus a bit more seriously on his website, and get someone there who knows how to run it and is 100% responsive to those who are ready now, and have been for some time, to jump on board in an instant. Go there for yourself and reply personally with Dennis to the lady who has stated publicly and repeatedly on the site the things she is willing to do to improve it.

And as you ought to know by now, I'm offering free bumper stickers sending people to the site. I've had many favorable comments and most people are sending donations of their own accord to fund the next round of bumper stickers. But whoever is running the site can't even get up a little notice about these free items?

Now I'll put it bluntly: This may be Dennis' Achilles heel. If a candidate can't run his own website and campaign better than this, how can anyone expect him to run the country?

The hell with responding every time some joker on the radio, tv, or in the press wants to make a fool of him or herself, talking falsehoods about Dennis. We'll be whispering to our friends and neighbors about who is the one we'll be voting for and why. Not even arguing, just merely telling them.

This is the year 2007. We have and we will use the internet. Dennis' stands attract countless highly creative people with many ideas of their own, as we saw last time around. But this time around, all these wonderful people-who I consider MY FRIENDS--need to be part of a loosely functional community, given much freedom to express their individuality. Is not Dennis regularly talking about the importance of every individual? Let's damn well prove he means it by the way he runs his campaign. Let the talking heads run their mouths however they like. It's an utter waste of our time to even listen, and other people will start getting the same idea soon enough. Let these jerks charge off their own stage just as fast as they want. It is not our stage, nor should we pay a dime to play on it.

By this time next year, merely by fixing the site and encouraging, organizing, listening to, and helping volunteers, Dennis could be so far ahead of the game it would be almost idiotic for folks like Hillary and Obama to even say anything. Dennis has better ideas, and he actually cares about people (unless his entire book, Prayer for America, is a lie, which I most sincerely doubt). The world needs to know that Dennis DOES have better ideas and DOES care about people, AND THEIR CHILDREN. These are huge issues-indeed the hugest, and we want people to know this! But the world will learn these things not by our barking at pit bulls, slithering with snakes and wrestling with reptiles, but by proving the truth of it, over and over and over, with thousands, and then tens of thousands, and then millions of people.

I personally would like to see several thousand Kucinich bumper stickers in every city pointing out to hundreds of drivers every day where they need to go on the web, in the next few months. Don't fight the media, bypass it. The internet has made that possible, but even that shinning light will be dimming if we don't get on it soon. Like right now.

If a few more people had done what I said years ago in Idaho about going outside the system, rather than trying to win at the system's own rigged game, you would have seen almost as much corruption exposed there as you now see in Washington now. I damn near did it myself, single handedly-I'll be happy to give you references if you like. But whenever you are trying to change the system that's broken, it simply is not possible to do that within the broken system.

I trust by now you are getting the idea. Dennis needs to simply do everything he talks about and really does do best: Win hearts and minds! I've always said he was the 180 degree polar opposite of Bush, and he is. But he needs a bit of help in keeping up with the possibilities of the times, which his advocates, I guarantee you, will give him.

I've got more tricks up my sleeve, but for now I'll end on this: Do you want high blood pressure, ulcers, frustration and disappointment, or do you really want Dennis to win those hearts and minds and change the course of history with the light of reason, and the torch he can hold so high?


Daniel Geery

P.S. To anyone who wants a "free kucinich bumper sticker," and to see what they look like, just plug that phrase into Google.
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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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