Are we prepared for a waning of American power?
Dennis Kucinich is a Democratic congressman and presidential also-ran. Kucinich graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1973 with a BA and an MA in speech and communication. He began his political career early: he was elected to the Cleveland City Council at 23, and became mayor in 1977 at the age of 31. After spending much of the 1980's out of government, Kucinich was elected to Congress in 1996; he is currently in his sixth term. In Congress, Kucinich has a staunchly liberal and anti-war record. He is a strong advocate of national health care, clean energy, and an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Kucinich even brought articles of impeachment against Vice-President Dick Cheney, though the bill was killed before it could reach the House floor. Kucinich first ran for president in 2004; he ran again in 2008. In 2003, he received the Gandhi Peace Award, bestowed by the Quaker organization Promoting Enduring Peace. Kucinich is the author of a memoir, The Courage to Survive, as well as a collection of speeches, A Prayer for America.
Question: Are we prepared for a waning of American power?
Dennis Kucinich: You know this whole idea about pax Americana needs to be looked at. I mean there’s an arrogance behind it. We’re not the only country in the world. And an Americentric view is actually dangerous because it says that . . . that our decisions . . . that we don’t have to worry about the impact of our decisions on the rest of the world. We can make 25 percent of the greenhouse gases and who cares? We’re America. We can arm ourselves to the hilt and tell other countries, “Don’t you even so much as have a nuclear power plant.” See you can’t do that. You can’t . . . you can’t . . . you can’t have a credible position in the world saying, “Don’t do as we do; do as we say.” And so because the U.S. spends more than the rest of the world put together for military, we’ve used our military might to try to impose our views on other countries when our morality should do if we had leaders who took that position. But they don’t, so we use arms. And we end up in a mess where we’re hated in different countries. I want America to be loved again. I want America to be respected as a country that takes care of its own people.
Recorded on: 10/19/07
Kucinich wants America to be loved again.