Among the seven Democratic presidential
candidates, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich stands apart from the
crowd because his campaign is imbued with idealism.
Kucinich’s stances on domestic issues are well known. Like
many Democrats, he is pro-choice, supports affirmative action,
opposes the death penalty and the war in Iraq. He wants to withdraw
U.S. troops from Iraq and as part of his plan to reduce national
security spending, Kucinich proposes eliminating the United
States’ nuclear weapons program. He is against state control
of gun laws. He seeks to create free higher education for all
Kucinich’s goals are well intended, but highly
impractical. He hopes to eliminate federal funding to police
departments with a history of racial profiling. Yet this proposal,
like so many of Kucinich’s, lacks details, suggesting he has
not thought them out thoroughly. Although Kucinich opposes
federally funding police departments with a history of racial
profiling, he has yet to outline how he will do this. He has also
failed to address the rise in crime that would ensue in an area
without that federal aid.
Kucinich’s wish to create free and government-funded
institutions of higher education would allow students of all
economic backgrounds to attend college. However, Kucinich seems to
think that such costs can be covered by a government facing severe
financial troubles. Kucinich’s weaknesses lie not in a desire
for bad policy, but rather in his failure to articulate how he will
execute his very ambitious ideas.
Kucinich’s foreign policy plans are quite ambitious indeed
— he calls for world peace and harmony. His proposal to
withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq and leave the task of rebuilding to
the United Nations would make the United States appear quite
reckless in the world’s eyes. Furthermore, his plan to
eventually eliminate all of the United States’ nuclear
weapons programs due to his belief that the U.S. military is
already too powerful, further illustrates how little realistic
substance his platform possesses. His undeveloped foreign policy
and defense programs suggest to voters that perhaps Kucinich should
have spent more time at the political drawing board.
Kucinich’s idealism is laudable and is what sets him apart
from other party candidates. But the role of the president requires
well developed plans and policies, not the unsubstantive ideas
characteristic of Kucinich’s campaign platform.