Brothers! Sisters! Of all persuasions

by Chris Collier

The next time, or anytime, someone suggests Kucinich isn’t electable or that the richest nation in the world can’t afford a not-for-profit health care system for everybody will you please send them a copy of ‘Cuba's Gift to the World’ YES! Magazine Summer 2007 Issue! Here’s a hint, it isn’t about a smoke or a sweetener.

I understand depending on the persons political persuasion they may retort with one of two carefully crafted and framed comebacks. The first suggests your mother is wearing some form of ill fitting footwear, the other would invite you to call a moving van and rent a fishing boat.

Don’t buy into any of that nonsense. Your mother is always properly attired and my friends “this land is our land!”

Yes, I support Kucinich and if everyone who said they admire him, or like his stand on health care, or supporting organized labor, or finding ways to act other than sending Americans to die in underdeveloped third world nations would also add they’d be voting for Kucinich he’d be a shoo-in.

I like what Kucinich says and he makes me think about better times ahead. But, he’s not perfect. He still doesn’t get the New Hampshire in public ‘code talk’ yet, but he will because that’s how he talks to people in private. Our Governor signed the ‘all-marriage’ bill and said in effect, “In NH we have a long tradition of respecting all people. We believe protecting people’s civil right’s is an important thing to do. Today the tradition continues.”

Consider this, NH was the very last state to recognize Martin Luther King day, so what do you think Lynch was really saying? He was reminding us "from time to time people like to remember they occupy the high moral ground too." The assumption is simple; it's easy for some people to think and work like they do, but just let *them* come down here where life isn't like that. Yeah! It's dog eat dog every day. Yeah! I don't need someone like him telling me what I should and shouldn't be doing. Yeah! Hell, I do as much as I can! Yeah!"

Here’s the thing, from time to time that guy/girl need to hear, "We don't treat people that way in NH. We take care of people who need help. That's the New Hampshire way. That’s our tradition in NH!" Listen and watch them sit up straighter, smile broader, walk bolder if just for a moment. They’ve just been reminded they live here too, we all live here together, right across the road up there in the High Moral Ground Meadow Estates.

To Kucinich that’s a public code worth breaking, he lives it thousands of times everyday.

A friend of mine from Arkansas asked a couple of question about how she could help Kucinich and I made some suggestions, wondering if it was the right thing to do. This isn’t my campaign, my pulpit, or my microphone, maybe this is a question for an expert campaign tactician. Her question was what to do now? I wrote down a few examples for raising money, getting people to commit, and try to imagine the election was next week. But all in all I thought her ideas were very good and I complimented her. I also told her at this level of grassroots activity there wasn’t anyone to designate her as ‘the thing’, she either was the NAFTA person in her area or she was not. If she was the NAFTA person start connecting people and...you know the drill. I sent a copy to the Kucinich national campaign just to cover my hinny. I didn't want to suggest a thing like that again if I was off base. I never expected him to read it.

14 hours later I received this: "Hi Chris, Thanks for taking the initiative.  When people know the issue and can explain it in a public forum, we need them to move forward as spokespersons.  Thank you for recognizing that.  Best always, Dennis" He’s reminding me "people will do the right thing if they have the right information!”  Imagine. He doesn't know her and he’s seen me thrice yet he's trusting us to help each other and take his NAFTA policy and talk about it in a public forum.

I know what he said but what I heard was, “I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re all okay; and that’s just how things are going to be around here from now on.” We've not seen that from our elected leaders in so long that a young friend of mine sees Kucinich as living in some kind of “meritocracy.” But just imagine. Our people, red state or blue state need to demand a higher standard of our elected officials, and stop rewarding those without it by bestowing higher and higher elected status on them. America, blue state and red state both need a good double dose of "we’re all okay and that’s just how things are going to be around here from now on.”

Imagine what we could do together.

My son is a air traffic controller in the U.S. of A. Navy, we’ve been talking about Leadership, great leaders and what makes a great leader. He’s getting high marks in that area written into his service record. I told him I’d save the e-mail from the Congressman for his children because this is how Leadership grows leaders; reward initiative, encourage participation and say thank you a lot. Today in the world of top down system style management too many of us don’t take the time to nourish the need to lead in others. And did I say thank you for taking time to read today’s reflections from Collier’s Corner. Yeah!