portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

government selection 2004

Why I like Kerry and Dislike Nader

My thoughts on why Kerry would be a better president than Ralph Nader.
I am solidly behind Kerry for president this year not because he is the most electable but because he is the best candidate of those that are running, including Nader. Why do I say this? Because he is a Vietnam vet who came back and then courageously fought to end the war. He has always voted to support and fund the Veterans Administration and to provide health care for veterans. He was one of the first in Congress to push the Pentagon to admit to the effects of both Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome. He also pushed to normalize relations with Vietnam. He has been on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years and he has a great deal of foreign policy experience. He can repair our relations with other nations and he is the best prepared to stop the disaster that is fast approaching in Iraq and Afghanistan, if it is not already too late.

On domestic issues, he is the candidate that best fits my philosophy of government. He is for ending Bush's tax cuts that go for people who make more than $200,000 a year, creating an education trust fund, create a new Americorps and closing tax loopholes that encourage companies from moving overseas. He has fought for increased fuel efficiency and against the efforts of the Bush administration to drill for oil in the the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off the coast of California. As for the claim that he is beholden to special interests -- you only have to look at which industries he has taken on to see that that is ridiculous. He has gotten more money than other senators from individual lobbyists but he has not taken any money from PACs (Political Action Committees) in his years in the Senate. Of course there is no comparison between Kerry and how much Bush has gotten from special interests.

What about the other candidates?

Well, Edwards seems nice but he has no foreign policy experience and he has not been around very long in the Senate.

Dean seemed to be another phony running on the populist platform. After all, he was known as a conservative governor in Vermont. He threatened to veto medicinal pot legislation as governor and he also broke up a teacher's union.

Kucinich seems well meaning but he has already lost the nomination. The only thing I know about him is that he use to be against abortion rights but now is for them and has voted against funding international family planning.

Bush -- forget it. A quagmire in Iraq. The highest deficit in history. 2.6 million jobs lost, the worst record since Hoover. International treaties overturned or blocked. Environmental legislation rolled back.

Which brings me to Ralph Nader. A lot of you will dislike what I have to say about him. To me he is both an egomaniac and a big hypocrite. He did some fine things for consumer protection in the 70s and 80s but I don't know what great things he has done since. He has ran four times for president, including this year. His best result was 2.7 % in an election that helped bring Bush into the White House. He claims that Gore and Bush were exactly alike. Excuse me? Gore would not have invaded Iraq. Gore would not have tried to dismantle the Clean Air Act or drill in the ANWR. Speaking of ANWR and other issues, where has Nader been for three years? Did he speak out against ANWR and other Bush environmental policies? I doubt it. I haven't heard from him and I stay up on the issues. He was mostly probably making money giving speeches and selling books.

If he really wanted to make changes then he would run for something less dramatic, but something he could actually win, such as mayor, state representative, even Congressman. But he won't do that because that would require him to quit bitching and to actually work to get his own legislation passed. And it would be less sexy and less of a money maker than running for president.

Nader is also a hypocrite when it comes to his own personal life. He has invested in Fidelity Magellan Fund, which then has invested in such companies as Occidental Petroleum and Halliburton. Nader has made a nice career out of attacking such companies but then he has also invested in these companies. And the organizations that he helped create in the 70s, the PIRGs, Public Interest Research Groups, pay their employees horrible wages and no benefits. That is why unions will often refuse to work with them on matters concerning worker's rights. I know about them, because I almost worked for one.

To me a vote for Nader is more than a wasted vote or a vote that helps Bush. It is also a vote for an egomaniac and a person who thinks he is a saint but actually does not live by the same rules he demands of everyone else. I say no thanks to that and I will do everything I can to educate people about the real Nader and help keep him off the ballot in Oregon.

That's all I have to say on the matter. I hope people will actually vote for the person who has worked hard for the environment, for labor, for veterans issues, women's issues and who has foreign policy experience. Kerry might not be as good at writing books and giving speeches about these issues as Nader but he has done a lot more than him on these issues and that means more to me than meaningless platitudes.

Thanks for reading this. Hate mail can be sent to me in person or on this list.
You're a courageous one 24.Feb.2004 02:40

-

Thanks for your views. Don't let the responses get under your skin.

John Kerry and George Bush: Two Sides, Same Coin 24.Feb.2004 04:03

I'm voting against Skull and Bones

John Kerry's Version of Project for a New American Century

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/02/280265.shtml

And don't forget who voted for Bushler's wars...


Inside John Kerry's Closet 24.Feb.2004 04:20

MICHAEL DONNELLY

February 9, 2004
Will Skull and Bones Really Change CEO's
By MICHAEL DONNELLY

Last month, some ninety environmentalists gathered in DC to consider what to do about the BushCo assaults on our nation's public ecosystems. The group, mostly paid staffers of one group or another, sat through a two-hour long report from the DC greens' "political expert." She regaled the group with strategies necessary "now that Dean has the nomination sewed up."

When told this tale, I thought, "Hey. If someone this clueless can get six-figures for such obviously lame assessments, maybe I should take a stab at it." So, here are my 2004 election year predictions:

1) Unless Skull and Bones desires a change in their CEO, it's Bush in a landslide. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will get the DLC nomination. And, then his real record will come out.

A friend recently wrote, "I just ran into a woman in (the organic grocery) who's been working on the Kerry campaign for 18 months, when I asked her what his political accomplishments are, she hesitated and said, "Well, I don't know, check out his website."

Save yourself the website search, here's a synopsis:

It's deplorable. Three-hundred-seventeen bills introduced. Seven passed. And four of those were ceremonial ones -- designating special days. Voted for the horrific Telecommunications Act (in fact, led the charge); voted for the illegal war/occupation; voted for the Patriot Act (in fact, helped draft parts of it when it was first drafted under Clinton); brags about voting for class war on poor moms and kids--Clinton's welfare "reform" -- need I go on?

Yes, I will. One of the few Bills he got passed was 1999's Plan Columbia, the phony Drug War's defoliation of the rainforest with toxic chemicals. Since the Plan was launched some 325,000 acres of South America's oldest democracy have been sprayed with toxins, yet there has been no drop off in cocaine imports to the US. In fact, according to the Harvard Political Review, Columbia's cocaine production increased 11%.

The multimillionaire John Kerry, who rails against "special interests" on the campaign trail, got more special interest PAC money than any other senator this last six years! And, he refused to accept voluntary spending limits.
Expect to see this GOP ad: Kerry at the helm of the "Scaramouche," his $750,000 speed boat (he paid cash!), with overdubs of Kerry's pontificating about "millionaires" and "overprivileged."

Then, we'll see ads of Mr. Forbes Heinz skiing at a palatial Aspen spa (they own it!). And, just wait until they trot out the ad with footage of Kerry exhorting Vietnam vets to throw their medals over the Capitol fence and then cut to Kerry's medals framed on his office wall. The creep actually threw fake medals while encouraging others to throw their real ones!

They may not even need to point out his lying over his narcissistic taking of poisonous injections of Botox - a lie not even necessary in these MTV days. When a Boston radio announcer asked him last week: "Can you categorically deny the reports that you have used Botox or other kinds of cosmetic surgery or cosmetic enhancements to your appearance?" Kerry responded, "Absolutely, I've never even heard of it." Very interesting, since his current heiress wife, Teresa Heinz, has been quoted in Elle magazine about her fondness for the stuff.

Speaking of Teresa Heinz, she heads up the Heinz Environmental Defense Fund. The fund's most prominent board members since 1995 is none other than Enron's Ken Lay. Enron's bank, Citigroup, has been a major contributor to Kerry's various campaigns. In 1995, Kerry cast the deciding vote to override Clinton's veto of the very bill used by Enron and Citigroup to conduct their now well-known consumer rip-offs. Can you just imagine if Dr. Judy Steinberg Dean was hanging out with Key Lay? How about Laura Bush?

2) Dick Cheney? The question here is: will he resign BEFORE or AFTER the election? If before, expect to see Rudy Guliani as vice-presidential candidate. If after, expect to see Elizabeth Dole reprise the Gerry Ford role. The other Cheney question is: how long before he is indicted on bribery charges?

3) Colin Powell? Expect to see Powell resign soon after the election for "health reasons."

4) Nixon Redux. Some time in 2006, Congress will begin exploring Impeachment proceedings for Bush. All sorts of charges will be leveled -- most true. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will play the hero role here as a member of the "Intelligence Failure" investigation commission. Expect the CIA to doggedly defend its turf and turn viciously on BushCo.
Heads will begin to roll over the security 'failures' of 9/11. The country will be in crisis mode. The heroines here will be the few, courageous 9/11 widows who refused to take the government hush money.

Then faced with possible treason charges, as well as Impeachment; Bush will resign, as will Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle et al. Then, again reprising the Ford role, President Dole will pardon the lot of them in the fine American sweep-it-under-the-rug tradition. "Our second long national nightmare is over."

Then, come 2008, it'll be Clinton v. Dole again. H. Clinton and E. Dole provided Dole can get by the right-wing assault in the Republican primary. (The Brahmins of Skull and Bones won't lick wounds for very long.)

How that all turns out will depend on whether or not there is a true progressive in the race.

But, for now, the real question for all those "Nader cost Gore" head-in-the-sand folks is: why are the Democrats throwing the election again?

MICHAEL DONNELLY is a zero-figure political prognosticator living in Salem, OR. He can be reached at  Pahtoo@aol.com


 http://www.counterpunch.org/donnelly02092004.html


posting anonymous unresearched screeds is hardly courageous 24.Feb.2004 06:59

in my opinion

Nader has gotten more national legislation passed than Gore, Kerry, Bush, and Kucinich combined.

"in an election that helped bring Bush into the White House"

Well, I would say that neither Nader nor the election helped Bush into the White House. A rigged election and spineless democrats did bring him into the White House. If Gore had convinced democrats to vote for him he might have been ok. If he had won his home state he probably would have been ok. But without Nader he surely would have gotten fewer votes; he probably would not even have beaten Bush.

"Gore would not have tried to dismantle the Clean Air Act or drill in the ANWR"

Um, Bush hasn't drilled in ANWR, despite a republican controlled congress. I guess that was and continues to be just democratic fear mongering.

"Did he speak out against ANWR and other Bush environmental policies? I doubt it."

Well, there's your ignorance for you. You've made a conclusion based on your own irrational anger, and it's incorrect. Nader has been speaking out while Gore has enjoyed his cushy Harvard gig.

"I know about them, because I almost worked for one."

Wow, nothing makes you more qualified to comment on a group than *almost* working for them.

"After all, he was known as a conservative governor in Vermont. He threatened to veto medicinal pot legislation as governor"

Is that the best you can come up with against Dean. He was a fiscal conservative but more of a Vermont libertarian. And if you dislike those who would veto medical marijuana your choices for any elected office are all but non-existent.

"The only thing I know about him is that he use to be against abortion rights but now is for them"

Yes, because Kerry is such a paragon of consistency. Like voting for the patriot act, the illegal invasions and occupations of Afganistan and Iraq, the homeland security act, the help america vote act, and not voting against the healthy forest initiative.

I have to ask all of the Kerry supporters, have you just been asleep or not paying attention for the past 4 years as the democrats have gone along with every part of the Bush policy? Doesn't that bother you and cast some doubt on their credibility?

Vote for who you want but at least take some time to get the facts straight if you want to convince others that your point of view is valid.

No hate mail but awfully sorry you're in the box... 24.Feb.2004 07:04

qwe

Nader is outside the box that the corporate media has created for us during the last 30 years. That is his greatest fault. He knows them AND he wont shut up about the media, the corporations, the crooks, the Pentagon, the leeches in congress and the rest of the imperial personnel that will drive this country into the garbage heap of history and then walk away wiping themselves off as if they had nothing to do with the death of millions and probably billions that the collapse of this country can bring on. They have labored to build an illusion that will please us and mislead us while they get rich beyond all dreams and expectations and now they are ready to take ALL the wealth with the help of misinformed votes. This election IS important but not so as to commit the same mistake we have been HAPPILY committing for 30 years of believing the lies we are told about candidates without checking beyond the stinking devilish media misinformation. Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader are two verifiable alternatives to the sick world that we have been bringing on thanks to our comfortable capacity to get fooled by the hell-born media. You seem to think sincerely so please take the next huge step and try to think outside the box that the satanic media has built for us.

Two sides of the same coin, yes? The same side of the same coin? No! 24.Feb.2004 07:13

Curious

I have no doubt that Kerry will not take the country in the direction we want him to take it in, but I don't think he'll take it in the direction that Bush took it in. We need to drop the belief that there are only two direction, ours and the other direction. Bush is taking us in the exact opposite direction we want to go. Kerry will take us off to the side. Nader won't take us anywhere because he will lose.

These elections are not democratic and they will not bring about the changes we need NO MATTER WHO WE VOTE FOR. However, they can make some difference. Getting the Neo-Con fascists out of power and replacing them with liberal fascists is better than keeping the Neo-Con fascist in power. If you believe that it is through elections that you will win the dream of a more just society, you are delusional. It is only through revolution that we will create a more just society. Voting for Kerry does not stop the revolution. It just gives us a little breather off the road to complete destruction.

Nader is a good man. I like him. However, voting for him will only play into the hands of the Neo-Cons. Stop thinking in binary mode. We are not faced with the choice of Bush or Kerry. We are faced with the choice of being interned in camps by Bush (on the one hand) and struggling against a liberal fascist on the streets in the other. I'd choose the later any day.

you mean neo-liberal fascist right? 24.Feb.2004 07:29

just sayin'

There's nothing liberal about Kerry.

"voting for him will only play into the hands of the Neo-Cons"

How so? I'm not going to vote for Kerry so how does voting for Nader play into the hands of the neo-cons? As far as I'm concerned nominating Kerry plays into the hands of the neo-cons but people don't seem to upset about that. For all the bitching the democrats have about not repeating the 2000 election they sure don't seem to be doing anything to prevent it, like, say, nominating a candidate that appeals to progressives.

"Stop thinking in binary mode"
To me, thinking that supporting Nader is supporting Bush is worse than Binary mode; it's unary mode.

I'd really like to believe that the democrats won't put people in internment camps but given their history over the past decade I'd say that they would do it in a heartbeat if they thought it was politically expedient.

Still, if people think voting for Kerry will help they are more than welcome to vote for him. I would suggest they look into the real problems of the 2000 election, the help america vote act, and the history of the rigged voting machines and electronic voter roll purges. That's where efforts could be successful, not in attacking Nader which is a waste of time and effort.

Skull and Bones 24.Feb.2004 08:46

yo

"My thoughts on why Kerry would be a better president than Ralph Nader...he is the best prepared to stop the disaster that is fast approaching in Iraq..."

umm, Kerry voted to go to war. Look, even I knew that Iraq had no WMD's, and that the Bush administration was manipulating 'intelligence' and was lying to the American public. And I am not a Senator. How on earth could Kerry have been hoodwinked? Either he is incompetent, or he knew we were being misled but he went along with it because he thought it would be politically expedient.

Also, Kerry supported, and still supports NAFTA. Why on earth the AFL-CIO would support someone who is pro-NAFTA is beyond me. Also, Kerry voted to support the Patriot Act.

Kerry is slimy. He is part of the problem with politics. He is a blue-blood, an aristocrat, and he does not represent me nor my views.

Nader, I guess he's alright. But his running for President seems kind of silly to me. But at least I can respect him for speaking truth to power. Kerry speaks lies from a position of power, and he does it for his own political gain.

eric took the blue pill 24.Feb.2004 09:31

Puekaw

ericPDX is grossly misinformed and living in illusions, and seems to want to be grossly misinformed and living in illusions.

Kerry is a walking corpse. He is defeated, bought and owned, his soul blighted. Just look at the guy!

I should mention here also that when ericPDX talks of candidates value, regardless of 'electability' he does not bother to mention Carol Moseley Braun or Al Sharpton - Guess black people don't count in the discussion.

As for the people he does mention, Kucinich and Nader are the only ones talking any sense, and the only ones talking any sense and meaning it. Read one paragraph from Nader and you will find more truth about the situation we face than in everything Kerry has said over the past year.

Kerry is nothing but a mouthpiece for corporate interests and will do nothing to change the course of this nation. A vote for Kerry, is a vote for collective suicide.

Nader should run for senate? 24.Feb.2004 09:48

Scooter

Just a clarification to EricPDX:
I fairly certain that Nader lives in DC which does not have any representation in Congress. No one can run for senate who lives in DC.

As for all the values you espouse: I think you should do a little more research into all the candidates' positions.

My vote in November, and in the June primary is still in the air. But I haven't ruled out Nader yet.

Great Article Eric 24.Feb.2004 10:32

danthebassman2001@yahoo.com

I'm right with you Eric.

Most leftists already think Nader2004 is a vanity run. The rest will follow suit when they realize he is getting more funding and grass roots support from the GOP/RNC than the Green party.

hey Eric - 24.Feb.2004 12:01

try reading this

click link:


Nader's not a serious candidate 24.Feb.2004 13:07

Jeff

For Scooter -

I'm fairly sure that Nader's technically a resident of Connecticut. He was born there, uses it for his home base when he's not in DC and I believe he still has a house there. That said, EricPDX's comment about Ralph running for other offices is right on. Who else lives in Connecticut? Why, scumbag Joe Lieberman. If Ralph _genuinely_ wanted to serve in public office and try to make a difference, he could have run against Lieberman in 2000 and beat the pants off him. Ralph's got a lot of personal money and a helluva reputation. Lieberman would've been toast. We could have said goodbye to one of the biggest corporate whores in the US Senate, who consistently screwed us over for the benefit of the insurance, pharmaceutical and "defense" corporations.

That said, it would be incredibly difficult for just one person to make a progressive difference in the US Senate. Look at how tough things were for Paul Wellstone. However, between Wellstone, Feingold and Nader, they could have been an incredible inspiration for progressive Americans, and maybe gotten some good stuff accomplished.

Instead, Ralph prefers to throw stones from the outside while pretending to be serious about elections he has no rational chance of winning. And, he's even declared that he's not going to criticize the Democratic candidate in 2004. And, he's not even working to build a third party movement - he's ripped off the veil of pretension and made it crystal clear that this time its all about RALPH!

Whatever. He's not speaking "truth to power." He's just trying to get everyone to like him again.

Tried 24.Feb.2004 13:20

Samantha

You actually have an honest man talking about important issues, and how many people spend their time tearing him to pieces. Who cares if Nader can be effective. At least he is trying, and talking about important things.

Leftists and democrats are truly pathetic.

Jeff's not a serious activist 24.Feb.2004 14:55

Jeff Discredits Himself

"Whatever. He's not speaking "truth to power." He's just trying to get everyone to like him again."

--'whatever'??!?!???

ok.

what's *your* idea of "speaking truth to power", Big Boy Jeff?

and why would Nader - who's gonna kick off within the next 20 years anyway - expend this kind of energy for "everyone to like him again" - when you and the Corporate Media/Corporate Democrats have always hated him anyway?????

Jeff, your assertions are Nonsensical, Baseless, Ridiculous, and Undeserving Of Any Attention Whatsoever.

(p.s. good Buddy Troll-Job of sticking up for Original Instigator EricPDX, btw)

I like Kerry because... 24.Feb.2004 17:33

my 2 cents

I like Kerry because he opposes gay marriages.

I like John Edwards for the same reason.

I dislike Nader because he's been supporting gay marriage for years.

Support the democrats, oppose gay marriage!

What does it matter who is in office. 24.Feb.2004 19:59

Patriot

Our government is now run by the mafia.
Different puppet gives only a new spin and look.
Why do you think we only get new lies 24/7.

 http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mafia