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

government selection 2004

Chomsky endorses Kerry!

Is this a sign of just how desperate people are in the US are?
I'll leave it to you to comment on this sad turn of events, but to me 'Bush lite' still means occupation, unemployment, no health care, low wages....
Chomsky backs 'Bush-lite' Kerry
Matthew Tempest
Saturday March 20, 2004
The Guardian

Noam Chomsky, the political theorist and leftwing guru, yesterday gave his reluctant endorsement to the Democratic party's presidential contender, John Kerry, calling him "Bush-lite", but a "fraction" better than his rival.

Professor Chomsky - a linguist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a renowned chronicler of American foreign policy - said there were "small differences" between Senator Kerry and the Republican president. But, in an interview on the Guardian's politics website, he added that those small differences "can translate into large outcomes".

He describes the choice facing US voters in November as "the choice between two factions of the business party". But the Bush administration was so "cruel and savage", it was important to replace it.

He said: "Kerry is sometimes described as 'Bush-lite', which is not inaccurate. But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."

He reserved his especial venom for the Bush administration's plans for the health sector: "The people around Bush are deeply committed to dismantling the achievements of popular struggle through the past century no matter what the cost to the general population."
Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
Is this a sign... 20.Mar.2004 20:45

Michael

Is this a sign of just how desperate people are in the US are?

Absolutely and unequivocally, YES.

Damning 20.Mar.2004 21:20

George Bender

With faint praise.


Yes, this is quite right! 20.Mar.2004 21:28

LP

And above and beyond the hideousness of the Bu$h regine's actions, is the hideousness of the man himself. I gag and look away every time he comes on the television. He is so ugly and offensive. I can't stand to look at him. Maybe Kerry will at least be better for the enviroment. Bu$h has done so many horrible thing; we can't stand 4 more years of him.

"Bush-lite" 20.Mar.2004 22:08

-

Unfortunately people on the left can be as influenced by catch-phrases as the sheeple in the middle. Yes, Kerry has been described as "Bush-lite" but using that label is no different than using and being persuaded by popular catch-phrases like "they hate us for our freedom" and "evil-doers dwell in caves."

I'm not confident that Kerry will do everything that I want him to do. But I do think he's better than Bush, and that he will try to do some of the things that we want him to do. Everyone who reduces that down to "Bush-lite" is doing others a disservice. Please assess his actions both in the past and the future on your own judgement.

is it a disservice? 20.Mar.2004 22:33

let's be honest

I mean, come on, I may vote for Kerry but he is Bush-lite. As opposed to "they hate us for our freedom" which is not true caling Kerry Bush-lite is factually acurate in that Kerry has supported almost all of Bush's policies.

Frankly, as someone opposed to Bush's policies I'd rather vote for someone who is similarly opposed to Bush's policies, and that is clearly not Kerry.

i got three words for chomsky 20.Mar.2004 22:35

real radical

fuck that noise

Chomsky ALSO ENDORSES NADER & KUCINICH 21.Mar.2004 02:13

in context

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/voices/story/0,12820,1168160,00.html

"On the US election

Kerry is sometimes described as Bush-lite, which is not inaccurate, and in general the political spectrum is pretty narrow in the United States, and elections are mostly bought, as the population knows.

But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. And in this system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes.

My feeling is pretty much the way it was in the year 2000. I admire Ralph Nader and Denis Kucinich very much, and insofar as they bring up issues and carry out an educational and organisational function - that's important, and fine, and I support it."

this doesn't sound like Chomsky specifically and officially "endorsing Kerry".

we ALL know that either Bush or Kerry is going to win -

didn't need Chomsky to tell us that.

all this election/discussion/"who's gonna win" bullshit is therefore a waste of breath (and has been ever since Dean dropped out and Kerry sewed up the primaries).

Chomsky is making a valid point about "the choice between two factions of the business party" - a bit more specific and direct than a Neanderthal "lesser of two evils".

he's really out on a limb, though, about predicting foreign policy differences  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/282263.shtml - even Chomsky knows that the US empire will roll on, and on, and on, with either Bush or Kerry in office.

and the interview emphasizes he's more proportionately more concerned about the DOMESTIC rather than foreign policy implications of a continued Bush regime.

Here is the REST of the interview excerpt:

"However, when it comes to the choice between the two factions of the business party, it does sometimes, in this case as in 2000, make a difference. A fraction.

That's not only true for international affairs, it's maybe even more dramatically true domestically. The people around Bush are very deeply committed to dismantling the achievements of popular struggle through the past century. The prospect of a government which serves popular interests is being dismantled here. It's an administration that works, that is devoted, to a narrow sector of wealth and power, no matter what the cost to the general population. And that could be extremely dangerous in the not very long run.

You could see it clearly in the way they dealt with, what is by common agreement, the major domestic economic problem coming along, namely the exploding health care costs. They're traceable to the fact that the US has a highly inefficient healthcare system - far higher expenditure than other comparable countries, and not particularly good outcomes. Rather poor, in fact. And it's because it's privatised.

So they passed a huge prescription drug bill, which is primarily a gift to the pharmaceutical corporations and insurance companies. It's a huge taxpayer subsidy. They're already wealthy beyond dreams of avarice. And that's their constituency. And as that continues, with significant domestic problems ahead, for the general population it's extremely harmful.

Again there isn't a great difference, so for maybe 90% of the population over the past 20 years, real income has either stagnated or declined, while for the top few percent, it's just exploded astronomically. But there are differences and the present group in power is particularly cruel and savage in this respect."


Kerry sewing up the primaries 21.Mar.2004 03:22

Sheepdog

this was not exactly Kerry's doing
He had the same help from a monolithic media that has contained and marginalized Kucinich.
More mobilization is needed to bypass this problem ( media information control) which wont occur until there is a common catalyst or intolerable that starts a tipping effect away from media creditability by the distracted majority..
If we stood still for WACO, we are pretty hurting on this threshold.

Faced with a choice between Bud and Bud Light... 21.Mar.2004 12:27

Dump Corporate Parties

...I'll take a local microbrew any day!

Kerry Bushlite 22.May.2004 18:31

sambacomet sambacomet @hotmail.com

Chomsky's comments on Bush and Kerry are cogent. If you think there's no difference try looking at Clinton's forest protection act and compare it to Bush's Healthy Forests initiative.
The progressive/ radical end of the US poitical spectrum tends toward this chidish unwillingness to accept anything less than exactly the ice cream cone we want.And we never get it because we don't want to compromise and we think middle class white people,who are still (temporarily) in the the majority are wrong for not rejecting the fruits of capitalism.Wether they are wrong or right (I think wrong) ,as long as we are such a tiny portion of the electorate,if we don't form effective alliances we don't get our issues addressed at all.In the past we've had alliance w/ the Dems,and if we yell and shout and complain long enough about something they'll trhow some paper our way because assuageing liberal guilt is the lever of Dem "unity" so the Dems do things for the underprivileged.The Repubs m.o. is serving the interests of the investing class,they say(and some even beleieve) that a healthy economy is good for everyone(like most effective rhetoric there is a sliver of truth used to justify loads of bullshit) This is the essential difference in the 2 parties.Those working for social/environmental/economic justice/peace/human rights issues( I don't really make distintion between these categories) can get some thing out of the Dems.But it takes on going efforts. Since the 60s civil right s movemnet,or really since FDR the main mechanism for these effects have been laws passed by legislatures that set up spending programs and beauracracies to oversee them,and rulesand regulations and inspectors to enforce them.One of the reasons the right has gained so much power is they say these programs don't necessarily work,which is a valid critique. Is anyone happy with their generakl experience with the DMV,or BLDG permit process,or IRS? Government regulation is inneficient arrogant and fucked up .The right taps this dicontent by promising less Big "Gummint" people eat it up. Both right and left tend to pass laws restricting their opponants to the advantge of their supporters.It's all about dividing the pie,The only question is doing it wisely and fairly or doing it by might (and trickery)makes right.
One of the most effective tools that can be used esp to regulate capitalist corporations is tax incentives,making it attractive to them to engage in environementally,and socially sound practices is much more effective than demonizing them-or do you think what's happened since Carter has been working?
I constantly hear activists talk of corporations in search of profits as the source of all evil.I spent alot of my life acting as is that were true,I've been politically active since the Pentagon Levitation in '67.The don't seem to have recognized their evil yet and gone away. What do we want them to do Give up and start a new game?How will that happen?
What I;'m getting at is thsi.We have to make change step by step ,we have to recognize that people we disagree with aren't going to bow down and say you were right,so we have to be willing to understand them so we can communicate with them.We're all human,we all have the capacity for good or evil,few if any of us are purely one or the other.
There aren't enough of us progressive/radicals to take power .There might be enough to persuade, more mainsream folks of our insights,but it takes open lines of communication.If I make hating Bush my political identity it insures I will only communicate with those that agree,comunication only happens between equals. We have to face our shadow and be willing to treat evil capitalists as our equals,as long as we won't we'll stay in the shadow dance.