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community building | government selection 2004

Please help Nader get on the ballot

Voters need an alternative to the two party disaster. Love him or hate him, Ralph Nader is the only hope. We need to get 1,000 registered voters at Benson High School (in Portland) on June 26th to get Nader on the Oregon Ballot.
George Bush and John Kerry offer America the same vision of a militaristic future, rife with conflict and environmental distruction. They offer violence and they pander to corporate interests. Both will increase US troops in Iraq. Both will continue harmful environmental policies.

But wait! John Kerry has a healthcare plan that is slightly different from Bush's plan!

If this election is fought by two corporate robots over minute differences on second-rate issues, I'm afraid for what happens next. We are slowly being pidgenholed into totalitarianism. I fear that our next election will offer even less choice than this election, unless we act today to stop the two party from merging together.

Ralph Nader supports ending the occupation of Iraq and bringing our troops home. Ralph Nader supports environmentally-friendly policies that protect our earth. Ralph Nader has proven time and time again that he, unlike Kerry and Bush, is not for sale to corporate boards.

"But Ralph Nader can't win, I'd just be wasting my time," you might say. WRONG. It's a fallacy that Ralph Nader cannot win, perpetuated by those (Republicans and Democrats) who have every desire to preserve the status quo.

Set aside for a moment the viability of the election and focus on what having Ralph Nader on the ballot will accomplish. Because Oregon is such an essential state for a John Kerry victory, having Nader on the ballot will force Kerry (if he indeed wants to win instead of facilitating a rightward shift of the Democratic Party) to shift his policies left, giving more attention to voters who are concerned with the "war on terror" destroying civil liberties and wasting our tax dollars.

If you think that Ralph Nader cannot win, that's all of the reason you need to help get him on the ballot. If the left's only option is John Kerry, I think that the left will sit this one out. John Kerry isn't just a wolf in sheep's clothing; he is a wolf without disguise, leading the sheep to their doom. We cannot sit this election out. If we are indeed concerned about the fate of our county and want to find a way to change this downward spiral, we must force John Kerry to change his positions by putting Ralph Nader on the Oregon ballot.

Help out by going to  http://naderoregon.org. We need to get 1,000 registered Oregon voters in the same place at the same time.

Place: Benson High School auditorium (N. Portland)
Time: Saturday, June 26th 5pm-7pm

For more information or to help out with this important endeavor, please contact Jason Kafoury at: 503-224-2647 ext. 112 or email  jkafoury@votenader.org.
Stick a fork in him 18.Jun.2004 09:57

He's done

Can you please find a constructive way to spend your time and energy?

It would be more effective to just work for Bush/Cheney 2004.

Some advice... 18.Jun.2004 10:18

HappyWitch

Hey He's Done -

Could you try to find a more constructive way to spend your time and energy than throwing around tiresome democratic propaganda-platitudes in support of an imperialistic corporate duopoly?

It would be far more effective to just work for Bush/Cheney 2004.

Nader lost the grassroots 18.Jun.2004 10:56

its true

First off, I supported Nader in 96 and 2000.

But it has become clear in the last four years that Nader, and his primary boosters in Portland, are totally out of touch with grassroots activists fighting for real social change in Oregon. There's simply no reason to trust that Nader's candidacy will result in the grassroots demands of Oregon's activists (anti-war, forest, anti-corporate) being articulated by the the Nader campaign to Kerry, to shift him to the left, as the above poster claims.

As evidenced in 2000, when/if the Democratic candidate picks up some of the grassroots positions in order to placate potential Nader voters, the Nader people will attack them for lying and cannibalize any activists who dare to switch over because the activists succeeded in getting the Democrat to switch to or adopt their platform. This occurred in the final days of October, 2000 when Al Gore came to Portland on bended knee and both promised to end ancient forest logging in his administration and cancel the Eagle timber sales. These were the primary demands of forest activists in Portland at the time. Eagle cancellation was great, but it was the campaign promise to end ancient forest logging, and that ancient forest logging had again become a high profile a presidential campaign issue, that people had been fighting for - and perhaps 'using' the Nader campaign to attain. That's right, using the Nader candidacy to shift the Democrat to the left - just as the above poster suggests is at least part of the point of Nader's running for prez.

But what happened? Gore was castigated as a liar by the Nader boosters when he made his ancient forest speech at PSU. Enviros - some of whom had previously criticized Gore very effectively and had worked on the Nader campaign - held a press conference to highlight Gore's forest promises and their intention to hold him to them. Their press conference was protested by angry Nader boosters - including Greg Kafoury. They were heckled and called sellouts. The split on the green side was front page news in the Oregonian, because of the foolish tactic of the Nader folks to show up yelling and shouting at a press conference - attended by a lot of press. A separate story on the Gore's promise was on B10 or something. Gore's ancient forest speech had also been news in the New York Times, who noted he had significantly shifted his position from just supporting Clinton's roadless protection rule to promising he would end ancient forest logging in his administration. Many local enviros were in fact satisfied that they had extracted what they wanted out of Gore and that Nader's candidacy had succeeded at some level.

But they were totally attacked for it, by people who wouldn't stick around to work on the issues they claimed Nader was representing. Sure a few of those folks stayed involved, but the vast majority did not, including many of Nader's most ardent backers.

Simply put, Nader's candidacy in 2000 did nothing to build grassroots activism, third party or otherwise, because he and his boosters largely dissapeared from the scene after the election. Sure, there was the 'Democracy Rising' tour but that all fell flat and failed to do much of anything. Four years later, what has changed? Did Nader or the Greens build a bigger movement? No. Did they succeed in running for local offices in 2002 and making gains politically? Hardly, and really not at all in Oregon. It's no wonder that Oregon's Pacific Green Party didn't even endorse Nader for prez this time. He did NOTHING for them post 2000.

When it comes down to it, you can't build a movement from the top down. You can't have a popular figurehead be the basis of a progressive movement. And it will totally fail if that popular figurehead and his primary supporters are totally disconnected with the grassroots and the popular movements they claim to represent.

So good luck getting a thousand people to show up at Benson - you already failed once because Nader doesn't have a connection to the Oregon grassroots any more.

But dedicated progressive activists should look for other alternatives this year to influencing Kerry's positions, because there is no reason to believe Nader and his campaign leaders in Oregon will help them do it even if Nader ends up on the Oregon ballot.

Not Gettin' Caught Again 18.Jun.2004 11:28

Enough Already

no

Poo pooo 18.Jun.2004 11:58

PS

I know and have met many people over the past 3 years in the progressive movement that started with Naders campaign in 2000 or 1996, myself included. These people have been fighting to label Genetically modified foods, they have been campaigning to get a PUD on the ballot, as well as campaign finance reform, Instant run-off voting and Health care reform.

No movement can be built from one person, just as no one person can be responsible for the mess this country is in. I see Nader's candidacy as a means to empower people to be more politically active. He offers hope and has constructive idea's instead of flawed retoric which is trying to appeal to the moderate middle.

And for all the nonsense about Nader backers dropping out of the political spectrum, what happened to all these democrats? Why couldn't a movement be galvinized to take back the house and Senate? I see Democratic establishment only loosing more and more ground as they try to appeal to white male voters ages 18-34 (bush's strongest support).

But if you want to vote for someone who supported the Patriot act, doesn't believe in gay marriage, and wants to stay the course in Iraq, then by all means vote kerry. But give others who aren't so apathetic a chance to voice their own concerns.

Fear bush vote kerry
fear terrorism vote bush

Tired of fear, vote for the only candidate who is offering a viable alternative to the twin parties.

This is a democracy, at least give the people the opportunity to vote in November. Just because people don't agree with your ideals, doesn't mean they shouldn't have a say. A more lasting stratagy would be to cross over and convert Bush supporters, the 11% of democrats and majority of republicans who voted for this guy in 2000.

i'll be there! 18.Jun.2004 12:51

strongbad

I'm still not sure who I'm voting for in November, but i support putting Nader on the ballot. after all, this is supposed to be a democracy.

Promises 18.Jun.2004 13:08

George Bender

You judge a candidate by his record, not his promises. Campaign promises are usually broken. Once they get into office they do as they please. Gore had a record, 8 years of the Clinton administration. In the 2000 campaign, I didn't believe a word he said.

John Kerry also has a record. He voted for NAFTA, the Welfare "Reform" Act (attack on poor people), the Patriot Act and war with Iraq. I don't believe a word he says either.

Democrats need to understand that the road they've chosen to walk down is losing them the left. If Nader isn't on the Nov. ballot I probably won't vote at all, for the first time in many years. You can't make me vote for Kerry.


Yay! 18.Jun.2004 13:12

Yeah right

Nader, er, Bush...is my hero!

Friends don't let friends waste their vote on Nader 18.Jun.2004 13:23

F. Nelson

There is a time for a protest vote but this is not one of them. A vote for Nader amounts to a vote for four more years of George Bush. If you think Bush's first term was devastating, I guarantee the next four will be worse on the American people, the environment and civil rights.
Be smart and investigate the devisive support that Nader gets from the right wing conservatives.

Don't discourage 18.Jun.2004 13:40

anon

Why do so-called progressives align themselves with the monster Kerry? He is just as bad as Bush! Can't you people see that? Times like this make me think we are surrounded by Democrat operatives.

If you don't agree with Nader, don't vote for him. But don't try to defranchise other people. Jeb Bush did enough to defranchise poor black voters in Florida in 2000, now you try to take the vote from us in Oregon.

If you want Kerry to be dictat...er... President, then vote for him. Send him money. Don't go to Benson High School on the 26th. But let us participate in this Democracy. We deserve a voice equal to yours.

I for one will be at Benson on the 26th and I will bring my son, who just turned 18 in May. As a mother, I don't want to see my boy sent off to fight an illegal war. John Kerry won't stop the war, in fact he wants to send more young men to die!

Ralph Nader may not be elected President, but I want to show George Bush and John Kerry that we will not stand for this war. I say vote for who you want: Kerry, Nader, or Bush - but don't try to take my vote away from you and I won't try to take your vote from you. Let every voice be heard!

are the democrats really so confused? 18.Jun.2004 13:41

true conservative

The only issue here is whether Nader will be on the ballot, whether people will have the choice to vote for him. If one believes in democracy then one believes that people should have the option to vote for who they want to vote for. This is completely separate from a discussion of who to vote for. As for the support Nader gets from "right wing conservatives" (as if there is such a think as "right wing" and "left wing" and as if "conservatives" are republicans, and vice versa) one must never forget that the republicans didn't want Nader in the debates in 2000 and they will not want him in the debates in 2004. Why? Because they know he will lead to a repeat of the 1992 election by pulling independents, Ross Perort supporters, and John McCain supporters. Now the myth that Nader hurts the democrats is an important one for all parties, but that doesn't make it true. Look at the actions of the campaign strategists and it will all make perfect sense. Nader threatens both parties, and for that reason alone I want him on the ballot. For those who don't want him on the ballot at least have the honesty and integrity to admit that you don't care about the principles of democracy.

Not a Protest Vote 18.Jun.2004 13:47

Go Nader!

I support Nader because he represents my views the best, by far. I also think that the anti-Nader propaganda will fail so badly, that anyone who is not happy with BushCo policies will vote for Nader in November. Kerry sympathizers seem well aware that neither Bush or Kerry have the interest of the majority of voters and they are in a panick as a result.

People that support Nader support ending corporate slavery, preserving resources, and beaking up the democracy killing stranglehold that the Dems and Repubs have on our country.

People that support Kerry stand for destroying human rights, the Bill of Rights, and the environment, thought NAFTA, the WTO, The PATRIOT Act, they support illegal invasions and murderous torturing invasions, and they support an admitted Vietnam war criminal. They support the war on the poor, the draft, and the expansion of the American empire. Some of his supporters are too blinded by fear and hype to understand that this is what they are supporting, but they are.

So, you vote for your representative, and I will vote for mine. Since Kerry has done such a poor job of differentiating himself from Bush though, and seems to have supported him at every turn, it seems like a vote for Kerry is a vote for his 'Skull and Bones' buddy Bush.

'Skull and Bones' buddy 18.Jun.2004 13:50

not to mention

That they're distant cousins. Who says we don't have an aristocracy in the US?

Don't let them use fear to stop issues and debate 18.Jun.2004 15:28

WitchGirl

Without competition, Kerry will not have to speak to any other issues except those lame ones him and his buddy Bush agree to broach at their collaborative fake-debates.

The Democratic Party continues to bludgeon the Fear of Bush into people because they have little to offer in the way of a sound policy. Instead of addressing issues to motivate the electorate, they are using overblown fear tactics. Ironic, considering Kerry himself has supported the object-of-fear (Bush) on the most serious matters. This nonsense has got to stop. It's unfair and dishonest.

Without Nader on the ballot, the corporate-backed government (democrats and republicans) in Washington get a free ride. Without Nader on the ballot, Kerry can continue beating the war drum and legitimizing Bush's illegitimate war.

Please call to volunteer (the above posting has details), send emails to those who are interested, call friends and family and make a commitment to attend.
spread the word (the media isn't going to do it). Do everything possible to make this happen. Even if you have only a few minutes here and there to spread the word, do it!
This is URGENT. Start now.

And Mark Your Calendars for:
SATURDAY June 26th 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. BENSON High Auditorium
546 NE 12th Ave.
Portland, OR

(from Lloyd Center Max Stop walk SOUTH over the I-84 Freeway overpass -- Benson High will be on your left)

to "its true" and others 18.Jun.2004 16:49

it's is supposed to have an apostrophe in it

It's ironic that you blame the Nader voters for bashing Democrats. From the day after the election, all I heard from Democrats was Nader bashing and bashing of those who voted for him. I foolishly thought it would stop in a few days, yet it is still going strong and has never remitted.

I say get over it. Let the Democrats court us if they want our vote. Let them convince us they deserve it.

A vote for Kerry is a vote for... 18.Jun.2004 17:03

Pravda or Consequences

Women's rights, everything else is just skull and bones.

agree 18.Jun.2004 18:38

mom

If people want Nadar on the ballot they will turn out and get him on.
If not, perhaps there is a reason this time.
I am not a Kerry supporter. I am a Kucinich supporter.
In November I will vote for women's rights.
That means Kerry not Bush.
They are not exactly alike and what Bush is doing for women is just the first step. I don't want to let him get away with it - I have daughters as well as sons.

agree... kind of 18.Jun.2004 19:28

another mom

I agree with you mom, that people should vote their own opinions. I also think that people should have the option to vote their opinions. For me, that means having Ralph Nader on the ballot. If your issue is Women's Rights, perhaps you see John Kerry as the best man for your vote. My vote is getting the US out of Iraq, which only Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich have advocated. I would support Dennis, but if he loses I want to have another option.

Please, if you value the freedom of democratic choice, support putting Nader on the ballot. The Democrats cannot count on our support year after year. We must show them that they have to earn it by not supporting pointless wars and allowing crooked corporations to line their pockets with the money of American workers.

Vote Nader.

Help Ralph get on the Oregon ballot this November by giving two hours of your time next Saturday (June 26th) from 5-7pm at BEnson Auditorium. Bring friends and family! You have to be a registered voter to count, but bring family too!

you can register at the convention 18.Jun.2004 22:30

convention - register to vote

another mom,

You don't have to be registered to vote -- you will be able to register at the convention if you need to! (So, to sign you just have to be an oregon resident over 18 who registers before or on that day)

Registering to vote at the convention 18.Jun.2004 23:04

George Bender

I think you will need a copy of something that proves your residence, like drivers license, ID card, utility bill, rental contract, something official with your address on it.


Nader is Doing it the WRONG Way 19.Jun.2004 01:49

Varro

He could be mobilizing people to demand health care reform in the next Congress, and mobilizing people to fight the Harry and Louise claptrap that big insurance companies will bring out to justify high health insurance rates and millions of uninsured people.

He could be supporting Representative Rush Holt's bill to ban touch-screen voting machines that don't leave paper trails, like the ones Bush supporters Diebold wants to institute.

Instead, he's involved himself in a quixotic run for President which has NO upside and the potential to swing the election to Bush in various states. He's doing it to feed his massive ego, and turning into a tragic figure like William Jennings Bryan, who was a great populist in the late 19th Century, yet threw his legacy away by being the prosecutor in the Scopes Monkey Trial. Similarly, Ralph Nader was the father of the American consumer movement, but is destroying his legacy by running a useless and divisive presidential campaign with ZERO chance of winning.

Kerry's VP Choice can make me vote for Nader 19.Jun.2004 07:37

Nebore

The following candidates have proven to be vote getters: Wesley Clark, John Edwards,Al Gore, and Dennis Kucinich.

The Dems don't need losers like Dick Gephardt or obscure candidates for the VP spot.

If Kerry chooses Gephardt or some obscure candidate as his runnung mate, then my vote will go for Nader. If Kerry doesn't give a damn about winning, then I certainly don't give a damn.

VP choices not likely to include Kucinich or Edwards 19.Jun.2004 18:18

WitchGirl

Nebore,

I doubt that Kerry will chose Edwards or Kucinich, who both endorsed the newly formed Citizen's Debate Commission (instead of the corrupt two-party dominated Presidential Debate Commission). If Kerry chose either of them -- he'll have to answer the question of why he is in collusion with George W. Bush to participate in corporate-backed non-debates. I don't think he'll want to broach that subject. Anyways, that's just my gut feeling analysis and I don't really know for sure.