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Chomsky And Zinn Plan To Vote NADER

In response to an email query from this reporter, Chomsky wrote, "Voting for Nader in a safe state is fine. That's what I'll do. I don't see how anyone could read what I wrote and think otherwise, just from the elementary logic of it. Voting for Nader in a safe state is not a vote for Bush. The point I made had to do with (effectively) voting for Bush."

Chomsky also made clear how he views the election in the context of other efforts for change: "Activist movements, if at all serious, pay virtually no attention to which faction of the business party is in office, but continue with their daily work, from which elections are a diversion -- which we cannot ignore, any more than we can ignore the sun rising; they exist."

In another email exchange, Howard Zinn stated, "I will vote for Nader because Mass. is a safe state. And voters in 'safe states' should not vote for Kerry." He also notes, "I don't have faith in Kerry changing, but with Kerry there is a possibility that a powerful social movement might change him. With Bush, no chance."
June 25, 2004

Contrary to What You've Heard...
Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn Plan to Vote for Ralph Nader

By GREG BATES

Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn have stated many times that they favor ousting Bush this election, even if John Kerry is "Bush-lite." And that stand has been repeatedly used by progressives opposed to Ralph Nader's campaign.

However, Chomsky and Zinn, both residents of John Kerry's home state of Massachusetts, say they plan to vote for Ralph Nader.

This may come as a surprise to those who have trotted out Chomsky in an effort to blunt Nader. One example is Jeff Cohen, the founder of the media watch group FAIR (and by way of disclosure, is an author along with both Chomsky and Zinn at Common Courage Press at which this reporter is Publisher). As Cohen stated on Commondreams.org May 7, "Progressives need to be a bridge forward, not an obstruction. Noam Chomsky has described the choice we face: 'Help elect Bush, or do something to try to prevent it.'"

To cite another example, Doug Henwood, the publisher of the Left Business Observer wrote in April, "...as Noam Chomsky puts it, to the distress of his many fans, given the magnitude of U.S. power, 'small differences can translate into large outcomes.'"

But in response to an email query from this reporter, Chomsky wrote, "Voting for Nader in a safe state is fine. That's what I'll do. I don't see how anyone could read what I wrote and think otherwise, just from the elementary logic of it. Voting for Nader in a safe state is not a vote for Bush. The point I made had to do with (effectively) voting for Bush."

Chomsky also made clear how he views the election in the context of other efforts for change: "Activist movements, if at all serious, pay virtually no attention to which faction of the business party is in office, but continue with their daily work, from which elections are a diversion -- which we cannot ignore, any more than we can ignore the sun rising; they exist."

In another email exchange, Howard Zinn stated, "I will vote for Nader because Mass. is a safe state. And voters in 'safe states' should not vote for Kerry." He also notes, "I don't have faith in Kerry changing, but with Kerry there is a possibility that a powerful social movement might change him. With Bush, no chance."

The question of Kerry's receptivity to social movements deserves serious consideration, discussed further in the book from which this article is adapted. But returning to the issue of voting for Kerry in safe states, the impact of the Electoral College is virtually absent in discussions about Nader's run.

As BusinessWeek June 14 2004 points out, 75% of voters live in safe states. Voters casting a ballot for Kerry in those states, regardless of the message they intend to send, will be perceived by the Democratic National Committee as endorsing the Kerry platform of war and moving the Democrats to the right. Meanwhile, voters in safe states have the opportunity to send a message that Kerry's platform is unacceptable, without risking throwing the election to Bush.

~ ~ ~

Greg Bates is the publisher of Common Courage Press and the author of Ralph's Revolt: the Case for Joining Nader's Rebellion  http://www.commoncouragepress.com/index.cfm?action=book&bookid=316 from which this essay has been excerpted. Bates can be reached at:  gbates@commoncouragepress.com

homepage: homepage: http://www.counterpunch.org/bates06252004.html
address: address: CounterPunch

Unfortunately, OREGON is NOT a 25.Jun.2004 21:04

reader

safe state.

what are the swing states? 25.Jun.2004 21:27

list salvationthink@yahoo.com

Is there a list of official swing states?
and how is it determined?

Why vote in a safe state? 25.Jun.2004 21:33

Pravda or Consequences

A human being is either for accomodation or domination.

just another peon 25.Jun.2004 22:35

Thereis NO safe state.

No state is safe from either Bush or Kerry. Vote for Nader, and build a mass movement to stop the republicans and the democrats from their attacks on other countries and the working people of this one.

This whole debate is bogus 26.Jun.2004 01:12

Red neck

We can never vote for Greens. Not in a local, state or federal election, because we will always be undermining the "Democratic" Party and aiding and abetting the election of "right wingers'.
I like and respect Chomsky and Zinn but I'm not a follower. Neither am I a Naderite. I'm not even a Green.
But "small differences" don't add up to shit. If you want some real change in this system you're going to have to make it. They're not going to help. They're not going to make it easy. They're not giving it away for free, like you are.
Progressives need to face the political facts. That if you vote for Kerry you are, for a lack of a better term, a political ho. The Democrats only want the one thing, your vote. Don't expect breakfast or even a call the next day. You're going to be used and abused. The "Democrats" have no or respect for your intelligence, your beliefs, your causes, your perspectives, your views, concerns. They have no use for your needs or desires. I'm sorry Scarlet but the "Democrats" don't give a damn. Honey, you're not even going to get the sweet talk, nothing but how bad your man is. Now, you can have your night of passion on November 2, You so big and strong John F. Kerry, thank you for saving me from that beast! But, come that cold day in January, You're going to be right back in that same old abusive relationship. Stop your bitching!

This is the relevant statement by Zinn.
Howard Zinn to Voters: "Do all in your power to assure that Nader achieves ballot access"
"Ralph Nader's campaign is a vital element in keeping alive the public debate about the Iraq War. Senator Kerry's reluctance to engage in this debate, and his support for the broad outlines of President Bush's disastrous war policies threatens to deprive the American people of the deep, thoughtful, and vigorous debate that should be the centerpiece of the presidential campaign."
 http://www.votenader.com/media_press/index.php?cid=82

Oregon NOT SAFE 26.Jun.2004 06:19

check it out

Look at the voting records, if you don't believe it.
Multnomah County may vote somewhat progressive, depending on the issue and who's running, but don't forget issues like women's right to choose, same-sex marriage, and many others issues that continue to really struggle to get acceptance here.
Oregon is considered a swing state.
Learn more before you vote!

learn from where? 26.Jun.2004 07:33

ignorant

I have no idea which is a safe state and which is not.
Can anybody explain this to me or tell me where I could get information from?
Thanks

Red Neck, you are missing the part in the above 26.Jun.2004 07:34

watching

article where even your 2 heroes are saying ONLY vote for Nader in a safe state (and Oregon ain't one of them)

Don't practice safe politics 26.Jun.2004 12:18

George Bender

Yes Oregon is an "unsafe" state, a swing state, because the election results in 2000 were very close and so are the present polls. Which is another reason for voting for Nader. We need to wreck the two party system. If we allow it to endure we will always get screwed. Political parties are an anachronism and should be ignored. "But screw your courage to the sticking point and we'll not fail." -- Shakespeare, Macbeth


o.k., George, that last post is the only 26.Jun.2004 12:29

+

reasonable post I've ever read from you. You admit this is a swing state, and you say vote for Nader anyway and Bush may get the electoral votes. I completely don't agree with you and have no idea how you could possibly think it's o.k. to have Oregon go to Bush (and C and Z above don't agree with you either). But you ARE very clear about your opinions AND THE CONSEQUENCES here, which many people who believe as you do shy away from.

"to have Oregon go to Bush" 26.Jun.2004 13:45

Limousine Liberal

what a steaming pile of _________________________ .

if Democrats - ANY Democrat, including Kerry - want votes IN ANY STATE they're going to have to EARN and FIGHT FOR them.

do any of the Democrats or electoral college nitpickers on this thread remember:

1. Jeb Bush
2. Katharine Harris
3. 'hanging chads'
4. Diebold - Volusia County, Florida  http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles9/Thompson_Diebold-2000-Fraud.htm
5. Scalia - Kennedy - O'Connor - Thomas - Rehnquist
6. systematic suppression / exclusion of African-American voters from polling booths

where was Al Gore during all this?

where were the non-Florida Democrats during all of this?
 http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1024078861456
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/02/281121.shtml
 http://www.gregpalast.com/columns.cfm?subject_id=1&subject_name=Theft%20of%20Presidency

swing states DON'T MATTER.

the popular vote count DOESN'T MATTER.

all it takes for Bush to 'blow Kerry out of the water' (as if I give a shit what two multimillionaire Skull & Bones blood brothers think about/do to each other) is

>>another 'terrorist' attack
>>unearthing of Osama's rotted carcass
>>discovery of 'WMDs' in Iraq

the BushKerry pResidential Selection has nothing whatsoever to do with your individual 'vote'. but at least Nader is fighting off multimillionaire corporate 'Democratic' Party attempts to bury him alive, and preserve any semblance of free speech and democratic elections in this country.


someone's put 26.Jun.2004 13:46

together a list

of voter records comparing the states, and outlining which ones are considered "swing states" or not. Sorry, I can't recall the name of the organization doing this. But, try doing a "Google" search for just that phrase: "swing states" or national election results (state by state), and something should come up.
You could also contact the Bus Project in Portland, they are doing voter registration drives, and Basic Rights Oregon for info on GBLT issues, and on past ballot measures here in Oregon that were initiated by right-wingers to take away freedoms from GBLT people.
Also, NARAL keeps track of voting in our state on pro-choice stuff. That should get you started.
Don't forget about looking at the Oregon Republican Party web sites for a taste of what they propose to do and what issues they care about.

here's why 26.Jun.2004 17:01

pdx imc repost


fuck NARAL 28.Jul.2004 20:24

groucho marxist

How many Iraqis, Afghanis, Venezuelans, Mexican immigrants, etc., etc. have to die because they can't keep their knees together?