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political theory selection 2004

Letter to Common Dreams on Their Continuing Attempts to Discredit Ralph Nader

This letter is in response to today's posted article on Common Dreams - Jeff Cohen: Nader's "Grassroots" Campaign...Courtesy of GOP..."
Dear Editors,

I find it pathetic that you would fill your valuable space for article submissions with calls for political candidates to simply 'not run' (Jeff Cohen: Nader's "Grassroots" Campaign...Courtesy of GOP...), and transparent attempts to show that if Republicans get Nader on the ballot he is somehow not a viable candidate. While Nader's own people may be trying to defend the idea that only Democrats will put him on, we all know that Nader supports come from the full spectrum. That's part of what makes him as dangerous as he is to the corporate machine controlling this country - everyone, regardless of political affiliation, begins to understand that corporate values are not the values of a Democracy.

And guess what? This is a Democracy. People of all colors, shapes, sizes, and political parties can put candidates on the ballot for president. Your choice of Kerry is your choice, nothing more. Trying to destroy anyone else's RIGHT to be on the ballot is bordering on Republican and fascist values.

And if the Democrats are so afraid of Republicans putting candidates on the ballot, why are they working to make sure Bush is on the ballot, and Nader is off?
(Monday, July 19, 2004, 'Democrats Put Bush on the Ballot While Fighting to Keep Nader Off'  http://montages.blogspot.com/2004/07/democrats-put-bush-on-ballot-while.html).

That wasn't what I thought the Democrats were about.

But sadly, we're all having to wake up to the fact that the Democrats are *really* no different than the Republicans afterall. And it wasn't how we thought it would be. It's far uglier.

I'll share with you one experience relayed to me over email, similar to one's I've experienced. And then you can ask yourself what it is you're really doing in your frantic efforts to install your candidate.

"Let me share with you a snapshot of my Saturday.

I live in downtown Oakland. After a lovely Saturday
morning bicycle ride with our -----
bicycling club, I rode over to the Lakeshore neighborhood
for a cup of Peet's.

I scored a seat on their very nice neighborly bench on
the sidewalk in front of the store. This section
of Lakeshore, is a bustling hub of activity on a nice
summer Saturday morning. It is very nice neighborhood.
Diverse, clean, pretty, convenient, fun, etc.

As I was sitting amongst the tumult I caught the
eye of a young man, about in his twenties. I heard
him give his first shout of 'Sign a petition to
get Nader on the ballot'. I quickly waved him
over, and quietly signed his petition, thanked
him and he went back. Turns out he had two
other young men with him. These three young men,
on a busy Saturday, were all collecting signatures.

As I drank my coffee, I watched in disgust, as for
the next hour these three energetic young men, working
on the politics in which they believe, were heaped
upon with scorn, and derision.

They were yelled at, they were insulted, they were
shouted over.

Here in the beautiful diverse East Bay city of Oakland,
I watch as dozens and dozens of my neighbor mocked,
ridiculed, and insulted three men for exercising their
free political speech.

It seems hyperbole, but I honestly felt as if I was
sitting in Birmingham Ala, in 1964, watching supporter of
the civil rights act interacting with the populace.

It just was not pretty. These people, my neighbors,
residence of the bay area, cursing advocates of
progressive politics.

It spoke to me. The meaning still is not perfectly clear.
Some parts though, are at the root of my own principals.

Political speech, should clearly be protected with our
hearts and minds and bodies. There is truthfully great
ugliness now in our country, when the very best of people,
my neighbors, fall to the point of the vitriol which I
witnessed.

I blame no one. The societal system in which we live
is clearly sick. These neighbors of mine are exhibiting
the progressively worsening symptoms. In all that I do, as
a Green, I hope my work continuously strives to heal these core
maladies of our leaders and our people. So healthy people might
engage in spirited democracy whose purpose is to uphold our
human rights and dignity."

Common Dreams -
Editorial  editor@commondreams.org
Article Submissions  submissions@commondreams.org
www.commondreams.org/views04/0720-15.htm
Ask a Dumb Question 21.Jul.2004 12:07

kill PNAC

>>> And if the Democrats are so afraid of Republicans putting candidates on the ballot, why are they working to make sure Bush is on the ballot, and Nader is off?


Because Nader is more likely to draw votes from Democrats, which is EXACTLY thre reason why Republicans are promoting Nader here everyday - it has nothing to do with his policies at all.



If you have a better explanation for Republican promotion of Nader, let's hear it.

Get a Dumb Answer? 21.Jul.2004 13:28

apparently

"Because Nader is more likely to draw votes from Democrats"

No, Bush is more likely to draw votes from Democrats, since he drew 8 million votes from democrats in 2000 as compared to Nader who only drew 1 million. So the democrats are *cutting a deal* with the republicans to get Bush on the ballot in Illinois but fighting to keep Nader off of it. Well, we all know the reason for that: without Bush the democrats don't have a platform. If they were at all interested in winning they would fight to see that Bush campaign obeyed election law, but we know from 2000 and 2002 the democrats have no interest in winning.

More Common Dreams BS Against Nader 21.Jul.2004 18:21

reader

Sad to see they are this terrified that they must go on an all out war against a candidate who is simply trying to create a better world, rather than just trying to get their own idiotic candidate to actually stop saying shit like how he supports pre-emptive war and endless occupation.

In this article Steven Hill, an original promoter of IRV, trashes Nader while he gets in his points about IRV, which Nader is now spreading like crazy everywhere he goes (no thanks from Hill, naturally). Instead, we get lies from Hill, saying that "the majority of Greens don't want to be spoilers." But he opts not to mention that Cobb only won by a hair, with 53%, meaning Hill is perpetuating his own 'winner-take-all' report of the win, when it's convenient for himself. Now that it's time to trash Nader, anything will do in trying to get in with the Kerry Ds.

Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
How to Handle Nader
by Steven Hill and Rob Richie

"While Ralph Nader may be ready to risk a repeat of 2000--and could do much more to make multi-party democracy a viable option by highlighting reforms such as IRV--most Greens don't want to be spoilers. They consistently support reforming winner-take-all elections, and their presidential frontrunner David Cobb promises to focus this fall on safe states, in recognition of Greens' interest in defeating George Bush."
 http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0721-02.htm


And here's another gem below . . .

The problem with the argument that the Rethugs aren't supporting Nader for his progressive positions is wrong on two counts. 1) Of course they aren't, although a certain number of them *do* support Nader's concern about the extreme right wing. The fact is, the Rethugs can support whomever them want, whenever they want, for whatever they want . . . that's the broken f**ked up system that the Ds and Rs are perfectly happy to operate under as long as it suits their Duopoly purposes and keeps third parties out of sight. 2) Papers like this and 99% of the rest in the country ALSO don't give the Greens the f**king TIME OF DAY, much less encourage ANYONE to vote for them when their precious Democraps are threatened with a loss, so to sit there and condemn the Rethugs for not supporting the f**king GREENS is laughable. Rethugs are like wild animals - they act to further thier own conquests. BFD. The Dems are no different. Wake up idiot editors in the SPI, and stop trying to distort reality to sooth and placate your 'liberal' readers.

Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Republican Ralph
Editorial

Ralph Nader has never been this popular with Republicans. His campaign promotes universal health care, living wages, an end to poverty and fairer taxes, issues that hardly seem likely to warm a Grand Old Heart.

But this week in Michigan, Nader agreed to accept thousands of signatures collected by Republicans to qualify his spot on the presidential ballot.

Perhaps these Republicans have seen the light and are ready for a progressive era in the United States. Then it could snow tomorrow, too.

Republicans in Michigan and elsewhere favor a Nader ballot line for one simple reason: It makes it easier for George W. Bush to win.

Republicans for Nader are proving another point: Our election system needs tweaking because it's not as democratic as it could be. We need choices.

t's on that score that the Green Party is doing this election right. The Greens will be on Washington's ballot for congressional and statewide offices. They offer voters another choice.

Yet you won't see a Green campaign for president here. The party is concentrating its resources on promoting candidates at the local and state level. David Cobb, the Green candidate for president, focuses on states that won't tip this election to Republicans. He said the party's goal is to give voters a choice -- as well as "the removal of the White House's illegitimate occupant."

Somehow, we don't think Republicans will work as hard to give Greens the same sort of ballot access as they do Nader.
 http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0721-09.htm