Denying Nader

Chris Honoré's thoughtful essay on "The Nader Factor" (Sept. 2) nevertheless ends in demonizing Nader, whose only real fault appears to be that of exercising his constitutional and political rights as an American. The argument against his campaign is an old one: A vote for Nader is a vote for whatever pathetic candidate the sclerotic Republican Party puts up. It is "lesser evilism" run wild.

If one looks carefully at the programs and initiatives of the two major parties, and looks carefully at what they have been doing these past 30years or so, the word "duopoly" leaps into one's mind.

Oh, yes, like Siamese twins joined at the neck, there is some tiny bit of daylight that filters between the two heads. Never enough, however, to allow for courageous and purposeful political actions that will benefit the vast majority of Americans and bring corporate America to heel.

And never enough to challenge the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex that befouls our domestic and foreign policies, supports our global evil empire and invents enemies to justify always more "defense" spending, while our infrastructure decays, our schools lack funding and people without heath care die from the nation's criminal negligence.

One necessary elaboration on Honoré's argument: As he points out, Nader has tried to work with the Democrats. He has offered to cooperate and even cease his separate campaign if they will only agree to adopt and work for some of the things he advocates. He has met with rejection every time, and for the simple reason that he advocates policies that counter the corporate interests of those "donors" who supply campaign funds: the financial services, oil and nuclear companies, the big for-profit hospital and pharmaceutical monopolists, the military contractors who batten on congressional corruption, AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] and the corporations that assault workers and break unions.

Ralph Nader has been fighting for decades for an open and truly democratic system, for public policies that benefit the vast majority (Medicare for all, anyone?), and for an end to selfish destructive corporate domination of our politics, our ecological viability and every other aspect of public life.

The cry goes out: "A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain." But if the Democrats cannot defeat that political retread after eight disastrous Republican years, then it is time for the Party to turn over a new leaf or fold its tent.

Gerald Cavanaugh


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