Don’t ask Nader
to step aside
It’s wrong to ask Nader to drop out because he spoils Gore’s chances. If the Nader votes are honestly cast, the nation should know that Greens are a coming power. Voting is a group activity: each vote shows solidarity with a group. It’s an insult to tell Green voters that they are “really” voting for Bush.
The problem is not Nader; it’s that too many people have been talked into voting for Bush. Perhaps all those people really do want the EPA dismantled, corporations free to do what they like, and the Christian Right imposing their religious beliefs on the rest of us. If a substantial number of Bush voters do not favor these things, then they are the ones who should drop out, not Nader.
Bush laughs at global warming, other dangers
“What would it be like if one of us ran for president?” my roommate and I asked ourselves. It was early in the morning, neither of us was dressed, and I at least hadn’t had coffee.
“I identify with Gore,” I said, too groggy to be less than honest. I know that a lack of subtlety and finesse would be my downfall too.
My roommate, an environmentalist with her eye always on the ecological ball, said that as a presidential candidate she would appeal for change. “We have to restructure everything about the way we live,” she said. But she knew, she told me, that as she stood on the campaign stump, tomatoes would fly as an unruly crowd shouted and jeered at her environmental message.
Here, I had to stop her. Isn’t it clear from recent events that our crowd would not shout away my friend’s message. Wouldn’t these people, these Americans, led by a simpering George W., simply laugh it off? Isn’t that what happened in Illinois? But it was Gore’s tax plan (a small part of it) that was lampooned in place of my poor friend, as Bush encouraged his audience’s laughter at electric-gasoline cars and solar panels.
What is Bush playing at? Global warming is real. The Sierra Club, the EPA, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and others agree. Some parts of the world have warmed by as much as 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit and scientists predict that the average global temperature will increase 1.8 to 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. This should be a real problem for people living in California where hotter, drier conditions could increase the frequency and intensity of our already too frequent and intense wild fires. Isn’t it really rather stupid to laugh at these things?
But maybe the more important question is: What is Bush playing on. Why would 52 percent of us, according to the latest Gallup, prefer to watch Bush smirk for the, next four years rather than change anything about our lifestyles?
Nader lacks resume
For those flirting with voting for Nader rather than Gore because he’s greener, think again. Nader is not the better messenger for the earth’s agenda. Unlike Gore, who has a substantial resume for the Presidency along with being a formidable environmental policymaker, Nader, as a consumer advocate, does not have the credentials to be President nor is he a very informed spokesman for the planet. And it is doubtless that Nader could well become the spoiler tight race, a point reinforced by his behavior. The ironic effect is that votes for Nader could become defacto votes for Bush in many states; green votes could translate into scorched earth votes.
I am voting for Gore, recognizing his faults and compromises, but also assured that he is the among the best Presidential candidates we’ve ever had for the environment -- as he has worked for it throughout his 20 years in Congress, and been an advocate for environmental initiatives as Vice President, including: the Kyoto Protocols (Global Warming) -- which he helped author, set asides of new national monuments, Wilderness and Roadless Area Protection, Lands Legacy, among others. He has the intelligence and the background to address complex issues like global warming, forest and species protection. And he has been the major voice for greening the Clinton Whitehouse throughout these past eight years. I have grown tired of Nader’s “tweedle-dum, tweedle-dee” references to Gore and Bush. That such rhetoric is intellectually dishonest and politically dangerous is dramatically illustrated by the savage attacks Nader has made on the Gore and by a letter he recently wrote to environmentalists condemning the Vice President’s environmental credentials. But as Carl Pope Director of the Sierra Club responded to it, Nader has “no right to slander those who disagree” with him until he can answer how he would “protect the people and places who would be put in harm’s way, or destroyed, by a Bush presidency.”
While it’s understandable that we all are tired of business as usual in government, let’s not be naive about political processes that might seem easier to ignore or curse than deal with. Rather, let’s be realistic and remember that change comes best by reforming the system from within it: Gore is clearly better equipped to do this than Nader. Moreover, Nader’s campaign shows a lack of consideration for the consequences of his strategies, yet another illustration of the left (represented by the Green Party) serving to splinter rather than unite people of conscience, drawing away drawing votes away from the only candidate who would likely be an effective president, and one who believes that protection of the earth is an organizing principle for this millenium.
At such a critical time in our history, effectiveness is needed, not ideological purity. For the environment, for women’s choice, for reducing greenhouse gases, for the Supreme Court – and for a far greater likelihood of effecting lasting and positive change for the greatest number I believe that Gore is the best choice and encourage your vote for him, too.
Presidential elections: exercises in power, not principle
Message to Ralph Nader’s Greens who argue that we can afford to have Al Gore lose this election if they get enough votes to build their party. Grow up!
Many American leftists foolishly believe that once they irrevocably muck something up, those most harmed by their actions will flock to them for leadership. It never happens. In 1966, many left-wing California organizations refused to support then governor Edmund “Pat” Brown and de-facto threw the election to Ronald Reagan. Similarly, John Anderson’s third party efforts helped elect Reagan president (even Anderson later regretted it). In neither of these cases, did the “masses” rise up with the left to dispose of Reagan. If anything, they moved further right with him.
That is why it took conservative democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore to recapture the White House.
The sad truth is that presidential elections are exercises in power, not principle. The next president will appoint a voting majority to the Supreme Court, who will far outlive his term. He will decide whether to drill in the Alaska wilderness, or offshore in California. He will either allow RU-486 with no restrictions or work to keep it from American women. Those choices are real and matter beyond the narrow confines of your party’s agenda. (An agenda that will be irrelevant because you will have no means to exercise it beyond group hugs at meetings and maybe a few House Representatives.)
If I wake up to “George Bush’s America,” I will not be happy. I will have a president who does not know what ENDA means. I will watch primarily poor and minority children attend voucher schools with inadequate funding and no oversight. I will see a Supreme Court so right-wing, that I will probably miss Chief Justice Rehnquist.
I assure you that I will not look to the Green Party for leadership. Nor do I think that I will be alone in this assessment. Your selfishness, and your refusal to think beyond the consequences of your actions, shows me that you are incapable of building coalitions. Those most harmed by your actions will be scrambling for survival and in need of real leadership. The rest of the country will continue its rightward drift.
I shudder to think what type of candidate it will take to recapture the
White House after Bush.
Catherine S. Daly
Support AA and BB
One of the cornerstones of a good school system is well-built facilities and safety systems that are adequately maintained. Measures AA&BB would provide this.
Measure AA would continue the rehabilitation of school buildings (mainly classrooms) as well as updating alarm and fire sprinkler systems. Measure AA will not increase our tax rate – rather, it extends the maximum tax rate from the 1992 bond measure. Measure BB would ensure that our school facilities and safety systems are maintained.
These two measures would set high standards for our buildings and grounds and would send a clear message that we hold to high standards for teaching and learning. A yes vote on Measures AA & BB obviously makes sense.
School Board Director