[sixties-l] RE: The US election crisis: why Attack Nader not Gore = Bush?

From: nagy (nagy@gwu.edu)
Date: 12/02/00

  • Next message: William M. Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] In Defense Of Ralph Nader"

    Ok folks, I quit!
    The so called '60's list serve shows it's true colors as a toy  of the 
    Demo-Rebl. party. 
    I quit. Unsubscribe me. 
    P.s. Apologies to folks suffering from the decline of the stockmarket.
    >===== Original Message From radman <resist@best.com> =====
    >The US election crisis: why is Ralph Nader silent?
    >By Jerry White
    >24 November 2000
    >Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has maintained a deafening
    >silence on the political crisis surrounding the results of the US elections.
    >During his campaign, Nader correctly criticized corporate domination of the
    >American two-party system as tantamount to the disenfranchisement of the
    >broad masses of the American people and an affront to democratic rights.
    >Yet in the face of a concerted effort by the most reactionary forces within
    >the political establishment, who are lined up behind the Bush camp, to use
    >patently anti-democratic methods and appeals to right-wing sentiment to
    >gain control of the White House, Nader has not uttered a word of protest.
    >It is remarkable that a presidential candidate who won 3 percent of the
    >national vote, including nearly 100,000 votes in Florida, and presented
    >himself as a progressive alternative to the Democrats and Republicans
    >should have nothing to say about the events of the past two weeks. A public
    >statement from Nader denouncing the attempt of the Bush campaign to gain
    >the White House through the suppression of votes would undoubtedly
    >strengthen popular opposition to the Republicans' machinations.
    >Yet in several public appearances and television, radio and newspaper
    >interviews since the election, Nader has said nothing about the election
    >controversy. A spokesman at Nader's Washington, DC headquarters confirmed
    >that the Green Party candidate had issued no public statements on the
    >subject. When this reporter asked why, the spokesman said, "We're not
    >deeply involved in what is going on down there. This is just a political
    >battle between the Democrats and Republicans." When asked how Nader could
    >remain silent about widespread charges of Republican vote-rigging and
    >intimidation of minority voters, in which fundamental issues of democratic
    >rights were at stake, the spokesman said, "It's Mr.  Nader's prerogative to
    >do so."
    >How is Nader's silence to be explained? As his spokesperson indicated, he
    >considers the electoral impasse to be nothing more than a dispute over the
    >spoils of government between two identical corporate-controlled parties. It
    >is something that ordinary people need not particularly concern themselves
    >But how could that be? How could working people adopt an attitude of
    >indifference toward political forces on the right prepared to ride
    >roughshod over their democratic rights, as part of an effort to take full
    >control of the levers of power?
    >The working class must oppose the attacks on basic rights, but it must do
    >so from its own independent standpoint and with its own
    >methods.  Opposition to the Republican right does not imply giving
    >political support to Al Gore and the Democrats. Experience has shown that
    >this party is incapable of seriously defending democratic rights against
    >the reactionaries in the Republican Party. What this crisis poses to the
    >working class is the need to construct it own political party, based on a
    >democratic and socialist program, to defend the interests of the vast
    >majority of American people.
    >Nader's refusal to oppose the Republican-led attack on democratic rights
    >demonstrates that his organization has no real independence from the ruling
    >elite. His "plague on both your houses" position may appear radical, but in
    >reality it is a form of adaptation and capitulation to the extreme
    >right-wing forces that dominate the Republican Party. Precisely because the
    >Greens are not based on the working class, in fact, they reject the very
    >notion of the class struggle, they are incapable of mounting any resistance
    >to the overt attacks on fundamental rights.
    >Nader's silence on the current crisis is consistent with his mechanical and
    >false conception that, because in an absolute sense an identity exists
    >between the two parties, insofar as they both represent the interests of
    >American big business, there cannot be any relative differences. But, of
    >course, such relative differences exist, and in times of political crisis
    >they can play a critical role in developments that affect broad masses of
    >It is true that corporate interests dominate both parties and that the
    >political differences between them have narrowed as the political spectrum
    >of official politics has lurched to the right. But it is also true that
    >over the past decade a ferocious battle has been under way between these
    >two parties. This must have an objective source in conflicts between
    >different sections of America's economic and political elite.
    >The struggle within the ruling elite has escalated from a series of phony
    >investigations against the Clinton administration, to the shutdown of the
    >federal government, to the first-ever impeachment of a sitting president,
    >to the current effort by the Republicans to hijack the election. To pretend
    >that these events have no political significance is to deny reality.
    >The Republican Party is controlled by extreme right-wing forces, which
    >speak ultimately for powerful sections of the corporate establishment who
    >consider even Clinton's conservative policies an obstacle to the far more
    >extreme right-wing agenda they seek to impose on the country.  They are
    >determined to lift all restrictions on the accumulation of personal wealth
    >and the exploitation of the working class. To achieve this, the Republicans
    >and their religious right, racist and fascistic supporters are prepared to
    >overturn democratic norms and constitutional rights.
    >The Democrats, who have increasingly turned their backs on the workers and
    >minorities in whose name they once claimed to speak, represent other
    >sections of the ruling elite and more privileged social layers, who seek to
    >defend the interests of American capitalism through the more traditional
    >channels of bourgeois democracy.
    >For working people to sit idly by while this battle is fought out within
    >ruling circles is to court disaster. The basic issue involved here is not
    >the fate of Gore or Bush, but the fate of the democratic rights of the
    >American people.
    >Nader's banal and complacent views were highlighted in recent remarks about
    >the results of the election. In a November 17 interview on National Public
    >Radio's Talk of the Nation program he said, "What's next? I don't think
    >anything is going to happen regardless of whether Bush or Gore is elected.
    >They will be deadlocked. It's too evenly divided. I don't think there are
    >going to be any major changes in direction."
    >Nader also told the New York Times that if Bush prevailed, his very narrow
    >margin, the closely divided Congress and the Texas governor's own
    >personality would limit the damage he could do. "He doesn't know very
    >much," Nader said of Bush. "He is not very energetic. He doesn't like
    >This is an utterly false assessment. Does it make any sense that the forces
    >behind Bush, who have been prepared to throw the country into a
    >constitutional crisis and raise the specter of divisions not seen since the
    >Civil War, are suddenly going to opt for a more moderate course once they
    >take the White House? On the contrary, sensing that their position is
    >increasingly weak and unpopular, they will push ahead with their
    >reactionary agenda.
    >Nader, of course, does recognize that there are differences between the two
    >parties. That is why he spent much of his time answering arguments that he
    >was taking votes away from the Democrats, not the Republicans, and calling
    >on the Democrats to return to their "progressive roots."
    >Much more is involved on Nader's part than a theoretical error or a false
    >appraisal of the dispute between the two parties. His silence is also bound
    >up with political calculations of a reactionary character. Nader has said
    >nothing about the Republicans' actions in the election campaign because he
    >does not want to alienate right-wing forces whose support he is courting.
    >This is not new. In his acceptance speech at the Green Party convention in
    >June, Nader counseled Green members to appeal to conservative voters by
    >saying his campaign championed "traditional, not extreme values," such as
    >opposition to the "voyeurism of the media." He made no secret about
    >appealing to supporters of Senator John McCain and backers of even more
    >right-wing political figures.
    >He made common cause with Reform Party presidential candidate Patrick
    >Buchanan, joining the ultra-right politician in protectionist campaigns
    >against trade agreements with Mexico and China, which Nader declared were
    >"subverting American sovereignty."
    >Finally, Nader expressed support for the Republican impeachment drive
    >against President Clinton. In the course of his presidential bid he said he
    >opposed the Senate acquittal of Clinton, and declared that he would have
    >voted to remove Clinton from office. He reiterated this at a New York press
    >conference before the election, saying, "Clinton should have been convicted
    >by the Senate. He disgraced the office and lied under oath.  Matters like
    >these cannot go without sanction."
    >By siding with the forces behind the impeachment campaign and in remaining
    >silent during the present political crisis Nader has, in objective terms,
    >aided and abetted the camp of right-wing reaction.

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