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. Tom P.s. Apologies to folks suffering from the decline of the stockmarket. >===== Original Message From radman <email@example.com> ===== >The US election crisis: why is Ralph Nader silent? > ><http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/nov2000/nad-n24.shtml> > >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 >with. >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 >people. >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 >controversy." >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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