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

From: William M. Mandel (
Date: 12/03/00

  • Next message: William M. Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Re: Nader Fiasco"

    Inasmuch as the Sixties list has no line on anything whatever, I don't understand
    Tom Nagy's unsubscription, unless he would have the list censor out people who
    don't agree with him.
                                                            Bill Mandel
    nagy wrote:
    > 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 <> =====
    > >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
    > >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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