First Susan Zakin claims that voting for Nader is a vote for George W. and wouldn't that be terrible ("Party Animal," October 19). She then proceeds to sing the ballad of Gore, the lesser of two evils. Let me say that this election (and unfortunately the past four or five) is much like the Pepsi challenge: You can't tell the difference between the two and they both suck.
To suggest that Bush is an evil industrialist and Gore isn't is somewhat moronic. Isn't Gore the WTO's mascot or cigarette girl or something? And isn't First-Lady-To-Be Tipper a frothing censorship hound only muzzled to further Al's politics? If Al ascends to the throne will Tipper remain so silent and sweet?
This, however, is not my point. My point is that the presidential elections are a farce. They're a production, a little smoke and mirrors, meant to entertain and distract voters and make them feel like they are still contributing to the democracy. And if you do not vote local you aren't doing diddley (which Susan almost said).
So throw your vote to whomever, be it George, Gore, Nader, space aliens from Mars, or Buchanan, for that matter, because unless you're a multinational corporation you're still gonna get screwed.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Susan Zakin for "Party Animals." Such an article was very much in need as we are only days away from the closest election in U.S. history. It is imperative that people understand that a vote for Nader is in fact a vote for Bush. Thank you for informing the public about such an important aspect of this election!
--C. Elena Tosi
Southern Arizona Campaign Coordinator
Arizona Senate Democratic Campaign Committee
Susan Zakin is yet another one of those confused individuals telling us a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. OK, one last time. Now listen up: A vote for Nader is a vote for Nader. Why? Because there isn't a dime's worth of difference between Bush and Gore.
What's more, we support Nader and the Greens because they represent democratic values and civil rights. Gore and Bush both promote themselves as Christian, "family values" kinds of guys. They have both called homosexuality immoral. They both support the Defense of Marriage Act. And while Gore promises he will support gays in obtaining civil unions, we had the same kinds of promises from Clinton, who then endorsed the Defense of Marriage Act. (Clinton also gave us "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which has caused more harm to gays in the military than ever before.) Just because Gore doesn't gag when he says the word "gay" doesn't mean he isn't offended by the whole icky issue.
Gore is the chief supporter of the Telecommunications Act, which promotes censorship of gay and lesbian language on the net. And his wife Tipper is rabid in her pro-censorship stance. How is this different from Bush?
What's more, I keep hearing that Gore would not open Alaskan wilderness to oil drilling and Bush would. Well, Gore is a well-known supporter of the oil companies already drilling in South America, destroying the rainforest and indigenous people in the process. Gore also supports weapons programs and military spending that keep the oil flowing from countries around the world. What Gore is really saying is that he will continue to bomb Iraq to keep the oil flowing, rather than drill in Alaska. And anyone who believes he won't drill Alaska because of his campaign promise should take a look at how Gore has gone back and forth on the abortion issue.
Furthermore, look at Gore's record in supporting the timber, chemical, weapons, and oil industries. Yes, indeed, he promised to be the environmental vice-president in the last election and the one before that. But once again, Gore and Bush are basically the same. Gore and Bush both will do what the corporations demand. They both receive the exact same amount of campaign money from the exact same corporations. They have dedicated their lives to the profit margins of their corporate masters. So, my vote for Nader says I don't buy it, I don't want it, get it out of my face.
Give me back my democracy where government supports the civil rights of the citizens. Give me a government concerned about the safety and well-being of the people. Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke have dedicated their lives to these principles.
And when Zakin says Ralph Nader couldn't get a bill passed, I just have to laugh. The next time her confused brain doesn't go through a windshield in a car accident, she can thank Ralph Nader. He has achieved taxpayer, health, safety and environmental reforms in this country. Bush and Gore have done everything they can to erode these efforts, making it easier for corporations to make profit at the expense of safety and civil rights. A vote for Nader and LaDuke is a vote for democracy.
--Brian Kennedy and Jim Ru
I was greatly relieved by Susan Zakin's column on why she won't vote for Ralph Nader. I wrestled with my conscience a long time before I voted for Al Gore for the exact same reasons she mentioned. It's truly a shame because I'm sure there are so many like us that if we all really voted our beliefs, Ralph (at least his ideals) would be shown to be more the contender he is.
Perhaps the revolution is coming, or maybe we as a country and people will sink deeper into our self-absorption and greed. This election will certainly give me an idea of where we're headed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
P.S. As your rag usually loves to disparage the local mainstream media I thought I would lend this anecdote. Although I don't subscribe to the Star, I do pick up the Sunday paper, partly for the comics and the TV Week, but mostly because I have birds and use the paper to line the bottom of their cages. Since the paper's recent size reduction (it's now more the size of USA Today), it no longer covers the bottoms. So, although it's never been worth much for any real news, now it's not even good for shit!
That Susan Zakin is duped by Al Gore's environmental rhetoric wouldn't be so offensive if she didn't in turn accuse Nader supporters of being "ignorant" and "irresponsible."
Since Gore joined the Clinton/Bush ticket in 1992, Occidental Petroleum has donated nearly half a million dollars in soft money to Democratic committees and causes. In turn, in 1997 Gore championed the Administration's $3.65 billion sale to the company of the government's interest in the Elk Hills oilfield in California and drilling in the lush forests of Samore, Columbia, which have since been badly polluted. Zakin prefers to leave the ANWR in the hands of this man who counts among his biggest campaign donors Exxon and Chevron than in those of Bush, whose biggest campaign donors include, errr, Exxon and Chevron. And she wonders why Greens fail to distinguish between the candidates.
Unless you vote for Nader, you will be supporting a born-again Christian, pro-death penalty, pro-corporate welfare, anti-social welfare, pro-Star Wars, pro-NAFTA/WTO, anti-gay marriage, pro-drug war candidate. Of course, if you vote for Gore you can appease your bourgeois craving for fluffy rhetoric about "protecting our environment." For Zakin, that appears to be enough.
Pima County Green Party