US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this feature | View comments | Email this feature | Printer-friendly version
News :: Politics
Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
05 Oct 2004
Last night Ralph Nader made his views plain amidst cheers, booing, and grueling questioning at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He spoke on the lack of regulations on corporate power, on huge wealth gaps in the US, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the current political environment, and on his right to run for president. He did so unapologetically. After all, like it or not, he represents the third-party movement.
calendar_photo.jpg
Cambridge--Last night Ralph Nader made his views plain amidst cheers, booing, and grueling questioning at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He spoke on the lack of regulations on corporate power, on huge wealth gaps in the US, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the current political environment, and on his right to run for president. He did so unapologetically. After all, like it or not, he represents the third-party movement.

The Green Party made its mark on the 2000 election by attracting 2.9 million of the votes. George W. Bush rose to power and Nader became the favorite scapegoat of Democrats who felt the election had been stolen from them. The media did their part by focusing on Al Gore losing the election to Nader instead of the Democrats failing to attract more progressive voters.

Professor Sunshine Hillings, present at last night’s discussion, explained that there are two main barriers for minor party support among the public: institutional barriers (i.e., ballot access, exclusion from the debates) and psychological barriers (as in, “it’s a waste of my vote”). According to years of research, Hillings concluded that as many as 70% of Nader supporters got “cold feet” by the time of the 2000 election, voting for Gore instead.

“Look, I’m not going to win this election,” Nader conceded during the question and answer period of the discussion. “If I were elected president there would be such a global mobilization that the current senators would be all forced to retire,” he said.

Minor parties have a tendency to rise to prominence in the political showground when voters feel that neither political party can meet their demands. Nader commended 19th century voters who brought issues like the abolition of slavery, the women’s right to vote, and labor rights to the table by exerting pressure on the other parties. “They supported third parties which never won national elections, but guess what, their issues were finally adopted by one or both of the two major parties,” he said.

“The liberal intelligentsia refuses to see that the differential in wealth in this country is destroying our society,” Nader said. He accuses the left of abandoning the forty-seven million workers that have exclusionary access to health care and are making slaving wages, amounting to less than $10 an hour. “No one can live on that, much less a family,” he said, “And many of them work for companies whose chief executives are making $7,000 an hour.”

Nader accuses the progressive left of surrendering unconditionally to a “leave Kerry alone, make no demands on him” strategy while freeing corporate beneficiaries to make daily demands. Yet, a few in the crowd protested that the stakes in this coming election are just too high.

“Mr. Nader, I ask you if you don’t think is more important to vote for Kerry and eliminate this threat of perpetual war,” asked a Harvard student who expressed qualms about neoconservatives using war as a way for profit in the face of international financial collapse.

“There is an impression that all our votes come from Democrats when in fact half of our votes come from people who have never voted,” Nader responded, “the other half are split between both parties.” Massachusetts’ voters will not have that choice; Nader never made it into their ballots.

Most progressives will probably vote with their mind set on giving Bush the pink slip. But as Kerry’s numbers rise in the polls, they might ask themselves exactly what Nader proposes, “What do you gain from Kerry if you don’t make demands on him?”

If elected, it will be interesting to see just how fast the global social justice movement will rise to pressure Kerry to meet their demands. His reactions to it might just determine the 2008 election.

This work is in the public domain.
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.

Comments

Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
06 Oct 2004
It really reflects upon Harvard that its students don't seem to know of Kerry's endorsement of the warmaking strategies of the Bush Administration..
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
06 Oct 2004
Nader who is being bankrolled by the Republicans and extreme right wing forces actually gets air play with the diletantes? Even now. Fight for representational demmocracy and run off elections and maybe someone might take you seriously. For now he is just a tool in the hands of the idiot King George. That isn't to say that Kerry isn't just the other side of the coin of capitalism but participation in this election with the full support of Republican Supreme Courts across the country is supposed to be a beacon of truth and democracy?
Touche. You are right.
06 Oct 2004
You are right. Supporting Nader is the same as voting against Kerry, which is the same as voting for Bush. The Democrats are so easily divided, being made up of liberals and dissidents whose dissent is greatest among its own ranks.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
06 Oct 2004
I'm not a Democrat, or a Republican, or an American, and got sense enough to know it!

John Parker for President!
http://www.vote4workers.org/
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
06 Oct 2004
I wanted to go to this, but all the posters I saw in backbay had no date on them.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
06 Oct 2004
Investigate before you castigate you blind biddies. Nader and Camejo are huge supporters of Instant Runoff Voting and they generally say so in their campaign speeches (Camejo talked at length about it last month at NU). And yes Nader gets money from republicans, SO DOES KERRY, lots of it. Common practice for corporations to fund both candidates. Besides, there are Republicans that vote for Nader too. People who jump on people who vote for third parties are anti-democratic, they are essentially saying "You do not get to choose anyone but the parties we endorse." Don't listen to them. This is America, a country founded on the ideology of Freedom, and if voting for a warmonger disgusts you, you have every right to choose a third party candidate.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
06 Oct 2004
as a political outsider, a canadian iam most concerned that the u.s. imperialists quit lying that their state terrorism against iraq and their weapons of mass destruction(WMD) is not put first as peace equals disarmament. there never could be a victory in iraq as the people there in a poll have opposed the u.s. occupation by a 98% vote and that means any further presence there by the americans will end in huge destruction as is the pentagons way rather than listening to the peolles democracy which bush and cheney and kerry seem intent on ignoring. dont forget these people gave the world in their civilization blood for blood and an eye for an eye. destrction is not victory, and tthe pentagon lies as the peoples know it bush lied, 47,000 died. actually its really u.s. imperialism since 1920 has force the death of 2,750,000 iranians and iraqis by foisting dictatorson the people and suppying them with WMD. just as the sun rises tomorrow the u.s. is defeated already and the chance of victory is for the troops to be brought home immediately and the victuums of their abuse compensated.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
07 Oct 2004
> Nader who is being bankrolled by the
> Republicans and extreme right wing...

The D's Big Lie. Which will be revealed since it's a matter of public record. If the R's were giving Nader just 5% of all their money he'd be rolling in TV ads and all the rest.

> Supporting Nader is the same as voting against
> Kerry, which is the same as voting for Bush.

When you buy milk; you buy MILK and not BREAD.
You are not FOR or AGAINST BREAD...
You are FOR MILK.

in other words, a vote for Nader is another vote lost by the D's.

Of course a vote for Kerry is just a vote for Bush's agenda, but that's another topic.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
07 Oct 2004


This to my knowledge (and according to the campaign website) is untrue. In Aug. Nader/Camejo submitted well over the 10,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot.
Clarification on MA ballotts
07 Oct 2004
I checked with Nader's office on the issue of whether they made it or not in the Massachusetts ballot. Even though his campaign submitted well over the 10,000 valid signatures required by Massachusetts many were marked null because of invalid addresses and such.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
07 Oct 2004
I believe they were something like 49 validated signatures short...
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
08 Oct 2004
Not surprisingly, the "E" word has yet to come up in either the so-called presidential or vice-presidential "debates". One might think that the affairs of humanity do not take place on planet Earth for the lack of reference to the source of our very existence. This is not only true for the recreant Repugnicans & Dems, but for some of the "3rd party" candidates as well.

Of course, we expect that kind of omission, lack of awareness and respect for the Earth from King George and his gang of planet raping thugs and greedheads; after all, most of them supposedly have their gaze raised toward Heaven where the Earth is of little consequence, right?. However, given that the Dems actually HAVE a better record on the environment, you could not be faulted for wondering just why the fuck they hardly mention that!

It's not like high-profile Dems and liberals haven't made major statements on the Bush regime's sorry-ass record on the environment. JFK,Jr.'s "Crimes Against Nature" makes it crystal clear just how very dangerous King George and his corporate boosters really are for the future of the planet and all who live upon it. Can you get much more Democratic than a Kennedy? But checkout the paltry nod given to the planet in the Democratic platform. Maybe that's why John Kerry actually used the word "Kyoto" as he wiped up the floor with Bush during their first encounter. But, a mention is hardly much of a statement for what is the most long-reaching issue to face any of us anywhere on the face of the Earth. Stay tuned tomorrow night to see where the Dem Machine goes with this.

It gets worse though. Given that the Bush regime has THE worst environmental record of ANY administration in the history of the United States, and that at least the Dems have a track record (albeit rather corporate-friendly) of protecting the Earth, why won't the allegedly green Nader candidates mention that? Nader's running mate, Peter Camejo, was just heard on Democracy Now! saying that any difference between the Repugs and the Dems is a "complete illusion" and that there's "nothing that Bush has done that the Democrats didn't support". Sounds like spin to these ears! What's this guy thinking: that he can scrounge a few more votes by lying through his teeth just like the other guys?? There goes my asshole meter! Camejo buried the needle.

True confessions time: this observer actively worked for the Green Party and Ralph Nader during the 2000 campaign doing street theater ("The Marriage of Gush & Bore"). At the time, I foolishly thought that if Bush actually DID win (which he didn't), then the people might become galvanized, turn-off the television, get up off their comfort creature butts, and actually get into the streets. When the illegal invasion of Iraq went down, they really did that, but in the meantime the enemies of the Earth wrecked havoc all around them. I knew Gore's enviro record was way better than Bush, but I blew that off. My very own "miscalculation". Sorry, Mother Earth, I knew not what I did.

Shall we make the same mistake twice?.......not on your life. But Nader and Camejo seem oblivious to this critical aspect of the dire circumstances we now face. They're saying there's no difference between TweedleDee and TweedleDum, when there really is, at least as far as the planet is concerned. That omission is bullshit and, frankly, there's enough bullshit flying around already. Why are Nader and Camejo playing the very game they bash the duopoly for playing? Aren't we supposed to expect more from them? Apparently not. Save the planet, hold your nose and vote Dem, then get in the Dems' collective face in 2005.

Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion(but where's the party???)
08 Oct 2004
I would like to be able to take this guy more seriously but unfortunately the hard work of party building seems to not be included in his "campaign". If he is such a supporter of third parties why not put his efforts, time, and money where his mouth is every four years. Self promotion meets universal health care? Why can't white knights be more white?
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
10 Oct 2004
Of course, everyone has the right to "exercise" their right of voting for a 3rd Party Presidential candidate but everyone also have the "right" to kill him/herself too. It's not the most intelligent solution to your problem, but you are still "free" to do it.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
13 Oct 2004
Voting for a 3rd Party Candidate doesn't kill your "self." It kills the Democrats' sense of self. It is a noble cause.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
14 Oct 2004
Is it worth risking Bush for another term to support the multi-party movement? Should we be looking at the next four years or at the long term effect of supporting the third party or supporting the lesser of two evils? I have not yet answered these questions.
Re: Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
18 Oct 2004
I think its worth risking, even enduring Bush to punish the Democrats, and force them to splinter or reform. We can take it. We have had Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton following thru on the Haiti policy, bonehead after bonehead. We can endure this bonehead for for more years if it means hurting those who are closest to us but least responsive.

The Democrats are useless as a party untill they have been stripped of their smugness, and horsewhipped into taking a progressive radical centrist, nationalist, and pro environment and technology policy -- until they can come up with today's Teddy Roosevelt.