By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Cornel West, professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy of Religion at Harvard University and author of Restoring Hope: Conversations on the Future of Black AmericaI supported my dear friend and brother Bill Bradley, as did Paul Wellstone, and we had a good time. I love him dearly. But I am an independent. And I’m a free black man; I speak my mind and heart and soul. And that’s why I’m for brother Ralph Nader. Not because he’s a perfect candidate — no candidate is perfect. But for me on personal grounds, I reached a point where working people and poor people are so disregarded and disrespected by a corporate-dominated Democratic Party that you have to begin a new cycle somewhere with somebody. And this broadens the discourse and broadens the engagement. And maybe we can see a little leftward leaning in the Dem ocratic Party. We shall see. We shall see.
(Cornel West’s remarks are reprinted with his permission from a speech at the Shadow Convention in Los Angeles last August.)
The central conflict in America today is between the people and the powerful — that’s what Al Gore said at the Democratic National Convention. He’s right — but in his entire career, he’s never taken a stand against the powerful. Fortunately, there is one candidate who’s been fighting undemocratic corporate power for the last 30 years: Ralph Nader. Al Gore seems to want to forget the last eight years, but we shouldn’t. Clinton, Gore and Lieberman led the move away from the party’s traditional (if limited) social concerns to embrace policies that previously had been the Republicans’. The lowest point in the Clinton-Gore years came with what they called “welfare reform.” With that, Clinton and Gore did more to hurt poor women and their children than any Republican administration ever did. This is the lasting legacy of Gore’s years as vice president. But isn’t Gore better than Bush? Yes. And isn’t a vote for Nader really a vote for Bush? The race is close in only six or seven key states, and fortunate ly for us, California isn’t one of them. In those states, progressives should vote for the lesser evil — recognizing that, while Gore may be less bad, he still represents an evil.
The Gore Supporters
Elena Ackel, senior attorney for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
I’m voting for Gore, because I don’t want Bush to be president. I’m not happy with Clinton, and I’m not ecstatic with Gore, but I don’t want to vote for Bush. I can’t take a chance. The most important thing for me, for people to get any semblance of justice, is to get good judges. The idea of who George Bush might appoint is scary. These people live a long time, and they’re on the bench for life. I’m an old woman. I don’t have time to wait for things to get better. I’m tired, and I don’t want anybody messing with Social Security and Medicare.
Marshall Berman, professor of political science at City University of New York, author of All That Is Solid Melts Into AirIt’s the Supreme Court, stupid.
Robert Borosage,co-director, Campaign for America’s Future, contributor to American Prospect I think people in contested states should vote for Gore, because there is a significant difference between the two candidates who have a chance to win. The Supreme Court has sensibly gotten a lot of attention. But another large difference is for the most vulnerable in the society, especially poor women and children. With a Gore presidency, the minimum wage goes up; with Bush, a minimum-wage increase gets vetoed. With a Gore presidency, more children get health insurance; with a Bush presidency, progress on health insurance is sacrificed to his tax cut. In a Gore presidency, more money goes to poor schools and classrooms. Bush doesn’t even claim to invest more in schools. In a Gore presidency, unions and progressive and environmental groups have the space to organize and push reforms; under a Bush presidency, all those groups come under attack and must fight one rear-guard battle after another. In places where there is no contested election, progressives are free to vote their hearts. But where it is contested, where the election is close, it is vital that they vote their heads, and that is to vote Gore. Having argued with progressives that they have to vote for Gore, I will take my own advice. Jan Breidenbach, executive director, Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing
Support is too strong a word. I will vote for Gore simply because a Bush presidency with a Republican Senate — and, God forbid, House — is unacceptable. I think Nader played an important role. I’m actually registered Green. But third parties are not mass movements, and elections do not offer true alternatives.
James Galbraith, professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin (and the person Nader has promised to name to replace Alan Greenspan as head of the Federal Reserve if he is elected)