Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact: muslimfornader@yahoo.com

Monday, September 06, 2004

No Difference on Labor Day 2004

Labor Day



Today (September 6th) is labor day, and much of organized labor is behind Kerry and the Democratic Party. Let’s take a brief look at the Democratic Party’s record towards working people, and then let’s see what the Nader/Camejo campaign has to offer as an alternative to the two corporate run parties.

More than any US president, including Reagan, it was the Democrat, Clinton who successfully dismantled the American safety net that had served millions of workers and poor people.

As Alexander Cockburn points out in the new book A Dime’s worth of difference - beyond lesser of two evilism -

Clinton’s welfare deform included:

      “family caps,” a punishment for women who dared to have more than the approved number of children the government would help support... a denial of federal services to legal immigrants, and a major cut in the food stamps program.

      The message was to “find a job” - the curtailing of welfare by Clinton was designed to depress wages of working people:

      “Nationally the average benefit for a workfare job is $381 per month, that works out to $4.40 an hour ... in Mississippi this averages is at $1.81 an hour!

      In the 2000 campaign Gore had promised more of the same - pushing for something called “Welfare Reform 2.”


    Bush, so far, while not doing anything for working, and poor people - has not made any drastic changes, he doesn't need to -there isn't much left to dismantle after Clinton. The budgetary problems at the state level has more to do with the virtual paper wealth tech boom that went bust. And, at the federal level, it has to do with the wars and conflict that Bush and his coconspirators in Congress (blessings of both Repub.. and Demos.) have been all gung ho about.

    There are now 45 million without health care insurance including 8.5 million children with no health care. The Kerry plan would further subsidize health insurance corporations by partially paying the insurance cost of businesses. The plan would barely address the uninsured working and poor people, supposedly the plan would reduce insurance rates by $1000, but rates have gone up by $2600 in the past three years! So where does that leave you and me - i suppose somewhere about two years in the past. Bush, predictably, also has a non-plan.

    Kerry, aside from amassing over $187 million, is pandering to big-business, he boldly announced at a $25,000 a plate breakfast fundraiser, that he is not a “redistributionist Democrat” - he publicly distanced himself from the “mistakes of the Democratic Party of 20, 25 years ago.” ("Kerry Plans Effort to Show He Is a Centrist," New York Times, April 16, 2004.)

    In other words, big corporations need not worry - Kerry will stay the course of keeping the Democratic Party a big-business party, and considers the period when the Democrats were more of a liberal/pro-working people’s party a “mistake.” (!)

    But having said all that, I don’t fault Kerry or the Democratic Party for straying from the course, they have no incentive to focus on issues of concern to a majority of Americans. The big labor unions, along with women’s groups such as NOW, and other so-called “liberal” groups have delivered the Demo. Party endorsements year after year - with practically zero accountability. These groups endorse Democrats regardless of their positions, and have become more of a front group for the party’s machinery.

    The result is all too clear: unions are quickly becoming irrelevant, a bare 12.9% of the workforce belong to unions. These jobs have become prize jobs - with strong health care, and wages 15% higher than nonunion. But along with their free endorsements of Democrats, they’ve also given away their bargaining power, and now have little representation at the local, state, and national levels. Rumblings such as those by the SEIU leader, Andrew Stern questioning this course are quickly quashed. Oh, Kerry has promised an increase of the minimum wage to $7 sometime in 2007!

    The Nader/Camejo platform while calling for a restoration of the social safety net, has put forth a comprehensive plan.

    Summarizing, the platform calls for a Worker’s bill of rights <>, and a single-payer health care plan ...

    This approach is supported by Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP); the American Nurses Association; the U.S. Labor Party; the California Nurses Association; the National Association of Social Workers; the Associations of Physicians Assistants; and the National Association of Midwives, among others.

      But in order for any of this to happen - we must end the mentality that war and violence are the only methods available to resolve conflicts. A comprehensive plan put forward to end the war and occupation can be viewed here.

      The nay sayers who read this election blog will predictably say “Nader can’t win” - well, perhaps not, but if we were to bury ourselves in such a mentality, we’d probably still have slavery in the United States. As Noam Chomsky has said: "If you assume that there's no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, there's a chance you may contribute to making a better world. That's your choice.” (Perhaps Chomsky needs to listen to himself sometimes :-))

      We are talking about electoral politics, if you give away your vote without getting anything in return - you can guarantee that the politicians will have no reason to listen to you - none whatsoever. And the result of this giving away of the progressive vote to militaristic politicians is all too clear - the narrow choice is between “trust me” Bush and “I’ll be stronger and even better” Kerry.

      But there is another choice - to make your voice heard loud and clear - millions of votes for Nader/Camejo will send a strong antiwar, pro-peace message to whoever gets into the White House, and to the world:

      America has had enough of the elites leading us down the road of war and conflict, and we’re ready for a just and peaceful future for ourselves, for our country, and for our planet.