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

Saturday, September 18, 2004

A vote for Nader is a vote for democracy

Glenn Foltin
September 18, 2004
Star Tribune:

With Election Day still nearly two months away, I have made up my mind to waste my vote. Despite warnings against the folly of supporting a third-party candidate and admonitions that such support may help to elect someone I oppose, I intend to vote for Ralph Nader.

The reason for my decision could not be any simpler, or in my mind any more relevant: As a progressive, Nader is the candidate whose views are closest to my own. This reasoning may be criticized as impractical, but I am convinced that democracy functions best when voters choose candidates out of hope and principle rather than fear and resignation.

Although John Kerry's opponents have vociferously attacked him as a liberal, his record and rhetoric belie that label. Kerry voted to authorize military action in Iraq and has repeatedly reiterated his support for the war. He has even said that he would have supported military intervention if he had known that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction. Other notably antiprogressive Kerry votes include those he cast in favor of the USA Patriot Act and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

His stated plan for the future is no more encouraging. Even at his most optimistic Kerry speaks of continuing the occupation of Iraq for four more years. He has also suggested that, like President Bush, he would consider using military force preemptively.

Domestically, Kerry makes no mention of living-wage legislation and fails to support universal health care, but emphasizes his determination to lower corporate tax rates.

In contrast, Nader has steadfastly opposed the war and calls for a swift end to our military and corporate occupation of Iraq. He advocates the establishment of a living wage and a single-payer health care system that would insure all Americans. Nader also champions a repeal of the Patriot Act and is a proponent of meaningful campaign finance reform. These are vital issues for liberals, yet many on the left continue to believe that they must support any candidate the Democratic Party offers in order to defeat George W. Bush.

More and more as Election Day approaches, we will hear, "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush." Democrats will insist that now is not the time to stand on principle, that the stakes are too high to be distracted by idealism. They will call for unified opposition to the current president without regard for the policies of their candidate. But supporting Kerry simply because he is deemed electable and less odious than Bush only encourages the Democrats' abandonment of progressive principles.

Like smokers waiting for an easier time to quit, we may avoid short-term pain at the peril of encouraging a growing cancer. There is no easy time to stand up for one's beliefs, but there is no inappropriate time either. If we abandon hope and allow ourselves to be motivated by fear, then we are resigned to casting truly wasted votes: those surrendered to candidates we don't believe in.