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Don't blame Ralph

by Bruce Shapiro @ Solon.Com Tuesday, Nov. 07, 2000 at 9:34 PM

If Gore fails, that failure will belong to him and the Democrats -- not to Nader or his supporters. (A few excerpts from an excellent article that should be read in full.) "What Nader has done...is give voters permission to articulate two words never uttered during the three televised presidential debates: corporate globalization."

....

I am a skeptic about Nader's presidential run, largely because of the stakes of the federal courts, and

I doubt I will vote for him.

But in a campaign between two such midgets of history as Gore and Bish, the venom of attacks on Nader -- an American hero, someone who has made a career of speaking truth to power -- is nothing but a symptom of everything wrong with the Democrats, and why Gore's campaign seems locked in a downward spiral to disaster.

....

What startled me was that half the people who leapt to their feet to cheer Nader told me they had no intention of voting for him.

So why were they there? "This isn't really about the election, about Gore vs. Nader or Democrats vs. Greens," said one young woman. "I may vote for Gore, but Nader speaks for me anyway."

"Nader speaks for me anyway." Can you honestly imagine any Democrat anywhere feeling such an affinity for Gore -- or, for that matter, any Republican for Bush?

....

What Nader has done -- and he has done this already, regardless of whether a single voter pulls the lever for him -- is give voters permission to articulate two words never uttered during the three televised presidential debates: corporate globalization.

Globalization is the elephant in the room of American politics, the unavoidable subject everyone turns away from in embarrassed silence. This elephant in the room is why Nader's campaign has been the only source of energy and wild-card unpredictability in an election otherwise marked by fatalism on all sides.

....

The large crowds drawn to Nader in battleground states like Michigan are struggling to balance pragmatism and protest.... like that woman in New Haven, they are drawn to Nader as a way to participate, on a small scale and locally, in the arc of anti-corporate demonstrations extending from Seattle to Prague.

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