Nader Grandstanding: It did nothing but help Bush
Wed Nov 8 09:20:12 CST 2000
Looking at the returns it is pretty clear that in many close states Nader's
votes significantly effected the outcome. It did nothing to get Nader his
5% either. Hmmmm.
FOr all that voted your "conscience" let me posit what the Green strategy
might be for a campaign and message that is meaningful.
1.) I agree that Gorebush is the same problem. However, the tone and tenor
of public discourse is significantly influenced from the top, and I think
that Gore would represent a more inclusive message, even if the policy is
not as progressive as Naderites would want. Bush, if he is elected and it
is most probable, won with a wave of white guys. He had white male voters
as his base, and the percentages of males voting for Bush are staggering and
telling. It IS a backlash.
2.) What then of the greens? Do we simply write off the presidency to
corporate puppets? In the short term, yes. I think the real strength of
green politics is the commitment to act locally, not to register meaningless
electoral protest at the national level when there is no hope of really
getting elected or being able to represent a message that brings in voters
and creates understanding of what Greens are about. The clear strategy for
Green's is to WIN local elections. If the Greens were to focus on a
governorship in one of the pacific northwest states where they have the
highest level of support, then a good showing or victory there would lend
the party national credibility. If you are thinking they could never win a
governorship, then how in the hell do you expect them to win the presidency?
3.) Green is a long term strategy. It will take much time for Green
politics to permeate a culture that is used to two parties, and thinks
environementalism is a threat. Registering a protest vote doesn't advance
the cause, it just shows a really small percentage of people are extremists
when viewed by the mainstream. Focusing on national politics abandons the
real green movment of community building and making a difference in local
communities. I really had the impression Nader liked the spotlight, and was
supported by a grandstanding base that liked to rage agaisnt the machine,
but hadn't really committed to real change, only hip protest and judgement
of those who attempted pragmatism on behalf of a small number of issues that
the tone and tenor of the president can influence.
4.) Lets build the Greens, not attempt to nationally "brand" or market them
as an electoral symbol. How many who voted for Nader went straight Green
ticket? Worked on local Green campaigns? Green is grassroots movement, not
a grab for national power and fleeting fame.
Those who vote only to register a protest undoubtedly will get many more
reasons to do so. Happy oil drilling in Alaska!
Dark, cold, and gloomy in Missouri, and thats just the weather
p.s. at least the Democrat machine in Missouri managed to elect a dead guy
Steve Woods, PhD
Assistant Professor Communication, Director of Debate
William Jewell College,Liberty, MO 64068
816.781.7700 x. 5478
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