I'm not voting for Ralph Nader in order NOT to vote for Bush or Gore. That would be a waste of a vote, and I wouldn't even bother voting if that were the case.
I think that Nader, unlike Bush and Gore, is more interested in people. He takes an interest in the "lower" classes, as KROC put it. And he's a stand against polluting the environment. Yeah, I do agree with socialised healthcare and education. So shoot me. Some of the best schools and universities in Europe are government-funded, and their education system seems to be quite a cut above what we have in the US. And healthcare here is ridiculous - any lowering of cost would be an improvement.
This article I read awhile ago somewhat struck me and made alot of sense. Check it out:
Here's why I'm voting for Nader
By Alex Beam, Globe Columnist, 10/3/2000
Ralph Nader certainly has the Crank Columnist vote sewn up.
The first major media crank to pin his colors to ''the people's superhero,'' as Green Party propaganda calls its presidential standard-bearer, was the Harper's editor, Lewis Lapham.
That cranky scribe, who also writes a front-of-the-magazine column, plumped for Nader in an argumentative cover story last month, assailing many of his (and Nader's) favorite targets. Among them: The New York Times, which has condemned Nader as a ''spoiler,'' and corporate lackeys Al Gore and George Bush, etc.
Next up, with a rose-scented, pro-Nader bouquet, was the New York Observer's quixotic (read: muddled) Nicholas von Hoffman, who pointed out that Nader has had about 10 times greater impact on the body politic than have Gore and Bush combined.
He's right, of course. When General Motors was assigning private investigators to dig up dirt on the nettlesome Nader, Al Gore was still sporting a St. Albans blazer, and George W. hadn't even been tapped for Skull and Bones.
I was quite interested in the Nader candidacy, and possibly even in voting for him. You have to admire a man who gives an interview to NBC's ''Today'' show, and who then walks across the street to criticize NBC's corporate parent, General Electric, for polluting the Hudson River.
But I knew one thing would turn me off immediately: actual contact with Nader and the Greens. My idea of a Green is the late Petra Kelly, the GI's daughter who mobilized West Germany - back when there was a West Germany - to within an inch of kicking US nuclear missiles out of central Europe. Aside from a shared disdain for Bush and Gore, I couldn't imagine any issues where the Greens and I could find common ground.
It would be too much to say that the Nader rally at the new Boston Garden - and Nader calls it the Garden, bless his soul - was a revelation, because I am past the stage of political revelation. I am, after all, the one who wrote, bitterly but accurately, that ''I don't believe that I will ever live in a country that elects Bill Bradley president.'' But it didn't turn me off to Nader, nor to his running mate, Winona LaDuke. Quite the opposite.
What's not to like? The Greens didn't allow Ticketmaster to sell their tickets. Great! Is there a more hated monopoly in America than Ticketmaster? I don't think so. MasterCard is suing the Nader campaign for an amusing parody of the company's treacly ''priceless'' ads. Here's Nader's: ''Grilled tenderloin for fund-raiser, $1,000 a plate; promises to special interest groups, over $10 billion; finding out the truth, priceless.''
Not hard to figure out whose side I'm on there. Nader said it was time to ''get the Boston Red Sox off of corporate welfare,'' and he even got quite a cheer when he condemned The New York Times's takeover of the Globe.
Yes, there's tons of silliness attached to the Nader candidacy. LaDuke, an engaging speaker who possesses the spectral beauty of the 46-year-old Joan Baez, kept nattering on about hemp. The Nader presidency, she promised, would use only recycled paper made from hemp, ''the crop of the future.''
Okaaaaaaaay. Am I uncomfortable voting for someone endorsed by Phil Donahue and Pearl Jam, who secretly wants to turn our country into Canada, or - good God! - Sweden?
Doubts? You bet I have doubts, to quote Thomas Merton when asked if he had second thoughts about becoming a Trappist monk.
But why reward political mendacity? How dare Al Gore casually abandon his one nominal ''principle'' - concern for the environment, and for wise energy policies - to suck up to the SUV-driving suburbanites? As for George Bush, what can you say? Nice fellow and all, but maybe he could be president of some other country, like ... Fredonia.
Who cares if Ralph Nader can't win the presidency? Voting in Massachusetts is an act of faith, not of civic commitment. We already live in a one-party state. Let's not make it a one-party country.
Alex Beam's e-dress is [email protected]