The Democrats, now that Gore lost both the electoral count and the far more important Supreme Court election, have decided that he didn't actually lose the election but, rather, that Nader gave the election to Bush. As sad as that claim makes the Democratic Party and Gore appear in the eyes of the world and in those few minds still open to reality, it may yet pay some dividends should the Dems honestly take a look at what happened in 2000.
First, as has been said over and over, those millions of voters who cast their ballots for Nader were, in no way, making any statement other than they believed that Ralph Nader was the best candidate available and his policies were the closest to their own political views. I know of not one voter who cast their ballot for Nader in order to "make a statement" against either of the twins.
Instead, Nader received millions of votes for the simple reason that he offered a future rich with compassion (the real kind) and fairness. He received those votes because his supporters are disgusted with the abnormal love affair that is carried on publicly between both of the parties and their owners in Corporate America. Ralph Nader was a force in the 2000 presidential election simply by virtue of being the only candidate that put forth a platform that was pro-America, pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-children.
He didn't need to have the conservative media taking his picture reading to a bunch of children who were manipulated in the vilest way by the twins. He didn't need that because his support for our children has been proven over and over throughout his life while the twins needed to appear as if they gave a damn about kids in order to appear pro-family.
Ralph Nader didn't need to give speeches in factories and offices in an attempt to trick the American workers into thinking he gives a damn about them simply because his life has been spent fighting for the rights of workers over the "rights" of Corporate America.
Ralph Nader didn't need to create out of whole cloth a vaporous "Patient's Bill of Rights" that kept the power in the dirty little hands of Corporate America because he has fought for years for a universal health plan that is governed by the physician's opinions rather than the stock holder's greed.
Ralph Nader didn't need to appear as if he is pro-American because any ten minutes out of his life would prove to be far more beneficial to America than the entire lifetimes of the twins, combined.
In fact, Ralph Nader didn't need to prove himself at all. Every time he visited a city and spoke to the crowds, the crowds happily paid to see and hear him. Every time the twins went to any city, the crowds were usually bused in and even occasionally paid to pretend that they cared about the clown at the podium.
Now that Nader has proven that the Democrats have forsaken the progressive members of their party and has shown without doubt that these progressives will vote in support of their ideals and beliefs, the Democratic Party has some very deep thinking to do. Will they listen to the voice of the millions or are they so subservient to their masters in Corporate America that these lessons will fall on deaf ears?
What can the Democratic Party do to try to bring these millions of voters back into the fold? Well, there are some answers to that question but the implementation will be difficult and, for many of the conservative and ultra-conservative Democrats now in office, perhaps too difficult to accept.
First, the party must cease forever its obscene belief that moving past the center and into the right is acceptable. That area is reserved for the Nazis and the morons. No one who demands a progressive agenda wishes to brush elbows with the Buchanan's and the Bushes and the Quayles and the Reagans and the Pinochets and the Hitlers. The progressives demand far better and deserve far better.
Second, the party must rededicate itself to returning to its pro-worker and pro-family roots. As Clinton discovered when he signed the "fair trade" agreement with Jordan, it is possible to include within treaties enforceable labor and environmental clauses instead of being separately negotiated as easily ignored "side agreements". If the party begins forcing all trade agreements such the WTO and GATT and NAFTA to be reopened in order to renegotiate stronger and enforceable clauses to protect workers around the world as well as to protect the environment, they will be taking some clear, progressive actions.
Third, the party must stand tall and introduce formidable campaign financing legislation to remove, once and for all, even the appearance that the power of money trumps the power of the American voter. Extreme criminal penalties must be enacted and enforced in order that any person who breaks these laws will not receive some minor slap on the hand but will be placed for a long time into the same prisons that the party is so in love with these days.
Fourth, the Democratic Party must create legislation that provides criminal penalties for the executives who allow pollution to be introduced into the environment with the strongest penalties being reserved for those executives whose companies are responsible for the injury or death of any human beings. The party must show that they, as opposed to the Republican Party, stand in defense of the American people and against any corporate efforts to place profits before the health of people and the environment.
Lastly, the Democratic Party must proclaim that its allegiance is, forever more, to the American people. Once that proclamation has been established, the party must prove itself worthy of our trust and support. As is the case whenever a segment of the population has become appalled by the lie of their leaders, that trust will have to earned and not expected. The American progressives will never again lightly offer their support for the lies and half truths that pass for intelligent debate in America.
If the Democratic Party cannot bring itself to wash its soul clean of the Republican filth in which it now so happily wallows, then the next election will prove that the honesty and decency and intelligence of an American like Ralph Nader will continue to amass millions upon millions of votes until the Democratic party goes the way of the Whigs and the Bull Moose Party and the Federalists and all of the other political parties that simply became irrelevant to America's needs.
Gentle readers, Ralph Nader is but a man. His support came, not because the voters saw him as a messiah or something bigger than life but, rather, because his message and his honesty rang true with the millions who shared his belief that America must stand for something besides Corporate America and waste and greed and hate and all of the evils that own both of the major parties in America today. His support came from those of us who know that Reagan's "Morning in America" was just another way to say that the Nazis had arrived and who forever more will refuse to fall for an empty headed actor in a padded suit. We want America to stand for the decency and compassion that is completely unknown to the major parties and their candidates. We want, quite simply, a far better world than either of the parties can ever bestow upon us in their present sick conditions.
Can the Democratic Party cleanse itself? Can they ever again represent anything but the second worse option on election day? Frankly, I doubt it, but the optimist within wants to believe otherwise. With clowns like Gore "leading" the party ever downward, it will not prove painless, that's a certainty.
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