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Thursday, February 28, 2008

I no longer support Nader

----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Cleland
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:48 PM
Subject: [GP-PCSC] I plan to support the Green Party nominee

Yes, I see that Nader will not be running as a Green:


"Nader also made it official that ‘we are not going to seek the Green Party nomination’ which ‘has four announced candidates -- very articulate candidates.’ Instead, it's likely they will run as independents and not affiliated officially with any currently existing third-party."

I bucked the party to support Nader in 2004. Not this time. I plan to support the Green Party nominee. I personally worked on making our delegate selection rules public so all candidates would feel like they had a fair chance at our nomination. We invited Nader to our forums, we invited his supporters to be observers on the PCSC, we made state web sites available, and we issued a statement of neutrality.

Some would have us believe that our party is thoroughly infiltrated by Demogreens. I’ve seen maybe a little smoke, but no fire. Sure, PCSC co-chair Greg Gerritt is pro-McKinney, but he is counterbalanced by PCSC co-chair Cat Woods, who is pro-Nader. Unless the Nader campaign or others cough up some independently verifiable evidence, I’m going to conclude that everything is fine with the GP.

I don’t think it’s too soon to start thinking strategically. I believe there is room to attack Nader from the left. I don’t think he has been very outspoken on Depleted Uranium or Instant Runoff Voting. Also, I think it’s fair to ask why he’s getting attention from the corporate media. Maybe they just think it’s a story that will boost ratings, or maybe there could be some other motivation.

Below is an email I just sent to family and friends of my cousin, who had written about Obama’s popularity overseas. I responded by forwarding the Nader email promoting the announcement on Meet the Press. After the usual vilification, I asked, "What have the Democrats done for you in the past 25 years?" When I said all five of their answers were based on fear, another cousin challenged me, so I wrote this:

The corporate parties know that fear is a powerful short-term motivator. The Republicans are afraid of the terrorists, and the Democrats are afraid of the Republicans. I have fears too. One fear is that we won’t adapt quickly enough to dwindling fuel supplies. You may have heard on the news that gas and food prices are going up. Heating will continue to get more expensive. Experts say that natural gas is rapidly running out. Think how powerless you feel when the car doesn’t start, the electricity goes out, or the ATM doesn’t dispense cash.

One possible solution would be to build homes and businesses closer together so we could walk to the doctor, dentist, train station, etc. To grow our own food locally so we don’t need fuel-powered tractors and transport. To build more underground earth homes, which never drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit no matter how cold it gets outside. To build more wind turbines to power our computers, and to install more solar panels, sparkling in the daylight. Since there’s so much we’re against, sometimes people ask us what we’re for. It may sound silly, but I would say a Shining Ecovillage on a Hill. Our hopes are the key to addressing our fears.

It seems the corporate parties want to force a bleak worldview on us, and it spreads like a bad contagion. They can’t deliver on our vision because the profit motive scatters development and reacts to problems rather than preventing them. As a species, I wonder if we will evolve in time. Maybe the corporate parties will steal some of our ideas, but they’ll probably find a way to benefit the rich few along the way as they have in the past. Wouldn’t you rather have the real thing?

For the record, I am no longer supporting Ralph Nader because he announced today that he is not seeking the Green Party nomination. We have four GP candidates in the race, including Kat Swift, Jesse Johnson, and Kent Mesplay. Our front-runner is six-term U.S. Congressional Representative Cynthia McKinney from Georgia. I take my politics very seriously, I adapt to new information, and I base my opinion on fact, not on the opinions of others. I do care about not splitting the vote, but only outside the corporate parties. I care about building our party with local as well as national races, striving for gender and racial balance, and grooming strong, honest candidates for future elections.
You all know we’re better on the issues. Everybody loves us on the issues. Positive change in this country will start with a few brave people who do the right thing and help us get our 5 percent. They will be followed by people who see the 5 percent and believe in our plan, helping us to reach critical mass of say 15 percent. Once critical mass is reached, there will be no reason to return to the corporate parties, ever again, and we can finally complete in earnest the American Revolution, passing Instant Runoff Voting and passing 100% public financing of campaigns.

Fear may be a more powerful short-term motivator, but pleasure is a more powerful long-term motivator. Our hopes are the key to addressing our fears. Please visit gp.org.

Tom Cleland
Golden Valley, MN

"Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live...at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom?"


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