Two-party votes are wasted votes

Tim Paluch

With disenfranchisement and political apathy likely to spawn low voter turnouts, the American public is growing more and more tired of the political process in the United States.

Our two “viable” choices, Gore and Dubya, are two moderates who betrayed their party’s ideologies to appeal to independents. Just when cries of “Screw it, I ain’t wasting my vote” and “They both suck” could be heard more frequently, a new player came upon the scene and is gaining supporters nationwide.

Wearing his cape of green, the “Corporate Avenger,” Ralph Nader entered politics destined to break the two-party monopoly.

Supporters of the Republicrats, and ignorant people with no real opinions other than what CNN and FoxNews tell them, say Mr. Nader is unqualified to be president. Others say a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. Still others say there IS a real difference between Dubya and Gore. I disagree with these statements.

With the first round of debates finished and the second tonight, the choice between Gore and Dubya is like choosing between a knee to the groin and a tire iron to the forehead.

Both support the death penalty. Both support corporate-managed trade like NAFTA and GATT that take away working-class jobs so companies can move to nations without workers’ rights laws.

Both support increasing military spending. Both are against universal health care. Both oppose a living wage and developing renewable energy forms to break our dependence on foreign oil.

There is no way these two daddy’s boys are the most qualified for the job. Bush couldn’t find France on a map of Europe, and Gore would tell you it is in Asia. Dumbass vs. Liar, you make the choice. I am going green.

Ralph Nader has devoted 40 years defending consumer rights and is the most successful consumer advocate of the last fifty years.

He was a big player in the safety laws passed in 1966 that forced automakers to make changes for safer vehicles. “Nader’s Raiders” have fought against insurance companies, world-poisoning global trade arrangements, corporate lobbyists and politicians who block safety-standards. They have devoted decades to consumer justice as well as government and corporate accountability.

Nader’s organizations are responsible for federal consumer protection laws such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and launching federal regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Consumer Product Safety Administration.

Nader has worked to recall millions of defective motor vehicles and created access to the government with the Freedom of Information Act of 1974.

Not quite as impressive as a governor of the most polluted state in the country with the worst health care or as qualified as the most successful, party betraying yes-man in the country, but I will vote green despite that. Nader has been out there for years fighting for me and you. He is determined to empower citizens to create a government that listens to citizens’ needs.

You have undoubtedly heard the efforts of the corporate media to show a distinction between Gore and Dubya, but there is none. Sure, Nader has a lot of new programs that will be more expensive than the other candidates, but the money is already there.

The United States spends more money on its military than education, health care and all other citizen programs combined. Our foreign policy is driven by greedy corporations to sell military hardware to the Defense Department as well as foreign dictators. Tens of thousands of troops are deployed in Europe defending prosperous nations capable of defending themselves against non-existent enemies. We need to stop creating useless weapons systems that drain money from civilian projects.

Cutting military spending by 20 percent will yield over $60 billion a year. Cutting it by 50 percent will yield over $150 billion for needed programs. Eliminating taxpayer-funded corporate subsidies will provide hundreds of billions of dollars for the government to fund universal health care, education and others.

So, those of you who want to tell yourself “A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush,” go right ahead. He doesn’t need your vote anyway.

Nader appeals to the millions of voters who have had enough of the lies, enough of the empty promises and enough of the dangerous convergence of corporate and government power. Nader wants to give power back to the little guy, the working class people this economy was founded on.

The last thing the disgustingly wealthy want is someone silencing their corporate influence, knocking them off their high horse, so you won’t hear much in the media they control.

A vote for Gore and a vote for Bush are the wasted votes, the votes that will bring us another four years of broken promises and quid-pro-quo corporate policies.

A vote for Nader is a vote for change and a vote for a renewal of democracy in a nation that needs it bad.