An Open Letter Endorsing the Candidacy of Ralph Nader
by Jello Biafra, reprinted with permission of Alternative Tentacles Records
I am no longer a candidate for president of the United States. But it looks like I may become more involved in the race than ever. At the Green Party convention in Denver, we nominated Ralph Nader for president and kick-ass Native American activist and author Winona LaDuke for Vice President. I endorse them. Our job now is to build support and get out the vote for Nader/LaDuke, the Green Party, and local Green and progressive candidates -- and let's not forget ballot initiatives.
I think everyone left the convention fired up and ready to rock. The Green Party is the electoral outlet for the same energy and rising anti-corporate action that shook the WTO in Seattle and the IMF and World Bank last April. Something much bigger is building. Not since people came together over Vietnam, Civil Rights, and the environment has outrage at Business as Usual¨ been so deep and so widespread.
So as I've said so many times before: Don't hate the Media, Become the Media. The DIY/punk underground way of doing things will come in handy here. If you're into it, here's some ideas: Nader/Green and/or voter registration tables at concerts, on campus, etc. are a guaranteed Field of Dreams--build it and they will come. If there's no stickers, buttons, or posters around, people can make their own. For any bands out there who want to help I suggest going ahead with a show rather than waiting for an official nod from Nader's people or the Greens. And don't forget petitions! Please contact your local Green or Nader representative.
Gore and Bush are so repulsive and uninspiring that even their pet punditoids are predicting the lowest national election turnout in our history. This means the more of us that show up the better chance we have to make a real difference. Nader and crew are right that some McCain Republicans, Bradley Democrats and people who quit the Reform Party because of Pat Buchanan are concerned about a lot of the same things we are and can be reached. Then there are those prepared to vote for Gore out of fear he is the lesser of two evils. For crying out loud! Why waste your vote when you know in advance you are going to get screwed?
As Manning Marable put it at the convention, what is more outrageous? Bush executing a black man who was quite possibly innocent, or Gore saying nothing about it? Like Bush, Gore is pro-WTO, pro-Drug War, pro-death penalty, pro-military waste (can you believe both big parties are colluding together to revive Reagan's Star Wars? This scares me more than North Korea or rag tag terrorists could ever hope to)--and wait 'til you meet his wife. Yes, after a 10-year makeover Tipper is just as hostile to our music and culture as she ever was.
It felt ironic to be meeting with Nader's staff on youth outreach when I'm 42 years old. But this seems to be an area where I can help. Other suggestions are welcome (firstname.lastname@example.org). I can try to relay the best ones.
I will likely be at both the Democratic and Republican conventions on behalf of Free Speech TV (http://www.freespeech.org). Anyone coming to these non-events is invited to bring your stuff and join the Camcorder Truth Jihad to get the real story out on what's happening outside their anti-democracy schmooze-fests.
What may be more interesting are the televised presidential debates. There is talk of mass demonstrations outside the venues unless Nader and the Greens are allowed in. Remember Madeline Albright and Ohio State? I'm told the Gore camp is vehemently opposed to Nader but would consider allowing Buchanan in. Supposedly King George II favors the opposite. Each hides behind the excuse that the debates' corporate sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, has the final say. Is it time for some boycott letters?
Even if we don't "win" we can widen the base of the pyramid for next time. All Nader needs is 5% of the vote, and the Greens get matching funds in 2004. Imagine what could happen if people like us got to design the campaign ads. Not to mention the effect on the next state and local elections.
It took a long time, but against overwhelming odds, we the American people stopped the Vietnam War. Fighting the agenda of the Corporate World Order is at least as tough and important. The pot is already simmering, so why not use this election as one of the tools?
Don't Give Up,
For more information, please contact: http://www.votenader.org, email@example.com, http://www.greenparty.org, ResourceCenter@greens.org, http://www.freespeech.org, http://www.alternativetentacles.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.