short story
gore or nader
love or fear
shrink the world
fantasy art






For a few months, I have been hemming and hawing about which candidate to vote for: Gore or Nader (of course I'm not voting Bush, I don't know why anyone would unless they are making at least $100,000 a year, because those are the only people who benefit from corporate Republicans like Bush...) For years I would vote Democrat in the elections, but most especially in the Presidential elections, because I was afraid of putting more Republicans into office (see my letter on voting out of fear)....Even though I knew my heart was with the Green Party and the Green Party platform. But this year, after so many Democrats have been doing everything just shy of death threats to anyone pro-Nader/pro-Green, I have taken a closer look...

I'm tired of Democrats and feminists trying to guilt trip others into voting Gore. He has an abominable reputation (and if you vote Gore because you are pro-Choice, just remember that Gore was pro-Life until a few years ago, where he switched because it's not politically viable to be a pro-Life Democrat...). If you vote Gore because you are worried that Bush is going to trash the environment, just remember that it was Gore who wrote The Earth in Balance, which was no more than a glorified press release. (Maybe Gore should read his own book, it would do the earth some good....) It is also the Gore/Clinton administration who sells out our forests - and old growth forests (and there is only 3% left of old growths, amazing what we can accomplish in just a mere 100 years...)...It is also the Clinton/Gore administration that is - right this very second - trying to repeal that act that environmentalists worked hard for a few years ago - remember dolphin-safe tuna? Well, Gore & Clinton don't want it to be dolphin-safe anymore...(Of course, even with the legislation it was never truly dolphin-free...) And Gore & Clinton fully support the WTO, which is going to completely decimate what little international regulations we have for the environment. Let all those whale-hunters go to town! Sell that endangered whale-meat! MMM, yum, yum....It doesn't matter if it throws the planet into whack, we like MONEY!!!!!

I was (very unhappily) part of a "feminist" mailing list who put a strangle-hold on anybody who spoke anything pro-Nader...To all feminists: just because Gore & the Democrats are trying to lead you on with the carrot of pro-choice, doesn't mean that he is for the betterment of women. As an essay in the Feminists for Nader site says:

Working-class feminists, poverty activists, or feminists who feel a loyalty to all women regardless of class, are being put in an invidious situation here; asked to ignore all other considerations, betray our loyalty to the working class and the poor, postpone all our concerns about peace, justice, and planetary survival, and vote the corporate ticket in order to preserve access to abortion for what looks more and more like a privileged few among us in either case. A larger privileged few with access to legal abortions, or a very tiny privileged few with access to top-dollar illegal ones; is this a difference that makes no difference? Or is the upholding of Roe essential, no matter how restricted the numbers of women actually able to exercise the legal right it protects? ...

Today, when the Democrats instruct women in how we should vote, the call is to narrow and specialize our feminist agenda to one issue, to make that our only cause. We are now being wooed as a single-issue special interest group, and the larger polity be damned.

But we have known for decades that feminism is by its nature not a "special interest" politics, but a consistent and inclusive political and ethical stance. Women come in all colours, so racism is a feminist issue. Women bear the greatest burden, suffer the most, in poverty and deprivation; so poverty is a feminist issue. Women are consistently underpaid, sexually harassed on the job, denied promotion, exploited; so labour rights are a feminist issue. Women suffer most in war-stricken countries; peace is a feminist issue. Women's reproductive systems are sensitive to persistent toxins; environmental degradation is a feminist issue. Women make less money than men, and are slipping into poverty faster than men; affordable health care and housing are feminist issues. Women are mothers, or at least all mothers are women; child care, child support, and quality of life for children are feminist issues.

There is hardly any social justice issue that does not bear directly upon women and therefore rightfully engage the attention of feminists. Even the corporate new world order, the malfeasance of the IMF and World Bank, the machinations of the WTO, all bear harder on women around the world; it is the women who are locked into the sweatshops, exploited in the brothels, exported as mail order brides. The prevailing GNP/GDP method of assessing and reporting national wealth and productivity erases women's work and women's worth; even the way governments do their book-keeping is a feminist issue. Feminists have been writing and campaigning and struggling on all these fronts for decades.

And on all these issues, the Democrats have failed and failed and failed again. They have refused to treat women and women's rights as anything but expendable and irrelevant, very low indeed on the priority list as compared to really important stuff like corporate profit and political gamesmanship. We are being asked to vote for people who have betrayed us time and time again. They got some nerve, these guys.

Anyway, what the Democrats are asking of - or demanding from - women voters today is to forget every feminist issue except Roe. If you vote for us, for the corporate establishment, they tell us - if you are good girls - we will not take Roe away. But you must not disobey your kindly masters by voting for that other guy. (You know, the guy who actually has something substantive and positive to say on all those other feminist issues, the guy who actually takes women seriously enough to share the rostrum with one... and by the way, who supports abortion rights as well.) If you disobey us, the not-so-kindly masters will get into power and then you'll really catch hell.

There are so many more great points. I urge you to visit Feminists for Nader/La Duke...or the site. They say it a lot better than I do.

Why do we want to vote Nader if he can't win?
Anyway, why do some people care, if we know that Nader can't win this time around? You may have heard, but the only way for the Green Party to receive matching funds and to be allowed in the Presidential debates is to receive 5% of the popular vote. That is why you need to vote Nader, even though he won't win this time.

Who really elects our presidents? Not you or me!
One other thing, the popular vote does NOT elect our next president. We still have a system in place (which is in the two-party system's interest, that's why it's never changed...) called the Electoral College, which elects our president. Basically, a few people are chosen in every state to be part of the Electoral College and it is THEY who choose our president. It is THEIR votes that count. They are NOT OBLIGATED in any way to vote according to how the people have voted. We've had a presidential election already, where the people voted one way and the Electoral College voted another. The popular vote was for Cleveland, but the Electoral College voted Harrison. So, who did the U.S. have for a president? Harrison. Your vote for Gore will not do as much as your vote for Nader, regardless.

As of Friday, November 3, 2000, polls have shown that of the 10 electoral colleges, 1 electoral college is split between Gore and Bush, 1 is pro-Gore and 8 are pro-Bush. (Hmmmm....who picks these electoral candidates anyway?) This election was as close as the election between Cleveland and Harrison, and we haven't had one this close for 40 years. A huge voter turn-out is expected, though, your vote for one of the 2 major parties doesn't do very much, since the Electoral College has already decided...But you can help a 3rd party become a major force in the years to come.

Just remember, a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.

© 1990 - 2003 Katharina Woodworth

fantasy art