posted at votenader.org
Contact: Marc Abizeid, 831-818-7736, firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the Nader campaign’s Get Out The Vote college speaking tour, Ashley Sanders, youth spokesperson, will be traveling around the country speaking to college audiences on the differences between Ralph Nader’s platforms and the platforms of the two major-party candidates. She’s introduced Mr. Nader at several events including the Open Debates Rally outside the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
The young, articulate Sanders recently authored a piece urging youth to read past the cliche slogans and empty rhetoric spouted by the Republican and Democratic candidates, and take a critical look at what a McCain or Obama presidency would mean for their futures.
Sanders argues that the national media is politically bigoted, refusing to cover Nader even though he represents the opinions of most Americans. “10 million Americans currently support the Nader campaign, but millions more don’t even know he is running. This is the fault of an exclusive, corporate-dominated media,” she said.
Sanders calls on college media to make up for the faults of the national media, and urges them to inform the critical college bloc about their options this election.
The campaign also invites college newspapers to publish Sanders’ article. Call 831-818-7736 with questions or to schedule an interview with Sanders.
Rock the Vote by Rocking the Boat: A Case for Ralph Nader
By Ashley Sanders
With less than two months before the election, Republicans and Democrats are driving it home: this is the election of the century.
And they’re right: there is a lot at stake this year. This could be the year we change the lives of 47 million Americans by providing them with decent health care and millions more with a living wage. It could be the year that we listen to 68 percent of Americans and 84 percent of Iraqis and withdraw occupying forces. It could be the year that we cut the near-trillion dollar defense budget, repeal NAFTA, revoke the Patriot Act and the illegal wiretapping FISA bill, build a green energy infrastructure, discipline runaway corporations, and reign in the manic speculation driving the current food and housing crises.
That is Ralph Nader’s plan, anyway — to offer Americans what the polls show they want.
So, while McCain sings about bombing Iran and Obama uses rhetoric about ‘smart’ and ‘dumb’ wars to stay in dumb wars and start new ‘smart’ ones, Nader stands for strongly negotiated peace in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. While Obama dismisses his earlier commitments to fair trade as “overheated,” Nader would replace NAFTA with uniform environmental and labor standards. And while McCain chants “drill, baby, drill” and Obama prepares to replace Big Oil with Big Corn or Big Nukes, Nader calls for a renewable infrastructure.
But the Democrats tell us that we cannot vote for Nader because there is too much at stake this year. After eight years of Bush, the argument goes, we cannot afford another Republican. We must rally behind the change party. And for the most part, students are buying it. Emphatically anybody-but-Bush and unfamiliar with the Democrats’ duplicity, these students mistakenly believe that ousting the current administration will exorcise the demons of war, jingoism and economic imperialism they represent.
History, unfortunately, tells a different story.
In 1992, Clinton ran an uncannily ‘Obamaesque’ campaign, branding himself as a change candidate and peddling a vague but comforting populism. Convinced, progressives rallied behind him. Clinton won, but progressives lost. Wage disparities between CEOs and workers ballooned from 113 – 1 in 1991 to 449 – 1 in ten years. Clinton pushed NAFTA, costing 525,000 US jobs and devastating Mexican farmers. And, as a flourish on the way out, Clinton repealed the Glass Steagall Act, allowing the mergers of banks and investment companies that are at the heart of our current financial crisis. In short, progressives got eight years of soft imperialism and a corporate dream economy that Clinton admitted “helped the bond market and hurt the people who voted us in.” But that’s not all. Progressives fell for the same stuff in 2000 and then again in 2004, when anti-war Democrats voted in droves for a candidate who had no intention to end the war — who, rather, believed Bush was doing “too little” in the war on terror — and lost both the election and the muscle of the peace movement.
It seems that pretty words do not make pretty presidents. Advisers and financiers are the best indicators of the tone and direction of a future presidency, and Obama’s are sending clear signals that things will be business as usual after election day.
Bewilderingly, Obama plans to solve the nation’s problems by recycling the architects of its moral and economic decline: Madeleine Albright, advocate of unilateral aggression against Iraq, who said that US sanctions which killed 500,000 Iraqi children were Â”worth it”; Warren Christopher, who refused to use the word genocide during the Rwanda crisis because the US had no “strategic interests” there; Lee Hamilton, who stopped the Iran Contra investigation before it could lead to the impeachment of Reagan; Robert Gates, Saddam Hussein’s chief weapons supplier and author of violent intervention schemes in Libya and Nicaragua; and Jason Furman, who favors decreasing corporate taxes, partial privatization of Social Security and the so-called Wal-Mart model of ‘prosperity.’
Unlike average Americans, corporations don’t have to hope for change. They can buy it, as long as the public remains too distracted by false promises to demand the real stuff.
But we don’t have to simply hope for change, either. If we did nothing more than vote our own interests, we could win.
Will we vote in our interests, or will we refuse the easiest revolution — the ballot box — because we don’t know if others will join us?
Change has never been certain; it has always been a fight. We can start now, or we can defer yet again, but the difference will be the difference between real change and the chump change we’ll get from selling the movement to buy the machine.