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Gore's Connection to Occidental Petroleum
October 28, 2000 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Gore's Connection to Occidental Petroleum goes much deeper than an investment in a mutual fund. From the article: "...the Clinton Administration has been quietly helping the company--a generous donor to the Democrats in recent years--to win support in Colombia for its drilling plans."
posted by snakey (34 comments total)

 
I'd just like to say that this makes Nader's stake in Occidental pale by comparison. Let's not get so caught up in the Nader bashing that we forget Gore's evil past (or present, in this case.)
posted by snakey at 12:35 PM on October 28, 2000


Stay calm snake.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 1:20 PM on October 28, 2000


Hey cappy, I'm cool -- just waitin for the Gore people to come defend their man.

It's been a pretty long wait so far, tho. . .
posted by snakey at 1:33 PM on October 28, 2000


their silence speaks volumes...
that's why it's so important to spread the word about all of the many Gore hypocrisies...
posted by justkurt at 3:01 PM on October 28, 2000


I'm stunned-- finally the MeFi community denounces Gore's deceptive nature! Your short posts are a beacon of light on a dim horizon. Never forget that the truth will set you free.
posted by argus at 3:34 PM on October 28, 2000


That's right, the Evil That is Al Bore. I hear he eats babies for breakfast and tortures small animals in his spare time.
posted by dhartung at 7:55 PM on October 28, 2000


I'll chime in for Gore: First, it is standard operating procedure for the US government to intervene abroad on behalf of American corporations. This is not unusual behavior, whether or not I agree with it. There is no evidence to suggest that more or less of this lobbying has been done during the last eight years.

Second, I suspect the phrase "Traditionally a Republican firm" means that Occidental gives freely to whoever is in power. There is no information in the article confirming or denying this. [Side note: I spent several hours last night checking the online campaign funds databases trying to prove this. They are, as a rule, impossible to use, difficult to search, poorly organized and over-generalized. What I wanted was a list of corporate contributors to the national party organizations over the last ten years. What I got was vague sums on a per-industry basis and login windows for the fee-based portion of the sites. I'll keep trying.]

Third, owning shares in a company, particularly a lot of shares, is a great way to have a say in company management from the inside. I wonder how Al Gore, unlike Ralph Nader whose investment in Occidental is a non-voting situation, uses his stock-holding position within the company.

Fourth, "strangest of all, Occidental has never actually mined the land" by definition describes a mineral rights option in which, yes, one is paid by another party for the potential rights to mine one's land.

Fifth, though this appears in "The Nation," a stronghold of the American left, this article contains bias flags.

-- "Three children reportedly drowned ." Here we see perfectly flawed logic. Gore is friends with/has stock in Occidental which is trying to drill on indigenous lands and is supported by the Colombian military which violently shut down a protest that caused the drownings. Therefore, according to the story's internal logic, Gore caused three children to drown.

-- "Generous donor." Why not just "donor"?

-- "Has an easy line to key Energy Department staffers" is from an anonymous source. What is an "easy line"? Phone numbers in a Rolodex? Drop-by privileges? Also, why "key"? What makes them key ? Why not just "has a relationship with Energy department staffers" and then give us more than one name?

-- There is no source for the Hammer quote about him having Gore Sr. "in [his] back pocket." A quote of that volatility should be substantiated.

-- "Cozy" and "back-scratching" are flag word for fuzzy bias in any political article. Near rhetoric, even.

-- "Soft money" is now a politically loaded term. It should be replaced with "corporate campaign donation to the national committee," no matter how cumbersome the phrase.

There are more you can find on your own.

I should add in closing that, first, Al Gore Jr. is not Al Gore Sr. Gore Jr. should not be held accountable for his father's deals.

Second, this is the sort of article written by journalists who are themselves too close to the story. But what he has successfully done outside of any partisan framework is show in all its ugliness the slimy but legal activities of the US political system, in which government employees and lobby spokespeople swap loyalties and offices at will, in which corporate American uses the weight of party campaign donations to elicit political pressure for their own ends.

He has also, however, made normal political machinations sound similarly suspect. Where is the line between politics for good and politics for evil? Who will draw that line? There is no such thing as a saint in politics and I dare say even Ken Silversteins' flawed guilt-by-assocation logic proves that.

God forbid I should be held accountable for the corporate sins of the companies that my mutual funds invest in.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:59 AM on October 29, 2000


I should add: I like Gore. I want Gore to win the election. I think he's the best of an awful lot. (And three different political quizzes on the Internet have told me so).

But I don't agree with the oil drilling, the deracination of the Colombian groups, the fishy political manipulations, soft money, off-the-record lobbying (in which Freedom of Informaion Act requests have to be filed to find out the truth: this information should be made instantly available on a public database), the killing of children or the US government intervention on behalf of corporate interests.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:07 AM on October 29, 2000


A quick interlude, then we’ll get back to it.

An illustration from CNN:


I cannot stop laughing.


posted by capt.crackpipe at 2:08 AM on October 29, 2000


Occidental's investment in Gore has paid rich dividends. In late 1997 the Vice President championed the Administration's $3.65 billion sale to the company of the government's interest in the Elk Hills oilfield in Bakersfield, California, the largest privatization of federal property in US history. On the very day the deal was sealed Gore gave a speech lamenting the growing threat of global warming.

That's Al Gore in a nutshell. The gap between word and deed is breathtaking, it's no wonder he lost all his supporters in the environmental movement. As David Brower (88 year old founder of Friend of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute...) famously said in 1996: "President Clinton has done more to harm the environment and to weaken environmental regulations in three years than Presidents Bush and Reagan did in 12 years." And guess who coordinated Clinton's environment policy? Al Gore.

Brower, of course, is voting for Nader.

God forbid I should be held accountable for the corporate sins of the companies that my mutual funds invest in.

You're missing the point. As Vice President, Gore has -- at the very least -- an opportunity to direct world attention to the U'wa issue. Indeed, he could stop the project entirely if he wanted to spend the political capital. But no, for years he has refused to even discuss the issue. This, despite countless hours spent on the "Elian Saga" in hopes of picking up a few extra votes.

Folks, Gore is a scoundrel, and if you vote for him, you tacitly endorse what he represents. And of course, he is going to lose anyway.
posted by johnb at 2:38 AM on October 29, 2000


Folks, Bush is a scoundrel, and if you vote for him, you tacitly endorse what he represents. And of course, he is going to lose anyway.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:00 AM on October 29, 2000


ok people, the difference here is that gore does not regularly bash other candidates for owning stock in occendental petroleum.

nader on the other hand does. so the fact that it is a part of his stock portfolio, mutual fund or not, makes him just a big, ego-driven hypocrite.
posted by saralovering at 7:11 AM on October 29, 2000


What? Show me the Nader quote in which he bashes other people’s portfolios.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 1:48 PM on October 29, 2000


Folks, Bush is a scoundrel, and if you vote for him, you tacitly endorse what he represents.

Good point.

And of course, he is going to lose anyway.

Would you like to bet on that one?

ok people, the difference here is that gore does not regularly bash other candidates for owning stock in occendental petroleum. nader on the other hand does.

No, he does not. I encourage you to get the facts right before making insulting remarks -- it tends to look more professional.
posted by johnb at 4:29 PM on October 29, 2000


From votenader.org:

Gore owns substantial stock in Occidental Oil Co., which is working to exploit oil reserves under Uwa land in Colombia. (Indian Country, 4/25/2000, Why LaDuke Wants to be Public Citizen Number Two, By Winona Laduke)

BOO-YA!
posted by solistrato at 4:59 PM on October 29, 2000


solistrato, I'm not sure I understand what point you are trying to make. The quotation is by Winona Laduke -- here is the uncensored version:

As I listen to the vice president espouse his views on campaign finance reform, I look at his investment portfolio and have to ask how that might influence public policy. Gore owns substantial stock in Occidental Oil Co., which is working to exploit oil reserves under Uwa land in Colombia.

Like the author of the Nation article, LaDuke is suggesting that Gore's cozy relationship with Occidental -- the stock, the soft money, the land deal etc -- explains his refusal to address the U'wa issue. That suggestion seems correct to me. If you know of a more plausible hypothesis, I would love to hear it.
posted by johnb at 5:47 PM on October 29, 2000


solistrato, I'm not sure I understand what point you are trying to make.

The point is that you made a factually incorrect statement while scolding someone to "get the facts right" and "look more professional." It's hypocritical for Nader to own a mutual fund that invests in Occidental while his running mate slams Gore for owning stock in the same company. Nader has a great track record for doing the right things with his money, but in this case he screwed up.
posted by rcade at 6:14 PM on October 29, 2000


>>The point is that you made a factually incorrect statement

To my knowledge I have not made a factually incorrect statement in this thread. If you find one, please point it out.

>>his running mate slams Gore for owning stock in the same company.

This is false. Read the passage that solistrato cites:

As I listen to the vice president espouse his views on campaign finance reform, I look at his investment portfolio and have to ask how that might influence public policy. Gore owns substantial stock in Occidental Oil Co., which is working to exploit oil reserves under Uwa land in Colombia.

The claim is that Gore's ownership of Occidental stock (among many other things) influenced his handling of the U'wa issue, to the great detriment of the U'wa people. Merely owning stock is not the problem. The question is whether you allow your public policy positions to be influenced by your stock positions (not to mention soft money and other bribes).

If you wanted to accuse Nader of the same thing, you would have to provide evidence that, in his watchdog role, he is easier on companies he owns shares in. So let's take the companies held by Fidelity Magellan. Since it's essentially a closet S&P index fund, the claim that Nader is biased towards his mutual fund holdings is equivalent to the claim that Nader is easy on corporate America, viz., big business. Now, Nader has been called many things, but I've never heard anyone accuse him of being "easy on big business". Likewise for Cisco, and so on. Clearly, until you can show evidence of this kind, allegations of "hypocrisy" are without merit.

>>Nader has a great track record for doing the right things with his money, but in this case he screwed up.

I'm not following you. The price of a share of stock will in the long run reflect the present discounted value of all future dividends. Whether or not Ralph Nader (or Al Gore) is a shareholder does not change this, and by itself is morally irrelevant. The relevant question -- the one Laduke and the Nation have posed -- is the question of political corruption: whether you allow your own financial interests to dictate your policy positions. There is no evidence that Nader is biased in this way, whereas there is overwhelming evidence that Gore is.
posted by johnb at 7:18 PM on October 29, 2000


What I'm accusing Nader of is slamming Gore for owning Occidental stock when he owns stock in the same company. If it's questionable for Gore to own stock in this company, why didn't Nader question his own investment, when Nader has a history of being highly circumspect about how he makes and spends his money?

Your erroneous statement was in reply to the comment, "ok people, the difference here is that gore does not regularly bash other candidates for owning stock in occendental petroleum. nader on the other hand does."

You wrote:

No, he does not. I encourage you to get the facts right before making insulting remarks -- it tends to look more professional.

As Solistrato demonstrated, Nader does bash other candidates for owning stock in Occidental.

Besides, this Nader vs. Gore greed comparison is chump change. The real questionable money-earner in this race is Bush. The guy made a huge sum of money dumping his company's stock in advance of bad news in the '80s. He's lucky that he ripped off investors instead of a savings and loan, and that his dad had buddies at the SEC -- otherwise, George W. would be hiding out with Neil Bush today instead of running for president.
posted by rcade at 7:50 PM on October 29, 2000


Here's another factually incorrect statement:

The gap between word and deed is breathtaking, it's no wonder [Gore] lost all his supporters in the environmental movement.

Gore was endorsed by the Sierra Club, the board of the New York League of Conservation Voters and the board of the California League of Conservation Voters, the Friends of the Earth Political Action Committee and environmental group leaders too numerous to list.
posted by rcade at 7:59 PM on October 29, 2000


Correction: Gore was endorsed by the New York League of Conservation Voters, not just the board.
posted by rcade at 8:28 PM on October 29, 2000


>>What I'm accusing Nader of is slamming Gore for owning Occidental stock when he owns stock in the same company.

Ralph Nader does not slam Al Gore for owning Occidental stock.

And yet, you insist that he does. As evidence, you refer to solistrato's previous post:

>>As Solistrato demonstrated, Nader does bash other candidates for owning stock in Occidental.

Solistrato cites a quotation from Winona LaDuke in which she questions whether Gore's ties to Occidental (in particular, his control of $500,000 worth of Occidental stock) have had an influence on his unconscionable handling of the U'wa situation. If he owned the stock but conducted himself like a virtuous public servant, there wouldn't be a problem. It has nothing whatever to do with simply owning the stock, and in the quoted passage Laduke doesn't suggest otherwise.

Here's an analogy. Suppose I'm a politician (bear with me) and I use public funds to buy my mother a house in the Hamptons. That's corruption. But why is it corruption? Because I have an interest in my mother's standard of living? No, we all have such an interest. It's corruption because I abused my power as a public servant for private gain. Suppose somebody accuses me of corruption in this case, and I respond: "Wait, you're a hypocrite -- you have a mother too!" That's essentially the argument you're making vis-a-vis Nader's stock holdings. The mere fact that he owns stocks is irrelevant; what's required is a demonstation that his stock positions somehow influence which companies he singles out in his watchdog role. The same goes for Al Gore -- and that's precisely what Laduke is saying: she doesn't slam him for owning the stock, she slams him for apparently allowing his ownership to influence his (lack of) response to the U'wa issue.
posted by johnb at 8:55 PM on October 29, 2000


What does it matter that the bashing comes from Winona LaDuke rather than Ralph Nader? It's still the Nader campaign.

LaDuke is making the false claim that Gore owns Occidental stock. He doesn't. After the Dec. 5, 1998, death of his father, Gore has been serving as the executor of his estate, which owns from $250,000 to $1 million in Occidental stock (press accounts vary). Gore's mother is the trustee of the estate.

Why do you believe that this sum of money is enough to buy his silence on the issue? Isn't it more likely that he isn't saying anything about this issue because more than 99 percent of the public doesn't know about it, and wouldn't care if they did? Or that he remains silent because Occidental gives a fortune to both major parties?

The idea that Gore has fucked over the U'wa to make money for his mom is laughable, given the many opportunities that Gore has passed up in a quarter-century to leave government and go for a Dick Cheney-style cashout.

Instead, if Gore is corrupt on this issue, he's corrupt in the way that almost all major Two Party politicians are corrupt -- they whore for big political contributors to their party and their future campaigns. If Gore's father bought the farm without owning a single share of Occidental, the vice president probably would have taken the same actions (or non-actions) in regard to the U'wa and Occidental.
posted by rcade at 9:57 PM on October 29, 2000


What does it matter that the bashing comes from Winona LaDuke rather than Ralph Nader? It's still the Nader campaign.


It matters because misinformation leads to false allegations which leads to false conceptions. Any Gore supporter can tell you what misconstrued quotes can do to public image. I asked saralovering to back up her assertation that Ralph Nader regularly “bashes” politicians regarding stock holdings. No quote has surfaced because none exists.

She made no statement about Winona LaDuke. Contrary to popular belief, people work together don’t neccesarily say or believe the exact same things.

I’ll let the indemnible johnb point out the irony of American politicians remaining silent on unpopular issues, like, say, corporate welfare or mass suicide in the face American imperialism.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 10:45 PM on October 29, 2000


The mere fact that he owns stocks is irrelevant; what's required is a demonstation that his stock positions somehow influence which companies he singles out in his watchdog role.

How many companies in his stock portfolio have felt the wrath of his dogs?
posted by netbros at 10:59 PM on October 29, 2000


rcade -- I claimed that Gore "lost all his supporters in the environmental movement." You say that this claim is factually incorrect given that Gore was endorsed by the Sierra Club, LCV, and FOE. If "support" means "endorsement by the environmental constituency groups associated with the Democratic Party", then you are quite right.

But I must say: if "the environmental movement" means the Sierra Club, then life on Earth is in deep trouble. The Sierra Club veered off from the movement around the time they kicked out David Brower in the 1960s. Today the organization is headed by Carl Pope, a pathetic sycophant who is essentially a fundraiser for the Democratic Party. For more dirt on the Sierra Club, read Cockburn and St. Clair -- for example, this; here are some other articles.

Friends of the Earth is a different story. Brent Blackwelder, head of FOE America, has interesting things to say, and is not shy about bashing Gore. The organization endorsed Bradley in the primaries, and only very reluctantly and recently endorsed Gore, clearly on the lesser-evil theory.

Perhaps for the sake of clarity I should have said "friends" rather than "supporters". Al Gore has lost his friends in the environmental movement. Among grassroots activists, my guess would be that most will vote for Nader, some will vote for Gore on the lesser-evil theory, but none (that I know of) are enthusiastic about Gore. As for Earth in the Balance, the standard line is "I liked the book but hated the movie". Rhetoric aside, the Clinton administration has been a disaster for the environment -- by some measures the worst in history. All the activists I've run into understand this, and will not be fooled into voting for Gore.
posted by johnb at 11:29 PM on October 29, 2000


Thanks for the help, Captain. Good points.

rcade--

>>What does it matter that the bashing comes from Winona LaDuke rather than Ralph Nader? It's still the Nader campaign.

The point is that neither Nader nor LaDuke bashed Gore for owning the stock. What's at issue is Gore's behavior. Now you could argue that we should forbid politicians from owning stock, as a way to reduce corruption. That's a good idea. However, the problem with Gore is that he appears to have exploited the absense of such a rule in his dealings with Occidental Petroleum, for personal gain

>>LaDuke is making the false claim that Gore owns Occidental stock.

You're right, but the legalistic distinction between ownership and control doesn't strike me as significant in this context. The incentives are the same.

>>Why do you believe that this sum of money is enough to buy his silence on the issue?

The Nation article makes it clear that there is more to the relationship than just the stock.

>>if Gore is corrupt on this issue, he's corrupt in the way that almost all major Two Party politicians are corrupt

You could argue that. I would argue that Gore is slightly more corrupt than the average American politician. Is Bush more corrupt? Probably. In my view the system as a whole stands in need of radical reform. The only way to do that, realistically, is by building a strong third party.
posted by johnb at 11:59 PM on October 29, 2000


She made no statement about Winona LaDuke. Contrary to popular belief, people work together don’t neccesarily say or believe the exact same things.

I think it's a specious argument to pretend that LaDuke is saying these things about Gore and Occidental without Nader's participation. Occidental has been a favorite target of the left for years. It's common practice in presidential campaigns for the vice presidential candidate to more harshly criticize opponents than the person at the top of the ticket, and Nader is using LaDuke to take shots at Gore regarding his late father's holdings in Occidental.

If "the environmental movement" means the Sierra Club, then life on Earth is in deep trouble.

It's still a 600,000-member group devoted to the environment, so the statement that Gore has no supporters among environmentalists is demonstrably false.

I would argue that Gore is slightly more corrupt than the average American politician. Is Bush more corrupt? Probably.

Bush and Gore have raised a combined $143 million for their campaigns through July 31, 2000 ($93 million for Bush and $49 million for Gore), according to the FEC. That doesn't even include the soft money being spent by Democratic and Republican groups on each candidate's behalf. I think it's a safe bet that all major party presidential candidates are corrupted by money, and will continue to be until real campaign finance reform is enacted.

In my view the system as a whole stands in need of radical reform. The only way to do that, realistically, is by building a strong third party.

Because of Nader's ill-advised strategy to campaign most in swing states where he's least likely to pull voters from Gore, he may not get even 5 percent of the vote, missing out on federal matching funds. The Greens are not running a single credible campaign for a House seat, despite the fact that 73 House members are running unopposed this year. The Greens aren't showing any signs of becoming a viable third party. Ralph Nader is a palliative. When we're looking at a Republican Senate, House and White House in November, let me know how you feel about that Nader vote.
posted by rcade at 8:35 AM on October 30, 2000


Wow, a healthy debate! cool. I'd just like to apologize for my confrontational comments at the beginning of the thread. After all, I think everyone in this discussion has similar values regarding the environment and political corruption.

The reason I posted this topic is simply to show that no matter who wins the election, the real power is in the hands of occidental, mastercard, mcdonalds, nike, etc. To remedy this, we can't allow the Democrats to carry a constituency they've abandoned.

A vote for Gore is a vote for Bush, and corporate politics as usual. If you want reform, don't give up on your values. Vote your conscience Nov. 7.
posted by snakey at 8:41 AM on October 30, 2000


Your selective memory makes it really hard to have an intelligent discussion rcade. I’d really like to, you know. It’s easy to have a discussion here with a wide variety of participants, if everyone leaves their preconceptions behind.

Could you do me a favor, and concede the point that Ralph Nader never made any statement about anyone’s stock portfolio? It’s been all but settled, but you’re twisting the arguement to whether or not he shadily sanctioned a quote from LaDuke about the U’wa and Occidental. Where did that come from? It has no bearing on my original point about false allegations. I suppose that’s possible, but unless it’s proven, it just shows your prejudice.

I’m glad you’ve seen through the political duoply’s smokescreen and can see that our presidential front-runners are basically corrupt. They’ve lost all sense of public service from the millions of dollars shuffled into their accounts. They only work in the best interests of their corporate paymasters.

So, on a personal level, I’m confused why, throughout this thread, you’ve added to the din of fear directed at squelching real change. If Nader doesn’t accept corporate money you could say he isn’t as fundamentally flawed as the other two. If you know Gore and Bush are corrupted, why in the hell would you support them, even for a second? Knowing that, time and again, Nader has asked Occidental to get the away from the U’wa’s land, while Gore has said nothing.

I’d like to answer your point about the Greens not running a “viable” campaign. Each word in that statement is pure hogwash from “campaign most in swing states” (it’s a 50 state race) to the condescending “palliative” remark. But the article you cite to back up your whole point is about how hard it is to unseat an incumbent. Do you see the irony here? Yes, 72 seats are running unopposed, because it’s well-nigh impossible to unseat them!

In 73 of the 435 House districts, an incumbent is running unopposed. And such are the fund-raising advantages of incumbents, and such is the refinement of the computer-assisted drawing of district lines, about 350 of the 435 seats can be classified as generally safe for one party or the other.

There are, I must note, Greens running for Congress and city councils all over. Whether or not certain bids are “credible” is a subjective anaylsis, which, as you might’ve noticed, was a key issue in keeping Nader out of the presidential debates.

However! I’d prefer if you just disregard all that and just answer my second question regarding you supporting a corrupt political process. Are you doing it just to play devil’s advocate? Do you have something against the Green’s political leanings? Are you planning on voting for a politician who you’ve just said, twice, is corrupt?
posted by capt.crackpipe at 1:43 PM on October 30, 2000


I've turned up my nose at two centrist candidates and gone the third-party route before, Captain. I voted for a candidate who polled as high as 34 percent in spring 1992, hoping that it would encourage the development of a legitimate third party. Ross Perot and the other United We Stand/Reform Party leaders proved that they were completely incapable of running a fringe political party, much less a country. The only thing that came of 19 million Perot votes in 1992 and 8 million Perot votes in 1996 was millions of dollars in matching federal funds for Pat Buchanan to spread his bigotry this year. To anyone else who voted Perot -- doesn't it make your heart proud today?

The reason I support a candidate who is part of a corrupt financing system is that I don't have any other realistic choice. Nader's a throwaway vote -- you don't like the term "palliative," but here's why I think it fits perfectly: Al Gore is a New Democrat, which means four years of lingering wet kisses to the political center. But he has committed himself to some worthwhile promises on campaign finance reform, abortion rights, Supreme Court appointments, taxation, prescription drugs, health care and the environment. He's also closer to the old-style liberalism of his party than Bill Clinton ever was, as evidenced by his convention speech, and is someone with demonstrated competence as a leader. Even if you think he makes the wrong decisions, you have to concede that he's making informed decisions.

Compare that to either four or eight years of Curious George. After watching all four debates and growing up in Texas, I believe that Bush's widely proclaimed moderate tendencies are a result of the weak-governor system in that state, not any deeply held beliefs in a man who "hates book learning." Put Bush in Washington with one or both houses of Congress from his own party, which is a strong possibility with one week to go, and I think we can expect another Reagan administration, with Cheney and a bunch of hard-right religious conservatives pulling the strings for an affable figurehead who likes two-hour lunches, doesn't appear to have entertained a political thought prior to age 40 and invites Rush Limbaugh for Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers.

Personally, the prospect of that is too much me to risk a fight-the-Man vote for Ralph Nader here in Florida. As a Perot voter, I knew that I was indirectly helping Clinton, a candidate who at least was not diametrically opposed to almost everything I stand for. If Nader voters seal Fighting Al's fate in Oregon and other swing states, the next four years will prove that the U.S. government can do much worse than Clintonism on the issues Greens care about.

To me, that's a great deal worse than voting for a guy who joins everyone else at the trough in search of campaign contributions.
posted by rcade at 4:26 PM on October 30, 2000


Can I make a deal with you? Vote for whichever puppet you like this year (I see the difference between them as slight, but whatever), but if the Green Party makes a better showing in four years, would you rekindle some of that fire you had when you voted for Perot? That is, if the Green Party doesn’t implode, moderates some of it's political views (I’m one of the Greens that thinks the 100% after 100k is just full-on dumb) and some fascist doesn’t take over the party, would you dust off that idealism you’ve shelved for so long?

It sounds like your views are in line with the rest of America. You care about the environment, but know Gore won’t do all he can to save it. You want to pay as little in taxes as you can, have cheap, but good health care and better education than the government provides. I’m sure if Nader ran again, corporate welfare would be put front and center, and when that happens it will electrify the electorate.

When the next race comes around Nader stands a better chance of winning. If it's another three-way against a Democrat who doesn't care about you, a Republican who won’t listen and Nader, would you consider voting for the last honest politician? If he doesn’t give up on the process, the least you can do is support a leader who has the same values you do.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 9:12 PM on October 30, 2000


I'd certainly vote for a Green in four years if I thought the vote mattered. Give me a couple of Congressional Greens, a few serious candidates or (better yet) someone like Paul Wellstone crossing party lines to run. I danced around the idea of supporting Nader several months ago, but when Gore played up the old-time Democratic populism in his convention speech, I jumped on Fightin' Al's bandwagon.
posted by rcade at 10:11 PM on October 30, 2000


Rcade, you voted for Perot. You voted for the reform party. I take it you wanted reform. But do you actually believe that reform happens overnight? Reform is a process, man! A long, hard fight!

You say that your vote was meaningless, and only helped "Pat Buchanan to spread his bigotry " -- but you forget Jesse Ventura in Minnesota. Perot's candidacy had a ripple effect that actually resulted in Jesse winning that race.

It also put campaign finance reform on the table. It also put a third party candidate in the presidential debates for the first time I can remember.

So ask yourself, man: Do you still want reform, or do you want to give up? Now is not the time to give up, rcade. You should be voting for reform of a corrupt system, not kneeling before it.
posted by snakey at 10:03 AM on October 31, 2000


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