Leave Greens Alone, Worry About Apathetic Majority

RECEIVED Wed., Aug. 13, 2003

Michael Ventura has penned an interesting column wherein he seeks to appeal to Greens by shifting blame for George W. Bush & Co. from Nader voters to Ralph Nader himself ["Letters @ 3AM," Aug. 8]. It's a refreshing change from the many writers who lambaste Nader voters in an attempt to persuade them to vote for the Democratic nominee, no matter who gets it. Does anyone actually believe that insulting and blaming voters is an effective way to change their minds? Ventura's approach is different, but relies on the faulty assumptions that everyone who voted for Nader was really a Democrat and that Greens have any faith that the Democratic Party – the one whose elected representatives have supported war, deregulation, "free trade," tax cuts for the wealthy, and bloated military and drug-control budgets – can be reformed from within.
    Of the many elements in the crowning of Bush – the thousands of minority voters thrown off the rolls, Gore's tragic mistake in failing to demand a complete state recount (as required by law), the hypocritically activist Supreme Court Justices – the one that has always stood out to us is the millions of left-leaning independents and registered Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida and across the U.S. It isn't reported much, but it's sadly true that many Dems crossed over and voted for Bush. Where's the hand-wringing over that?
    We appreciate the backhanded compliment that the fate of the world rests in the hands of Ralph Nader and a far-from-certain Green Party nomination, but the 2004 election will not be won or lost by Green voters. Success depends on the Democratic nominee's ability to convince his own registered party members, independents, and the millions of nonvoters that he is the right person to lead this country.
    Instead of attempting to win over Greens appalled with the record of both major parties, why not work on convincing the apathetic majority that choosing the lesser of two evils is worth a trip to the polls?
Claire Loe
John St. Denis
Co-chairs, Travis County Green Party
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