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Ralph Nader

Long version: mp3, 2.94 MBs, 3:32
Short version: mp3, 2 MBs, 2:19
PDF version: 25.5 KBs

The news of the entry of civic activist Ralph Nader into the US presidential race has caused some Democrats to groan and some Republicans to cackle with barely suppressed glee. His announcement of his intent to run, this time as an independent rather than as a green, evoked memories of the 200 elections when the Bush camp stole Florida and the entire election by the foul disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of African-American, Hatian and Jewish voters there. Nader has been subjected to the tearful pleas of liberals as well as the veiled threats of other on the left, that he was a spoiler and his entry into the race would virtually ensure the re-lection of Bush. Underneath, the pleas, the threats and even the stifled laughter of so-called conservatives lies the fundamental fear of democracy and a dismissal of millions of Americans from the very process. For them, the sentiment is let sleeping dogs lie. They wish to simply accept the nation's electoral system as it is and try to extract the most votes from this group, which is afterall, a minority of the American majority. That is the sad state of American democracy.

Nader's presidential announcement, made on TV, quickly spread throughout the electric media and was slanted toward the spoiler angle. As ever, the media's addiction to conflict would only allow this coverage. His principle motivation as well as his principle complaints against both the democrat and republican party, not to mention his critique of the media, got shorter shrift. Nader's critique is identical to his 2000 run, that both major parties are in the capture of corporations. While there rhetoric may differ, their actions and interests rarely do. Nader opined that even if Gore were president, the US would have found a pretext to invade Iraq.

And what of the tall, thick browed Massachusetts senator John Kerry?
While Nader didn't address him directly, as far as I recall, the thought of any sitting senator evokes the image of Black members of congress lined up before Gore asking for an investigation into the Florida debacle and for the senate to issue a stay of the electoral college's actions based upon violations of the Voting Rights Act there. No one, not one senator rises to join the black congressman and women in their motion. And not one senator- Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy, Lieberman, Fienstein- none stood with their colleagues in the congressional Black caucus. None stood in defense of the democratic rights of thousands of Black voters who were bamboozled away from the Florida polls just weeks before. For them, this was evidence of a broken democracy, one that still hasn't been repaired. Political allegiances should be more than a matter of mere member ship. What about the party's allegiance to its members? How loyal was the democratic party to those thousands of mostly Black folks who were illegally and unjustly tossed off the Florida voting rolls. To be loyal to any party, it must first be asked: How loyal is the party to you?

From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.