was very sorry to see the article “Strange Bedfellows: Nader
and the GOP” [Opinion, July 22]. The author, Jeff Cohen, former
communications director for Dennis Kucinich, adds his voice
to the Democratic Party’s shameful vilification of an American
hero, Ralph Nader. As the title implies, Cohen attempts to
equate Nader and the Republican Party, but it is not Nader
who is in bed with the Republicans, it is Kerry and the Democratic
Party as they all support the same thing: war, attacks on
civil liberties and corporate greed.
Progressives should remember who Nader is. He is the only
presidential candidate who is against the war, the Patriot
Act, NAFTA, FTAA, and the WTO. We should remember that through
his years of relentless work, he has been responsible for
more progressive legislation than anyone who is in Congress
today. He was the driving force behind landmark pieces of
legislation such as the Motor Vehicle Highway Safety Acts,
the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Freedom of
Information Act, among others.
Cohen claims that “one of 10 big Nader donors had also donated
to Bush and the Republicans.” But Nader has no “big . . .
donors.” Nader does not take contributions from corporations
or PACs; he only takes individual contributions that are no
higher than $2,000. In reality, it is the Democrats who share
donors with the Republican Party. According to the Center
for Responsive Politics, five of Kerry’s top 19 donors have
also donated to the Bush campaign. These include people from
major US corporate interests: Citigroup ($157,806 to Kerry,
$55,275 to Bush), UBS Americas ($157,450 to Kerry, $431,850
to Bush), Goldman Sachs ($155,250 to Kerry, $350,875 to Bush),
Microsoft ($104,663 to Kerry, $184,040 for Bush), and Morgan
Stanley ($101,954 to Kerry, $557,275 to Bush). These donations
speak far louder than do the few dollars that individual Republicans
may have donated to Nader.
The Democratic Party has not only conducted a campaign of
vilification against Nader, but they have used undemocratic
means to get him ruled off the ballot, in state after state,
where thousands have signed petitions to have him put on the
It is a myth to think that the people who want to vote for
Nader will instead vote for Kerry if they are denied the right
to vote for the candidate of their choice. According to a
CNN exit poll from the 2000 election, of those who voted for
Nader, 30 percent would have voted for no one if Nader did
not run. Another 21 percent would have voted for Bush if Nader
did not run, and 47 percent would have voted for Gore.
If the Democratic Party thinks Nader’s campaign will hurt
them, they should simply say so then let people decided to
vote for whom they want. Their campaign of vilification and
their undemocratic attempts to have Nader ruled of the ballot
are simply attempts to disenfranchise me and millions of others
who want to vote for the candidate of our choice, Ralph Nader.
County Green Party
Can Tell Them by Their Hats
would like to extend congratulations regarding Miriam Axel-Lute’s
column “Can You Be a Little More Precise” [Looking Up, July
29]. I live in a so-called “bad neighborhood.” However, I
have never been attacked in my so-called bad neighborhood.
I live on 3rd Avenue, off of lower Morton Avenue. Where I
have been attacked is in the so-called “good neighborhood”
of the Lark Street area. I have been attacked three times.
Two times by persons of color, so to speak, but the most vicious
attack was by a white drunken frat boy. I made the mistake
of getting in the middle of his altercation with his weeping
girlfriend whom he was shoving, and he punched me. None of
these incidents I reported to the police. There were plenty
of witnesses; nobody cared. So I just shook it off, and went
home to my bad neighborhood and was perfectly safe.
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