Left Elite is Losing The War

The battle over globalism and the WTO is being lost by the left. The fight started with organized labor in the anti-NAFTA protests, at which the left was conspicuously absent. Labor then made another strong showing over WTO, but was joined this time by a disorganized left bringing unwanted baggage.

We brought the anarchists from Eugene, and they gave the police a needed excuse for violence. We also bring apologists for the anarchists, which ensures that future protests will be violent, and also poorly attended. Neither labor nor moderate greens will accept another dose of pepper spray, nor should they, so direct action on this issue has been effectively shut down.

Even worse, we are losing the chance to unite labor and environment, thanks to the anarchists and to a left elite that for ten years have worked to divide us. The elite want weak social movements to control and exploit. So they back the splinter group who still believe that destruction of property is OK, unlike the majority of protesters, or the mass of liberals that tuned us out when windows started breaking. Typical of the breed, the editors of Z Magazine dream of 100,000 people from labor and religion providing cover for civil disobedience. Dream on. The editors call for unity in the movement, though the national journals have generally not been willing to follow the protester/liberal consensus of nonviolence.

Strong social movements -- like environment, religion and labor -- are threats to elite power. Their views are routinely left out of debate and their interests excluded from policy. In the national journals, working class people are dupes, racists and right wingers; spiritual folk are irrational; and mainstream greens are simply ignored. Yet now that there's a chance for the blue/green alliance, progressives of all stripes should re-think their devotion to elite policy, and ask themselves what they can offer to labor.

Low-skilled labor want what we have always wanted: reduced immigration and a halt on business relocations. Our own interests aside, we know that moving US industry overseas is a strategic mistake. We know that reduced immigration would serve all of the working classes, and all minorities, from organized labor to the working poor to the homeless. And the greens should know that making industry sustainable will be easier if industry remains in the US.

But why should labor join a coalition harmful to their economic interests, with an elite cheerleading for a colonialist device such as open immigration? Instead, the greens should consider supporting genuine labor policy in exchange for labor's support of sustainable industry. Such an alliance might then have success with a Gore administration, which could use neo-liberalism to bribe business into cooperating. Greens also should either take control of the anarchists or take steps to exclude them from future demonstrations.

In the real world of course, the coalition is doomed. The elite are doing everything they can to stop it, and the rank and file left are too weak to control their own leaders. The left journals will continue to offer well-styled defenses for those who have made peaceful action all but impossible. They will offer meaningless tokens of respect to the poor, along with economic policies that keep them in their place. And the Green Party will give itself to Ralph Nader -- and every other career activist from Harvard to Stanford -- for another counter-productive run for the presidency. Celebrities may be fun, but they have a habit of articulating elite interests, and the focus now should be on bringing together the labor and environmental movements.

Redmond, Wash.

So Sue US

Well, there they go again. Gonzales and Rodriquez ["America Closed for Reparations," 8/1-15/00 PP] are back at accusing the United States of stealing lands from Mexico. Remember a prior article by Gonzales and Rodriquez where they stated that they had evidence to support this alleged crime by the US? Well, I think that they should put their money where their mouths (pens) are, stop the cheap talk and accusations, and go the court with their charges. Shoot, let's get Mexico's "stolen" lands back and stop making US liberals quiver in their boots by making them feel guilty about the Mexican cession.

And while we're assigning "guilt" let's remember (liberals) that we are not dealing with innocent, persecuted. pastoral Indians in Mexico, but rather the result of a series of conquering peoples, including the Mayans, the Aztecs and, finally, the Spanish in the person of Hernando Cortes who destroyed the Aztec empire. Seems like some 60% of Mexico's people are mestizo, people of Spanish and Indian blood. Why, I'd be willing to bet that Gonzales and Rodriquez can trace their lineage back to the Spanish conquistadors who murdered, raped and pillaged the land of the Aztecs. I wonder what sort of reparations they would be willing to pay.

And it kind of makes you wonder what sort of reparations Gonzales and Rodriquez would demand of the Mexican government doesn't it? Or are their demands limited to the US because our citizens are so gullible?

Anacortes, Wash.

Do-It-Yourself Campaign

When I saw the introduction and acceptance speech by Nader for president at midnight on C-SPAN, my immediate reaction was that if everyone saw this, Nader would be our next president. But how is everyone going to see it?

Today an idea struck me how it could be done so the great majority could see it and become inspired in the process. C-SPAN has a two-hour video for $54 which includes shipping charges. Call them at 1-877-662-7726 and put it on a charge card.

When you get the video, invite your neighbors and friends in to see it. After viewing it, tell them of the plan to show this video all over the country. In 1996, Clinton won with 24.1% of people registered to vote, Most people, if they think Nader can win, will vote for him after seeing this video. So our part is to hold Nader video parties for our neighbors and friends to see it and get them to do the same, and so on. Have registration forms so those who are not registered and those who wish to enroll in a Green Party can do so. In the 1998 election only half of those registered to vote did so, and 38% didn't even register so they could vote. Most of the 38% would register if they saw the video and what Nader would do. Funds could be collected for the campaign and to pay for the video. The video can be passed around to neighbors and friends as long as no admission fee is charged.

I can see excitement build up to elect Nader. When we get 50% for him in our election district (ED), the other parties can share the other half and we win by a landslide. Let's help other EDs do the same. Enthusiasm would develop, neighbors become friends for now we have some thing in common, elect Nader as president.

Almost everyone has heard of Ralph Nader and considers him a man with absolute honesty who can be trusted to fight the big corporations on our behalf. Nader has set in motion many organizations to protect the public, such as car safety, health, medical care, and elimination of soft money in elections

The Wall Street journalist who covered the 1996 Republican convention reported the first day was marked by holding of parties and making contributions. The third day included how to get women to vote Republican. On the last day, the journalist asked the head of the Republican Party whether he had read the platform that was adopted. He replied he had never read a platform and wasn't going to read this one.

When Nader is elected, his platform will be carried out with our help. We may have to warn some in Congress if they don't support Nader, next election is in 2002.

For a just and healthy planet,

Corvallis, Ore.
Email saveearth@cmug.com

Won't Throw Away Vote

The proper question in this election year is not "Vote Nader or Gore?" but rather "Why not Nader (or another 3rd party candidate) before?" When I began voting 20 years ago I was warned not to "help" the Republicans by voting 3rd party -- yet the Democratic Party has only turned further away from all those issues I thought I was "protecting" by voting for their candidates. Had we begun this serious 3rd party campaigning 20 years ago, we might well have fixed then the massive economic and human rights problems we face today.

I'm not throwing my vote away any longer -- I'm voting Nader.

Portland, Ore.

Gore vs. Bush is the personification of the word "oxymoron"; one's an ox and the other is a moron. I will vote for Ralph Nader.

Hensonville, N.Y.

Gore/Nader Coalition

Mike, I agree with everything you say ["Bush, Gore Make Me Wanna Ralph," by Michael Moore, 9/1/00 PP]. And if there is no other choice I will probably vote for Ralph Nader even if it means George "W" will win. If there were the slightest chance of raising the 55% of the non-voters to Ralph's cause I'd be there with what $$ I could muster. But if even a small number of them are roused by your call to arms it may give the Greens a chance in the next election. GREAT! But in the meantime George "W' will have packed the Supreme Court, given tax relief to the wealthy, and left a legacy that will be hard to overcome.

THERE IS AN OPTION: a Gore/Nader coalition. Coalitions work in other countries. Both sides give a little to gain a lot. What if Ralph were a special assistant to the President. What if Gore would return to his green roots. All this could happen with a Nader/Gore coalition.

True, our political system does not lend itself to a post-election coalition. But, how about a pre-election coalition? What if you, [Jim] Hightower, [Molly] Ivins, [Ronnie] Dugger, and other progressives called for a face to face meeting between Gore and Nader. Why couldn't they, with your help, agree to a middle of the road (a small "d" democratic middle) and campaign on issues. Couldn't it just maybe not only prevent a George "W' walk away that is bound to happen if both stay independently in the race. But also assure that America does not have to wait until a maybe election in 2004 for a real democratic government of, by and for we-the-people.

The debates with Gore, Nader, and Bush might even help send the agenda.

Could you not call for a Progressive Round Table, invite a few progressive spokespeople to meet with Gore and Nader and draw up a Gore/Nader platform that would serve both and serve we-the-people?

Rangeley, Maine

Corporate Death Penalty

As a comment on the immortality of amoral corporations, their legal personhood and infinite charters, and the irony of our practice of the death penalty for real people, I tried to have a bumper sticker printed with the message CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR CORPORATIONS on it. But the printer said he didn't like it and it would be bad for his business and he wouldn't print it. I still like the message, so hereby offer it to anyone else with a sympathetic printer (and the $$) to use.

If you do print it, please let me know, so that I can buy one!

Camden, Maine.
Email redoak@ime.net


Evelyn M. Mather,
Los Lunas, N.M.

Marian Mather Shiner of Littleton, Colo., informs us that her mother, Evelyn M. Mather, of Los Lunas, N.M., passed away on July 17. "She was an avid reader and great supporter of your wonderful paper and populist ideals," Shiner writes. "Throughout her life she worked untiringly against war of all kinds and to uncover the associated lies and deceit that our own government unfortunately heaps upon us.

"You may recall you published a poem she wrote, entitled 'Patriot's Prayer,' in your July 1999 issue of The Progressive Populist. She was very proud of that poem and was honored when your paper included it. In an effort to get people to think about the causes behind war, she unfailingly included a copy of her poem with payments of bills or responses to unsolicited junk mail."

We sympathize with the Mather family's loss while we hope people will step up to take her place in the constant, person-to-person effort to transform the United States. Space prevents us from rerunning her poem, but it's worth looking up if you have access to our back issues in your library or our web site: www.populist.com/99.7.letters.html. -- The Editor.

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