If Benito Mussolini were a Democrat running for president of the United
States against Adolf Hitler, a Republican, who would you vote for... assuming that Ralph Nader was the Green Party candidate?
Easy choice, according to Examiner columnist Stephanie Salter and her joined-at-the-hip buddy, Bernie Ward, of KGO Talk Radio. You'd hold your nose and vote for Mussolini, the lesser of the two major-party evils.
That's peculiar, because anyone with a scintilla of intelligence knows that
Ralph Nader, a true patriot who has already done more to serve his country than perhaps any person alive today, is the only candidate even remotely capable of leading us out of the undemocratic morass that Washington has become. You would think a man like that would be a shoo-in.
You'd think that freedom-loving liberals and conservatives alike would rush to the Nader camp. Given the choices we have, you'd think that even the sappiest of all political thinkers, the Libertarians, would be campaigning for Nader and dying to vote for him.
You'd think on Nov. 7 it'd be Nader by a landslide, leaving those tired old machine politicians so far in the dust they'd be invisible to the naked eye.
But Nader doesn't stand a chance, they say. Of course he's the best, but we have to be practical, they say. A vote for Nader, say the liberals, is a vote for George W. Bush. Although Mussolini/Gore would be bad for the country, they say, Hitler/Bush would be disastrous.
One wonders: If Mussolini and Hitler were the major party candidates, and
God were the Green Party guy, would folks like Salter and Ward still urge you to vote for Mussolini/Gore... because God is down in the polls?
Psst! Hey, Buddy! Don't vote for that God guy. Seriously. He doesn't stand a chance. You've seen the polls; he's out of it. Vote for Mr. Mussolini.
Sure, he's not great, but he's better than that Hitler guy. And he'll make the trains run on time. He promised.
We are being urged by the leaders of both parties, but particularly the
Democrats, to put our principles aside and cast our vote for expediency.
There isn't one Democrat in 50 who really likes Albert Gore Jr. We tend to forget how he got where he is. If you remember 1992, Gore was defeated in the primaries by Bill Clinton, then picked from the dung heap by Clinton to join a winning team.
Nothing that has happened in the last eight years makes Gore any more attractive than he was when he got beat in 1992. He was nominated by the
Democrats this year only out of some distorted sense of courtesy. Lacking a royal family, we Americans have taken to creating our own royalty, the sons of successful people, or hangers-on like Al Gore.
I've defended Gore in this space against the spurious attacks leveled against him by Republicans, but, charming as he may be in private, he's a pandering fool in public. Why he talks in public like an oversized ventroliquist's dummy is anybody's guess, but his is not the sort of conduct that inspires my confidence.
George W. Bush, on the other hand, brings to the table these fine qualities: He's no longer a drunk, he's no longer a cokehead, he doesn't chase women any more, he's got a lot of money and his father is a bitter failed president who eagerly seeks "revenge" against Bill Clinton.
Bush has an advantage over Gore in that he's a tough guy, willing to fight any man who dares tread on him or his. Mind you, Bush would do the tough talking and hire someone else to do the actual fighting, but you get the point. Talk like a tough guy and you'll win the support of 90 per cent of the Joe Six-Packs in America.
Voting for either of these buffoons when Ralph Nader is running is an act of immorality for most of us. If you're a millionaire looking for a tax break, then of course George W. Bush is your man. If you're a Democratic Party hack looking for advancement, then of course Al Gore is your man.
But if you're an honest, decent, loyal American who believes in the principles of democracy, you have no moral choice: you must vote for Ralph
You must vote for the one person dedicated to destroying, not preserving, the stranglehold monied interests have over the rest of us.
Our cable television bills are too high. Our cellular phone bills are way too high. Our Internet access charges are too high. Our utility bills are too high. We pay too much for sugar. We pay too much for milk. We pay too much to go to the movies. We certainly pay too much for housing, spectacularly so in the Bay Area. You and I pay way too much for too many products that should be relatively cheap.
What that means is that we have to work too many hours for the stuff we need or want. We are, in a sense, held in economic slavery.
Why is that? What is there in the Constitution that says you and I have to work a little harder and make do with a little less so that guys like Bill
Gates and Larry Ellison can become mega-billionaires?
The Democrat Party, under Bill Clinton, has done nothing to correct the inequities in our economic system. Those inequities have grown over the past eight years and will continue to grow under Al Gore.
If George W. Bush becomes our next president, it's Katie bar the door! The gentle push the Democrats have given us toward economic perdition will become a nosedive.
If democracy is ever to be restored to our country through the ballot, we must make our voices heard. If we consistently vote for more of the same, we will continue to get more of the same. We can cry and whine all we want, but nothing will change unless we show character and determination at the ballot box.
Voting for the lesser evil is, by definition, voting for evil.
Copyright 2000 San Francisco Examiner