“We wiped out the bosses, and stormed through the wall
of the prison they told us would outlast us all.”—Marat/Sade
Maybe it wasn’t the Bastille, but the prison of the two-party system
proved just as formidable. And Ralph Nader liberated us. People pull me
aside and announce in whispered tones that they, too, voted Green. Their
faces brighten, their eyes sparkle, and they come to life. A vote for
Nader is a vote for the future. A vote for change, with all its risks,
its thrilling and scary possibilities. A leap of faith. A creative act
of civil disobedience.
Breaking through the wall of the two-party system destroys
lesser-evilism, the outdated undemocratic mindset that tells us to
settle for less. Who thought that one up? Obviously someone very evil
indeed. We’ve been held hostage for so long, it’s dazzling to step out
into the sunshine. And yet there it is. We’ve stopped the two-party
duopoly in its tracks, and shut the country down. How easy it was to
destroy the illusion of invincibility.
And how the Democrats are squealing now, accusing us of stealing the
election from Gore. Imagine that. Here is a man who would stop at
nothing, who sent his surrogates all over the country spreading the lie
that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. As if fear-mongering was the
way to inspire voters. Guess it didn’t work, hey Al? Instead, nearly
three million brave souls went to the polls and performed the highest
act of courage. They voted their hopes, not their fears.
The simple act of voting our conscience brought down the whole house of
cards. We exposed the corruption and manipulation and vote-grabbing that
passes for democracy in this country. We exposed the Electoral College
for the archaic undemocratic relic that it is. We gave people hope. We
fought the government to a standoff, a three-way tie. Gore wins the
popular vote. Bush wins the electoral vote. (Or maybe not, but who
cares?) Ralph Nader and his Green Party win the hearts and minds of the
American people. It’s as simple as that.
If you have any doubts, let’s conduct a nationwide poll and ask the
question, Who would you vote for today in a three-way race if you could
vote your conscience without fear of consequences? Better yet, set up
hypothetical contests between Nader and Gore, and between Nader and
Bush. Without the confusing tactical voting, the outcome would be clear.
Who knows, the Greens might emerge as a majority party!
As Nader and the Greens celebrate a moral victory, the Republicrats are
scrambling to regain control, to point the finger of blame, to find
convenient scapegoats for the failure of their own system. Instead they
should be searching their souls, and asking how long they are willing to
be held hostage by corporate money and power.
The people have spoken, and the message is loud and clear. Millions of
voters are fed up. No matter how many times they recount the ballots in
Florida, the outcome remains the same. People want to be done with the
whole sordid business of politics as usual. They want to step from the
shadows into the sunlight. They want to take back our government and our
The Green Party intends to build a movement to do just that. Join us.
Susan Lina Ruggles
AFT Local 212