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The New York Times

Why I'm Running

To the Editor:

You discredit our democracy by editorializing on Oct. 26 that the limited ground covered by the Gore and Bush candidacies should define political competition in this election. Millions of voters, when they contrast actual records to rhetoric, find the two major-party candidates similar on excessive corporate power over our government.

George W. Bush has a dismal record on the environment, health care and judicial rights. Al Gore has furthered big-business control in America, letting corporations decide whether we eat genetically engineered food, letting big agribusiness destroy family farms, and supporting concentration in the financial, telecommunications, cable and health care industries. Mr. Gore's actual record on many environmental issues, in one industry after another, has been one of surrender.

Similarities between these two candidates abound. They take millions in corporate campaign cash (we don't -- practicing what we preach). They agree on the death penalty, on no universal health care coverage now, on more military spending, on the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement, on corporate welfare and on slashing the social safety net. They take no stand on repealing anti-union labor laws that keep many millions of workers earning nonliving wages or on fighting corporate crime.


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My candidacy not only provides the sole competition on these issues, but also prevents Mr. Gore from cornering votes on the environment simply by not being as bad as Mr. Bush.

You miss the critical point: we seek long-term political reform through a growing party that pushes the two parties toward reforms that you have espoused over the years, thus far in vain.


Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate and the author of "The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future" (2012). His new book is, "Wrecking America: How Trump’s Lies and Lawbreaking Betray All(2020, co-authored with Mark Green).

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