To the Editor:
In the wake of the Nader hit on campus, it seems any detractors of the Green Party candidate are at risk to be anathematized. However, I can’t help but notice two flaws in the Green Party campaign concerning both Nader and his supporters.
First, the Nader-LaDuke ticket has thus far failed to appeal to minority voters. To a large degree, the Green Party’s movement still is of white kids, by white kids and for white kids. They lack the gut feeling for black, Hispanic and Asian-Americans who fall short of a middle-class background and a college degree, although they may sincerely believe they are on those people’s side.
This also holds true for their attitude towards people in the Third World. More often than not, the Green and other Leftists’ well-intended strife on the behavior of Africa and South America does not respond as much to the needs of the oppressed and exploited as to their own self-righteousness. Their lamentably superficial views of international issues make even George W. Bush look good in this regard.
Second, even this somehow less-than-perfect idealism of the Green Party is being compromised in the course of the campaign. Its ten key values sound very much comprehensive and admirable. However, they have been reduced in Nader’s interpretation to a simplistic and dull anti-corporate rhetoric; other messages which are less effective in wooing voters are skipped.
Either Nader is sacrificing principles for his presidential bid, or his party is doing so by choosing a leader with different goals in mind. The philosopher Wittgenstein once wrote, “there is not a single fiber that runs through a rope.” There is not a single reason for all social ills; even the evil of corporate power cannot explain it all. Chanting too much the mantra of “fighting for the American workers” at the expense of other concerns leaves Nader’s voice undistinguishable from those of Gore and Buchanan.
Xiaofei Tu DIV ’01
October 8, 2000