To the Editor:
We are writing in response to James Kirchick’s February 12th column, “Three year later, Nader’s more wrong than ever”. Mr. Kirchick, who now regrets his volunteer efforts for Ralph Nader’s 2000 presidential election run, discusses the potential war in Iraq, his perception of Green Party opinion toward the war, and his current feelings about Mr. Nader. We wish to communicate a quite different view.
First, we would like to dispel a myth reported not only by Mr. Kirchick that “the anti-war movement whose efforts aim to keep the tyrant (Saddam Hussein) in power”. The anti-war movement is unified simply in its conviction that war is not the answer to creating democracy, in Iraq or elsewhere. We can tell you, one of us having returned recently from Iraq, Iraqis do not see the U.S. as their liberators any more than they see their own despotic leader as their savior. Progressives might not be able to offer an ideal alternative to war, but that does not imply that overpowering aggression is the answer.
Next, we would like to defend the 2000 presidential run by Ralph Nader, which Mr. Kirchick describes as “purely ego-driven”. As Mr. Kirchick points out, Mr. Nader has worked tirelessly as a consumer advocate for over 30 years. Those who voted for Mr. Nader in 2000 did so as a principled action. Progressives, including Mr. Nader’s Green Party voted for him because he is one of the very few politicians whose actions are entirely consistent with both his public statements and personal beliefs.
Things will get worse before they get better, James. Progressives, and specifically Nader-supporting Greens, are ready. We will continue to fight for justice for the oppressed, restoring honesty and dignity to politics, and promoting dialogue and understanding to resolve disputes, large and small.
Joel Dubin and Kelly Anthony
February 21, 2003
Dubin is an assistant professor of epidemiology and public healthy. Anthony is a visiting assistant professor psychology from Wesleyan University and was a delegate of the “Academics for Peace” conference held in Baghdad, Iraq in Jan. 2003.