CLARK, John P. "On the US Presidential Election: The Left Sells its Soul to the Devil and all it Gets for it Is A Lousy ’Support Our Troops’ T-shirt"

Delegation of authorityGreen (Movement and parties)Iraq War (2003-2011)CLARK, John P. (New Orleans, USA. 21/6/1945 - )BUSH, George W., Jr

During the electoral campaign I sent a number of messages to discussion lists and individuals in which I assessed the electoral process. My assessment remains much the same, now that I look back on the past few months. My concerns were that real opposition to capitalism, the state, corporate globalization, imperialism and militarism would be neutralized, that the Green Movement in particular would become immobilized and trivialized, that a regressive, reactive mentality would overtake the putative left, and that on the whole the system of domination would be strengthened through the monopolization of discourse by repressive, reactionary forces (alias the two-party system and the corporate media). These messages are rather spontaneous products of the moment rather than reflective analysis but I think that they nevertheless make some important points about politics in the land of the controlled and manipulated free and the home of the insecure and terrorized brave.

July 1: Greens Fiddle With Electoralism While The Rainforest Burns

Green Party vice-presidential candidate Pat Lamarche, in her open letter to the Greens, declares: "We will run a smart, aggressive, 51-state campaign. . ."

Well, I hope they win in all 51 states. However I also hope that they will begin to say a lot more about crucial issues such as global ecological crisis, the fact that we’re in the midst of a mass extinction, deforestation, global imperialism and neo-colonialism, capitalism and economic exploitation, worker self-management and economic justice, community control and radical decentralization, disarmament and demilitarization, and other areas that have made the Green Movement a distinctive alternative and a hope for a different future. Green Presidential nominee David Cobb’s acceptance speech was weak on almost all areas of radical green alternatives to the existing self-destructive global system. LaMarche’s speech was a major disappointment to say the least. She said almost nothing about any issues in her speech. From listening to Cobb and LaMarche one would think that global imperialism, economic exploitation and global ecological crisis, which were brushed over, were mere minor issues compared to the burning question of Instant Runoff Voting, which gets minutely detailed attention. The 2000 Green nominee Ralph Nader presented a highly detailed analysis of certain central issues, such as corporate domination of the electoral system and the society in general. The Green Party has taken a step backward in that now we hear only vague generalities on the most crucial issues and an implicit emphasis on avoiding interfering with the election of Democrats. Things currently look rather dismal for the greens at the national level. . . .

July 2: Green Party Nominee Endorses Herself

I was rather surprised to find in the letter from Green Party vice-presidential nominee Pat LaMarche the rather extraordinary statement that "I want to reassure all members of the Green Party that, on November 2nd, I will be voting Cobb/LaMarche." It sounded a little like a joke but my worst fears were confirmed when I did a search and found an article from one of the main newspapers from the great state of Maine in which she’s quoted as saying she’ll vote for Kerry and Edwards, and that “if Dick Cheney loved his country, he wouldn’t be voting for himself” either. Apparently Pat LaMarche has reconsidered her opposition to her own candidacy. Her efforts to convince Cheney not to vote for himself haven’t gotten very far either. Well, that’s all for now. It’s Friday and I need to go deposit my paycheck, either in my account or somebody else’s. I’m still trying to decide.

July 8: The Little Green Suicide Machine

A critic of the Green Party’s pro-Democrat “safe-state strategy” writes that "In this scenario, Mr. Cobb agrees in advance to refrain from campaigning in any state where the Greens might have a chance to affect the outcome of the Bush-Kerry race. Bravely, however, he condescends to campaign balls-out in any state where a vote for the Greens doesn’t matter."

This makes the “safe-state” strategy sound even more rational than it really is. For it to be truly consistent, this is what might very well happen: David Cobb checks the latest polls in his home state of California (for example), finds out that Kerry is over 10% ahead and then starts campaigning like hell (in California, anyway). He’s also then free to announce with a clear conscience that he will vote for himself. But alas, his brilliant campaigning actually convinces a lot of Californians to vote for him! What a disaster! Kerry’s lead in the polls drops below 10%. David immediately stops campaigning, hints rather strongly that the people he convinced a few days before to vote for him should now vote for Kerry. And to be consistent, he announces that he will now strike a blow for safety and vote against himself. But again, as a really convincing strategist, David wins many of his erstwhile supporters over to the vote-for-Kerry camp. Kerry then surges past the 10% mark again and California is once again safe, so David can begin campaigning again and once again boldly declare his intention to indeed vote for himself. That is, until . . . One can imagine David’s speeches: "My fellow Americans, I urge you to take a firm stand for all that is right and good, and vote for – does anybody have the latest poll figures?"

August 30: Protests and Possibilities

Greetings from New York City and the protests against Bush. And, for a significant minority of us, the protests against his imperialistic, genocidal, ecocidal Empire. Yesterday was a beautiful, rather Carnivalesque day. And the numbers were good: probably well over half a million. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get some imperial Democrats in power next time and they can oppress humanity and wreck the biosphere a little more gently. The boot that Orwell described stomping on the face of humanity will tread a little more lightly. The millions of infants who will die of malnutrition will no doubt fade away in sweet dreams of Kerry, liberalism, and the lesserness of the evils inflicted on them. Meanwhile we protest against the more brutal of the thugs that an increasingly totalitarian system uses to bully and blackmail the general populace into compliance. Can anyone still imagine an alternative to oligarchy? As Thoreau said, "cast your whole vote." They’ve already stolen the presidential election, but they can’t take THAT vote away from you.

September 22: Hoping for Change Versus Creating It

Ted Glick’s arguments in favor of Greens supporting Kerry are really bad. After criticizing Peter Camejo [Nader’s running mate] for saying that Kerry may do better what Bush is trying to do ineptly, he later admits that Kerry may indeed do it better. Then he complains that Camejo’s view “followed to its logical conclusion, means that Camejo hopes that Bush/Cheney will win re-election."

Ted Glick seems unable to overcome the "bipolar disorder" that plagues so many liberals. Camejo and other opponents of the dominant system don’t waste a lot of their time and energy "hoping" which one of our corporate-appointed rulers will be in power next time. One could devote much of ones spare time hoping that Putin will lose the next election in Russia and it would do about as much good as a similar Peter Pan strategy in the U.S. The real-world concern of an effective opposition is to try to finally create a viable alternative to the reigning corporate oligarchy. What Camejo expresses is not an analysis of what one should "hope for" in the upcoming rigged horserace, but rather a true, actual, real-world fact about the dominant system that oppresses us.

Glick’s liberal idea that the election of Kerry will in itself give rise to a huge movement of dissent is silly, and goes counter to all actual evidence. The huge increase in membership in environmental organizations (when the Sierra Club and Audubon Society both surged past a half-million members) was under the Reagan administration, and was quite clearly a reaction to James Watt and the Republicans. The history of third parties he proposes, claiming that such movements typically emerge under regimes that are less rightist, is concocted and frankly, shows either real ignorance of or willful neglect for actual history. The Greens did not develop under Clinton: the movement started in the 80’s under the Republicans and had its greatest growth in the early years before Clinton. I went to a huge Green gathering in Eugene in the early days and if the kind of momentum exhibited there had continued the Greens would be a major social movement today rather than microparty (still reduced to the pitiable charade of bragging about electing over a hundred elected officials out of over 500,000 who are in office). Ted Glick doesn’t mention that the biggest third party campaign since WWII was Ross Perot’s campaign in 1992, during the Bush administration. Perot’s movement disappeared under Clinton. Though it might not have been "progressive" it’s another example of an oppositional movement that did attract some anti-corporate globalist people. The Citizen’s Party also developed in large part under the Republicans and was in many ways the forerunner of the Greens.

Ted Glick’s concocted argument not only invalidly omits from history any evidence that conflicts with his thesis (i.e., most evidence), it also neglects any deep systemic and multi-variable analysis of social change in favor of a superficial analysis of the supposed effects of "who’s in office." If we can learn anything about post-war oppositional movements, it’s that the standard "progressive" strategies, including narrow electoralism and voting for "Democrats," have been a complete failure.

It’s time to rethink what a powerful, growing, socially transformative Green Movement might look like if the Greens want to play a significant role in creating a just, democratic and ecological future for this planet. In my opinion, the role of giving global imperialism and ecocide a slightly more human face is not such a role

September 25: Supporting War as an Anti-War Strategy

Dear nolastopwar/noladontstopwar,

What a strange list. I certainly don’t plan to vote for the Socialist Workers’ Party’s presidential candidate, but I found it quite appropriate that information on that candidate should appear ton our anti-war list. The reason for this not so astounding conclusion is that their candidate is actually against the war.

On the other hand, I have seen several messages promoting John Kerry, and this seemed to me very inappropriate. The reason for this conclusion is that Kerry is a pro-war candidate who says he would have supported an illegal and immoral invasion if Iraq even if he knew that the famous WMD’s were non-existent, that he would increase the number of illegal, immoral occupation troops, and that if we’re nice and the Iraqis die like they’re supposed to he just might get all the troops home in less than 4 years. He also brags that he was defending the United States during the war in Vietnam, something he once recognized as a lie when he was either honest or sane. He also stupidly salutes at people for no good reason. What is pro-war propaganda on behalf of such a political criminal doing on an anti-war list?

I have an idea. Are you sick of all those narrow-minded, self-righteous, fundamentalist anti-abortion people trying to impose their morality on others? Simple, just convince them to spend most of their time promoting pro-choice political candidates! Oh, you think no one could be gullible enough to allow themselves to be talked into something that dumb. Maybe not them, but no one?

Meanwhile, good luck to everyone in their efforts at stopping, not stopping or helping to promote war!

In struggle for and against war,


October 7: To Howard Ehrlich, editor of Social Anarchism

on the “132 reasons to defeat Bush” that he forwarded.

Thanks, Howard. Many of these are good reasons to work against Bush and all that he stands for. They don’t however give me any reason to vote for Kerry, since this approach doesn’t address the nature of the evil posed by Kerry himself, or the larger context of evil in which the two play their respective roles. If the election of Bush would actually mean "giving up the game" (as election-year catastrophists often contend) then the game is quite clearly already "given up," since such an event can automatically occur as the result of how unpredictable economic cycles fall in relation to elections, how unforeseeable spectacular events occur, etc. Of course, it can be argued that these are "reasons" to support Kerry (it might get rid of Bush), but I think the strategy is disastrous. They could also be seen as reasons to support assassination of Bush (it might get rid of him), but I think that strategy is also disastrous. The Kerry campaign has already done more to pacify and stupidify what’s left of the left and render it incoherent than anything Bush and his gangsters have been able to do. But this is really the political business as usual, just ratcheted up as it usually is every four years. At least it’s helped get me back to my anarchist roots. I should mention that for the first time in my life I took off two weeks to protest at a convention, so don’t think I underestimate the horrifying viciousness of the Republican side of the two-headed monster! I really don’t want to end up getting tortured. But even more I want to help create the possibility of a decent future for humanity and nature. I don’t see collaborationism as the way to do that. Best wishes, John

October 9: Wishing Upon a (Political) Star

The great thing about faith is that you never, never have to lose it! I’m sure that hardly anybody who has faith in John Kerry at this point doesn’t have to worry much about this annoying problem. But here’s a suggestion, just in case Satan plants any nasty doubts in your mind. Whenever a bad thought about John Kerry comes into your mind, just close your eyes really tight, concentrate really hard, and think something really, really bad about George W. Bush. Now you can just feel your faith in Kerry coming back to life. In fact, you can even begin to see John Kerry rising up to Heaven in a cloud of pixie dust. Welcome back, children, to that wonderful world of make-believe called politics!

October 9: On Wishing Upon a (Political) Star

In response to “Wishing upon a (political) star,’ an anarchist friend wrote: “I hardly know anyone voting for him who likes Kerry—everyone is voting against Bush, out of a hatred and loathing I have not seen since Nixon.”

To which I replied: “I see something really different happening. There are a lot of local activists who at least put on a show of promoting Kerry, forwarding articles about his great ideas, and in general saying ridiculous things about him. These people are not anarchists, though some have at least claimed to be sympathetic in the past. Maybe New Orleans is really backward compared to Detroit, but I bet there are a lot of "Progressive" people in other places who act like the ones here. From what I have seen of presidential elections, they tend, like wars, to drive people various degrees of crazy. A dualistic, simplistic, regressive mentality takes over. I’m sure that what takes over these "Progressives" and Liberals to a certain degree takes over many others even more thoroughly. I see the need for an anti-Kerry campaign including perhaps being able to say I would never vote for such a criminal, to counteract the process of making people stupid and obedient that the Kerry campaign carries out. I know my friend who forwarded the message to me has no faith in Kerry. But the message is aimed at helping those to do to hold on to it.”

My anarchist friend also wrote: “I will probably vote. Why? Because 80 percent of the people in the world (that is, in other countries), according to news stories I have seen and heard, want Bush to lose and will be momentarily gladdened by it—so I am going to vote for their desire. Because all my working class friends and liberal friends have been hounding me to vote, and I gotten to the point where I have said to them, ok, I’ll vote for Kerry, in part to show you how little it is going to mean in the long and perhaps even in

the rather short run. Then we will have to ask each other, what next? “

My reply: “Right, you could even vote for Bush and it would have virtually no effect on anything in itself. I feel now a bit like in the early stages of a war. Saying ‘no!’ has a particular power when few are willing to say it. The 80% who are polled around the world probably wanted Clinton out too. They probably want Blair out too and probably have little idea of what the alternative to Blair might look like. Personally I’d like to see both Bush and Blair lose, but I’m not going to join the Kerry stampeed any more that I plan to try to get UK citizenship so I can vote for the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats in order to defeat Blair.”

He continued: “It is possible and arguable that things will be marginally better if Bush wins—he’s incompetent, the right will be completely discredited by what is bound to be a complete debacle in and withdrawal from Iraq rather than the liberal left (so that Kerry pulling out after defeat doesn’t become a rallying cry for a fascist movement, etc.). I can see not voting for that reason. I can also understand someone telling me, I cannot humiliate myself to do this because I have abstained too long, etc. But if you accept the appropriateness of ever voting at all, seeing Bush lose and doing something to make it come about seems a viable political decision, even for someone completely committed to bringing about the end of capitalism and the state.”

My reply: “I’m not sure what ‘viable’ means precisely here. I can understand the argument, however. I just don’t happen to agree with it. I could also understand an argument for anarchists voting for Bush, since Bush might do more for a US/imperial defeat in Iraq, which anarchists presumably would like to see. I don’t agree with voting for Bush with hopes of that good thing happening, but I think that voting for that particular political criminal with such a thing in mind would be in some sense a ‘viable’ choice. I realize that some might choose that approach, some will become Kerry-supporters, some will abstain, and some will support anti-war candidates. Let a thousand flowers bloom! Let weeds and wild grasses bloom! I won’t cluster-bomb anybody who comes a different conclusion. And I won’t send you any more of my anti-Kerry propaganda if it annoys you or makes your life needlessly more difficult. I have many others to annoy!”

October 14: How to Defeat Bush

RE: "Could anyone here post a message at to mention what are the best things people can do on the internet to help defeat Bush?"

I’ll post one on nolastopwar, which is where I saw the question. Use the internet to help support victims of global imperialism throughout the world. Use it to organize active and effective resistance to the system of economic exploitation and political domination that oppresses most of humanity and ravages the biosphere. Work with the grassroots movements—from Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka to the Landless Workers in Brazil to Zapatismo in Mexico—that seek to create another way. Be willing to put your time, money, energy and imagination into this work. Learn from these movements and find out what is really needed on your part to help them succeed. Withdraw your support for the global system of domination and its political and economic agents. Stop being a willing collaborator in global genocide and ecocide. Redefine yourself as an active global citizen and a dissident within the Empire. This is the best way to defeat Bush. It’s also the best way to defeat Kerry.

October 18: On Electoral Stupidity

Naomi Klein has said that the real problem with Bush is not that he’s stupid but that he makes people stupid. Part of what she meant is that Bush’s mispronunciations, malapropisms and other trivialities so often take the place of serious political discussion. But the problem with John Kerry is also that he makes people stupid. Indeed, one of his prime functions in the system of domination is to make the left in particular stupid and in effect, to destroy it as an oppositional movement. Much of the discussion—no, let’s be more precise—much of the chatter on this formerly anti-war list bespeaks Kerry’s brilliant success in this endeavor. It’s probably the only real brilliance that this sad political hack can be accused of, but let’s give him his due.

Here’s my nominee for the most pathetically ironic observation recently to appear on a putatively anti-war list. In the midst of an illegal, immoral, imperialist war. In the midst of continuing murder and mayhem in Iraq, supported by our two super-patriotic, pro-militarist, pro-corporate, imperialist presidential candidates. In the midst of intolerable horror, we are informed of the following crucial fact:

"Senator Kerry returned fire with a genuine zinger."

Fortunately for the President, he survived this ferocious return fire—unlike so many of his and Senator Kerry’s victims.

October 25: On the Deluge of Pro-Kerry Propaganda

in Supposedly Oppositional Movements

Has anybody noticed how strange it is that a certain Mr. Ralph Lopez never had any on-going relationship with the Louisiana Greens until he decided to bombard us with pro-Kerry propaganda? I don’t know much about Ralph Lopez, but I do know that he’s the person who months ago told us that Kerry "must" denounce the invasion of Iraq and call for withdrawal of troops. His "must" statement got to us just days before Kerry announced that he would have supported the invasion even if he had known that there were no WMD’s and that he hoped to get US troops out in four years—after winning the war, of course.

Now Ralph Lopez finds it important to inform the Louisiana Greens Discussion Group that "the Kerry campaign should no longer hesitate to show up Bush/Cheney for hypocrites." What are we supposed to do, force the Democrats to do it? They’ve never done anything else we wanted them to do. Assuming that Ralph Lopez doesn’t hold some weird conspiracy theory that the Louisiana Greens are now in control of the Kerry campaign, he must have mistakenly sent us a message intended for the leaders of that campaign.

But since he inadvertently sent us this message, perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to remind him of why that campaign will certainly not go very far in "showing up Bush/Cheney for hypocrites." The primary reason is that Kerry himself is a cynical, opportunistic, power-seeking hypocrite. And whatever double-thinking "progressives" might try to convince themselves of, he does constantly "flop-flop"— he changes his position continually for political gain. That’s why he gave up his erstwhile Liberalism that Bush still attacks him for, that’s why he supported the invasion and still supports occupation, that’s why he supported the Patriot Act, opposes gay marriage, "personally" opposes abortion while opposing overturn of Roe v. Wade, etc., etc., etc. ad nauseam.

It’s also why he can’t put Bush Jr. on the spot by pointing out that the worst crimes against humanity, war crimes and violations of human rights committed by Saddam were with the support of Bush Sr.’s administration, and that Bush Sr., Rumsfeld et al should be tried as war criminals and human rights violators. In fact, since Bush Jr. has himself said that those who aid terrorists should be treated as terrorists he should logically prosecute them as terrorists (minimally) or perhaps (maximally) drop bombs on them and their families (sic) immediately. But Kerry can’t in fact say any of this because his branch of the political mafia was so deeply complicit in these same crimes and it would mean breaking with the entire system of organized political crime in which he is such a central figure. Hypocrisy is the only recourse.

Let no one say that the American system of government doesn’t work well. This election is the best example I’ve seen in my lifetime. No one has done more to promote war and reaction than George W. Bush. And no one has done more to destroy the anti-war movement and the possibility of a viable left opposition than John Kerry.

Both the greater and the lesser of evils are eminently necessary evils.

October 25: Was John Kerry Really Kidnapped By Aliens?

"Peter Beinart of the New Republic writes: ’for the Bush administration to slam Kerry for lacking a convincing plan for victory in Iraq is like dropping him in the middle of he desert and slamming him for lacking a convincing plan for finding water.’"

It might be a bit hypocritical for the lying, contemptible Bush administration to say it, but the analogy doesn’t work in any case. We shouldn’t feel sorry for poor Kerry for being abducted by aliens and mysteriously deposited in the desert. The guy VOTED TO INVADE IRAQ, and he still thinks the invasion was a good idea! So it’s more like he voluntarily parachuted into the desert without remembering to bring along a map with the directions to the oasis. Of course he’s not the one who’s going to die of thirst as the result of his folly.

Every day Kerry shows himself ever more clearly to be the ethically bankrupt political manipulator that anybody not in a coma or under the influence of a dangerous political ideology can see him for immediately. Yesterday "strong man" Kerry informed us that he’s more qualified to lead the "war on terrorism" than Bush because when he "served our country" in Vietnam he knew how to "hunt down the enemy and kill them." Maybe he is enough of a psychopath to lead this great country.

October 27: The Incredible Shrinking Opposition

The Green Party has so far failed to develop into a socially transformative force because of the lack of focus on getting through to its main natural constituencies—the people who should BE most of the party. The major parties say nothing about the entrenched institutionalized racism in this society, not to mention the systemic class oppression and patriarchy.

If the Greens’ theoretical commitment to social justice and other basic principles were transformed into grassroots involvement in the liberation of people and communities it would be a very different and much more vital and growing movement. I was perplexed that even Nader, an Arab-American, was not able to become really passionate about racism and discrimination or help motivate the Greens on this issue. I heard David Cobb in his debate with Libertarian nominee Badnarik say that he’s for "decriminalization" of marijuana but for "tough" enforcement of laws against "hard drugs." This is totally unbelievable for someone claiming to represent the Green movement. Does he know about the Gulag with over two million people in it? Does he know what prison instead of treatment and self-help has done to whole communities. How about decriminalizing freedom and ending the racist, genocidal "war on drugs"? The Greens believe in "decentralization" but where is the Green program to return power and wealth to oppressed local communities and neighborhoods and allow them to solve their own problems and control themselves?

The Greens might have more of a future with African-American and Latino people if they revived some of the ideas of community power and liberation that the Black Panthers once promoted in this country and that the Magonists supported in the Mexican Revolution.

Of course, they could also see their future as being Liberal Democrats who recycle really faithfully.

November 1: Kerry Campaign Succeeds!

According to the latest Newsweek and New York Times polls, John Kerry will lose by 3-6% if present trends continue. However, even if Kerry loses the election, his campaign will have achieved at least one remarkable success.

According to a just-released New York Times poll, there has been over the last three months of the campaign a 17% shift in public opinion in the direction of support for the war in Iraq. This has occurred despite continuing bad news about the war, including US war deaths surpassing 1100 and total US casualties nearing 10,000.

Such a marked trend toward support for the Iraq war could only have been achieved through the dominance of pro-war messages from candidates representing both major political parties. Kerry’s pro-war campaign has included promises of a “new start” and a “better-managed” war in Iraq, in addition to claims that the war can be won in less than four years. Kerry has also stated that the invasion of Iraq would have been justified even if it had been known that there were no weapons of mass destruction present in that country.

In a New York Times poll conducted between July 11 and 15, 45% of the public still supported the war in Iraq, while 51% said that it had been a mistake. In the poll just completed between October 28 and 30, 53% now support the war, while only 42% still believe that it was a mistake. Thus, a 6% plurality against the war has been turned into a 11% plurality in favor of it, showing a strong 17% shift in public opinion.

In view of the mounting casualties and severe instability in Iraq, it might be assumed that all things being equal, there would have been a growing majority of the public against the war. If this assumption is correct, then the actual “Kerry effect” may in fact have been larger than the 17% pro-war shift reflected in the New York Times poll.

It must be concluded that this data gives further evidence of the continuing effectiveness of the two-party system.

November 1: To a Former Nader Supporter

Racked With Guilt About Having “Helped” Elect Bush

U.S. presidential elections seem to produce something indistinguishable from temporary insanity. For example, they lead many people to complain about how awful “Bush’s” war in Iraq is, and then rally around another candidate who not only voted for the war in Iraq but who still thinks it’s a great idea! They lament the Patriot Act and then campaign for a candidate who voted for it and still supports it. They excoriate Bush for opposing the Kyoto Treaty, and then rally the troops for anti-Kyoto Treaty candidate. The list goes on. No wonder the country has one of the most inept and insignificant lefts in the known world.

Kerry is probably going to lose, but should he win, I wonder how you’ll feel about the tens of thousands of deaths that will take place in his war. You didn’t vote for Bush last time, so it seems like weird contorted thinking to hold yourself responsible for what he did. Should Kerry win, would you have equally high standards for yourself and take full responsibility for the tens of millions who would die from Kerry’s corporate globalist policies every year (as they already do in part because of his senatorial efforts), in addition to the multitudes he would slaughter in war. You will have actually authorized such actions through your vote for a declared pro-war, pro-corporate globalist candidate. Even if you realize that Kerry is a habitual liar you can hardly vote for him on the assumption that he will do nothing that he promises.

If either Kerry or Bush gets out of Iraq any time soon it will not have anything to do with how liberals voted. It will be because of resistance in Iraq and elsewhere, including here. Have you ever heard that voting for them only encourages them? It’s true! The only legitimate vote is a vote expressing opposition and dissidence. A vote for Nader is a vote for hope rather than resignation and capitulation. It’s a vote of hope for the possibility of a growing opposition to a genocidal, ecocidal system. It’s a statement that one is a dissident against this system, not a collaborator with it. I made the mistake of voting for Clinton in 92 when I didn’t see any clear electoral way of protesting against the dominant system. I don’t feel particularly guilty about Clinton’s crimes (of course liberals would say I don’t have to be because Bush Sr. was worse). But I became so disgusted with Clinton, the New Democrats, welfare "reform," NAFTA, Kosovo, the continual bombing of Iraq, etc. that I would love to take my vote back. Abstention would have towered morally over voting for that political criminal. I don’t plan to make the same mistake again.