Ivan Zassoursky on 29 Oct 2000 08:28:05 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Nader is important, get rid of fear

I have been on a lecture tour throughout New York state, visiting 10 
campuses in the SUNY system - in fact i travel almost as much as the 
candidates. On my way i have discovered that in every city where there was a 
free advertisement-supported newspaper (commercial OR alternative) Nader was 
endorsed by it. Commercial newspapers, i repeat - published for profit, with 
adult pages and everything. It means that if the major newspapers were not 
linked to party establishments so much, they would probably be forced to 
take a different stand as well.

In a conversation resembling the Soviet 'kitchen talk' (off-the-record, away 
from corporate surroundings) after a drink or two most of the academics 
pronounced their support as well. Obviously, Nader tapped into the huge 
public resource and thus changed this elections forever. This is a Nader 
election campaign and the only meaning of it is the one he brings - the 
emergence of a strong base of public support for the third party.

Whenever there was a major change, there is always somebody with doubts. It 
is only by our mistakes that we learn. The mistake made too many times was 
to listen to the 'warnings'. Nothing comes out of caution - in fact it is 
nothing less but a fear, disguised as prudence. And a strategy of the Gore 
camp as well. In this campaign Nader has nothing to lose. All those 
'warnings' are trying to steal away this crucial advantage. Nader tells his 
supporters to vote for him only if Gore is safe - i have been on his rally 
in Albany - and this should remind all the responsible sitizens of the fact 
that he is sane and knows what he is doing and why. And certainly hee has a 
better record than those warning against him. They will be forgotten 
tomorrow, as well as their misguided or sponsored efforts and so be it.

The truth is that what we are witnessing is a transformation of the 
political field in the United States of America. Thee 'warnings' always come 
from the people accustomed to the previous configuration of the political 
field or possessing a vested interest in maintaining the status quo - aside 
from those frightened into believing that a choice between Bush and Gore 
makes any difference.

Thee paradox of modern politics is that although PR people indeed spend a 
lot of money in their effort to construct the difference between two major 
candidates, once they get into the office, politicians tend to move in the 
similar direction; they converge. Nader can bring new meanings to politics 
that are already making a difference. Those who think that this should 
happen, that something should be done, must not listen to anybody or 
anything but their intention. If Bush wins because of Nader, this will be 
better than having Gore overshadow Nader. The more attention - positive or 
negative - Nader receives, the more is the influence of the voters who do 
support him on the political process in the long and short term alike.

Most of the time votes are ignored or reinterpreted - but this time it will 
be harder to arrange. The victory of Bush would make both republicans and 
democrats tune into the new audience and adjust. Because Nader supporters 
are young, they mean future. And in politics future is the market. If Nader 
voters do control the bottleneck, their influence would be immense.

It is possible to imagine and there are such precedents in political 
history, that when the Green party of the USA will emerge as a major force, 
it will force democrats and republicans to unite in a kind of demolican or 
repocrat coalition. Evidently, presidential elections are the moment when 
the emerging force meets with resistance from only one party, another trying 
to benefit from it. Change is never welcome, but always comes in due time. 
Once the elections are over, Nader will have to deal with both at once. For 
this he and the Green party need all the support and encouragement they can 

Vote for Nader. It will make you feel better.

ivan zassoursky
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