Democratic Underground

Come Together
September 8, 2001
by Matt McDonald

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With polls showing that half of all Ralph Nader voters would have cast their ballot for Gore, one could certainly argue that Nader handed the election to Bush. However, we must also remember the equally acceptable argument that a citizen's vote belongs to no candidate but the one they feel best represents them, and that Gore was far too moderate for many hardcore liberals to stomach.

The crucial question of "what if Nader had quit?" has created a seemingly unbridgable chasm between Democrats and Greens, a political powder keg that has resulted in bitter rancor and animosity between the two parties.

Election 2000, like it or not, is long over. What happened last year- the Florida mess, the Supreme Court's coup d'etat, and Ralph Nader's campaign - is in the past. It's over. It can't be changed. Bush is the president, Gore isn't, and Ralph didn't even get the 5 percent he needed.

What Democrats and Greens need to realize now is that the other guy is not the enemy, and the GOP is. While Democrats whine about the Greens' "idealism to the exclusion of realism" and the Greens criticize the Dems' moderate turn, Resident Bush is running amok destroying the environment, the economy, Social Security, reproductive rights, and generally making us look ridiculous in the eyes of the international community.

To beat back the Bush menace, Democrats and Greens need to put aside their comparitively trivial differences and concentrate on what's really at stake here- the Congress in 2002, the White House in 2004, and the future of this country.

The GOP forces its members to all march in perfect lockstep with the party line - try to dissent, and, well, look at Jim Jeffords. Democrats, on the other hand, are able to tolerate differences within the party. Look at the ideological differences between Democratic senators Paul Wellstone and Zell Miller. The Democrats are able to bring together people of many different political stripes under the same name. So why can't it learn to accept and work with the Greens?

And how naive is it of the Green Party to claim that the Democratic Party and the GOP are the same party with two names? Honestly, look at the fundamental differences on the issues of abortion, race, religion, free speech, campaign finance reform, taxes, the environment, election reform, gun control, and the military, just to name a few. And frankly, the Green positions on many of these issues is the same as that of the Democrats.

I'm sorry to say this, but the Green Party has a very slim chance of becoming a serious contender in American politics right now. However, the Greens are not so insignificant that the Democrats can afford to ignore or ridicule them.

2002 is just a year away. Democrats and Greens have got to learn to cooperate and put aside party differences and do what's right for America, in whatever way they can. We know we have the support of the American people - look at the combined Nader-Gore popular vote vs. Bush's. We can either continue on this bitter, partisan road, or we can agree on who our mutual enemy is, and fight back. Nothing less than our country is at stake here.