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How To Have A No War Voice Heard In This Election

Stateside With Rosalea

How To Have A No War Voice Heard In This Election

There is one simple thing that all the millions of people in the United States who oppose the war in Iraq can do to express their sentiments this election: they can work to get Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo on the ballot in their state.

I'm not saying they should vote for them; but supporting the right of an antiwar voice to be heard in this 2004 presidential race can just as effectively be achieved by helping these two clear the massive hurdles they face as independent candidates. In some states it's too late, but the bulk of the signature petition filing needs to be done in the next three weeks.

Now, if you're a progressive Democrat who was perhaps hanging on to Dennis Kucinich as the last antiwar voice standing at the upcoming convention, you're going to have to work especially hard to win the Nader-Camejo campaign's trust when you volunteer to get signatures. In Oregon, where having 1,000 people in a hall listening to a speaker and collecting their signatures is enough to get you on the ballot, the Democratic Party apparently sent its supporters "under cover" to fill the hall and exclude those who would have signed.

How a party can even call itself the "democratic" party and indulge in behavior like that is beyond understanding, and the Kerry-Edwards campaign is going to be in some deep doo-doo if it is supporting such actions. And if they are supporting such actions, what is it they have got to fear? It's not like this is the year 2000, where the economy was booming and terrorism was something that happened off-shore.

This is a wartime election with a wartime president running for re-election during a time of national insecurity and economic uncertainty, and on historical precedent alone it's obvious he is going to win OR lose big time. Not by a few votes, but by a double-digit percentage. Everybody of whatever political stripe who opposes US intervention in Iraq stands only to benefit by enabling the Nader-Camejo voice to be heard, and if they feel the risk is too great to vote for them in November, then don't.

It's not like I'm asking you to collect signatures for the Pharmaceutical and Hospital Insurance Lobby Party candidates, or the Energy and Defense Contractors Lobby Party candidates, now is it?

The reason those lobby groups don't have candidates is because they don't need them. They get the legislation passed that they care about by working behind the scenes, away from where you and I can scrutinize their actions. Can you honestly say that YOU don't need candidates who are upfront about where they stand on the issues that matter to you?

Are you really just going to roll over and say, "Wow! It felt so energizing and powerful to go on those marches and voice that discontent, but, gee. This game is for the big players, not for me."

"This game," my friends, is democracy. If you believe in it, then show the world you do by helping get this antiwar ticket on the presidential ballot. After all, what kind of country would you expect to be living in where only two brands of cereal were allowed on the supermarket shelf because the makers of those two brands refused to let anyone else compete?

I don't think "democracy" is the word that would describe such a place. Do you?


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