Votes for Nader Will Not Defeat Gore

To the editors:

In response to Adam I. Arenson's column, "The Nader Lie" (Editorial, Oct. 27), no matter how close the presidential race in California may be, Massachusetts and New York, home of many if not most Harvard students, are still not considered to be in play. No vote for either Vice President Al Gore '69 or Texas Gov. George W. Bush is likely to affect the outcome of the presidential race in these and many other states.

It seems, from recent polls, that those who are flocking to the Green ticket are independents and first time voters inspired by a candidate who addresses issues that matter most to them. Most eligible voters in 1996 voted "none of the above" by staying away from the polls.

While I would be very sorry to see a Bush in the White House again, I am even more concerned for the fate of our democracy as it becomes ever more dominated by the two major parties, both of whom have undemocratic primary systems, both of whom are beholden to the same corporate financing and both of whom compete for an ever more right wing "undecided voter."

There are policy differences between Gore and Bush, namely tax cuts, Social Security reform and Medicare. I care much more deeply about public financing of political campaigns, the death penalty, international trade that supports workers' rights, environmental protection and cracking down on corporate crime. On these issues only one candidate is speaking in a different voice: Ralph Nader.

David Wolkenfeld '03

Oct. 27, 2000

The Man From Texas

To the editors:

I was deeply disturbed by Robert Saranchak's editorial "Some Advice for the Man from Texas" (Editorial, Oct. 24). Whether one supports Bush or not, one can see clearly that the author is blatantly unfair in his criticism of the Republican candidate for President. His critiques represent the frustration of a Democratic Party staring defeat in the eyes.

Not every child grows up in a New York kitchen using the word "insurance." Do you actually believe that quotas pit people against each other the same way that baseball teams do? I'm a big Mets fan and I hate Roger Clemens. What does that have to do with affirmative action?

Bush has made education his top priority since forming his Exploratory Committee. His idealistic goal is that "no child will be left behind." It's time for some idealism and optimism in Washington.

Eliah Z. Seton '04

Oct. 24, 2000