was just a matter of time before The New Republic
delivered Ralph Nader the ultimate insult. He is and
we might have expected this an anti-Semite, according
to an editorial in last weeks issue, appallingly scurrilous
even by the magazines abysmal standards. Nader in
1960 wrote an article for American Mercury. Apparently,
this now-defunct magazine had also published anti-Semitic
pieces. Given Naders Lebanese parentage, not to mention
his recent suggestion that the United States had been less
than evenhanded in the Middle East ("In this conflict
you cannot take sides and be an honest broker. The U.S.
is taking sides"), and little more needs to be said
they see the White House slowly slipping from their grasp,
desperation seems to have taken hold of the toadies and
flacks of the Clinton era, so they launch hysterical vituperations
against Nader. Nader is "stealing" votes that
rightfully belong to Al Gore. According to The New York
Times, Naders "willful prankishness"
is a "disservice to the electorate," which must
be denied the right to vote for whomever it wants. "He
calls his wrecking-ball candidacy a matter of principle,
but it looks from here like ego run amok."
It is hard to think of two candidates who agree on as little
as Gore and Nader. Al Gores entire political career
has been dedicated to the pursuit of repression at home
and the use of force abroad. The Al Gore that Nader supporters
are being instructed by Democratic Party heavyweights Gloria
Steinem, Jesse Jackson, Rob Reiner, Martin Sheen to
vote for is someone who favors the "Three Strikes Youre
Out" law. Gore also supports extending the death penalty
to "drug kingpins, murderers of federal law enforcement
officers, and nearly 60 additional kinds of violent felons."
Gore would also want to pass legislation requiring criminal
defendants "in drug-related crimes who are awaiting
trial [to] get off drugs to stay out of jail." In other
words, Gore is in favor of imprisonment before trial.
has also urged a crackdown on juvenile crime. He wants to
use the FBI "to break up violent teen gangs."
He is in favor of laws to ensure that convicted violent
juveniles are banned from owning guns for life. Gore also
wants to pour more federal money into the nations
courts. He wants to continue Clintons COPS initiative
that ostensibly sought to fund 100,000 new cops nationwide.
But he wants an additional 50,000. And as if that were not
enough, he wants to fund the hiring of an additional 10,000
prosecutors. Gore also proposes tougher penalties for those
who commit crimes in front of children. "If you commit
violent crime in front of a child, you should pay an even
higher price for it, more time in jail, because you have
traumatized a child, because you have started a cycle of
violence." Gore also wants to enact federal legislation
establishing "gang-free zones." There would be
curfews on specific gang members, a ban on gang-related
clothing and the legal authority to break up gangs once
and for all.
is a fervent advocate of "hate-crimes" legislation.
Gore has also proposed a Crime Victims Bill of Rights,
which includes a constitutional amendment guaranteeing such
rights for crime victims as being heard in the sentencing
process or being notified of a perpetrators release.
In another piece of Gore-proposed legislation, crime victims
would also have the right to take time off work to attend
is not on record as having voiced any objections to such
Clinton administration violations of civil liberties as
the federal wiretapping law. Nor has Gore spoken out against
the FBIs Carnivore Internet snooping system.
Gore loudly proclaims his opposition to racial profiling.
Yet he is not averse to certain kinds of racial profiling.
In 1997, as head of the White House Commission on Aviation
Safety and Security, he recommended heightened scrutiny
of airline passengers. The commission advocated the establishment
of a nationwide computer profiling system to keep personal
data on all passengers. Airlines, according to Wired,
would thus be able "to compare travelers personal
data to profiles of likely terrorists." Not surprisingly,
Arab-Americans have been the most vociferous in denouncing
this policy, since they have been its most frequent victims.
hero of Hollywood boasts that he intends to spend $50 billion
more on defense over the next 10 years than George W. Bush.
He intends to go ahead and build a national missile defense
system something, the Russians insist, that violates
the 1972 ABM Treaty. Gore plans to continue maintaining
sanctions on Iraq irrespective of the suffering it has caused
for 10 years.
is proud of having championed air strikes against the Serbs;
of bombing a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan; and of having,
in December 1998, urged Clinton not to let up in his bombing
of Iraq. Gore wants to expand NATO and to station U.S. troops
in the Balkans indefinitely. His campaign website states
that he "has fought tirelessly to strengthen Israels
defense capabilities, ensure Israels qualitative military
and promote a robust and constant U.S. role in
the peace process." Evidently he sees no contradiction
between the two policies. Moreover, Al Gore "has long
supported strengthening Israels deterrent capability
and increasing U.S.-Israel defense cooperation, including
the Arrow missile defense program and the Tactical High-Energy
Laser." The term "deterrent" is unambiguous it
refers to nuclear weapons.
probably has more in common with George W. Bush than he
does with Al Gore.