Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Chomsky replies to Nader

/ evils / lesser / debate

Noam Chomsky was one of the signatories of the "Nader 2000 Leaders Organize To Defeat Bush" petition. Apparently Ralph Nader responded to the issues the signatories were raising, in an interview he gave to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.
This is Chomsky's reply
An exerpt:

Nader: “Well, it’s a total loss of nerve. I mean, first of all, they didn’t ask anything of Kerry.”

Chomsky: Nor of Bush. Kerry and Bush are not my audience. Nor their predecessors. Nor the party leaders.

Activists have quite different concerns. They are engaged with the public, and try to help in the growth and development of popular organizations that will become powerful enough so that they cannot be ignored by centers of power. If Pat Robertson says, as he recently did, that he’ll start a third party unless the Republicans are sufficiently extreme in “support of Israel,” that’s a threat, because he might be able to mobilize tens of millions of evangelical Christians who already form a significant political force, thanks to extensive work over decades from local levels and on, and on numerous issues apart from the political choices from school boards to presidents. If I were to ask something of the Democratic or Republican campaigns, it would be a joke. If we had succeeded in creating mass popular organizations, they would be able to influence campaign rhetoric (and, if powerful enough, decisions) as well. The way we “ask something of Kerry” or Bush is by joining in the work to develop those popular forces.

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