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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Nov. 10, 2000


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking here or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer 7 or 8.)
This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Progressives Debate: Will Nader's Candidacy Shock the System Leftward or Revive Reagan-Era Politics?
Moderated by Scott Harris.

Democrats concerned about the tight race between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush have for months been on the attack against Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who they label as a potential spoiler in election 2000. The New York Times, which has endorsed Gore, has published a series of editorials condemning Mr. Nader's candidacy, going so far as to accuse him of "willful prankishness" and conducting a "self-indulgent crusade."

In the closing weeks of the campaign, Vice President Al Gore is making the case that a vote for Nader is a vote for George W. Bush. In dozens of rallies in battleground states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, Gore, his political allies and friends in the entertainment industry, have tried to win back disaffected Nader voters with the warning that casting a ballot for the Greens could usher in a Bush presidency -- endangering a woman's right to choose and federal policies on the environment, education and social security.

In the final lap of this election, Republicans are sensing victory and many have bent over backwards to lavish praise on Mr. Nader. GOP allies in fact have spent over $100,000 in the final week of the campaign to buy TV ads in Washington, Wisconsin and Oregon, which feature a portion of a Nader speech attacking Gore's environmental record. Their ad of course, leaves out a section of that same speech which assails George Bush "as a big corporation running for president, disguised as a person."

While some Green Party activists are defiant, stressing that a Gore defeat would provide a shock to the system that some feel is necessary to start the process of cleaning up the corruption of corporate dominated politics, other Nader supporters are advocating strategic voting -- casting a vote for the Greens only in the 40 states where the contest is already over.

Once ignored by the corporate media and the major parties, Ralph Nader and his supporters may now be pivotal in deciding who will win or lose the White House Nov. 7.

Between The Lines presents a debate on the merits of Nader's Green Party candidacy. Supporting Ralph Nader is Dr. Manning Marable, professor of history and political science and director of the Institute for Research in African American studies at Columbia University. Cathy Hurwit, who has endorsed Vice President Gore, is chief of staff for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat in Illinois, Hurwit worked with Citizen Action for 12 years advocating progressive policies on health care, energy and the environment.

Green Party Has Refocused U.S. Left on Electoral Politics
Interview by Scott Harris.

Whatever the outcome of this year's presidential and congressional election, some observers are noting that due to Ralph Nader's Green Party presidential candidacy, the U.S. left is now more fully engaged in electoral politics than it has been since the days of the Vietnam War. Whether it's heated debates about the shortcomings of Al Gore and conservative "New Democrats" or a visceral fear of the policies of George W. Bush, progressive activists are debating electoral strategy and their future role in U.S. politics.

Despite his exclusion from the nationally televised candidate debates, Nader was drawing about five percent of the vote, according to opinion polls at the close of the campaign. Because the margin of victory or defeat is so small in many critical states, the left has been imbued with newfound power to influence this year's presidential contest. Progressives by and large have taken this responsibility quite seriously -- some going so far as to launch sophisticated Internet sites where citizens in states solidly for Gore or Bush can trade votes with worried Nader supporters in the so-called battleground states.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with John Nichols, an editor at the Capitol Times in Madison, Wis., and a columnist with the Nation magazine, who assess Nader's candidacy's influence on progressive politics in the years ahead..

John Nichols writes "The Beat" column for the Nation magazine, which can be found at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon and Rich Fraser

  • Western European resistance to genetically-modified food forcing biotech companies to look east for new markets. (In These Times: Oct. 16, 2000)
  • Supreme Court to decide if mandatory drug tests for pregnant women are constitutional. (The Nation: October 16, 2000)
  • Sacred artifacts returned to Native Americans not always safe for ceremonial use. (Mother Jones: Oct. 24, 2000)

... MORE ...

Between The Lines/WPKN Radio Pre-Election Issue Forums:

Growing Economic Inequality, The Failed Drug War & Prison Industrial Complex

Progressives Debate: Will Nader's Candidacy Shock the System Leftward or Revive Reagan-Era Politics?

Issues the Major Parties Agree on and Therefore Refuse to Debate


"CEO/Worker Pay Gap: The Neglected Campaign Issue"

"Divided Decade: Economic Disparity at the Century's Turn"

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