The Nader letters

Bianca Jagger, Ani DiFranco, Gloria Steinem, Toni Morrison, Sean Wilentz, Tom Laughlin and other pro- and anti-Nader folks wage e-mail combat.

By Compiled by Salon staff

Published November 6, 2000 7:00PM (EST)

Ralph Nader's candidacy has been the most deeply galvanizing force in this election. His divisive campaign has split liberal and progressive voters who are faced with the predicament of having to choose between the promise of third party politics and the possibility that a vote for longtime consumer advocate Nader could contribute to a George W. Bush victory on Nov. 7. The following letters, which have been making the e-mail rounds, illustrate how deeply the rift has grown in the days leading up to the election.


Dear Mr. Nader:

Over the years, you have accomplished a great deal for the American people. Your candidacy in this election has been important. You have raised serious issues that need to be addressed.

However, the time has come to forego ideology and self-interest and step aside. You need to reconsider the consequences of your campaign. If you do not, you will ensure that George W. Bush is the next United States president. You are focusing your campaign in crucial states such as Michigan, Minnesota and Oregon, where, if converted to you, Al Gore supporters will give the state to Bush with disastrous consequences for the future of this nation.

If Bush is elected with a Republican majority in Congress, the American people stand to lose most of the social, economic and environmental progress we have made in the last 30 years. If there is any question in your mind of this, consider the following:


You claim that there is no difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Have you looked at George W. Bush's record in Texas? When we look at their likely appointees to the Supreme Court, George W. Bush's justices would repeal established individual rights and civil liberties. Let's take a look at federal judge Edith Jones, a Reagan appointee, frequently mention as a possible Bush Supreme Court nominee. On Oct. 27, she was part of a three-judge panel and ruled with the majority to reinstate Calvin Burdine's death sentence on the grounds that -- although his court-appointed lawyer James Cannon slept through portions of the trial -- "We cannot determine whether Cannon slept during a critical stage of Burdine's trial." Cannon not only slept but failed to object to prosecutorial language clearly designed to stir homophobia. The prosecutor urged the jury to impose the death penalty on Burdine because "sending a homosexual to the penitentiary certainly isn't a very bad punishment for a homosexual." Texas by far leads the U.S. in executions, with a total of 232 in the last 18 years; of this number, 145 executions have been carried out during Bush's tenure as governor. Bush will appoint ultra-conservative judges who will actively seek to take away a woman's right to choose. They will also support the corporate interests you have been so courageously fighting against by promoting "tort reform" which, as you know, is another way to disempower the average citizen and take away their right to sue corporations who damage them or cause them death.

Furthermore, a Bush Supreme Court will be anti-environment and will side with the exploiters and polluters who so willingly sacrifice the public health and safety on the altar of short term profit.

Al Gore's judicial heroes are Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan. You will agree that they are among the very best in the Supreme Court. Al Gore has a balanced judicial outlook and no doubt would appoint justices from the progressive side of the American political spectrum. The balance between Bush's and Gore's ideal justices provides a litmus-test distinction between the major candidates. These constitutional issues are likely to make the fundamental difference and will strengthen or tear apart the fabric of American society.


While Gore intends to use the surplus to pay down the deficit, Bush plans To refund a large part of it to the wealthy. He says it's their money and they should get it back.

At this time the nation is almost five trillion six hundred billion dollars in the red. That is $5,600,000,000,000. Over the past ten years, Americans paid over three trillion dollars in interest. This year Americans will pay an estimated three hundred and sixty-two billion dollars in interest. That is $362,000,000,000, Mr. Nader. About $1,400 for every man woman and child in this country. Do you have any idea what that amount of money could do for the environment and health care and education if it was not being wasted on interest?

Next year Americans will pay even more. And the years after that still more. And instead of paying down the deficit, it will grow larger. Why? To insure that multimillionaires can have their much needed tax breaks. And if Bush is elected and inheritance tax is eliminated, the middle class will be asked to make up the hundreds of billions of dollars in those lost revenues as well.


As governor of Texas, Bush has put the polluters in charge of the state's environmental program with the result that Texas is now an environmental disaster. Although he doesn't dare articulate it during the campaign,

The Republican agenda includes doing away with the Environmental Protection Agency. If it's not eliminated completely it will be emasculated to the point where it exists in name only.

And in service of his major contributors, the Oil and Coal conglomerates, Bush and the Republicans will encourage oil exploration in environmentally sensitive areas and the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity and much more.

If you think global warming is bad now, just give a Bush administration a few years to pay off its debt to these special interests.

And whether you want to admit it or not, Mr. Nader, Al Gore has been a strong advocate for environmental protection. He recognized the danger of global warming before most people had heard the term. And he almost single-handedly, and against the advice of all his political advisors saved the Kyoto Accords. However, a rabid Republican Congress has blocked their implementation along with almost every other environmental effort put forth by the Clinton Administration. You are correct. Clinton/Gore have not got a lot done. But if you'd been president these past eight years, neither would you.


You warn us of the growing power and influence of the corporations on our lives and our democracy yet you threaten to help defeat the only candidate with any chance of doing the one thing that will help solve this problem.

You know Bush and the Republicans will not support Campaign Finance Reform, Gore has promised that he will work with John McCain in his mission To bring about the reform American politics need. Can you explain why you would actively work to keep this from happening?


You are aware that Bush plans to divert hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street. It seems like a great scheme while the market is going up as it has been for the past several years. But what goes up also comes down. While this risky scheme may put a few billion in the pockets of the brokers and underwriters, it will turn Social Security into Social Insecurity and endanger the retirement of many people who unfortunately do not have as much money as you do.

Mr. Nader, you have stated publicly that you would rather see Bush win than Gore. You seem to believe that Bush will make things so bad that the country will rise. This reminds me of the days when doctors bled patients in order to cure them. The problem was the patients often died from the treatment rather than the disease. As someone who agrees with you on so many issues and would love to see you continue your campaign to educate and enlighten us about the things for which you claim to care so much, I ask you to do the right thing. The election is too close and now is the time for you to throw your support behind Gore.

If you help Bush win, you will have single-handedly done more damage to this nation than any right wing candidate. Please do not let this happen.


Bianca Jagger

When I cast my vote this November, I intend to cast it in favor of progressive ideas and grassroots action. I'm going to support a genuine alternative to a closed system where two parties often act with a single agenda -- an agenda which simply does not address the daily reality of millions of citizens. I'm going to lend my voice to the fundamental concept that government should serve the needs of the people, not a handful of multinational corporations.

In other words, I'm voting for Ralph Nader.

If you're talkin' policies, my decision has never been simpler. Nader speaks openly against the death penalty and in support of women's rights, plus his environmental stand is exemplary. Nader and the Greens also want to cut military spending, end the drug war and attack poverty at its systemic roots. They represent the best way to follow through on the groundswell of anti-capitalist activism currently uniting progressives across traditional boundaries of gender, class and generation. I don't expect him to win, of course, but I know that a vote for him truly counts over the long haul, because it's helping to bust open the stifling two-party stranglehold on our system and bring progressive voices into the national political discourse which has for too long been dominated by moderates and hyperconservatives.

'Course, there's just one little hitch.

The way the electoral college works, a majority of votes for a given candidate wins the whole state, and there are certain states where Gore or Bush will be clear winners. In my home state of New York, for instance, it's easy to vote for Nader without worrying that I am vicariously aiding and abetting a Bush victory.

But in the so-called swing states (currently Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin), a Green Party vote really does mean that Bush comes one vote closer to winning. While I am sensitive to the power of a symbolic protest vote, there are larger issues at stake in this election. It's true that Democrats and Republicans have grown disturbingly similar to each other, but there are still profound differences between their agendas. If I found myself in a swing state, I'd remember the record number of executions Governor Bush has authorized in the state of Texas, for instance, and I'd think long and hard about the bleak future of women's reproductive rights in a Republican-controlled White House. And my vote would go to Al Gore.

I firmly believe that if all of us progressive thinkers around the country collaborate in a thoughtful strategy, we can achieve the dual goals of getting the Green Party on the ballot for future elections and getting Gore into the White House, thereby preventing the tragedy of a Baby Bush administration.

Because my vote does count, this year more than ever. The choice may not be cut and dried, but one thing is obvious: I don't want an even dumber (can you say "inbreeding"?) Bush in office, and I don't want my actions to allow that to happen.

-- ani difranco


WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, are deeply disturbed by the continuing national campaign by Ralph Nader, which is growing ever more harmful as Election Day approaches.

It is now plain that Mr. Nader is willing to make incredible statements and take unbelievable positions in order to gain the 5% of the vote he seeks.

Instead of a liberal or progressive force, his campaign now seriously threatens to elect the dangerous George W. Bush to the presidency. Despite Mr. Nader's past great achievements, and despite the good faith of his rank-and-file supporters, his has now become a wrecking-ball campaign --one that betrays the very liberal, humane and progressive values it claims to uphold.

Recently, Mr. Nader has said that:

--IF GIVEN A CHOICE BETWEEN BUSH AND GORE, HE WOULD VOTE FOR BUSH. Mr. Nader would happily throw the country to the Right, placing the Supreme Court, the rest of the federal judiciary, and the entire executive regulatory system including the Food and Drug Administration in the hands of the most retrograde elements in our political life. (see Outside Magazine, August 2000)

--ENVIRONMENTAL REACTIONARIES SERVE A POSITIVE FUNCTION. Mr. Nader has argued that past appointments like Reagan's Secretary of the Interior James Watt usefully serve as "provocateurs" for change. He has also denounced the Sierra Club and other long-standing allies for their "servile mentality" in not supporting him. (New York Times, October 29, 2000)

-- THE REPEAL OF ROE V. WADE WOULD BE OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE. Never a champion of women's rights, Mr. Nader claims that abortion rights might just as well be left up to the states. ("This Week with Sam Donaldson," October 29, 2000)

--ALL U.S. AID TO ISRAEL SHOULD BE CUT. No matter what one thinks of the current situation in the Middle East, such rhetoric is not only irresponsible, it is inflammatory. (Common Dreams News Center, October 24, 2000.)

But these are only the latest thoughtless utterances from Mr. Nader. From the start, he said his effort would help the Democrats gain votes in the House of Representatives -- while at the same time he has vilified the Democrats as no different than the Republicans. His supporters in various states talk about a "risk-free" Nader vote in places where Gore or Bush are "strong," even as Mr. Nader himself aggressively looks for votes in liberal cities and on college campuses in vital toss-up states. (These toss-ups now may well include California.)

Should Governor Bush be elected President, and the Republicans hold the Congress, conservative Republicans will have virtually captured firm control of all three branches of the Federal Government for the first time since 1930. Mr. Nader, who is also supporting Green congressional candidates who have no chance of winning in some tight races, apparently does not care about this -- or worse, seeks it, under the naive impression that it will heighten social contradictions and lead to what he has called "a progressive convulsion"-- that is, the worse, the better.

This is sectarianism of a familiar sort in the century just past -- a sectarianism that had reaped nothing but political catastrophe. vWe implore all liberal and progressive voters to reject the Nader campaign on November 7 and to vote for Gore and Lieberman.

Signatories (partial list; list in formation)

Benjamin Barber, Rutgers University
Paul Berman, writer and critic
Michael Berube, University of Illinois
Marco Calavita, film critic
Ellen Chesler, writer and critic
Mitchell Cohen, City University of New York, Dissent
Bogdan Denitch, City University of New York
Ronald Dworkin, New York University
Dagoberto Gilb, writer
Todd Gitlin, New York University
Francisco Goldman, writer
Mary Gordon, novelist and critic
Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker
Bianca Jagger, activist
John B. Judis, The New Republic
David Kusnet, writer and critic
Jeremy Larner, writer and critic
Wendy Lesser, The Threepenny Review
Harold Meyerson, Los Angeles Weekly
Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate, novelistand critic
Jo-Ann Mort, Open Society Fund
Brian Morton, nvelist and critic
David Osborne, writer
George Packer, novelist and critic
Jayne Anne Phillips, novelist
James Shapiro, Columbia University
Christine Stansell, Princeton University
Gloria Steinem, writer and activist
Ruy Teixeira, Century Foundation
Siva Vaidhyanathan, New York University
Judith B. Walzer, formerly New School University
Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Dissent
Jim Weinstein, In These Times
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University


We circulated the following statement by Internet September 4-21. It was then published as a full-page advertisement, with 276 signers, in The Nation, October 23. Since that time, it has drawn additional signers who responded to the advertisement in The Nation, as well as to continued circulation by Internet. The signers remain predominantly academics, intellectuals, artists and writers; but, especially since publication in The Nation, the list of signatories has broadened somewhat. We intend to keep it circulating and to continue to post and publish it with additional signatures. Please copy, post and call to the attention of other potential signers.

We hope you will add your name as soon as possible by e-mail to, including in the e-mail a note saying that you wish to add your name to the statement; and, for identification purposes, your title/occupation, affiliation (if applicable); and your address. If you can, please also contribute by snail mail to the costs of getting this statement publicized in additional locations (see handy coupon below). We have been gratified by the rapid and enthusiastic response to a strong endorsement that gives voice to the critical concerns of many Nader supporters. We look forward to a large vote for Ralph Nader on Election Day, which will strengthen the foundations of independent politics in the years to come. - October 22, 2000

- Jesse Lemisch, History, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York* (

- Joanne Landy, Member, Editorial Board, New Politics magazine* To see The Nation ad as it originally appeared with its 276 signatures, click here (in PDF format, which requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free).

We have given serious attention to the arguments that we have heard pro and con, and have concluded that we will vote for Ralph Nader for President and Winona LaDuke for Vice President. In addition, we protest the two-party big-business alliance that funds the presidential debates and excludes Nader. Without Nader, the debates will be nothing but paid corporate advertisements.

This is a shameful time, in the culture as well as in the economy. Unleashed corporate power, here and around the world, has had a barbarizing impact on: health care, the environment, welfare, distribution of income, criminal justice, media, publishing, civil liberties, workplace safety, education, and privacy. All this has been accompanied by triumphalist fanfare, the advance of mean and cruel values, rampant commercialization, privatization, deregulation, loss of established rights, repressive "drug war," police violence, incarceration and execution frenzy, continued phenomenal military budgets, and the enormous extension of unaccountable corporate power worldwide through NAFTA, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization. You don't have to be a scholar (or a rocket scientist) to see that Bush and Gore serve the corporations, not ordinary Americans, and that both of them are a disaster for the safety and well being of people throughout the world.

As regards the realism of Nader's candidacy, in addition to his sound positions, it should be noted that he is clearly more competent, better informed, more intelligent, more articulate, and more capable of handling vast amounts of information than are his adversaries. On the other hand, although Nader's announced positions have positive implications for issues around abortion, women, gay rights, race and affirmative action, many of us think that he should speak with more clarity and passion on these matters, and we urge him to do so both because it is the right thing to do, and because it is essential if the Nader campaign is to reach out more effectively to women, gays, lesbians, and racial minorities.

We have immediately before us overwhelming empirical evidence presented by Clinton and Gore's collusion in the barbarizations-by-corporations listed above, during two terms of accelerated rightward movement of the Democratic Party. Never again. We have been down this blind alley before. It's time to break out of the rightward surging, self-perpetuating trap of lesser evilism and faux populism.

We will vote for Ralph Nader, the only candidate who offers a sane and reasoned critique and a humane alternative direction for the United States.

*Affiliations of initiators and signers for identification only

7Lorraine N. Abraham, Library Dir, Abingdon, VA
7Everett Aison, Schl of Visual Arts Film Schl, NYC
7Michael Albert, Z Magazine/ZNet, Boston
7Benjamin Alpers, Honors/History, U of Oklahoma
7Blair Alpert-Sandler, Economist, SF
7Sayre D. Andersen, English/Philosophy, Wayne St Coll, NE
7Paul Apostolidis, Politics, Whitman Coll, WA
7Anthony Arnove, Ed, South End Press
7Stanley Aronowitz, Dist Prof, Sociology, Grad Ctr, CUNY
7Joe Auslander, Mathematics, U of Md, Coll Pk
7Vivian Babuts, Artist, NYC
7Steven Bachelor, History, Yale U
7Dean Baker, Co-Dir, Ctr for Economic and Policy Rsrch, Wash, DC
7Benjamin Balthasar, MFA Program/Poetry, UMass, Amherst
7Kirk Bane, History, Texas Tech U, Lubbock
7Bil Banks, African American Studies, U of Calif, Berkeley
7Patrick Barrett, Havens Ctr, U of Wisc, Madison
7David Barsamian, Alternative Radio
7Roldo Bartimole, Writer, Point of View, Cleveland
7Leslie Bary, Latin American Studies / Spanish, U of Lousiana, Lafayette
7Rosalyn Baxandall, American Studies, SUNY Old Westbury
7Howard Beeth, History, Texas Southern U
7Vince Beiser, Mother Jones/MoJo Wire, SF
7Curt Bell and Linda Bell, Scientist/Teacher, Portland, OR
7Bob and Patty Bender, Activists/Singers, Plainfield NJ
7David Berenson, Schl Counselor/Psychology Assist, Cleveland
7Barbara Berglund, History, U of Mich, Ann Arbor
7Christopher Berkeley, Framingham State Coll, MA
7Elaine Bernard, Labor Educator, Harvard U
7Mel Bienenfeld, SUNY Westchester Comm Coll
7Jonathan Birnbaum, Writer, Chgo
7Kent Blaser, History, Wayne St Coll, NE
7Carl Bloice, Ed, California Nurse
7Marshall Blonsky, Writer, NYC
7Grace Lee Boggs, Activist/Writer, Detroit
7Mike Bonislawski, History, Boston Coll
7Andrew J. Bonnell, Ball State U
7Frank Borgers, Labor Studies, U Mass, Amherst
7Eileen Boris, Women and Gender, U of VA
7Debby Bors, Alternative Press Ctr, Baltimore
7Howard Botwinick, Economics, SUNY Cortland
7Robert Brecha, Physics, U of Dayton
7Mark Brenner, Political Economy Rsrch Inst, UMass, Amherst
7Richard J. Brown, Psychiatrist, NYC
7Dennis Brutus, Poet
7Paul Buhle, American Civilization, Brown U
7Bill and Julie Bussiere, Phila, PA
7Bob Buzzanco, History, U of Houston
7Leslie Cagan, Peace/Social Justice organizer
7Roane Carey, The Nation
7Richard Carr, U of VA
7Donna Cartwright, Transgender Tapestry Magazine
7Patrick Catt, History of Science, U of Chgo
7Paula Chakravartty, Communication, U of Calif, San Diego
7Lynn Chancer, Sociology/Anthropology, Fordham U
7Stuart F. Chen-Hayes, Counselor Education, Lehman Coll, CUNY
7Robert Cherry, Economics, Brooklyn Coll, CUNY
7Tony Christiani, English, S Texas Community Coll, Rio Grande City, TX
7Frederick J. Churchill, N. Kingstown, RI
7Dylan Clark, Geography, U of Colorado
7Alisha Clarke, Sociology, UMass, Amherst
7Steve Cobble, former Political Dir, Nat'l Rainbow Coalition
7Eric Coble, Writer, Cleveland
7Vera Cohen, Clinical Social Worker, Cambridge, MA
7Anne Colamosca, Journalist/Author, NYC
7Raoul Contreras, Latino Studies, Indiana U Northwest, Gary
7Marc Cooper, Contrib Ed, The Nation
7Joe Conley, History, Princeton U
7Edward Coppola, Artist, LaGuardia Comm Coll, CUNY
7David Corson-Knowles. Activist/Student, Political Science, Yale U
7Matthew J. Countryman, History & Amer Culture, U of Mich, Ann Arbor
7Chris Couture, Musician, Baltimore
7E. P. Cummins, MD, and Ruth Cummins, Cortland, NY
7David Curtis, English, Belmont U
7Patricia Cruz, Artist, Baltimore
7Daniel Czitrom, History, Mt Holyoke Coll
7Charles D'Adamo, Co-Ed, Alternative Press Index
7Vanessa Daniel, Writer, Applied Rsrch Ctr, Oakland, CA
7David Davies, Anthropology, U of Washington
7Mike Davis, Writer
7Don DeMoro, Inst for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, Orinda, CA
7James DeVine, Economics, Loyola Marymount U
7William DiFazio, Sociology/Anthropology, St. John's U
7Ruth DiPietro, Teacher, Woodstock, CT
7Manuela Dobos, History, Coll of Staten Island, CUNY
7Walter Doerfler, Sculptor, Coos Bay, OR
7Steffi Domike, Chatham Coll
7Laura Lee Downs, History, U of Mich, Ann Arbor
7Michael Duffy, Designer/Activist, Phila
7Patricia Duffy, Sociology, UMass
7Ronnie Dugger, Writer/Reporter, NYC
7Barbara Ehrenreich, Writer
7Paul Eisenhauer, Sociology, Chestnut Hill Coll
7Paul Elitzik, Dir Student Publications, Schl of the Art Institute of Chgo
7Deborah Elkin, Greater New Haven Labor History Assn
7Olga Z. Emmerl, Norwell MA
7Frank Emspak, Schl for Workers, U of Wisc Extension, Madison
7Gertrude Ezorsky, Brooklyn Coll, CUNY
7Samuel Farber, Political Science, Brooklyn Coll, CUNY
7Liza Featherstone, Writer, NYC
7Joe Felsenstein, Genetics, U of Washington
7Johanna Fernandez, History, Columbia U
7Greg Field, History, U of Mich, Dearborn
7Eileen J. Suarez Findlay, History, American U Wash DC
7Stephen L. Fisher, Political Science, Emory and Henry, Emory, VA Coll
7Milton Fisk, Philosophy, Indiana U Bloomington
7Ellen Fleischmann, History, U of Dayton
7Crystal Fortwangler, Anthropology / Natural Resources, U of Michigan, Ann Arbor 7Harriet Fraad, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, New Haven
7Susan Franck, Mathematics, Ctr for Academic Excellence, Columbia Coll Columbia, MO
7Marge Frantz, Women's Studies, U of California, Santa Cruz
7Robert Freidin, Linguistics, Princeton U
7Peter Freund, Montclair St U
7Abigail A. Fuller, Sociology/Social Work, Manchester Coll, Indiana
7Gabe Gabrielsky, Independent Scholar, NJ Green Party Congressional candidate
7Keith Gallagher, U of Calif
7Phil Gasper, Philosophy, Coll of Notre Dame, Belmont, CA
7John Gazurian, Teacher, Baltimore
7Charles Gentry, American Culture, U of Michigan, Ann Arbor
7Dan Georgakas, Continuing and Professional Studies, NYU
7James William Gibson, Calif State U, Long Beach
7Carolyn Gilman, Historian, Missouri Historical Soc
7Rhoda R. Gilman, Resrch Assoc, Minnesota Historical Soc
7Terri Ginsburg, Cinema Studies, Rutgers U
7Raymond Giraud, French, Stanford U
7Greg Goldin, Writer, LA
7Linda Gordon, History, NYU
7Suzanne Gordon, Author/Journalist, Boston
7Van Gosse, Radical History Review/Peace Action
7Greg Grandin, History, Duke U
7Ronald Grele, Oral History, Columbia U
7Anthony Gronowicz, History, Bronx Comm Coll, CUNY
7Zoltan Grossman, Geography, U of Wisc, Madison
7Tom Grunfeld, Empire State Coll, SUNY
7Jeanne Hahn, Political Economy, Evergreen State Coll, Washington
7Robin Hahnel, Economics, American U, Wash, DC
7John Haiman, Linguistics, Macalester Coll, St. Paul MN
7Ely Haimowitz, U of Nevada, Reno
7John Halle, Music, Yale U
7Morris Halle, Linguistics/Philosophy, MIT
7Conn M. Hallinan, Journalism, U of Calif Santa Cruz
7Rachel Harding, Historian/Writer, Denver
7Kary Harger, Teacher, Torrance, CA
7Thomas Harrison, New Politics
7Herbert Hauptman, Nobel Laurate, Mathematician, Hauptman/Woodward Inst, Bflo
7Loie Hayes, Editor, South End Press
7Ida Hellander, Exec Dir, Physicians for a National Health Program
7Doug Henwood, Journalist, NYC
7Edward S. Herman, U of Pennsylvania
7Mark Hertsgaard, Author/Journalist, San Francisco
7Michael Hirsch, New Politics
7Steven J. Holmes, Educator/Writer, Boston
7Nancy Holmstrom, Philosophy, Rutgers U-Newark
7Gregory Horn/Tracy Welch, Small Business Owners, Bflo
7Margot Huelke, Melrose, FL
7Sheryl Humphrey, Artist, Brooklyn
7Charles Idelson, Communications Dir, Calif Nurses Association
7John Inglis, Philosophy, U of Dayton
7Doug Ireland, NYC
7Dorene Isenberg, Economics, Drew U, Madison, NJ
7Julius Jacobson, Co-Ed, New Politics
7Phyllis Jacobson, Co-Ed, New Politics
7Hilmar Jensen, History, Bates Coll, Maine
7Kirsten Jeppesen, Artist/Teacher, N Hollywood, CA
7Benjamin Johnson, History, Calif Inst of Technology
7Joyce Morton Johnson, Sociology, Sonoma State U, CA
7Robert Johnston, History, Yale U
7Beatrice Kachuk, Women's Studies, CUNY Grad Ctr
7Kae Kalwaic, Artist/Writer, Swarthmore Coll
7David Karr, History, Vanderbilt U
7Ronald Dale Karr, O'Leary Library, U of Mass, Lowell
7Estelle Kattelson, Social Activist, NYC
7Tom Keck, Political Science, Univ of Oklahoma, Norman
7Angeliki Keil, Writer, Lakeville, CT
7Charles Keil, Writer, Lakeville, CT
7Robin D. G. Kelley, History/Africana Studies, NYU
7Susan Kellogg, History, U of Houston
7Charles & Leah Kirsh, Fairlawn, NJ
7Joel Kovel, Bard Coll
7Paul Krassner, Writer, Venice, CA
7Sylvia Kronstadt, Writer/Editor, Salt Lake City, UT
7Jack Kurzweil, San Jose State U
7Saul Landau, Calif St Polytechnic U, Pomona
7Joanne Landy, New Politics
7Patrick Lannan, Pres, Lannan Fndtn, Santa Fe, NM
7Joseph Lapsley, History, U of Illinois at Chgo
7Adrienne Leacy, Hunter Coll, CUNY
7Linda Leas, Secretary, City of Dayton, OH
7William H. Leckie, Jr., Writer, St. Louis
7Andrew H. Lee, Tamiment Library, NYU
7Jamie Lemisch, Field Supervisor, Cobbs Creek Fairmont Park, Phila
7Jesse Lemisch, History, John Jay Coll of Criminal Justice, CUNY
7Rachel Lemisch, Musician, Boston
7John Leonard, The Nation
7Maron Leonard, Dir, Save Our World, VT
7Sue Leonard, Brearley School
7Stephen M. Levin, MD, Medical Dir, Mt Sinai, IJ Selikoff Ctr for Occupational & Environmental Medicine
7Nelson Lichtenstein, History, U of VA
7Evelyn Liston, Bandon, OR
7Joan Little, Political Writer/Organizer, Portland, OR
7Judith Long, Editor/Writer, Sag Harbor, NY
7Stephanie Luce, Labor Ctr, U Mass, Amherst
7Timothy Patrick McCarthy, History & Literature, Harvard U
7Nora McCartney, Artist, NYC
7Robert W. McChesney, Inst of Communications Rsrch, U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
7Scott McLemee, Writer
7John Campbell McMillian, History, Columbia U
7Anita Mage, Philosophy & History, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Berlin, Germany
7Sanjoy Mahajan, Physics, U of Cambridge
7Mary C. Malloy, Economics, Coll of New Rochelle
7William Mandel, Writer/Broadcaster, Berkeley
7John Manning, Labor Organizer, WFTU, Prague, Czech Republic
7Manning Marable, Inst for Rsrch in African-American Studies, Columbia U
7Bernard and Clara Maslow, Concord, MA
7Andrew Mattson, American Studies, SUNY Old Westbury
7Steve Max, Activist, NYC
7Michael A. Meeropol, Chair, Economics, Western New England Coll, Springfield, MA
7Jacob D. Melish, History, U of Mich
7Jeff Melton, Psychology, Ivy Tech St Coll/Indiana U
7Timothy Messer-Kruse, History, U of Toledo
7Peter Mickulas, History, Rutgers U
7Toby Miller, Cinema Studies, NYU
7Alan Mohl, Psychotherapist, Ardsley, NY
7Chad Montrie, John Carroll U
7Kim Moody, Labor Notes, Detroit
7Robin Moody, Museum Technician, San Bernardino, CA
7Michael Moore, filmmaker
7Steven A. Moore, Architecture/Design, U of Texas, Austin
7Doug Morris, Co-Dir, Anderson Ctr for Peace and Justice, Wilton, NH
7Susan Moscou, Nurse Practitioner, South Bronx, NY
7Kurt Mosser, U of Dayton, Dayton Ohio
7Jason Murphy, Philosophy, Saint Louis U
7Gary Murrell, History, Grays Harbor Coll
7Manny Ness, Political Science, Brooklyn Coll, CUNY
7Irwin Nack, History, William Paterson U
7Bruce Nissen, Florida International U
7Steve Niva, Faculty, Evergreen State Coll, Washington
7John Noakes, Sociology, Franklin & Marshall Coll, PA
7Dan O'Connell, MD, Family Physician, Bronx, NY
7Philip Oke, Christian Peace Conf
7Wayne O'Neil, Linguistics/Mind Articulation Proj, MIT
7Natalie op de Beeck, Instructor/Writer, U of Pittsburgh
7Peter O'Reilly, San Diego St U
7Tony Palmeri, U of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
7Michael Parenti, Author/Lecturer, Berkeley, CA
7Mike Parker, Writer, Detroit
7Alice Parshall, Santa Barbara, CA
7Mary Louise Patterson, MD, Head, Pediatric Faculty Practice, Weill-Cornell
Medical Coll
7Lew Pepper, Environmental Health, Boston U Schl of Public Health
7Michael Perelman, Economics, Calif St U, Chico
7Christopher Phelps, History, Ohio State U
7Kim Phillips-Fein, Columbia U
7Chester Phillipson, MD, Santa Barbara, CA
7Heidi Pickman, Radio Producer, LA
7Mike Pincus, Bohemian Books, SF
7Frances Fox Piven, Grad Ctr, CUNY
7Charles Post, Social Science, Boro of Manhattan Comm Coll, CUNY
7Rob Prince, Metropolitan State Coll, Denver
7Timothy R. Quigley, New Schl for Social Research
7Peter Rachleff, History, Macalester Coll
7Michael Ratner, VP, Center for Constitutional Rights
7Julia B. Rauch, School of Social Work, U of Md, Baltimore
7Herbert Reid, Political Science & Environmental Studies, U of Kentucky
7Craig Reinarman, Sociology, U of Calif, Santa Cruz
7Carlos Reyes, Poet, Portland, OR
7Corey Robin, Political Sci, Brookln Coll, CUNY
7Stewart M. Robinson, Mathematics, Cleveland State U
7Jeanette Roda, Labor History, Northern Arizona U
7Larry Romsted, Chemistry, Rutgers U
7Robert C. Rosen, English, William Paterson U
7Daniel Rosenberg, Adelphi U
7Marina Rosenfeld, Musician/Artist, NYC
7Roy Rosenzweig, History, George Mason U
7Andrew Ross, American Studies, NYU
7Mel Rothenberg, Mathematics, U of Chgo
7Matthew Rothschild, Madison, WI
7James W. Russell, Sociology, Eastern CT St U
7Marta Russell, Author, LA
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7Saskia Sassen, Sociology, U of Chgo
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7Patrick Young, History, Brooklyn Coll, CUNY
7Quentin Young, MD, Nat'l Coordinator, Physicians for a National Health Program
7June Zaccone, Economics, Hofstra U
7Robert Zecker, American Studies/History, Miami U, Ohio
7Howard Zinn, Writer, Boston
7Jack Zipes, Minneapolis, MN
7Stephen Zunes, Politics, U of San Francisco, SF, CA


7Jose G. Vargas Hernandez, Centro Universitario del Sur, Univ de Guadalajara, Mexico
7Shere Hite, Writer, London
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Note: The following letter has been reprinted from, a Web site run by Tom Laughlin, the star and creator of the Billy Jack films.

Last night Ralph, you broke my heart. I honestly felt like crying.

Last Sunday when you were being interviewed by Sam Donaldson on ABC's This Week I felt so bad for you, and what you are becoming now that you have the power to determine the outcome of this election, and then last night, on Larry King, you were even worse. Instead of the incredibly honest straight talking human being who I have always idolized, you had turned into one of "them", just another evasive, deceptive, distorting and -- yes -- lying politician. In addition, instead of speaking with the quiet strength and brilliant intelligence that has always been your trademark, you were emotionally out of control, shouting out every answer like a crazed evangelist, or like those irritating shouting heads like Hannity or Chris Matthews.

Dody, my wife Delores Taylor as you know, had been watching it in another room and came in and said sadly "Oh my God! Ralph has lost it! He's gone over the edge!"

Far more frightening than the wild agitation of your speech was that there before my very eyes, and the nation's, not only was my hero distorting, manipulating, and being consciously evasive, you were actually lying, and using evasion as a way of lying. This from the man who I have held up as the man with more unimpeachable integrity than any man I have ever known.

Not only was I watching this man of incredible integrity deliberately lying to deceive the people into voting for you so you can get money (matching funds), here was this giant of a public servant, the man who more than any American has sacrificed his entire life fighting giant corporations and special interests to protect the little people, the consumer, going out of his way to seriously hurt these same little people, these tens of millions of poor, minorities, children women's seniors -- all because your blind ambition has caused you to lust so terribly for the matching funds money your Green Party will get if you five percent of the vote.

You knowingly lie when you put out this spin that it isn't you who will cost Gore votes, "it's Gore who will cost Gore votes" when you know with absolute certainty that it is you who will determine who will be the President, Bush or Gore, because you know with the same certainty -- no matter what you say on television -- that if people vote for you, Gore loses and Bush becomes our President. And you know better than any living American, tens of millions of the most needy and desperate Americans will suffer brutally for the next four years if you don't step down and stop Bush.

You know full well that if you do drop out, and encourage your followers to vote for Gore, Gore becomes the President, and the same tens of millions of people will have a chance, and all of the reforms we believe in will have a chance, and those of us who have believed in you before you became this "politician" will have a chance to once again support you and work to build you into a mainstream political force, as I indicated last week on our web site before I saw how horribly you have changed.

It literally sickens me to see you distort and deceive over and over again on television and say that you do not believe that who is the President makes any difference to all of these people in our lowest economic quintile. I know you too well Ralph. We've spent too many long hours looking each other in the eye during long hours of conversation over dinners in our home or our hotel suites, or when you generously spent countless hours advising me while we were writing and shooting Billy Jack Goes to Washington, for me, or anyone else who knows you, and also knows you to be one of the most brilliant and intelligent people I have ever known, not to know when you are lying, but we can also see that you know you are lying, which is what makes all of this so terribly tragic.

You have not only began to sell out all of us and our hopes for real reform, when you aligned yourself with the Green Party, whose irrational out-of-touch with reality platform we all know you do not agree with, simply for their money and the help of their political base -- you began the process of selling your soul to political ambition, and began the betrayal of a lifetime of magnificent achievements for the people that no one in American history can match. You are now living in a kind of obsessional coma that blinds you to the extreme hardship, pain, and suffering you will deliberately inflict upon the same consumers and little people you spent your life defending.

With all the love and respect that Delores and I have for you in our heart, and in one last desperate attempt to help you break out of your obsessional coma and come into the real world and look closely at all of those who will suffer if you insist on following through on your unspoken deal with the Republicans to make Bush the President -- which you and I, and everyone else knows, is in your power to do -- I will show you, specifically and in detail where you have sold your self and us out, and where you are deliberately lying, distorting, or evading the truth for a political ambition that, though you do not see it, will end up destroying you and everything you have spent your life working for, especially if you do get your wish and you do receive 5% of vote, which will irrevocably and bitterly divide your supporters. The end result is that your credibility is destroyed, and Jesse Ventura becomes the leader of the Reform movement. (Which is why Jesse is supporting you and saying a vote for you is not a vote for Gore.)

Compiled by Salon staff

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