- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 22, 2000

'Gone too far'

"Meet Bo Derek these days and you don't think about her firm torso; you think about her firm convictions. After the death of her beloved husband, director John Derek, two years ago, Bo, now 43, went into hiding. But this past spring, she … emerged a little blonder, a little thinner, and unabashedly Republican. Yet her family and Hollywood have given Derek less than a perfect '10' for her politics. 'My grandmother hung up on me when I told her I was a Republican,' she says.

"Derek switched political parties 12 years ago, after deciding the Democrats' 'social programs had gone too far and eliminated any incentive for poor people to be independent.' She jumped aboard the Dole/Kemp bus for the last 96 hours of their 1996 campaign, and there's been no turning back… .

"Friends have warned Derek to 'keep her politics to herself,' because her opinions could cost her work in very liberal Hollywood, but she says it's not a problem. 'I don't want to be seen as the poster child for the Hollywood blacklist. I'm working, and I'm not the only conservative out here.' "

Christina Valhouli, writing on "Bo Knows Politics," in the September issue of George

Gore's gay strategy

"In an effort to ensure the election of Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman as president and vice president this November, Raise the Bar 2000, a national non-profit organization, has set a goal to register 2 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] people. The campaign is a multi-pronged strategy that includes [public service announcements] encouraging people to register and vote being made available to bars, clubs and coffeehouses.

"Keith Merryman, one of the co-founders, said reaching the goal of 2 million would make the LBGT community the second-largest voting block after women. It would also surpass the clout of the Christian Coalition. The idea for Raise the Bar 2000 came about after California's anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition 22 passed. Merryman said he believes the initiative could have been defeated if more LGBT people had taken interest and voted.

" 'I was thinking about the potential power our community has and how to tap into it,' he said. 'I thought of the Christian Coalition. What do they have? A weekly meeting through their churches to get their messages out.' He said making the [announcements] available for airing in LGBT social gathering places can accomplish the same thing. 'The beauty of this is that we are not trying to create something from the ground up,' he said. 'We are tapping into an existing structure.' "

From the Aug. 14 GLAADLines bulletin of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

Cold shower

"Never in recent memory, [Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader] said, have the Democratic and Republican parties so closely resembled each other… . For 10 years, the American electorate has been voicing its objection to 'a government of the Exxons, by the General Motors, and for the Du Ponts.' The party of discontent voted for Ross Perot, elected Jesse Ventura governor of Minnesota, made credible the candidacy of John McCain, paraded in animal costumes through the streets of Seattle… .

"The judges on the bench of prime-time opinion say that Nader lacks charisma, but the word admits of different interpretations, and if it can be referred to a lively intelligence as well as a bright smile, Nader seems to me a good deal more charismatic than David Letterman or Brad Pitt… .

"[Mr. Nader said:] 'When people tell me that I'm wrecking the Democratic Party, I ask them what's left to wreck. The Democratic Party isn't going to heal itself. If it went and stood in a cold shower for the next four years, maybe it would think of something to do and say that isn't already being done and said by the Republican Party.' "

Lewis Lapham, writing on "A Citizen in Full," in the September issue of Harper's magazine

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