- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Although Green Party candidate Ralph Nader polls only 4 percent nationally, he has recently come under fire from Democrats who fear that he will win enough votes in several traditionally Democratic states to allow Gov. George W. Bush to win the presidency.

Yet it should come as no surprise that true liberals find Mr. Nader a far more appealing candidate than Mr. Gore, since he has a far more straightforwardly liberal vision of America. Mr. Nader proposes a Marshall Plan on poverty, immediate universal health care and a defense budget slashed in half. He has endorsed the platform of the National Organization for Women and is completely in favor of Vermont-style civil unions for homosexuals. On education, Mr. Nader would fully fund Head Start, shrink class sizes and guarantee free college tuition to all high school graduates. He is against educational vouchers, Social Security privatization and, unlike Mr. Gore, he is also against the death penalty.

Mr. Nader even has a far stronger history of environmental advocacy than Mr. Gore, having argued for tough action on automobile companies longer than many of his younger supporters have been alive. In a letter to Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, Mr. Nader wrote, "The current administration has largely bowed to the will of entrenched big business interests at the expense of human health, biodiversity, and the environment." In contrast to Mr. Gore's call to release millions of carbon dioxide-producing barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Mr. Nader would insist on abiding by international agreements to reduce so-called greenhouse gases.

True progressives undoubtedly find campaign-finance a strong reason to support Mr. Nader. His Web site claims that he does not accept soft-money contributions.

Yet Mr. Nader's most potent attacks come on Mr. Gore's credibility and long legacy of broken promises. One of the features on Mr. Nader's Web site is "Gore's Broken Promise of the Day," which links to an archive of more than a dozen.

While Mr. Nader's version of Morning in America may yet bring mourning to the Democratic Party, Democrats may find it awkward to tell him to terminate his race. Aren't Democrats, after all, the pro-choice party?

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