--- Begin Message ---
October 31, 2000
Dear Vice-President Gore:
Hi! How are you! It's been awhile since we've talked. Everything OK?
Sorry. Enough teasing. I've been getting a lot of calls from your friends
and supporters. Man, are they freaked out! They actually think you are going
to lose. Talk about no faith in the quarterback! Hasn't anyone told them
that Bush didn't even win his OWN Republican primary in Michigan? "Swing
According to your people, all Ralph or I have to do is wave a magic wand and
the Nader voters will "come back to Gore."
Look, Al, you have screwed up -- big time. By now, you should have sent that
smirking idiot back to Texas with a copy of "Hooked on Phonics" in his
hands. You should have wiped the floor with him during the three debates.
But you didn't. And now your people are calling ME, asking ME to do the job
YOU'VE failed to do! Jeez, I've got enough on my plate these days, between
work and the holidays coming up and the leaves I should be raking -- and now
I'm supposed to save YOU? Unbelievable!
If you recall, I sent you a personal letter back in June asking you why I
should vote for you instead of Ralph Nader for President. You sent me a
four-page reply, thanking me for my "provocative letter," and outlining the
VERY reasons that I knew would find you in the predicament you are in this
There is something I think you don't understand. You don't realize that it's
YOU and the Democrats that are responsible for the possibility of Bush
winning next Tuesday. Instead of being men (we aren't putting any women on
the ticket yet, are we?) and owning up to your mistakes, you and your people
are blaming some rumpled senior citizen lawyer who is only following his
conscience. I mean, really! Ralph Nader has devoted his entire life to
making the rest of our lives better. Because of him we have the Clean Air
Act, the Clean Water Act, the EPA, OSHA, airbags and seatbelts, the Freedom
of Information Act -- the list goes on and on. What have YOU done to save a
few million lives?
Yet, you attack this decent man and those who support him. Let's get one
thing straight -- we didn't leave you, YOU left us. You and your "New
Democrats" abandoned the poor, the working class, and the middle class. Your
support for NAFTA has cost hundreds of thousands of people -- your very
supporters -- their jobs. In my hometown of Flint, 32,000 GM jobs have been
lost since you and Clinton took office. That's 5,000 MORE GM jobs than were
lost there during the ENTIRE 12 years of Reagan/Bush! Are you even aware
that two-thirds of the school children in Flint live below the federal
poverty level? And you wonder why the race in Michigan is so close! These
people you left behind had nowhere else to go EXCEPT to Nader -- unless they
choose to just stay home on Election Day, which is what the majority of them
You and the Democrats have created the monster know as "W." There were more
layoffs in the U.S. last year than in any year in the past decade. There
were more family bankruptcies filed last year than any year in our history.
The average family carries more personal debt now than any time since the
Great Depression. And yet, you cynically take a bus ride through the Midwest
calling it "The Great Lakes Prosperity Tour." Has it crossed your mind why
the majority of the "swing states" where the election is too close to call
are in the rust belt that begins in Missouri and extends to Pennsylvania?
Your attempts to scare Nader voters have only backfired on you. Once NARAL
started running its anti-Nader ads in Minnesota, Ralph jumped up to 10% in
the polls! People are not stupid. You can howl all you want about how "Bush
will appoint Supreme Court justices like Scalia and Clarence Thomas." But we
the people know who voted to PUT that right-wing nut Antonin Scalia on the
court. It was YOU, Al Gore, the senator from Tennessee who stood up and
voted "YEA!" the day Scalia was confirmed in the Senate! If we ever lose Roe
v. Wade, YOU are the one with the blood on your hands, and those of us,
including Ralph Nader, who fought the Scalia nomination, will never forget
the jeopardy you and your fellow Democrats put women in with that vote. And
when 11 of your Democratic senators voted to put Clarence Thomas on the
Court, giving him the slim 52 to 48 majority he needed, your party (which
was in control of the Senate at that time!) threatened every woman in
America. For the love of God, do NOT have the audacity to come at us now
with your scare tactics about how women may lose the right to chose. You
have no credibility.
So, what do we do? One thing is certain -- George W. Bush MUST NEVER SIT IN
THE OVAL OFFICE. Having met both you and George W. in person, and realizing
that the two of you are in agreement on most issues, I did come away with
the distinct feeling that there IS one difference between you and the
governor of Texas.
George W. Bush is a banal, despicable, and corrupt human being.
And you, sir, are not. Don't get me wrong -- you believe in a lot of evil
things (how sad I was to watch you during the debate as you sat there in
silent agreement while Bush licked his lips at the thought of executing
three men). However, as a human being, I believe you are a decent guy, a
good father and husband, and somewhere deep down you have a heart and a
conscience. I honestly believe that about you. So what happened?
I want Ralph Nader to get millions of votes on Tuesday. I have seen the
response to Ralph at numerous huge rallies across the country. There is a
progressive movement afoot in America and it needs to explode into a
majority movement -- beginning now, not four years from now.
I truly believe Nader is closer to how the majority of Americans feel than
either you or Bush. Go ahead, ask around. The majority of Americans want
REAL health insurance, a living wage, a chance to be represented by a union,
less money wasted on the Pentagon, and no one wants to wear clothes made by
a 12-year old in an Asian "free trade" sweatshop. If the media and you
hadn't just woken up to the Nader campaign, if you had welcomed him into the
debates, we all would have been discussing THESE issues months ago -- and
you would have quickly learned how Americans feel about them.
OK, so you missed an opportunity to do the right thing. Now you are asking
us to pull you out of your mistake and prevent the reign of terror a Bush
presidency will bring us.
How do you want to do this? What will you give the working poor and the
young people who have decided to desert you next Tuesday? I am willing to
discuss anything short of Ralph not getting 5% of the vote. He can obtain
that goal AND Bush can be defeated. They are not mutually exclusive.
But the ball is in your court, not ours. I will not feel one iota of guilt
should you screw up and lose on Tuesday. The blame I do share is that I
voted for you and Bill in 1992. And I have spent the last 8 years doing what
I could, in my own small ways, to try and stop the hemorrhaging that your
Did I ever tell you the story about Buell Elementary in Flint? I helped
build a computer lab there so that the kids (83% of them live in poverty)
would have the same leg up as the students in the wealthier districts.
But you and the President eliminated federal assistance for millions of poor
mothers. This year, one of those mothers, living near Buell Elementary,
faced eviction from her home. She had to put her kids up at a relative's
house so she could at least keep her "welfare-to-work" assignment. Under
your watch, she became a victim of your policies, was loaded onto a bus each
day and, for 12 hours, transported to and from a wealthy white suburb to
work at "Dick Clark's All-American Restaurant." Her 6-year old, homeless,
was forced to stay with his uncle. One day, last February, while his mother
worked off her welfare payments at the All-American restaurant, that little
6-year old found his uncle's gun, took it to school, and shot a 6-year old
girl in the neck, just as they were on their way down to work on the
computers I had bought for them.
Have you had a chance, Mr. Gore, to hear the 911 call from the teacher as
she was trying to stop the geyser of blood shooting out from that 6-year old
girl's neck just before she died? You should hear it. She's the recipient of
what you call "welfare reform."
I am reachable by phone or e-mail.
--- End Message ---