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Nader for President

America’s two major parties, in their rush to the center, have nominated unattractive presidential candidates who have failed to take strong, principled stands on many important issues this election year. Neither Vice President Al Gore nor Texas Governor George W. Bush is an acceptable candidate for president. Fortunately, they are not the only choices. There is one candidate who will stand for the people, not the special interests, in this election; one candidate who can be trusted to fight for the needs of the American people. That candidate is Green Party nominee Ralph Nader. The Tech endorses his candidacy.

We agree with Nader’s positions on the important issues. First and foremost, campaign finance reform is urgently needed; changes in the way campaigns are financed would elevate the debate on every other issue in the country. Nader is clearly the best choice for voters concerned about the influence of money in our political process. Bush opposes the McCain-Feingold bill, and Gore has been embroiled in so many campaign finance scandals that he cannot be trusted to lead reform of the system. Nader is the true warrior for government reform.

Nader, in contrast to business darlings Bush and Gore, also stands for fair global trade -- ensuring workers’ rights and environmental protection in America and around the world. Also, Nader strongly opposes the death penalty; Bush, despite evidence that capital punishment is discriminatory and often meted out to the innocent, enthusiastically supports the death penalty, as does Gore. Nader, too, is the only candidate in this race truly committed to protecting the environment -- Bush is openly contemptuous of environmental interests; Gore is too much under the sway of business interests to be trusted.

Nader has also been able to accomplish something on the campaign trail that Bush and Gore, just like almost all presidential candidates in recent memory, have been unable to do: energize and engage young voters. Many voters our age are disenchanted by the partisan atmosphere in Washington and have been disgusted by recent scandals. Nader welcomes back into the political process many thousands of young voters who would otherwise stay home on election day. For this, certainly, he deserves great applause.

It is a sad commentary on American politics that so many voters believe casting a ballot is about choosing the lesser of two evils. Although one vote will not determine the final winner, this election is an opportunity for citizens to show the leadership of this nation where they stand on the issues. It sends a clear message to our government when a candidate wins by a slim margin, or when a third party candidate is able to capture the support of a large part of the population. For this reason, we believe voters must always vote their conscience and support the candidate whose beliefs best match theirs. For us, that candidate is Ralph Nader. We urge our readers to cast their presidential vote for the Green Party ticket on Tuesday.

Of course, whether you agree or disagree with our position, the most important thing to do is vote. Sadly, few students exercise their constitutional right to vote and as a result pass up the opportunity to make a difference in the political process. Until students become reliable voters, we will be ignored by politicians. Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to begin to change that situation.