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CounterPunching

Stalinists for Kerry! and Other Roars from the Crowd

by John Lacny

is polite, but we can tell he’s pretty mad at us.

Dear Cockburn:

Here’s you:

cockburn02252004.html

"Listening to Democrats screaming about Ralph Nader’s entry into the presidential race we finally understand the mindset of those Communist dictatorships that used to take such trouble to ensure that the final count showed a 99 percent Yes vote for the CP candidate."

I knew, just fucking knew, that you people would eventually resort to old-fashioned red-baiting to attack the People’s Front against Bush. Knew it. Old Claud Cockburn is spinning in his grave right now, a man who had the gumption to call the POUM what they were for firing on the however-imperfect Spanish Republic from BEHIND the lines even as the falangists closed in for the kill. For that, he’s been called a "totalitarian" ever since, and his son has hitherto at least had the courage to defend him against Orwell, Hitchens, Ron Radosh, and the rest of that offal. No more, it appears; the son has thrown in his lot with the Trotskyites.

Well, here’s one former CounterPunch subscriber who wears the bullshit "totalitarian" slanders of red-baiters as a badge of honor. Self-righteous fools on their way out of the left have always taken the ultraleft and Trotskyite route first, just as Hitchens did, and so are you, as your longtime alliance with the fascist sympathizers at "antiwar.com" should have indicated long ago. Their nonsense is already creeping into your polemics, as can be seen from the loathsome scribblings of your buddy Bruce Anderson, who writes elsewhere in CounterPunch about the Democratic Party being the party of "limo labor," "ethnic demagogues," and "gays in wedding gowns." I fully expect smug diatribes against affirmative action and "special rights" and "union bosses" in the near future.

Your citation of Nader’s previous record is about as relevant right now as a citation of CounterPunch’s own noble record in other times and places. The point is that Nader — and you — are traitors. You are splitters, wreckers, left in form but right in essence and function, every bit as worthy of the turncoat label as David Horowitz. You know it’s true.

So what are you going to do now, call me a "Stalinist"? Maybe it would be better if you just gave up on CounterPunch and skipped a few steps, and just started writing rants for Reason Magazine or the Ayn Rand Institute about how Hillary Clinton is interfering with your right to smoke or something. The part where you hawk Socialist Worker on the street is pretty boring, anyway.

John Lacny

And here’s a tough one (we got lots) about Bruce Jackson’s attack on Nader.

Dear Professor Jackson:

You said:

"Religious fanatics like Nader live in their minds, not in the real world: the rest of us live in the real world, a place where our choices and actions do matter."

Take me to your real world, o wise one. I am but a lowly high school dropout and I still believe my own eyes. Explain to me, professor, how civil rights and women’s rights and education and jobs and the environment "don’t seem to matter or exist" for a man who has worked tirelessly for them for forty years.

I’m so stupid. All this time I thought Mr. Nader’s hatred of corporate America and the two-party system was a logical response to the untold death and destruction they’ve wrought. Now I know it’s just a symptom of his monomania and religious fanatacism. Thanks for clearing that up.

Thanks, too for putting my weak little mind through the mental gymnastics necessary to process this one: " most votes cast for Nader would have gone to Gore or they wouldn’t have been cast at all. If Nader had not run, Gore would have won New Hampshire and Florida."

Again, I’m just a high school dropout. I still can’t figure out how votes that wouldn’t have been cast at all actually belonged to Gore.

I’m also having some difficulty with the concept that Nader should "give a hoot" if his opponent loses. Being one of the dullards who thinks that Gore did actually win Florida, I can’t understand why Democrats are still mad at him.

You higher education guys sure are hard to figure out. Like when you say Nader should be honored, and in the same piece you call him a monomaniac, an idealogue, a lunatic, an egomaniac, a religious fanatic who cares not a bit for real people and someone who is posing and weasling. But I guess a couple of semesters in one of your classes and I’d start to understand all kinds of stuff that’s absolutely mysterious to me now in my inferior mental state.

There’s one mystery, however, I’m certain that I’ll never ever get, one that I know will baffle me until the day I die. How is it that a man can insult his political adversary, abandon basic rules of logic, indulge in vicious little poodle-like attacks and even in jest, even in jest, mind you, call for his adversary to immolate himself, thereby potentially inciting violence on his adversary and disgracing the memory of those brave and immortal souls who made the ultimate sacrifice for the noblest of reasons- and that man is called "Distinguished Professor".

I guess it is true after all. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Jim Priest

And another…

There’s another aspect of the Democrats’ reaction to Nader’s campaign which you’d failed to mention. It’s their new complaints about how Nader will be doing damage to his own work. Many people cite the fact that Public Citizen lost a lot of its support because of Nader’s 2000 campaign, even though Nader hasn’t had a lot to do with that organization lately.

But such complaints have the whiff of both the bully and the habitual victim. The people making these complaints never try to _prevent_ such damage from happening. No one says, "People shouldn’t punish Public Citizen because they dislike Nader." They say that Nader shouldn’t raise his head, because then angry Democrats’ll start hurting the hostages. In other words, these critics are _glad_ that irrational liberals are being vindictive against progressive causes, because it gives them moral leverage over Ralph Nader. That’s the bully. The "habitual victim" is the fear that lies under the argument.

Imagine if someone said that Kerry, or the Democrats in general, should refrain from making any criticisms of the Bush administration for these reasons. Don’t offend Dick Cheney, the argument might go, because he might fast-track drilling in Alaska out of spite. Don’t criticize John Ashcroft, or he might start demanding that Democrats provide three kinds of photo ID at airports. That’s not too far removed from the wails of "Nader doing damage to the Left" that we’ve been hearing since 2000.

Until this past weekend, I was ready to swallow my pride and vote for whoever the Democrats were going to nominate. But the reaction to Nader is sickening, and I’m tempted to vote for him out of sheer disgust.

Yours,
Angry CounterPuncher

And a final word from Fred Feldman, who hits the nail right on the head: NBK NOBODTY BUT KERRY!

Who are they to get in the way of our election? This is not what democracy looks like. Democracy is when everybody but the good candidate pulls out of the race.

I think that the only way to save democracy is for all candidates except Kerry to withdraw from the race. That should include Bush too, of course.

If there is more than one candidate, the horror of 2000 may be repeated! More than one candidate means vote-stealing, reactionary advertising campaigns, the possibility of Republican and Green and socialist candidates, and unpredictable outcomes. The good candidate may not win. The result will be the ruin of democracy.

Only a one-candidate election with Kerry as the candidate can save the nation! Just to be on the safe side, voters who oppose both Kerry and Bush should be required to vote for Kerry. Why should they be allowed to possibly affect the outcome by staying at home or abstaining on the Presidential vote? The Democratic primaries have spoken. Anybody But Bush is named Kerry. For any reasonable, ego-free, other-directed individual, this should be enough to settle the matter.

Four candidates is treason! Three candidates is a crime! Two candidates is one too many! In a democracy, there must be one candidate and all democratic-minded people must vote for him as one! Lets make our vote count in 2004!

Fred Feldman