Beating Around the Bush
Whether you voted for Al Gore or Ralph Nader in the 2000
election, when the final word came that George W. Bush won, the
news was disheartening. At that point, it didn't matter if you had
voted Green for change or if you voted Democrat for strategic
reasons - Bush's win was a step backwards for the entire Left. Yet
Mathew Gross of Grist Magazine takes an oddly bitter
stance toward Naderites and their 'laughable argument' that there
was no difference between Gore and Bush.
While the blaming of Nader voters for Bush's policies misses the mark, Gross is right about one thing: Bush's first year in office has been an environmental catastrophe. In a month-by-month review, Gross summarizes Bush's first year in office and looks at what he's done for the environment.
In little more than a year, Bush has lifted pollution standards, proposed to drill in pristine wildlife areas, withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol and nominated known anti-environment businesspeople to head up his administration. That's not to mention the effects September 11 had on his environmentally backward policies, a tragedy he used to justify further stateside exploration for oil. And although Gross belabors the point that electing Bush was a mistake, we're stuck with him until 2004. If anything, this review should serve as a reminder for voters to come together on environmental issues instead of bickering over who was right.