‘A well-organized campaign of fear and loathing on the campaign trail is attempting to frighten people from voting their own consciences,’ says John Stauber in an op-ed essay on Utne Reader Online. In the past week, Al Gore’s campaign has launched a desperate attack on Green candidate Ralph Nader, trotting out a parade of activists and celebrities from the Sierra Club and the National Abortion Rights Action League to Melissa Etheridge, Rob Reiner, and Martin Sheen. Their mission: to cast Nader as a ‘spoiler’ and convince his supporters that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.
Co-editor of the journal PRWatch and an expert on industry front groups, Stauber points out that the ‘progressive’ ring-leader responsible for marshaling Gore’s anti-Nader troops is one Toby Moffett, a corporate lobbyist who until recently served as Vice President of Monsanto Corporation. ‘Moffett and the rest of Monsanto’s lobbyists love Al Gore because, while Gore did not invent the Internet, he is the techno-pol responsible for shoving Monsanto’s inadequately tested, possibly dangerous, and definitely unlabeled genetically engineered foods down the throats of American eaters. Now Toby is trying to shove Al Gore down voters’ throats.’
While Stauber says he believes that a Bush/Cheney administration would be bad for the country, he argues that Gore would be only slightly less so. ‘I’m working and voting for Ralph Nader because he is giving voice and leadership to the growing pro-democracy movement needed to bust the stranglehold that corporations have over our lives and our system of government.’
Stauber urges voters to reject Moffet’s fear and loathing and vote with their hearts for a change. ‘I’m joyfully working and casting my vote for Ralph Nader and the growing movement to reclaim American democracy. No matter who wins, I will celebrate what the Nader/LaDuke campaign has accomplished in forcing the single biggest issue of our time–corporate domination–to the front burner of citizen awareness and action.’ –Leif Utne
Related: PR Watch