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REMARKS MADE BY RALPH NADER TO THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB THE MORNING AFTER ELECTION
By Ralph Nader & Nader 2000 General Committee, Inc.
November 10, 2000

The Green Party is alive and well.

This campaign has established the Greens as a viable political force. We are now third largest party, supplanting the Reform Party as the major competition to the Democratic and Republican parties.

We would have liked, of course, to have garnered the five percent that would have made the party eligible for federal matching funds in the 2004 election. That would have been a bonus. But, across the country we attracted enthusiastic supporters who intend to remain committed to the party's progressive agenda. The party will only grow in the coming months and years.

The Gore campaigners pulled out every stop in an attempt to peel off our voters. They were successful in many states with reducing our total, but these voters will be back with us in future elections.

There will be a lot of finger pointing about the poor showing of Gore. Gore had all the advantages of an incumbent Administration, but he never generated enthusiasm and many voters cast ballots for him out of pragmatism, not conviction.

In the end, the Democratic party must face the fact that it is has abandoned its progressive roots. The party has been seized by its conservative-moderate pro corporate wing. And the leadership of that group produced a candidate and a platform that simply did not excite the voters.

Progressives in the Democratic party must decide whether they want to remain a captive of the Democratic Leadership Council and its love affair with the big corporate money that fills the party's coffers or whether it wants to be a party that represents people. Democrats now must either find their progressive roots or watch the party wither away. If Democrats are disappointed with the returns, they need to take a close look at their party and the empty campaign waged by Al Gore in this campaign.

The Green Party is up and running. We invite the progressives who are shut out of the Democratic Party to join us in a crusade to reform the campaign finance system which leaves control of our government in the hands of the highest bidder.

We urge Democrats and Republicans, alike, to join the Green Party in its effort to end child poverty, to give workers a true living wage, to wipe out restrictive labor laws like Taft-Hartley that make it difficult for workers to organize, and in its efforts to establish an accessible, affordable health insurance system that reaches everyone. We urge Democrats and Republicans who are interested in the environment to join the Green Party that calls for action, not rhetoric to preserve our earth.

Similarly, we urge people to join us who believe in full civil rights and equality for everyone regardless of race, ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation. We believe that there are many people in both parties who agree with us that the drug war is a colossal costly failure that has filled our jails with non-violent crimes. We also believe that there are millions who believe as we do that the death penalty should be abolished and its discriminatory use against minorities be ended now. We urge citizens to join us in effort to provide affordable housing and in a crash effort -- Marshall Plan -- to revitalize our inner cities.

America can do better. The two major parties have abdicated their responsibility to lead, to advocate solutions and to promote true democracy from the city halls to Congress and the White House. We can do better.



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