What's Green and Black and Blue All Over?

Maybe Nader voters should be slapped around a bit; their leftist purity will likely bring us four very squalid years

Alex, now a writer at Buenos Aires Económico, quickly noted that he would be attending a press conference that very evening at which the International Monetary Fund would announce it was putting Argentina into a form of near-receivership. The IMF was taking this action following the resignation two weeks earlier of left-wing Vice President Chacho Alvarez, who cited regime corruption as his reason for leaving, but at bottom objected to government concessions to the IMF by his less extremely left-wing partners in the government's ruling coalition.

Because of this far-left split from the coalition, Alex said, "We're going to have the IMF run the country. These guys just gave up when the country was facing trouble. The coalition was supposed to be central left, and Alvarez represented the left-left."

Then he spoke some jargon that is important to report: "Because of the political turmoil associated with his resignation, it was impossible to get into the world financial markets. Country risk is pretty high now. Two days ago our sovereign risk went above Russia and way past Brazil. It was all because of politics."

This is what the jargon meant: "Leftists were willing to turn Argentina into the world's worst financial basket case, rather than sully their doctrinaire purity."

Crazy. Clinically crazy.

Which sounds awfully darned familiar sitting at my desk in the sunny U.S.A.

If George W. Bush prevails, the Republicans will probably spawn another Reaganite tax-cutting-and-military-spending boom/bust cycle, dragging us into recession in about the year 2006. They'll adhere to Bush's facile pledge to abandon "nation building" and use the Army only to "fight and win wars," allowing Eastern Europe and Africa to careen toward chaos. Environmental regulation, worker-safety regulation, a minimum-wage increase, food stamps, Head Start, child care, and gay rights will be marginalized, if not completely ignored.

In other words, it's the proper time to open up a can of battered-wives syndrome on the heads of a few Nader voters. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean actual physical assault.

For those who have Naderite offspring, it might be a simple matter of serving tomato aspic, rather than turkey, at Thanksgiving dinner.

Or, if you have Naderite co-workers, why not have walnuts for lunch, cracked loudly, for at least an entire hour, at your desk?

If your boyfriend's a Naderite, try flirting ostentatiously with strangers whenever you're in public together, all in the name of the national interest.

This sounds like a lot of work, I know. But if we're going to build a national movement, it's going to involve some pain.

(1) Green offers holiday gift certificates valued at between $10 and $50, good for one or more visits, available online at www.unlicensedtherapist.com.

(2) Those doubting that Naderites could be frivolous, or hypocritical, or both are urged to review reporter Matt Welch's night-long dispatches from the Green Party campaign headquarters in Washington at www.workingforchange.com. According to Welch, the Naderites were crowded around a television, rooting for Gore, after spending months telling voters there was no difference between the two mainstream candidates.

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