Magazine article The Nation

Roll Call

Magazine article The Nation

Roll Call

Article excerpt

We asked The Nation's editorial board members how they planned to expend their political energies between now and Election Day. The responses:


The Democratic Party is in a near-terminal condition. Absent any alternatives, however, I shall support Clinton (and some good House and Senate candidates). Even a weak Democratic presidency would give us some chance to practice minimal national decency--and space in which to consider, no construct, alternatives.


The temptation to weep and wait is great, but it's also an indulgence and a counsel of despair. Clinton is likely to do better on judicial appointments, civil liberties, race relations, homelessness, the cities, the environment and internationalism, and this should be enough. While working hard to improve Clinton's prospects, the real challenge remains: to develop support for alternatives more progressive than the pale Republicanism of the Democrats ! FRANCES FITZGERALD

Between now and the election I will be working on a book. As a journalist who covers politics I can't get involved in campaigns, and I think it the better part of wisdom not to come out for any candidate. But I will vote with some enthusiasm this fall.


In this year of wilted political energy, may I recommend a vigorously imaginative new organization, the Women's Action Coalition. Formed in January to take direct measures on issues affecting women, WAC has become a red-hot center of activism and now has chapters in Los Angeles, Toronto, Houston and New York. During the Democratic National Convention, look also for "The Getting It Gazette," a women's alternative to the official newsletter.


As much in shame as in sorrow, I intend to vote for Clinton. I do not expect that I shall invest much time or energy in persuading others to do so. I agree with Russell Baker that the Democratic Party is brain dead. Much like The Nation itself, the party has abandoned the working class in favor of the nonworking class--a kindness, to be sure, but politically lethal. Add to this the weakness of the Bill/Hillary candidacy: Bush will win.


I will work with any candidate who believes in dismantling the national security state, closing the gap between rich and poor, developing a democratic education and health system; who realizes that inheritances and mortgage tax deductions for the "better" classes are just another form of welfare; who stops talking about international economic competition and begins acting for international economic cooperation and security; who believes in the Bill of Rights and understands the need to "constitutionalize" the great, unaccountable corporations. …

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