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Urgent! If you care about democracy and Ani Difranco, read now!


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From: "John Hodgman"

Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 01:48:04 -0600 Dear Friends,

By the time you receive this, the so-called "Electoral College" will have met to crown the next king of America and hand our nation over to the corporate fatcats, robber barons, and railroad magnates! Who won, you ask? Does it matter? Truly George W. Bush and Al Gore are Tweedledum and Tweedledee, identical man-children dressed as schoolboys, indistinguishable except for their names!

Meanwhile thousands if not MILLIONS of Florida voters were effectively disenfranchised by rampant voting irregularities and, in some cases, the use of ether. 400,000 ballots in one county alone were summarily discarded for being double punched, half punched, spindled, or slightly chewed. Reliable press reports have suggested that no fewer than 7 MILLION of these discarded votes were likely cast for Green Party candidate and man of the people Ralph Nader, who is also a PRINCETON GRADUATE!

Nader clearly won the all-important white graduate student and celebrity activist voting bloc. This alone secures him the moral presidency of our hearts. We were prepared for a Bush presidency, in that an economic plunge, foreign mishap, or change in federal abortion rights policy would be a WAKE-UP CALL TO THE NATION and not really affect us. BUT NOW it would seem Nader almost certainly won the actual presidency. Here are THE FACTS:

1) IT HAS BEEN REASONABLY SUGGESTED THERE ARE SECRET COUNTIES IN FLORIDA--as many as 27 of them. Where are they? Why don't they appear on any maps? And most important: what happened to all their Nader votes?

2) THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE "BUTTERFLY" BALLOT IS ILLEGAL. Other illegal ballots: the Alaska "starfish," the Massachusetts "cod cake," and the Texas "monkey proxy." Confusingly worded, unmanageably bulky, and sometimes painful to use, these ballots are clearly designed to mystify voters, casting them into a trancelike state whereby they hypnotically vote for the "business as usual" GoreBush machine, or for the incorrect third party. They should be immediately tossed out, or counted twice--depending!

3) WHAT ABOUT THE CANADIANS? Canadians are a precious thread in our North American tapestry. They love public radio and hate the death penalty and are therefore Nader supporters, without question. It has been suggested that some 24 million Canadians live within our borders. They all pay taxes, yet it would seem these Canadians were DENIED THE VOTE simply because they are not American citizens!!! Is this DEMOCRACY?

4) Throughout the election, Nader supporters were publicly shamed and accused of stealing votes away from Al Gore. In fact, the opposite now seems true: 19% OF GORE VOTERS IN CERTAIN UNNAMED AREAS SAID THEY WOULD HAVE CONSIDERED VOTING FOR NADER IF HE HAD EVER ONCE HELD PUBLIC OFFICE, HAD TAKEN THE TIME TO FORGE A REAL COALITION WITH THE MINORITIES AND WORKING PEOPLE HE CLAIMED TO REPRESENT, WORE FEWER SKINNY TIES, AND DID NOT REMIND THEM OF THEIR DOPED-OUT 11TH-GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER. This number jumps to an amazing 21% when the voter was asked to imagine what he would do if he were A LITTLE DRUNK! In an election this close, who is to say that Gore, in fact, did not steal it from Nader?

5) One cannot escape the conclusion: neither Bush nor Gore had the support of Phil Donahue. Also: Bush is very stupid and probably illiterate. No one denies this.

In the face of this overwhelming evidence, students and celebrities across the nation have taken to the streets, demanding to be heard. WE DO NOT ADVOCATE THE OVERTHROW OF THE PRESIDENT-ELECT, no matter how unconstitutional his election may be. But at the very least the time has come to re-examine the VERY MEANS by which we elect our leaders and to return to a simpler form of voting, such as waving placards and blowing whistles. We also demand our federal matching funds.

PLEASE: THOUGH THE ELECTION MAY BE "OVER," OUR TIME IS STILL AT HAND. There is NO NEED TO STOP COMPLAINING! THERE IS NO NEED TO STOP E-MAILING! If you send this E-mail to 20 friends it is REALISTIC to expect that Ralph Nader will be our next president. Even though it is too late, IT IS NOT TOO LATE!

Printed for John Hodgman

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