Where’s the choice?

Jeremy Voas cites the figures from the Florida vote count in the 2000 election ("Nader’s evaders," Metro Times, May 5). Voas suggests that if everyone had voted Democratic then, the world would be a better place. However, if even Democrats do not vote Democratic, it would seem there is a problem, no?

If one can look at the Massachusetts senator’s record and note that, in the past three years, he has voted in favor of virtually everything the president has asked for, one has to question why Kerry would be running against him. A great number of Democrats that I know are asking that same question. In the end, it comes down to this: Both Kerry and Bush come from remarkably similar origins and represent remarkably similar interests. If that’s what people want to vote for, they have that right, just as others have the right not to do so. —Marc Reichardt, Chair, Green Party of Michigan, Ann Arbor,


Stop scapegoating Nader

As for Nader, what can be said about a party that blames him for its own failures. The scapegoating of Nader only shows how weak the support for the Democratic Party is — and that is the real story. The Democratic Party made no attempt to reach out to voters in 2000; I was one of them. After calling my congressman’s office to volunteer on his re-election campaign I was told, ‘No, we don’t need any volunteers or any help at all.’

By the way, it is not just the African-American vote Kerry and the party does not reach out to, it is most of us. —Ed Sarkis, Troy,


On what-if thinking

While implying a compelling case for not voting for Ralph Nader this time around, Jeremy Voas seems a bit confused.

The most problematic claim is, "without Nader on the ballot, Gore the dubious campaigner would have beaten Dubya anyway." The evidence offered for this claim is simple subtraction: Nader got many more votes in Florida and New Hampshire than the difference between Bush and Gore in those states. But political analysis is more complicated than that.

Other factors must be accounted for. Would the Nader voters have even voted if he hadn’t been in the race? Would they all have voted for Gore? Might some of Gore’s voters have been mobilized to turn out based on their fear that Nader might cost Gore the election?

In 2004, I happen to believe that a vote for any other candidate than the most decent one with a chance to beat Bush is a waste. But we shouldn’t let the very real need to replace the monsters in power now twist our assessment of what happened in 2000. —David J. Jackson, Toledo, Ohio


Freedom from speech

Re: "One man’s noise" (Metro Times, May 5): Keith Owens misses the point. He offers a lengthy list of different nationalities and how they each brought their own religious beliefs with them to this country. But the difference is that they did not impose those practices on others. They observed their own religious beliefs with others who agree with them.

The playing of the Islamic Call to Prayer is secondhand smoke for the ears.

Similarly, the constant playing of the prayer is intrusive and invading. You imply that everyone must be allowed to do whatever they want because that’s what makes America what it is. I feel that having the freedom to gather with others who share your beliefs and practice them — then put that aside and live, work and play with others who don’t — is what makes America what it is. —Patrick Frederick, Melvindale


Errata: Due to an error in the editing process, a Kill Bill Vol. 2 review (Metro Times, April 28) incorrectly stated that the Shaft remake was directed by Quentin Tarantino. The movie was directed by John Singleton. Also, "Rally with a Buzz" (Metro Times, April 28), stated that Detroit voters will act on a medical marijuana initiative in November. Actually, the medical marijuana initiative will be voted on in the August primary.

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