Party Poopers

Where do the candidates stand on the real issue?

Ralph Nader, Green Party: If your response to Ralph Nader is "Who?" don't feel bad. Nobody knows the guy's running. He's been around for years and years, but he just fades into the woodwork. Or maybe it's just that the entrenched government has pushed him into the woodwork (lousy rich kids and robots!). Nader has crusaded for public safety, has sued most of the major government organizations for abusing the public trust and has always behaved to the highest standards of personal conduct. See? Zzzzzzzz, boooorrrring. But he has all these ideas and he's a perpetual outsider, so he's kind of rock & roll. But not good rock & roll. You know the kind of rock where it's cluttered up with big concepts, and chord changes and, yeah, they're playing guitars, but it just sounds kind of wonky and pretentious? Here are some hints: "The Trees." "By-Tor and the Snow Dog." "Red Barchetta." Sad but true, Ralph Nader could be the original drummer for Rush, and their entire output is the perfect musical analogy for his political aspirations: too smart, too nerdy, too convoluted and not very dynamic. On paper, Nader sounds pretty good; so does Rush. But one listen to 2112 and you just know that people who take Ayn Rand seriously shouldn't be making rock & roll albums. That's a convoluted way of saying to Ralph, "Don't quit your day job." Still, if you like lost causes (and if you're still buying Rush albums, you obviously do), punch "Nader" on your ballot and sing a chorus of "Working Man" on your way out of the booth.

Roy Tompkins

Feel free to clip this out and bring it into the voting booth with you. Discuss these options with your fellow voters, and, remember, there are no stupid questions -- it's the answers, in this instance, that are stupid.

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