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Enviro-Mich message from Smileysmlc@aol.com

While some in the Nader camp claim they are voting their "dream", I see only 
a nightmare ahead.  Even if Ralph Nader gets the magical 5% (which is 
likely), what will that do to the long-term future of the environmental 
movement?  I see the Green Party as only being a divisive force, not a 
unifying one.  Except for the diehard Green Party supporters, why will people 
ever again want to vote for a Green presidential candidate? (especially if 
the Green Party essentially throws the election to Bush this time).  Won't 
people finally realize that divisiveness is not the answer?  We can't 
possibly move in the direction of our dreams if we lose major (and winnable) 
elections like this one.  

Still, that is more of a long term concern.  The immediate concern is much 
more nightmarish.  Although some speak as if it doesn't matter who is elected 
President, I challenge you to think of local situations near and dear to many 
of us.  How would a Bush Presidency change the outcome?

I have many examples in mind (which I'm almost afraid to share, lest I give 
them ideas), so I offer only one:  HUMBUG MARSH.  

Under Governor John Engler, the state has become very anti-environment, 
choosing to promote business development regardless of the overall costs and 
consequences (how I long for the days of moderate Republicans!!).  The 
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (sic) botched its involvement at 
every step of the way--from dealing with McClouth Steel, to Waste Management, 
to Made in Detroit (sic, again).  MDEQ, of course, issued a permit for the 
destruction of the Humbug Marsh area, with only minor restrictions.  The only 
thing now preventing total destruction of Humbug Marsh is the federal 

But what do you suppose will happen if George Bush is elected President?  Do 
you anticipate that directives will be handed down to staff, just as they are 
under the Engler administration?  George Bush champions "states' rights", but 
I've only heard him state that in the context of lessening federal 
protections.  He never seems to mention the rights of states or local 
governments when he says that the federal government should mandate the local 
use of educational vouchers (granted, he didn't use those exact words, but 
regardless, that's what he said relative to providing federal money).

I find the right-wing Republicans, and the Bush candidacy in particular, to 
be quite ironic.  They speak of "personal responsibility", yet they seem to 
feel that they have no responsibility to future generations.  They speak of 
"trust", yet they don't trust women to make the most personal of decisions.  
They speak of "fiscal responsibility", yet are willing to give away massive 
tax cuts before paying off our staggering national debt.

They speak of "patriotism", yet at every turn they deride our institution of 
government, as if it were the enemy.  They speak of "property rights", but 
only as it refers to the rights of corporations to make money at our expense. 
 What about the "property rights" of those who have their well pumped dry by 
quarries, or have toxic waste injected under their home?

They speak of "reform", yet are opposed to even modest campaign finance 
reform proposals, lest they lose the upper hand in the campaign corruption 
game.  They speak of protecting the environment...oops...nope, they don't 
tend to mention the environment at all, do they?  Except to question the 
scientific validity of global warming.  Just like a typical politician:  
George Bush won't face atmospheric facts until there is an absolute crisis.  
We need to do better.

I wish this whole election were one bad dream.  But maybe, just maybe, enough 
people will wake up to the real danger posed by this election.  We don't need 
a government which is completely dominated by a right-wing philosophy.  

Again, if anyone out there is a moderate Republican, undecided Democrat, or, 
yes, even a potential Green Party voter:  think carefully how your vote will 
impact this very close election.  We can either go off the deep end, or we 
can vote for more sensible moderation (even if you don't support all of Al 
Gore's positions, the Republican House and Senate will keep him in check, 
guaranteed).  I don't want a government completely dominated by one political 
party.  I hope that you don't either.  We need to work together to find 
reasonable solutions.

This Halloween is VERY SCARY!

Jack Smiley

P.S.  Do you remember Engler's first election as Governor?  Not being 
satisfied with Governor Blanchard, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs 
endorsed Engler, largely tipping the election.  Will that be our same fate 
this time--with the Green Party tipping the election to Bush?

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