The Watertown (NY) Daily Times
INDEPENDENCE V.P. CANDIDATE: 3RD PARTY VOTE SENDS MESSAGE TO D.C.
Voting for a Republican or a Democrat is a wasted vote, according to A. Nat Goldhaber, candidate for vice president of the United States.
"If you vote for a Republican or Democrat you're telling Washington, D.C., that they're doing the right thing," Mr. Goldhaber said. "If you vote for a third party you're telling the Republicans and Democrats that you want change and that third party ideas are important to you."
He and presidential candidate John Hagelin are on the third line of the ballot this year in New York with the Independence Party. They are on the ballot in 26 states with the Natural Law Party, and 37 states overall. As with any candidate, they can be written in in the remaining states.
Mr. Goldhaber brought his campaign to Northern New York Thursday, stopping by media outlets to promote the Independence platform.
"There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats this year other than personality," Mr. Goldhaber said.
With nominal differences in Social Security, education, prescription drug plans, and health care, Mr. Goldhaber said the two party system gives the appearance of two separate parties by fighting over details....
"It's all about creating the illusion of a difference to keep the American people fat, dumb and happy," Mr. Goldhaber said. "I say you can't fool Americans forever."
The Oakland, Calif., native said he and Mr. Hagelin, a physicist, can address the north country's needs through their plans to create programs to train workers in dying industries and aid farmers with more efficient, more environmentally friendly small-farm approaches.
Industries such as the north country's paper industry, he said, are in the decline and its workers are more than capable of filling jobs currently being filled by foreigners.
"We're able to pick the very best and brightest from around the world and we're making them Americans," Mr. Goldhaber said. "Right now it's good for us, but it's probably not good for those countries and in the long-term it's not the answer."
He said it is a matter of re-training and educating these employees so U.S. companies can benefit from an American workforce, without depleting the resources of foreign nations.
With the advent of telecommuting, he said, it is now possible, and will be more common for someone in Watertown to work for IBM, Hewlett Packard, or Apple without relocating and without there being an office in the north country.
"We're having to turn to overseas because these workers aren't available in the U.S.," Mr. Goldhaber said. "H-1 visas are at the moment, completely necessary if we're going to keep up the industries in the absence of re-training for American workers who could move in."
H-1 visas are work visas granted to skilled workers that are tied to a particular employer.
Mr. Goldhaber said farms are suffering because of their desire to mold themselves in the same form as the American corporation.
"Farms are changing from the ideal of the agrarian world, to mass production and a corporate-like life," he said. "If it were true that this were all good from a nutrition and efficiency stand point, then one would feel nostalgic and not want to do anything about it. But that's not the case."
He said he and Mr. Hagelin, a physicist, advocate policies that would reduce the dependency on chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, and by reducing this cost, more profitable and efficient.
"Today, the federal agricultural extension centers are nothing more than sales people for Monsanto and DuPont and other chemical producers," he said noting the contributions these companies have made to campaigns.
"The soil in America, instead of being deeply nutritious, has become a medium to simply hold plants upright, and the nutritional quality of agricultural products has typically declined and its long term safety is questionable."
Mr. Goldhaber does not have unfounded beliefs that he is going to win this November, though he is ready to take the job. He said what is important is bringing out voters who have become jaded and feel that politicians are ineffective.
"The most liberating thing for me about being in third party politics is I don't have to swallow the agenda of the Democrats or Republicans, because I'm free to look at each issue on its own merits," Mr. Goldhaber said.
"I'd love it people voted for me and Dr. Hagelin, and Jeff Graham, but if you want to vote for Nader that's fine," he said. "Just don't vote for Buchanan, because you may as well vote for Bush or Gore." ...