From the Election Issue (Oct 2000):
Rather Have Something Girly, Huh?
Our reporter explores the Nader candidacy
Recent polls have shown a profound lack of interest in politics among students. This voluntary disenfranchisement has caused young people's issues to be largely ignored by mainstream politicians. As the important 2000 presidential election approaches (one that is also likely to affect the appointment of 3 or 4 Supreme Court Justices), an alternative candidate with support from people of all walks of life.
After many phone calls, I was finally able to catch up with the busy campus coordinator for presidential candidate Ralph Nader's 2000 campaign. William Creeley is a dedicated New York University student and Nader supporter, who spends most of his free time these days helping to get the Green Party candidate's message across to voting youth in New York City.
Fed: So, what's so great about Nader?
William Creeley: Well, when Nader was on Jay Leno the other day„and he was brilliant I might add„the first question was, "So Ralph, what do you do for fun?" Ralph got a big smile on his face and said "Strawberries."
Fed: Have you met him personally?
WC: No. But he came to me in a dream.
Fed: If Nader were a flavor of ice cream, what would he be?
WC: There are so many answers for this one. Let's see. All right, well I think I'm gonna have to say Neapolitan, because there's something for everybody. It was either that or Pistachio, since it's green and a little nutty.
Fed: So, what issues would you say Nader feels most strongly about? What is his stance?
WC: Making sure our democracy is untainted by corporate money, getting corporate money out of politics, getting corporate money out of the public spectrum.
Fed: Abortion, up to the government or up to the woman?
WC: He absolutely believes in the woman's right to choose. He always has. He supports NOW's platform.
Fed: What do you feel is the biggest difference between liberals and democrats?
WC: Money. Cyndi Lauper once said "money changes everything," and she was dead on. Liberals tend to be a bit younger. I think you can be swallowed up into the party apparatus, and then do silly things like support the death penalty or take money from corporations. The Democratic Party is where a lot of good kids go to die. It's fear versus hope. If you're hopeful, join the Greens.
Fed: Why is Nader's office on St. Mark's? Does that mean he's a freak?
WC: It's not on St. Mark's anymore. But you know, sometimes in the current political climate, the mainstream press makes it seem like Nader supporters are freaks. Now our office is 116 Houston. We share an office with a lot of dotcoms.
Fed: Okay, well what is his policy towards freaks? Is he freak-friendly?
WC: Nader? Nader's somewhat of a freak himself. I think to be a consumers' rights advocate for thirty years and not sell out is pretty freaky. To live as a 66 year old man and travel the country and speak to students and be a vicious consumers' rights activist is freakish. He's worth over 3 million in personal assets, but lives off of less that $30,000 a year, and the rest goes to charity. That's all pretty freakish. And he's a jumpy bastard. He moves freakishly.
Fed: This issue is also our "Horror Issue." If you could cast Nader as the villain of any horror movie, who would you choose and why?
WC: I might have to call you back on this one. I'm gonna have to think. Oh, it's easy. Darth Nader. I don't know. 'Cause it rhymes.
Fed: What cocktail/mixed drink has a flavor that best represents Nader's personality?
WC: I'm gonna say gin and tonic. It's an old classic, but it'll still get you fucked. It tastes good and tickles your nose.
Fed: How about Bush and Gore?
WC: Bush'd be what we call a "Mindracer." You just drink it and it's lights out. It's all over. Gore would be a Shirley Temple. Totally neutral. It tastes good going down, but it does nothing for you.
Fed: Why do you think it's important that young people vote?
WC: I'm gonna use the words of my mentor: "if you don't turn on to politics, politics will turn on you." Just wait 'til people are out of college and trying to get jobs. I'm a second-year student at NYU, and students here are living in a complete dream about what the real world is like. Wait 'til people get sick and wish they had national health insurance. Nader's an amazingly eloquent speaker for our generation, which is amazing at age 66.
Fed: What if there's something good on TV all day on November 7th ?
WC: Maybe you shouldn't be at Columbia if you're watching 90210 reruns all day. Make the time, and participate in a national tradition. And pick up the new Wu Tang CD on your way home. I don't know what more an American kid could ask for.
Fed: How about an all-day Simpsons marathon?
WC: If it's an all-day Simpsons marathon, I don't know, depends on the weather. There are commercial breaks. Tape an episode.
Fed: With new episodes?
WC: If there are new episodes, it's cool with me, you have my permission not to vote. Or get an absentee ballot. Plan ahead and check your local listings.
Fed: Who is Nader's running mate?
WC: Winona LaDuke. She is a Native-American activist, Harvard educated, and the mother of two children. In 1994, she was named by Time Magazine as one of America's 50 most promising leaders under 40 years of age.
Fed: What is Nader going as for Halloween?
WC: Corporate America's worst nightmare.
Fed: Is there anything that you would like to add?
WC: Let me just make sure you spelled my name right.