bite me, sierra club
October 30, 2000 02:49 PM

I don't know why this happened, but I've recently gotten two separate, identical mailings sent to my house by the environmental group The Sierra Club. They want to send me a free backpack if I'll send them the right amount of money. I have tendencies towards bleeding heart liberalism, admittedly, and I seriously considered sending money to this organization after the first glossy, probably non-recyclable mailer hit my doorstep. At the second (within a month, I might add), I was still considering. But my Naderite sensibilities were deeply disturbed by a feature piece on the Sierra Club's "issues advertising" in support of Al Gore.

One of the most common things said by Ralph Nader's supporters during the past few months of this presidential campaign is that the main reason Ralph won't win is that everyone believes that Ralph won't win. Okay, it's really just one of the reasons. Ralph not being allowed onto the debates, not having the money for TV ads, and not having posters and flyers smeared all over the place are some other reasons. Face it: the Green Party got started late with this whole campaigning thing, and it shows. And, despite exhorting lovely young voters such as myself to "Vote your hopes, not your fears", Nader has managed to come across kinda negative - less about bringing important issues to national attention or offering solutions to problems than about attacking the other parties for not thinking about these issues. But one thing you could never accuse the Green Party of is lacking clarity of stance when it comes to environmental issues. If the environment is at stake, the Greens are for whatever protects it. Duh! Why else would they choose such a name for the party (no, they're not Irish)?

Most environmental groups understand this, and understand that the Green party may be growing into a force to be reckoned on a state and local level soon. Most environmental groups have either come out in full support of Nader or straddled a sortof Nader-Gore fence. Not the Sierra Club! They just spent 1 million dollars of their members' generously donated funds to create and air an advertisement designed to emphasise Gore over Nader as an environmentalist candidate in the state of Oregon. Now no one, not even the president of Sierra's Oregon chapter, thinks that Gore is more pro-environment than Nader; that's just a huge joke. The sad thing is that a political action group like the Sierra Club is clearly voting its own fears rather than hopes, and that kind of cynicism from a narfy agency like them... well, it just depresses me.

No, Sierra Club people, I will not send you money. And I don't want a backpack.

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