This ran as a newspaper ad very late in the campaign.  According to Sean Wilentz, professor of history at Princeton University, and a principal organizer of the effort, the ad ran the Monday before Election Day and on Election Day itself, mainly in college papers "in states where Nader looked to be doing well in the last couple of weeks of the campaign."  These included Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington.  ["Who knew we should have gone for Florida," Wilentz later wrote.]


WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, are deeply disturbed by the continuing national campaign by Ralph Nader, which is growing ever more harmful as Election Day approaches.

It is now plain that Mr. Nader is willing to make incredible statements and take unbelievable positions in order to gain the 5% of the vote he seeks.

Instead of a liberal or progressive force, his campaign now seriously threatens to elect the dangerous George W. Bush to the presidency. Despite Mr. Nader's past great achievements, and despite the good faith of his rank-and-file supporters, his has now become a wrecking-ball campaign --one that betrays the very liberal, humane and progressive values it claims to uphold.

Recently, Mr. Nader has said that:

--IF GIVEN A CHOICE BETWEEN BUSH AND GORE, HE WOULD VOTE FOR BUSH. Mr. Nader would happily throw the country to the Right, placing the Supreme Court, the rest of the federal judiciary, and the entire executive regulatory system including the Food and Drug Administration in the hands of the most retrograde elements in our political life. (see Outside Magazine, August 2000)

--ENVIRONMENTAL REACTIONARIES SERVE A POSITIVE FUNCTION. Mr. Nader has argued that past appointments like Reagan's Secretary of the Interior James Watt usefully serve as "provocateurs" for change. He has also denounced the Sierra Club and other long-standing allies for their "servile mentality" in not supporting him. (New York Times, October 29, 2000)

-- THE REPEAL OF ROE V. WADE WOULD BE OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE. Never a champion of women's rights, Mr. Nader claims that abortion rights might just as well be left up to the states. ("This Week with Sam Donaldson," October 29, 2000)

--ALL U.S. AID TO ISRAEL SHOULD BE CUT. No matter what one thinks of the current situation in the Middle East, such rhetoric is not only irresponsible, it is inflammatory. (Common Dreams News Center, October 24, 2000.)

But these are only the latest thoughtless utterances from Mr. Nader. From the start, he said his effort would help the Democrats gain votes in the House of Representatives -- while at the same time he has vilified the Democrats as no different than the Republicans. His supporters in various states talk about a "risk-free" Nader vote in places where Gore or Bush are "strong," even as Mr. Nader himself aggressively looks for votes in liberal cities and on college campuses in vital toss-up states. (These toss-ups now may well include California.)

Should Governor Bush be elected President, and the Republicans hold the Congress, conservative Republicans will have virtually captured firm control of all three branches of the Federal Government for the first time since 1930. Mr. Nader, who is also supporting Green congressional candidates who have no chance of winning in some tight races, apparently does not care about this -- or worse, seeks it, under the naive impression that it will heighten social contradictions and lead to what he has called "a progressive convulsion"-- that is, the worse, the better.

This is sectarianism of a familiar sort in the century just past -- a sectarianism that had reaped nothing but political catastrophe. We implore all liberal and progressive voters to reject the Nader campaign on November 7 and to vote for Gore and Lieberman.

Signatories (partial list; list in formation)

Benjamin Barber, Rutgers University
Paul Berman, writer and critic
Michael Berube, University of Illinois
Marco Calavita, film critic
Ellen Chesler, writer and critic
Mitchell Cohen, City University of New York, Dissent
Bogdan Denitch, City University of New York
Ronald Dworkin, New York University
Dagoberto Gilb, writer
Todd Gitlin, New York University
Francisco Goldman, writer
Mary Gordon, novelist and critic
Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker
Bianca Jagger, activist
John B. Judis, The New Republic
David Kusnet, writer and critic
Jeremy Larner, writer and critic
Wendy Lesser, The Threepenny Review
Harold Meyerson, Los Angeles Weekly
Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate, novelistand critic
Jo-Ann Mort, Open Society Fund
Brian Morton, nvelist and critic
David Osborne, writer
George Packer, novelist and critic
Jayne Anne Phillips, novelist
James Shapiro, Columbia University
Christine Stansell, Princeton University
Gloria Steinem, writer and activist
Ruy Teixeira, Century Foundation
Siva Vaidhyanathan, New York University
Judith B. Walzer, formerly New School University
Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Dissent
Jim Weinstein, In These Times
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University