Ralph Nader is under attack by liberals in the Democratic Party and the media who think his presidential run will siphon votes from John Kerry. On the other hand, former Republican Pat Buchanan ran an interview with Nader in his magazine, suggesting that conservatives might want to vote for Nader rather than Bush this November. But that interview ran before Nader picked Peter Camejo as his running mate.
Most stories about Camejo have identified him as a businessman and Green Party activist. A few have noted he ran for president on the ticket of the Socialist Workers Party. But Max Friedman of the group, Historians of American Communism, has done the work on Camejo’s background that the media did not.
His research, published as a letter to the editor of the Washington Times, noted that, “Camejo was a Communist for decades.” In addition to his work in the Socialist Workers Party, a party founded by Trotskyites, Friedman said that Camejo eventually showed up as an “endorser” of the “conference call” for a July 1992 affair known as “Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the ’90s.” Friedman explained that it was being held by a new group known as the Committee of Correspondence, formed out of the Communist Party USA.
The story had been told in a Washington Times column by Joseph Goulden, formerly of Accuracy in Media. Another member of this new Marxist organization was Leslie Cagan, now leading the anti-Iraq war organization, United for Peace & Justice. Friedman said that Camejo had completed the radical-left circuit from “red” to “Green,” or so it seemed.
Despite Nader’s selection of Camejo as his running mate, the Green Party refused to back Nader in his independent run for the White House. It nominated its own candidate for president. The media focused on whether this will hurt Nader’s run for president, and that’s a legitimate issue. But far less attention is being devoted to how communists, Marxists and socialists are making significant electoral gains in the United States. The Green Party, for example, claims 300,000 registered voters in 22 states and says 207 Green Party members hold elected office in 27 states. This is a party that calls for a 50 percent cut in the U.S. military budget, “citizen control over corporations,” and international taxes. The Green Party’s issues page on the Web refers people to other left-wing sites, including the Nation magazine, the Institute for Policy Studies, and MichaelMoore.com
The inclusion of Moore is interesting. Although leading Democrats have endorsed Moore’s Bush-bashing movie, Moore’s main interest seems to be pushing the Democratic Party further to the left. Nader has complained that Moore didn’t invite him to the Washington screening of his 9/11 movie, but he and Moore share the same left-vision of America. And despite his independent run for the White House, Nader recently met with John Kerry and suggested that Kerry pick North Carolina Senator John Edwards as his running mate. Like Moore, Nader wants to push the Democrats even further to the left, in the direction of Peter Camejo and his green/red backers. That’s the story that needs to be told.