Our writers insist they aren't paid jack: So how much did [Oracle CEO] Larry Ellison pay you to write this article ("The PeopleSoft Touch," Nov. 22, on the San Francisco school district's problems installing PeopleSoft software)? Your article was highly biased and concerned isolated incidents. Most enterprise-resource planning software installation problems [come from] a third party and/or the users not being prepared. Most software companies, like any good business firms, will do what they can to rectify the matter. Obviously, the S.F. school district has bigger problems than its software. To blame PeopleSoft for their problems was completely unfair.
These Greens Are Seeing Red
Methinks thou dost protest too much: I am offended and disgusted by your column ("What's Green and Black and Blue All Over?," Matt Smith, Nov. 15). Your obvious misunderstanding of the Nader voter and the results of this election has driven me to write this rebuttal. Nader voters did not cost Al Gore this election, Al Gore lost this election on his own. I have had to endure Democrats all through this fall season telling me that my vote for Nader was a vote for Bush, as if Gore has a right to my vote or something. Last I checked, all candidates in U.S. elections have to earn their votes, and Al Gore did not earn mine. You Democrats are just sore losers, and any beating that goes on should be for anyone telling others not to vote their conscience. You embarrass me and you embarrass this country by suggesting such a thing. Next time don't take the liberal vote for granted.
If we want guilt, we'll call our mother: Given his penchant for pop psychology to explain Naderite voter pathology, Matt Smith would have done well to heed an age-old psychological term: projection. Might I suggest that the real anger Gore supporters feel stems from feelings of guilt over their pandering, woefully unfocused candidate's inability to garner enough support to trounce the inept Bush (even in his home state!)? Gore's concessions to big business and abandonment of his environmental platform throughout the Clinton years has done little to bolster the confidence of the left, a confidence that could not be restored by his last-minute populist rhetoric.
Guts. Hear that, you whiners? Guts.: Thanks so much for having the guts to state what is painfully obvious to everyone except the Naderites. Ralph Nader inflicted major damage to a certain Gore win. I do not know what point they were trying to make, but it obviously did not connect with the overwhelming majority of Americans. The sad irony of it is, if George Bush wins the White House thanks, in part, to the Nader vote, everything Nader has dedicated his life to will be in jeopardy. Of course the Naderites will never admit to their responsibility for a Bush win, but the rest of us know better.
Maybe, but no bathing suit competition: While Matt Smith and other knee-jerk Democrats console themselves by blaming Nader voters for the failures of their miserable candidate, they would be wiser to take a long hard look at what their party has become. Many of us will never return to an "evil of two lessers" voting strategy, no matter how much abuse is heaped upon us by doctrinaire Dems.
There is an obvious solution to the dilemma of voting for your preferred candidate: An instant runoff system would allow voters to rate the candidates in order of preference, allowing them to vote first for the candidate they prefer. Under such a scenario, at least half of Nader's voters would have made Gore their second choice, and those votes would have given Gore the election. It would also have allowed right-wingers to vote for Buchanan and list Dubbya as their second choice.
Rather than condemning progressive voters, Democrats should consider channeling their frustrations into this much-needed reform. But, alas, it seems the two largest parties' primary interest is in protecting their closed system and the corporate interests that fund it. As long as the Dems take that position, they should not be so naive as to think the Nader voters will come crawling back into their fetid tent.