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As I travel across the country, I am often asked why progressives should support Bill Bradley for President, as I do.

If politics got real, the debate on campaign finance reform would focus on how ordinary citizens can acquire a measure of power in America's money-drenched democracy.

As the first voting of the 2000 presidential election approaches, in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, public disinterest is palpable.

These excerpts are from Jim Hightower's If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates (HarperCollins).

I watched these presidential hopefuls join
Together for debating in Des Moines,
And many times I heard allegiance sworn
To Jesus and to babies not quite born.

The spectacle of human beings acting out mindless violence through pack behavior instills more terror in the heart than perhaps any other event in the natural world.

The records show, as you have heard,
McCain is not a cuckoo bird.
Yes, he's OK. That's no surprise.
Now how about the other guys?

The last remaining superpower
Might get a leader who would tower
Above a smallish premier of Japan.
The Third World wouldn't be euphoric

CORRECTION (from the Dec. 27 issue): In Micah L. Sifry's "Public Citizen No. 1" [Dec. 20], Carl Mayer, although he is among those urging Nader to run, was incorrectly identified as a member of the Draft Nader Committee. Also, the town of Amherst is in Wisconsin, not Michigan.

A version of this article also appeared in Salon magazine.

Imprisonment and torture are the sort
Of things that might just drive a person daft.
So just in case that happened to McCain,

Blogs

He wants Republicans controlling the "political apparatus" and the "governmental apparatus" of voting.

October 24, 2014

The bright spot for environmentalists in the midterms is, improbably, in deep-red South Dakota.

October 23, 2014

It’s time to look past the Democratic Party for a truly progressive agenda.

October 23, 2014

With political groups increasingly eager to buy seats on state-level benches, judges are forced to act more like politicians.

October 23, 2014

This time, the populist hero appears to push the door open to a presidential run.

October 22, 2014

Campaign-finance operations have mutated at a frightening pace each successive election since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision—and this year may represent the apex.

October 22, 2014

Should the guy moderating a Senate election debate think that the midterm Senate elections are important?

October 21, 2014

Be afraid, be very afraid.

October 21, 2014

Law professor and State Senator Jamie Raskin is planning on introducing a bill that could put a dent in corporations’ ability to influence our elections.  

October 21, 2014

Mitch McConnell isn’t a stranger to doubting science—he also pushed back on medical anti-smoking claims while accepting lavish industry gifts.

October 21, 2014