I like Ralph Nader, but Ralph: Just go home
February 27, 2004
Filed under Archives
Recently (last Sunday), I was having a perfectly pleasant morning. I had just gone to Biscuitville to obtain some breakfast sustenance, and as I was reading the news from CNN’s website, my day became a little less pleasant when I saw this headline: “Nader to run for President.”
Oy, not again.
I want to say this first before I go any further: I like Ralph Nader; I think he has done a lot for Americans over the last quarter century or so, whether most people know it or not. He has stood up for people for many years and is probably the most important advocate for consumers America has ever seen. With that said …
Ralph … stay home … take up knitting … do something to keep occupied besides running for president.
From CNN’s website: “Nader said he is jumping into the race to challenge the two-party duopoly that he said is damaging American democracy. He lashed out against what he called the treatment of third party and independent candidates as second-class citizens.”
That’s nice, Ralph.
For the record, Nader is not wrong about there being a monopoly on the electoral process in America. Two parties dominate us while there should be more choice. There is also no doubt that anyone who does challenge this two party stranglehold is treated poorly by the other candidates and the media, but Ralph, now is not the time.
Right now America is in the chokehold of one of the most right-wing presidencies ever. The political idealist in me wants to cheer on Nader as he empowers his democratic right to run for President.
However, the political realist in me wants to find a few guys with nicknames like “Chain” and “Hacksaw” to go to his house and get him to drop out of the race by making him an offer he can’t refuse.
One of the saddest things about seeing Nader run for president is that he appears to be a shell of his former self. Too many Americans view Nader as someone who shows up every four years, denounces a two party system, talks about how poverty is bad and then goes away after the election is over. At best he is misguided and at worst he is in desperate need of attention.
But this year it has gotten even worse. He is not running as a Green Party candidate; he is running as an independent. It seems to me that Nader does not even plan on taking this campaign seriously.
How is he going to organize a campaign, raise money, get on the ballot, without party backing? Something, may I remind all of you, that he was unable to do four years ago with party backing!
Ralph, do you need a hug?
My wish for this upcoming election is that people, who might vote for Nader as opposed to the Democratic candidate, are thinking realistically and they vote for the candidate that has a chance to win.
Don’t tell me that voting your conscience is more notable in this next election. Think about it: is more important to make a point or get the current president on the express train to The Hague or something of that ilk.
I guess that depends on your political stance, but think about what our president has accomplished in his short tenure: Started a war, cheesed off the rest of the World, tax breaks to the insanely wealthy, millions more people unemployed and oh yeah, I think two buildings got knocked down under his watch.
I want to close with this point: Bush is beatable. He maximized the voter base in 2000 and is very vulnerable in this next election, but the Democrats still need all the votes they can get. Think back to Florida a few years ago, Nader did not cost Gore the election in Florida, but he did make the vote so close that it allowed the Republicans to steal the election.
There needs to be a united Democratic base, and Nader can only hurt that. It pains me to write this because like I said, I like Ralph Nader, but quite frankly, I like Bush losing even more. So Ralph, from a fan, go home.