The Nation Goes After Ralph
"The top priority should be to defeat Bush," Nader insists. "Obviously, the Democrats are having trouble showing how they can do that." With palpable frustration, he cites the Democrats' failure to make more headway from the corporate scandals and their timidity in the face of Republican appeals to war fever and patriotism. Growing more animated, he declares, "The real issue for Democrats beating up on the Greens is, can the Democrats win without a third-party effort to launch the issues that the Democrats are too dense or cautious or too indentured to raise themselves, which they'll then pick up?"
Why is the Nation picking apart the Greens, bit by bit, from the inside out, on the issue of the 2004 election? Are they publishing the internal debates of the Democrats in this way? Certainly if they are, sites like Commondreams aren't picking them up.
Read this with a critical eye - yes, whether Nader runs is an important issue. But should his expected (less than) 3% of the vote really draw this much scrutiny and analysis? Note this is from the perspective of someone who describes Nader - in one paragraph in here - as 'schizophrenic.' What's the real agenda here? Sure we all want Bush out. But why are some going to such lengths to take down a man who has devoted his life to protecting the lives of Americans?
Now he's trying to protect the life of our democracy - whether Bush stays or goes, the gradual erosion of any sort of democracy in this country is happening and Nader is the only one *without* the corporate ties and *with* the ability to reach mainstream media to show us what we are losing. Electing Howard Dean will not suddenly fix everything, certainly not the corporate crime wave to which he will be beholden. And the scary thing is that the Democrats are so terrified of losing that they will put democracy itself aside - the right for all political parties to run in the presidential election - in order to get what they want, under the guise that ONLY THEY know what's right for all.
Later, the author states that they 'love Ralph,' (pretty schizophrenic themselves, if you ask me) but then adds that - "another Nader run as a Green or independent without an explicit and binding agreement to concentrate on safe states would be a terrible mistake."
If they love Ralph, why do they not love democracy, where all parties are equal, just as all people have equal rights? Why is Democracy only allowed for the Democrats, and not for the rest of us?
What sort of democracy is that?
Published in the November 24, 2003 issue of The Nation
by Micah L. Sifry
With a year to Election Day, Ralph Nader is quietly gearing up for his second serious bid for the presidency. Though he has been telling reporters that he won't make a decision about running until the end of the year, any day now he will announce the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, which will allow him to start raising money and hiring staff. A final decision to go ahead full throttle will probably wait until the winnowing of the Democratic primary field starts in February, as Nader genuinely likes progressive Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich and has been supporting his underdog presidential bid.
In a recent interview, Nader rejected any suggestion that a 2004 run would be hobbled by the legacy of 2000, a startlingly stubborn assertion given how many people, including Democratic Party leaders, grassroots activists, labor and environmental honchos, and liberal pundits, blame him for costing Al Gore the election. He insists that voters he meets rarely raise the issue. In response, he tells people to read Jeffrey Toobin's Too Close to Call, which demonstrates in precise detail how Gore and his top advisers made a series of dumb and defeatist choices during the Florida recount showdown, spoiling their chances for a full and accurate vote tally.
With a combination of irritation and amusement, Nader has watched Howard Dean adopt the style, if not the substance, of his 2000 campaign, no doubt aware that a Dean nomination would seriously hamper his ability to gain traction next spring and summer. While he recognizes that many Dean supporters may well have been Naderites in 2000, he calls Dean a "middle of the road" Democrat too friendly to corporate demands, and dismisses progressive enthusiasm for Dean's candidacy with this metaphor: "Everybody is starved. If you have a garden and if it rains, you're not excited, but if you're in the desert and it rains, you're delirious. But you know what rain in the desert produces? A mirage." Repeating an old refrain, he says it doesn't even matter if Dean is for real: "He can't deliver--he can be George McGovern on steroids, but when he gets into the corporate prison called the White House, he can't deliver."
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article