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Nader is in

Nader has, according to the Drudge report, thrown his hat into the ring. Six weeks ago this would have been a tragic victory for Bush, but in a Bush/Kerry matchup, perhaps I need to rethink my position. . .
Ok, let me say from the start: I dislike Ralph Nader. I like his politics, I like his concern for our political system and our environment, I like the fact that he sares about things other politicians don't even know exist, but I have always disliked his seemingly bottomless ego, his de facto support of right wing presidential candidates and what appears to be a tendency to be a one-issue candidate. His political stupidity in trying to elect himself president rather than use his organization to pack America with Green city councilmen and mayors first is a tribute to his selfishness.

BUT, and this is a big "BUT," I have always been waiting for my chance to Vote Nader. I have never thought he would be a good president, but if he ever did get enough votes for federal matching funds, he might shatter the current political system and make third party candidates more sucessful. The problem is, too many elections are so close and so scary (like, oh, Bush/Gore/2000) that I was terrified of my Nader vote helping to elect the worst of two evils, so I always tried to vote for the better of two evils.

This is, in case you did not notice, what happened a few years ago. In flordia, many people voted third party, making Bush "win" the election (ok, "rig" is a bette word, but it would not have been possible if the majority of liberals had voted for the Dems). The result was a narrow "victory" for Bush, and all the death and destruction he has wrought (not that I think Gore would have been a saint, but he would have been better, or at least "less evil," than Bush).

Now, however, we are facing a Bush/Bush match. Two rich, Skull & Bones, Yale alum, mansion-dwelling sixth cousins (yup, they are kin) both running (or at least one pretending to run to eliminate competition, I would not rule it out). I guess Kerry may be slightly less evil than Bush, but the margin is so narrow as to be meaningless. Clark, Kucinich and Dean have all been eliminated, Edwards is a long shot and the rest of the pack have been jokes from the start (bad jokes in some cases). Yeah, Bush only lost Oregon by a handful of votes last time, and he will be trying really hard to rake in the few dozen more this time to really win Oregon (the east half of the state is a real pain in the ass). But what if Bush does win? If he wins, we get Bush. If he loses, we get. . . Bush with worse hair and a different name.

There is truly no way the "good guys" can win this time.

Now that I have realized my vote truly will not matter, that no matter who wins it will not be good, I am starting to realize something. Something profound I first heard years ago while listening to an old Janis Joplin tape. "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose." The Bush/Bush contest may truly have made me free, at least for one day in November. I truly can't win, so what do I do? Not vote? Vote for Kerry? Vote for Mickey Mouse? Use my ballot for Origami?

Perhaps I may vote for Ralph Nader after all.
Nader is a egotistic idiot 22.Feb.2004 13:37

concerned

Nader's coy statements lately about whether or not he would run, were a sure tip-off that he was going to do it. But, it's a selfish and divisive move. (I'm not a Kerry supporter, by the way).
Nader's decision demonstrates that he has no clue about the mood of the country, and how to create a groundswell of opposition to Bush. He has seriously misjudged the right-wing, Republican opposition's strength and what can be achieved in today's political climate. With repression so strong in every corner- we need to build a strong people's movement, with leadership that is supported by mass numbers of ordinary Americans.
And, Nader ain't it.
Norman Solomon and other respected progressives have publically asked Nader not to run, outlining their many concerns. If he cannot listen to the best advice our movement has to offer, then what kind of leader is he?
Frankly, I'm disgusted with Ralph and wish that he would reconsider.

Issues 22.Feb.2004 13:57

George Bender

I notice that those who oppose Nader always talk about strategy and personality, as if that was what politics is about, and not about issues. They strike me as intellectually lazy people. This is what the news media do: reduce politics to a horse race and personality. I'm not going to help you do that. I don't give a shit about Nader's personality, whatever it may be. What I care about is that he's politically aggressive, and willing to stand up and be counted. I wish Democrats had a fraction of Nader's courage.


kerry?, bush?, whatever 22.Feb.2004 13:59

freebee

i agree with these points but what realy scares me is this "anyone but bush" mentality
getting bush out of the white house sounds good to me
but to put someone who isnt going to change anything in the white house just to not have bush is silly
i feel better knowing that at least now there is some one worth a damn at all running
not that any of this even matters anymore (you dont really need votes to be pResident anymore)

Teddy, would you write me offline 22.Feb.2004 14:01

nonplussed2


Bend over and smile.. 22.Feb.2004 14:02

Zenarchy

Lets look at the menu. Bush, a scumbag supporter of empire. Kerry, promises to be a better supporter of the empire than Bush. Hmmm..... which one do I vote for? Neither. Until my vote actually helps to elect someone who is a animal of a different persuasion, I won't legitimize either elitist war mongering scum-bucket.
Does anyone else have a chance? NO. Can Nader win? Of course not, and neither can any real alternative to the plutocrats running the show. But, people like Nader can at least speak about real issues. He and Sharpton and other progressives can perhaps influence a few minds and contribute to the growing pool of discontented voters who may, in the future, vote for who they want, rather than voting for whom they are told can win, or is electable.
And no, Nader did not get Bush elected in 2000. Get over that ignorant myth.

What will happen when people hear Nader speak.... 22.Feb.2004 15:16

Tony Blair's dog

about the stuff that is forbidden to talk about among the republicans
democrats, things that "real" people really are pissed off at?

Something tells me Nader will be able to landslide in a great way ;-)

Vote Kucinich over Nader 22.Feb.2004 15:19

CJ

Dennis Kucinich stands for everything Nader stands for except that Kucinich is not a self-centered egomanic. Kucinich deserves our support. He is out there for others while Nader is out there for himself. Do something good with your vote and show the Democratic Party you want change and are tired of their spineless stances. Vote for Kucinich.

www.kucinich.us

So what 22.Feb.2004 16:46

voting for Cuomo

Nader's entry is a non-issue in this election, in 2000 he beat Gore in two states. In 2004 he won't win nothing but the stroking of his oh so lonely psyche.

Huge mistake on Nader's part 22.Feb.2004 17:49

Reader

This is a blunder for Nader and for Independents. Last election, Nader was seen by many as a spoiler who helped Bush get elected, but blameless. With this last minute entry into the race, most Democrats are going to hate the man, regardless of his message.

Nader never had support on the right, and now, with this stunt, he's losing it on the left. I think that counts as a setback for Nader supporters. Where Nader could have been helpful for Independents, now he is a liability.

Nader says he will accept any and all contributions 22.Feb.2004 17:59

Orwell's long lost cousin

On NPR tonight, they interviewed Nader and asked him point blank, "Would you accept money from the Republican National Committee?" He said he would accept money from any and all legal sources.

Nader is going to be used by the RNC as their candidate to try and fuck up the election one more time. However, I am putting my money on Bush's poll numbers diving so low (even now many independents and republicans are saying they won't vote for him for many reasons) that the Bush, Inc. Corporation creates another 9/11 type of disaster, declares martial law, under which they can postpone the election. That is my prediction and I am sticking to it. They won't be able to steal the election like they did the last time since so many people are going to be against the Bush, Inc. Corporation that they could blame it on hanging chads, etc.

RIP American Democracy...

difference between Kucinich and Nader 22.Feb.2004 19:17

GRINGO STARS

Kucinich voted FOR the Afghanistan war. Nader didn't. Kucinich voted FOR financing a military coup in Iraq. Nader was never interested in regime chnage in Iraq. Nader walks his talk. Kucinich portrays himself as anti-war while he has a pro-war voting record.

Walks his talk? 22.Feb.2004 19:35

-

Nader doesn't have a chance to vote for any bills or resolutions, because he's not in Congress. We don't know what he'd vote on every issue if he had the chance or responsibility. He does take RNC money however. He doesn't walk. He only talks. It's nice talk (on the issues), but he won't be able to implement any of it.

exactly! 22.Feb.2004 23:10

GRINGO STARS

"he's not in Congress"

PRECISELY why he is the person for the job. He's NOT a professional bureaucrat. He gets results, not popularity. He HAS walked his talk in his career of fighting corporate America. If anyone knows any different, I would seriously like to hear about it since I am not fully informed about Nader's entire life.

I think NOT being a lifelong politician is very much in his favor.

My point was 22.Feb.2004 23:33

-

My point was not to indicate the difference in quality between a man who has been in Congress and a man who has not. Not being in Congress doesn't mean he would not be compromised the same way everyone who enters Congress is compromised. It just means that he hasn't had the opportunity to be compromised in that same way.

His taking money from the RNC might indicate that he has been compromised in another way however.

It is impossible to find any congressman who votes exactly as each of us wants all the time. They are under pressures that have nothing to do with us or our individual ideologies. They have to answer to their immediate constituency. Yes, some vote in direct response to input from their constituents. They make deals, sacrificing one bill to get another one passed. They buckle under the pressure of superiors in their party in Congress. Some of them are bribed and some blackmailed to mention the worst influences. Each member of Congress navigates his own way, some being compromised more than others. Aside from compromise, sometimes Congressman change their minds on issues. It is unwise to judge a member by each vote he makes. It is wise to throw out the worst, and throw out the best votes (in your estimation) to get a more accurate picture of who the person is, and what his policies will be.

Ralph, wouldn't stay pure if he were in Congress. Ralph wouldn't stay pure in the presidency. That is assuming he is pure, just for arguments sake.

But you know, he's not pure. He lost that when he entered politics.

>>He HAS walked his talk in his career of fighting corporate America.

Yes, I liked him when he used to do this.

Oh please 23.Feb.2004 00:23

George Bender

This is not about purity. It's about power. The only power we have is to make the Democrats lose. So let's use it. Eventually they may get the idea and decide it might be better to just give us what we want.

I don't care where Nader gets his campaign money. The whole campaign finance system is corrupt and everyone knows it. Actually I don't care that much about Nader, although I respect him. As I think he would be the first to say, it's not about him. It's about power. Nader is simply serving as our political focal point. He's a message for us to send.


No it's not about purity 23.Feb.2004 00:47

Not what I meant

I was just responding to the comparison between Kucinich and Nader. Kucinich was being criticized for his votes. Nader couldn't be directly compared because he didn't have the opportunity to vote on the same issues. If he did, I wouldn't expect him to be any different than anyone. Gringo and some others seem to think that he's different. I don't expect purity in any of these people.

Nader IS different... 23.Feb.2004 11:09

GRINGO STARS

...in that he has NEVER helped to start a war. Kucinich can't say that. Which makes Kucinich a hypocrite, which is typical given Dennis' lifelong profession of professional bureaucrat. He's a politician. Nader isn't. Yet. Nader is bringing ISSUES to the fore of the race. Forcing people to forget horserace politics coverage in favor of actual problems the US and the world faces.

I don't demand "purity." I demand integrity, which is apparently considered by some people something to scoff at as "purity." I ask that they walk their talk. So far, Kucinich has not done that. So far, Nader HAS done just that.

People make mistakes Gringo 24.Feb.2004 02:35

-

And the more involved they are the more opportunity to make mistakes they have. But if they are good they have more opportunity to do the right thing as well. It's always easier to be the critic on the side. That's what we are. That's what Ralph has always been. When those in office make mistakes, we have to study them and figure out why they made them and judge whether or not we will give them understanding, take the bad with the good, or not. With all the imperfects out there, Kucinich compares well.

And I wouldn't give him credit for starting a war. It would have happened with or without his vote. I agree it was the wrong vote, but remember that there were few who would have said that at the time. Most people were unsure. The US was in shock, wallowing actually, and Bush's admin took advantage. We can disagree on how complicit Dennis was in all of that. I'm just saying...


advocating war is not a mere "mistake" - it is a crime against humanity 24.Feb.2004 16:05

GRINGO STARS

I'm sure Iraqis or Afghanis would not consider it a mere "mistake" to ruin their lives and countries, killing many of them. Fucking OOPS. So DK is against war, EXCEPT WHEN FUHRER BUSH ASKS HIM NOT TO BE? Pathetic.

As far as the Nader material, I'm still researching that. Must question everything, including Nader and including anti-Nader information. Powerful capitalist interests are capable of astroturfing issues so that it seems like someone is a hypocrite. And people are capable of being hypocrites as well.