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government | imperialism & war selection 2008

The Shunning of Ralph Nader

No sooner did Ralph Nader announce his run for president than Katrina Van den Heuval at The Nation was pounding out a frantic plea to Ralph to quit the race. Her assault on Ralph, reminiscent of how her mag treated him in 2004, was the first sign that the Democratic establishment was soiling its collective panties for fear of Ralph's run. Clearly they had reason for concern, since Nader/Gonzalez raised $300,000 on their first day of fundraising. (Matt Gonzalez who nearly won the mayoralty race in San Francisco as a Green has now left the Green Party to join Nader's independent candidacy.)
Three weeks ago a Zogby poll suggested that Nader will be a major factor in the race. The poll did two separate pairups and here is how they came out:

McCain, 44%; Obama, 39%; Nader, 6%.

McCain, 44%; Clinton, 39%; Nader, 6%.

It is not hard to add 6 to 39 and come out with 45. Nader/Gonzalez has said that it regards 6% as their floor. And it looks like Nader/Gonzalez will be on the ballot in all 50 states and DC. Message to Dems: you are in trouble. If you run a prowar candidate, either Obama or Clinton, you are in trouble. You cannot beat a prowar candidate with another prowar candidate. Very simple.

The Nation and other outlets, not to mention the mass media, were silent on the Zogby poll. Now another poll has come out, this time from Fox News of all places. It showed that 14% of the voters are willing to "consider" voting for Nader. That is a substantial achievement in the face of the small amount of mass media coverage given Nader so far. (Additionally Nader won the Green Party primaries by a landslide in California and Massachusetts even though he did not campaign there.)

The shunning of Nader is to be expected for The Nation crowd which endorsed the prowar Kerry in 2004 and promised that electing Dems to the Congress in 2006 would bring a Congressional assault on the war. That of course has not materialized. But the response to Nader on antiwar web sites has been disappointing so far. Over at Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo has fallen into the clutches of the ObamaZombies. Nader has not received the support that Ron Paul received from the Libertarian movement a big disappointment to those of us who thought that unity between the antiwar "left" and "right" was possible. It is a double disappointment to those of us who felt that the usually lucid Libertarian political analysts would never fall for Obama the hawk.

In contrast, The McLaughlin Report ("the sharpest minds"), affectionately known in my circle as "The Shouters," this past weekend gave considerable time to the Nader candidacy. Pat Buchanan and John McLaughlin both welcomed his candidacy as did all the guests with the exception of the reliable Dem loyalist, Eleanor Cliff. The usually very PC Cliff, whose political thought seems to go no farther than Democrat partisanship, lost no time in attacking Nader - based on his age ("Ageism" generally being shunned by the PC crowd), using reference to a Wahington Post cartoon to that effect. With the exception of Cliff the "finest minds" know full well that there will be no serious antiwar debate without someone like Nader in the race.

So how about it antiwarriors. In Nader you have a candidate who has been against the war consistently, who alone calls for cutting the bloated military budget and for changing US policy in the Middle East. In Hillary-Obama-McCain, you have consistent Senate votes for trillions to fund the slaughter in Iraq, votes for the Patriot Act and a promise to add 100,000 more men and women under arms. Hawks all. Right now Nader/ Gonzalez is the only antiwar game in town. So where are your voices for Nader? They need to be heard. It is time to be loyal to principles and candidates who have stood unfailingly for what you want. And with a little effort we might all be surprised at the outcome.

My Resources 01.Apr.2008 11:04

Den Mark, Vancouver

My effort, my time, my money, my vote, will go to third party/independent candidates. In NO way will i be sucked into the ugly duopoly.

come on 01.Apr.2008 11:10

if we all believe in fairies ...

It's not 2000, guys. We know how many votes Nader can get, we know how he runs campaigns, we know he won't win. As the author himself illustrates with numbers, the only reason to campaign for Nader is if you really want McCain. This is why everybody on The McLaughlin Group thinks Nader is great.

Of course, if our ultimate choices are Hillary and McCain, <shudder> maybe I do want McCain. At least he's against torture. Or something. Go Ralph.

I second that 01.Apr.2008 11:25

Joe Anybody iam@joe-anybody.com

I am thinking along the same lines as Den Mark

~For what its worth

Nader speaks for peace and was anti-Iraq-war from the start

To me that is the single most important issue .... I vote for what i believe in

I vote for Peace Canidates!

I vote For Nader!

I demand and end to all wars!

No canidate that supports this occupation will get my vote!

I only will vote for peace!

Vote For Anti War Canidates
Vote For Anti War Canidates

Go Ralph--and Cynthia 01.Apr.2008 11:46


Cynthia McKinney is running for president on the Green Party ticket. The Green national convention is July 12 in Chicago. If she is selected, as a Green, I'll go for her. However, Ralph Nader is tops. But because he doesn't even want the Green endorsement, I have to wonder what is his problem.

Regardless, let those who want to worry about 3rd party candidates, do so. This is the time for 3rd parties, if only people would get out of the corporate box.

Nader! 01.Apr.2008 13:27

Ecotopian Yeti

Though I do not have any faith in the American Corporatist "Soda Pop Democracy" .. if I am voting it will be for someone I believe in and that would be Nader or McKinney or both if they would have merged their ticket

How about instead Cascadian Independence starting November 5th with David Suzuki as prime minister and Nader as minister of environmental protection?

On the stupid Bill Press show on Nova M radio this morning stupid Bill Press had Nader on as an April fools joke. Press said he would endorse him as candidate for president. Nader's response was "this is an April fools joke". Then idiot Press continued the joke. This is part of that marginalization by the Corporatist Democrat owned programs like Nova M and Air America with idiot Randi Rhodes.

Ralph Nader's support for Nato lead occupation 01.Apr.2008 15:51

Marik redmarik@gmail.com

Why should the anti-war movement support Ralph Nader, who promoted the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by NATO forces? That is hardly being anti-war.

And as far as waiting for the Democrats to run an anti-war candidate in response to Nader's sudden candidacy, you ask the impossible. It is impossible for the Democratic Party to run an anti-war candidate because it is dedicated to promoting U.S. imperialism and has proven itself dedicated to the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and it's dedication to militarism with it's continued threats against Iran.

There's only one clear solution to forcing an immediate, full and unconditional withdrawl from Iraq and Afghanistan - mass struggle against imperialism. This requires a break from the imperialist politics of the Democratic Party (and of course the GOP) and means breaking with the reformist illusions promoted by the Green Party.

For those interested in more then electoral politics, and what we can do to build a movement capable of stopping the latest wars, I suggest this leaflet recently published by the Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee:


Study & Think 01.Apr.2008 18:59

Den Mark, Vancouver

I will study & think about exactly who to support & work for & give to, but one thing i KNOW, & that is that democrats & republicans are OFF the list. Period!

I vote peace candidates too!!! 02.Apr.2008 12:45


But one cannot believe in peace while believing in capitalism.

peace candidates are anti-capitalist candidates.