Sunday, February 22, 2004


Ralph Nader is running after all. I hate this like I hate a puppy factory.

But: I DON'T disagree with him (much) about the differences between the RepubliCrats and DemUblicans and I DON'T disagree with him when he says he'll bring up issues that would otherwise remain un up brung (to borrow from Mayor Quimby of the Simpsons: Now is the time to face up to the un-face-up-toable).

Here's my biggest problem in a nutshell (and yes, the word "nut" may be operative here): He COULD run with a party nomination, like he did with the poor ole Greenies last time, and thereby raise the profile of said party and THEREBY make measurable inroads into the undeniable (but un-faced-up-to) dance of death that is "bipartisanship". If he were to run as a Green again (assuming the Greens would have him), I would be sorely tempted to vote for him (again). But he's not. So I won't be.

The secondary problem is more popularly and easily faced-up-to (and rather persuasive): Dubyah is a really awful human being/man/president and 4 more years of him would be really un-face-up-toable. Pretty much any DemUblican (or even RepubliCrat) would be better than Dubyah and there is a slim chance that Nader's now utterly useless (except for the odd "bring up" of an issue) candidacy would pull votes away from the DemUblican nominee and tip the scales further towards Dubyah. The chance is slim, but still there. That would suck.

There are two POSSIBLE positives to a Nader candidacy, even without the party building of yore. One is that the Dem (JfuckingK, like as not), will have to keep his left flank protected. The Dems should do this anyway, as it is pretty darned clear that "the people" broadly share many of Nader's takes on major issues, but the party tends not to when the rubber hits the road, perhaps because the folks with the money tend to strongly disagree with said takes. The other, related positive aspect may be that folks who agree with Nader but refuse to support a non-Dem candidate for Pres will actively and loudly demand that JfK or whoever will be much better than simply a smarter Dubyah.

In my dream world, JfK (or whoever) will reach out to Nader (and Kucinich, who is like Nader, except less visible) by openly incorporating some of their main issues into the platform. You know, things like a real commitment to human rights, worker rights, fair trade, the environment, world peace, blah blah blah.

I am convinced (by the voices in my head) that a loud, proud, clear, forceful, and honestly progressive candidate (with the bully pulpit that is the Dem nomination) could become the next president. Can JfK be that guy? He could be, but I suspect he won't try. If he did, Nader would be right AND Dubyah would be out of office (indeed, Dubyah would likely have never "won" to begin with) AND JfK would be our next president AND Nader could retire to a quiet life of being undeniably correct on most things.

And everybody would live happily ever after.


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