Ralph Nader 2008

5 Mar

When Dennis Kucinich dropped out of the Presidential Race, it appears that there were no longer any worthy candidates that would truly make a huge difference. Hence, when veteran consumer advocate, Ralph Nader, publicly announced his decision to run, a glimmer of hope resurfaces for the coming American election.

Why Ralph Nader, one might ask? Why vote for a man who has been accused of splitting the votes of the ‘liberal camp’ causing Al Gore to lose his presidency to George Bush in the 2000 elections? Why not vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama who might truly promise a better America?

In his interview with Meet The Press, reproduced on Counterpunch, dated 25 February 2008, Nader explained his decision to join the race, which can be summarised as such – that according to a Gallup poll, Americans are generally fed up with a two party system, with as many as 61 % believing that ‘both major parties are failing’. Quoting a poll conducted by Republican, Frank Luntz, 80% ‘would consider voting for a independent this year.’ Moreover, the major candidates meaning, Obama, Clinton and Mc Cain are offering nothing substantial which the electorate wants.

A cursory glance at Nader’s website reveals what is off-limits to these promising candidates – they tend to side with the corporations from denying single payer national healthcare insurance to refusal to reverse US policy in the Middle East and repealing the Taft Hartley anti-union law. Issues which are at the core of the average Americans’ concern.

When asked in the interview if a replay of the 2000 elections might occur, hampering the success of a Democrat President, Nader rebutted that Al Gore lost due to ‘politicized Supreme Court decision’. Moreover, he argued that it is a lamentable excuse to put the blame on him for causing Al Gore to lose since America purportedly needs ‘an infusion of freedom, democracy, choice, dissent’ when voters are stuck between the two parties that ‘turn the government over to big business’.

Another reason why Nader is a more progressive choice compared to the Obamas and Clintons is his historical record of not having lying ‘in bed with corporations.‘ Without accepting any donations from ‘commercial interests, political action committees, only from individuals’, it is commendable that his track record as a consumer advocate has been unsurpassed and legendary. From questioning the safety of automobiles in his book, ‘Unsafe at any speed’ to calling for the repeal of the Taft Hartley anti-union act, Nader is the only candidate we know so far who would not be pressurised by the intense lobbying efforts of big business.

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References:

1. The Meet the Press Transcript, Why I’m Running, Counterpunch, Ralph Nader, 25 February 2008

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One Response to “Ralph Nader 2008”

  1. johnofsilence September 23, 2008 at 11:23 pm #

    Open the debates! First one is Friday!

    I’m not a bot, I know you care about the democracy of our government, so we need to get this done. There are 6 Presidential candidates this year all of which are qualified and capable of winning, so why are there only 2 people on the debate! Bigotry, two party bias! Let’s flood the email inbox and the phone lines with: Open the Debates.

    It takes 5 mins. Please help me make a difference . Below is a script but please feel free to appropriately modify it to support your candidate .

    Step one:

    Call Barack Obama at 866-675-2008.
    Hit 6 to speak with a campaign volunteer.
    Once connected, politely deliver the following message:

    Hi, my name is …

    I was wondering if Senator Obama, being a believer in equal opportunity and equal rights, could insist that Ralph Nader and other ballot qualified third party candidates be included in the upcoming Presidential debates?
    After all, Nader is on 45 state ballots.
    And he’s polling well nationwide. And he could help Senator Obama challenge the corporate Republicans.
    True, Ralph would critique Senator Obama for his corporate ties also. But isn’t that what democracy is about? Could you please leave this message for the campaign manager? Thank you.

    Step two:

    E-mail Janet Brown jb@debates.org, the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates.

    Here’s a sample e-mail:

    Dear Janet Brown:

    Greetings. You must be busy. Preparing for the first Presidential debate this Friday. So, I won’t take much of your time. Just wanted to let you know that the American people were not born yesterday. We know the deal. Take that little private corporation that you run. Controlled by the two corporate parties. And funded by big business. For the purpose of excluding independent minded candidates. Friday, two Wall Street candidates are scheduled to be in the ring. Barack Obama and John McCain. The one candidate who represents the American people, Main Street, if you will, will be on the outside looking in. So, here’s a simple request. Drop your exclusionary restrictions. And let Ralph Nader into the debates.
    It will be good for your conscience. Good for the American people. (I believe it was The League of Women Voters that called your corporatized debates “campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity, and honest answers to tough questions.”) And good for democracy. Let the American people have a real debate for once. Main Street vs. Wall Street.

    Thank you.

    Signed
    your name.

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