Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trvivializing Ralph


Truthfully, I must chastise myself for even putting his name on this space. For even giving him one more chance to get recognition. And I did hesitate but rage overcomes good sense sometimes.
He has said on announcing his candidacy that he won't be trivialized. And really that's what it's all about, isn't it? He can't sit an election out due to his monumental ego, his towering narcissism.

Despite being one the single greatest causes of what has happened in this country in the last eight years, he won't be trivialized by allowing a man who represents all of the same things he does to run unimpeded against someone who clearly doesn't. I had some friends who voted for Nader in 2000. None of them did in 2004. If anyone out there can make a case for him, please enlighten me because in my mind, he's just in it for the sound bites, for the ego trip, and doesn't give a hoot if he saddles us with another hawk.
Care about America. No bloody likely.

15 comments:

eviljwinter said...

Frankly, I'm not sure why Ralph's running. He's universally hated, and the differences between Obama and McCain or Clinton and McCain are so pronounced a tight election is unlikely. Who's going to vote for him this time out?

And if I were the Greens, I'd be blocking him from using their name and actively pursuing Kucinich.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It's just pure ego. He said in an interview the Dems shouldn't worry about him. Then what the hell is he doing running if that's the case.

Todd Mason said...

He's running both because of his ego (as is every other candidate) and because he wants his causes to have attention...but he's not running as a Green, in fact hasn't run formally as a Green since 2000 (in his first, 1996, run, he also didn't accept the Green nomination). I have a colleague here who will never forgive Nader for 2000...but the one person who was the most primary cause for the elevation/non-election of George W. Bush was none other than Sandra Day O'Connor, the deciding vote who decided to be a party hack and indulge her own fetish for Orderly Process and Damn the Consequences, a decision she's apparently come to regret and too damned bad for us all. Of course, the Electoral College was the single biggest non-human factor in the non-election of Bush. The notion that one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, who had actually run to the right of Clinton (yow) in 1992, was somehow going to be the leading light of the Left or even a particularly tolerable President was by no means a certainty, no matter how many times his cousin Gore Vidal reassured us. He had been the rather quiet VP in the dispiriting Clinton Admin, and seemed most voluble about the Neoliberal corporate sellout that was Reinventing Government. There really wasn't Enough of a difference in the men as they presented themselves, except that Gore seemed a differentl kind of dull from Bush.

Obama isn't going to stand for Nader's issues, to judge by his policy statements so far, but Nader's vote totals are likely to be no bigger than those in '96...as in 2004, there is almost certainly going to be an actual Green cadidadte, sadly likely to be Cynthia McKinney, but she's certainly another Choice, not Echo.

Frankly, I've never understood rage at Nader for offering a better alternative for those who would choose him. He's hardly universally hated, but I voted for the Green candidates, not Nader, in 2004...because John Kerry, who won the Electoral Votes of my state of Pennsylvania, hadn't done nor offered any evidence that he would do anything to earn my vote.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think we can afford to stand at ideological podiums in the world we are now stuck with. SDO made a huge mistake, but Nader took the votes from Gore that would have made the SC decision unnecessary. Pragmaticism is our only hope. Any vote not for the eventual Democrat nominee is a vote for John McCain in my mind. And a vote for a continuation of the war and a lot of other bad policies. You can vote for third party candidates and feel unsullied, but in effect, you voting to elect McCain. But that's just my opinion, of course. And I have good friends who think differently.

Dave Zeltserman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Zeltserman said...

Patti: Why is Nader any more narcisstic than the other candidates? I wasn't happy that he took votes away from Gore in 2000, but it's not his fault that Gore lost--it's the fault of the voters (and to some degree the administration in Florida who allowed their election to be tampered with, as well as the Supreme Court). It's for the people to decide who's a viable candidate and who isn't. That our elections are open to more than just the major parties is one of the things that helps to keep the major parties honest.

pattinase (abbott) said...

For me, you have to weigh what his entry into the race means and if it allows a candidate to win that even less represents his ideology, then what is the good of it? There are great differences between Obama and McCain, so why participate in electing McCain? If you want to affect change, why not run for a lesser office where you'd have a chance of winning? I think a three of four party system would be much better, but this is such a critical election. Have things ever been worse?

Dave Zeltserman said...

Nader might end up stealing pro-environmental votes away from McCain since McCain appears to be stronger on environmental issues than Obama. Anyway, it's up to Obama and McCain to appeal to the voters and explain why they can better represent their issues, and not Nader's fault if he runs. Or any other 3rd party candidates.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess I am more pragmatic than Democratic in the end. I never want the chips to fall where they may.

John McFetridge said...

Patti said, "I don't think we can afford to stand at ideological podiums in the world we are now stuck with... Pragmaticism is our only hope," and I don't disagree, but I wonder if the world we're stuck with is all that different than it ever was for some people - except now us nice, middle-class people are also stuck with it?

But, this shift from ideology to pragmatism will be seen in retrospect as significant, I think. For some, government is divided into policy design and implementation. Remember when we used to talk about "creating the circumstances" that would lead to all kinds of wonderful things (implementation never used to get much respect). It may be that now we realize we have to do a lot more hands on - which scares the hell out of us.

My slogan for this century is, "It's all about implementation." (and that's tough in my house because my wife is a senior policy analyst with the provincial government here in Ontario.)

Did you see the movie about Ralph, Citizen Nader?

pattinase (abbott) said...

An Unreasonable Man? I'm at the point where it would make me too angry.
I would love to act on ideology and elect a green candidate that forces business to bow to the interests of the people. Boy, would I love that. But for now, I would just be happy to end the war, get national health care, deal with poverty and begin to make atmospheric change. You, Canadians, have done much of this, John. More's the pity you have to suffer the cost of proximity. It's twenty minutes to Canada from Detroit and don't think I don't consider it all the time.

John McFetridge said...

Don't forget, there are an awful lot of advantages to proximity as well. (even if we Canadians rarely mention them, we sure benefit from them)

pattinase (abbott) said...

More than the decline of the value of the U.S. dollar? Our yearly trip to Stratford is getting pretty pricey.

Todd Mason said...

"But for now, I would just be happy to end the war, get national health care, deal with poverty and begin to make atmospheric change." Me, too. Sure wish I had any confidence that Obama was likely to do any of that. There's a real good chance I'm going to vote for him, at least in the final election, with the hope he doesn't invade Pakistan as he casually has tossed off...but I don't kid myself that these Oh so pragmatic Democrats will be any more willing to roll back the abuses of the Reagan Admin onward than the Clintons were, or than the current Democractically controlled Congress has...there's too much money to be made under the current paradigm.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So I'm a pragmatic dreamer. My biggest worry is he doesn't know what is possible and what isn't and that he goes for the what isn't.

Hey Quarterlife was okay.