Not Green

ralph nader There is still no definite word as to whether Ralph Nader will toss his hat into the 2004 presidential ring. We do know this, however: If Nader runs, it will be as an Independent candidate, and not as the Green Party nominee.

Green Party co-chair Ben Manski told CNN that he was disappointed by the consumer advocate’s decision and added that Nader didn’t offer any clear reasons for not sticking with the Greens.

“He’s holding a lot very close to his chest,” Manski said. Manski said he told Nader he thought it was a poor decision that would weaken both Nader and the Green Party’s chances in the election if he were to run as an independent.

Nader did not return CNN’s calls seeking comment on the report. A spokeswoman at his presidential exploratory committee referred calls for Nader to the Green Party.

As of now, the progressive political party has a number of presidential candidates vying for its nomination: David Cobb, Paul Glover, Cynthia McKinney (not declared), Kent Mesplay, Carol Miller, Lorna Salzman, and — perhaps — former California gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo. Whatever Democrats think about it (and what non-Democrat would or should care what they think, anyway?), should Nader run as an Independent, those of us Greens and Independents who are progressive on principle will have a choice of truly progressive candidates. Our odds of winning may be slim to none, but doing what is principle and right must be done no matter the chance of success. Dr. King said so.

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10 thoughts on “Not Green

  1. The thing that is most likely to drive me to vote Green is the attitude of Democrats. For some reason, so many of them seem to think that they have the right to demand the Green vote without doing anything to earn it. My position is clear. This is a democracy. I will never tell any person that they don’t have the right to run for public office or the right to vote for the person who best represents their views. What good is a Democratic win if the Democrats sold out their principles to gain it?

  2. What Al-Muhajabah said! I just reregistered as democrat so I can vote in the primary, but I would never describe myself as one because more often than not, democrats prove to be as closed-minded as republicans; hence, proving the need for second parties like Greens and Independents. I get so much hate mail whenever I express my belief that voting one’s conscience is better than voting the lesser of two evils. I hope the Greens and others start acting a little louder, because I trust them a helluva lot more than the democrats.

  3. Why is W in the White House, and not Al Gore? Why were The Supremes in the position to decide just which of the two got the nod in Florida, and thus decide the election?

    Ralph “I’m full of shit, a charlatan, and wealthy from my investments in evil companies, too” Nader, that’s who.

    Ralph can go fuck himself, IMHO.

  4. One more thing: voting on the ***National*** level, one must consider the bigger picture. Rather than waste a vote, perhaps in an attempt to make a small voice heard, one must consider the impact of the vote. A vote for President has impact on the composition of The Supreme Court, and many other courts throughout the land. These are crucial nominations, the sole responsibility of The President. One votes for a person to hold a position of enormous significance.

    When one votes for the top job, one must think big, think impact, think how this will truly have an effect on all of our lives for years to come.

    Green (and other such independent) Party candidates certainly have a place and can merit the thinking person’s vote. But change begins on a local level. A throw-away vote (like all those votes for Nader that ended up being part of the reason W is in office) on the national level has little or no long-term impact. A teeny percentage of those who will be ignored by the major parties once again are, well, a teeny percentage. Making no change on the big picture. A waste of a vote. But on the local level one can start changes and enter players who are able to make a change, create a groundswell, and then move to bigger-picture challenges.

    Nader, et al, waste the time and effort of their supporters, and misdirect the energies of those imbued with false hope that on some national level they will be making some impact.

    Nader, attempting to crash the debates, seemed more the spectacle of a loony-tune than that of a serious candidate, worthy of attention on a national scale. His supporters were all excited by those sidebar-worthy events, but in the long run, did nothing to make his candidacy anything of a real challenge to the status quo. If anything, he established himself as a loser, a laugh, a quack, a postscript or a footnote to the main event.

    Ask the Iraqis in their occupied country how Nader made a difference in their lives. Ask the survivors of dead soldiers and civilians in Iraq (and elsewhere) what improvment on their lot can be attributed to Nader.

    And tell me how the continuously rising number of unemployed, uninsured, uncertain-future Americans have had their fates or chances for a better life in the immediate, short-term future enhanced by the total waste of time and energy that was Nader’s campaign. Had he dropped out, and lent his support and influence to smaller, local battles, maybe then he might have done some good.

    Again, as far as I am concerned, Ralph Nader can go fuck himself.

  5. I’m sorry that you feel you have to use such angry language, Dean. I’m also sorry that you choose to place all the blame on Nader and none on the corporate Democrats who are increasingly making their party unpalatable to progressives.

    Let me say this again one more time to make it clear. I may choose not to vote for a Green candidate because I think it will lead to the worse outcome in the end but I will NEVER tell anybody they can’t run for public office or can’t vote for whom they choose. That kind of bullying tactic is undemocratic and unAmerican. People who engage in it should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. A-M, the anger comes from the outcome. Also from the hubris and ego of Nader in his attempt to draw attention to himself, which clouded the issue for many, and manifested itself with W in the Oval Office.

    That “many” for whom the issue was clouded are surely a passionate and committed segment. But Nader made the big picture worse by staging his publicity-grabbing run, which was never a real possibility in the bigger picture.

    The anger is also the result of living in a country run by W/Cheney/Rummy/Condi/Wohlfie, et al. Coulda-woulda-shouldn’ta….leads back to Ralph the charlatan. And yes, it still angers me, and yes, Nader can still go fuck himself. After all, how many Americans (et al) are getting screwed as a result of the outcome of the last presidential election?

    My comments are not intended to >>tell anybody they can’t run for public office or can’t vote for whom they choose.

  7. Dean, does it occur to you that many of those who voted for Nader would not have voted for Gore even if Nader had not run? Does it occur to you that if Nader does not run this time around, many progressives will not vote for the Democratic nominee? I sure as heck won’t. To do so would be an act dripping with poisonous self-hatred. NOT happening.

  8. It’s strange how Nader is supposedly an evil selfish monster for choosing to speak up about issues that he thinks are not being adequately addressed (which is the best of all possible reasons for running for public office) but no blame shall fall on the Democrats. Your anger and hatred are merely proving my point for me, Dean. You have still utterly failed to offer positive reasons that make it unnecessary for Nader to run or for progressives to vote Green. All you have to offer is venom. If you want the Democrats to be the only left party you have to make a place for progressives. It’s that simple.

    P.S. Al Gore couldn’t even win his home state. More Democrats voted for Bush than for Nader. You might want to fix those problems too while you’re at it, even if it isn’t as self-satisfying as Nader-bashing.

  9. None of my comments are intended to offer suppositions of how the Nader votes would have been cast had he not been in the race. Nor have I defended or made any points about the Democrats.

    Nader positioned himself as an outsider who could launch a viable run for the Presidency. In doing so he fanned the flames of many passionate and committed voters. The truth is that a man with the smarts of Nader knew from the get-go that he could not win, would not win. He mounted a campaign that was destined to lose, and in his “inspiring” the many, he misled them.

    Call them Green, call them Progressive, call them whatever. His supporters would have been better and more honestly served had he lent his influence and credibility to races where an outsider, a free-thinker, a new voice, a change-in-the-old-guard, stood a real chance of mounting a successful campaign. Change is accomplished in steps. The initial increments come from successes on a local level. Then those with success and a track record can move on to greater challenges.

    Nader ran a mock campaign, but did so as though he were really a player on the scene. This is not like that woman who ran on the Communist Party line (name escapes me for the moment) for all those years — it was understood that she would not win. In interviews she made no false hope statements. Rather, she defended her candidacy as the ACP’s traditional attempt to influence American politics and to let their comrades and supporters know that they could legally cast a vote for a member of the Communist Party. This was not false hope. This had a purpose and was run on a realistic basis.

    The Green Party is not, at this moment in time, viable on the national level. Nor was it when Nader ran last time around. Of course it seems that Nader has abandoned the Greens of late.

    My bigger point, which has nothing to do with support or lack of it for Gore (although (I certainly would prefer Gore in the Oval Office to W), has to do with the greater implications of the office of the Presidency. The President nominates his or her choice of candidates for Supreme Court positions when they open. The President also nominates candidates for various other levels of Judge throughout the land. The President populates his or her Cabinet with like-minded thinkers.

    Despite the dissent, disgust, disdain or other feelings one might have toward those who win the candidacy of the major parties, when it comes to using one’s right to cast a vote in an election that will have impact on the lives of all Americans (and many others throughout the planet) one should IMHO, cast that vote with an eye on the bigger picture.

    Gore not winning Tennessee is not of consequence to the issues I’ve discussed. It comes aa no surprise, either. Most of the Southern states now lean to the RepubliDixiecrat side. The statement that more Democrats voted for Bush than Nader may be true, I don’t know. But this, too, is not germaine to my argument.

    Nader managed to rally support for [what he knew was] a doomed, hopeless candidacy. It gave false hope to many, it blurred the issues of the larger race (as in which of the two major party candidates would win, the only outcome one could expect in that election, same as in the coming one) and, again, put a focus on Nader as the leader and voice of the Greens, thus undermining Greens who really did have opportunity and a real chance.

    Nader hurt the Greens. Nader garnered support from a passionate segment, and took the focus off the bigger, more realistic issue.

    I, for one, am hopeful that none of the Supremes will die or retire while W is in office. “Better the devil you know…” One can only hope that other Federal-level appointments will be few and far between.

    I will most likely vote Democratic in the Presidential election. There’s no way I would vote for W. The office of the President will have greater impact on my life and the lives of my loved ones and all of my fellow citizens, too great an impact to waste my vote on someone I might feel warmer and better about . . . but who stands no chance in hell of winning the election.

    Locally and on different levels I will consider each race and decide based on what the candidates say, their platforms, etc. In some cases I have “litmus test” issues and concerns. In some local races there are very specific positions that will guide my actions. These issues are bigger than party association. But I will not waste a vote on a candidate with no chance of winning, even if that candidate represents my every feeling on all the issues.

    The last time I wasted my vote was back when Nixon and Humphrey were running. I voted for Dr. Spock, and also for an extremely radical Gubernatorial candidate that year. Wow, how I wasted my vote. Wow, was I ever righteous and ardent in my feelings. Wow, what a ridiculous thing it seems in retrospect.

    Spock had no chance. My “statement” in voting for him was not even a speck of sand in the big picture. It was a waste. And you know what? I felt then –and now– passionately about Spock’s positions. But now I know better than to sanctimoniously and self-righteously waste my vote on a candidate with zero chanceof prevailing.

    Voting for the highest position of elected office I will put my vote my vote to use in trying to elect the candidate who will more likely preside in a manner that will not seem threatening to me.

    I will not wate my vote. Voting for a far-flung candidate for President is tantamoutn to not voting at all.

    Ask Nader how he feels about the Bush environmental policies, the 9th Circuit Judge appointments, the whole Aschcroft agenda, our invasion of Iraq in order to enrich CheneyCo (et al) and grab the oil. And when Nader starts to complain about how Gore would’ve been no better, ask Nader how many oil companies are in his personal investment portfolio.

    Then tell him Dean says to go fuck himself.

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