Monday, November 01, 2004

Ralph Nader for President

Michael Colby has written a good piece about Nader at his Broadsides blog:
... If he wanted an ego rush this late in his life, he would have imitated the mainstream eco-ninnies in D.C. during these elections and got in line for the accolades, the award ceremonies, and the “opportunity” to rub elbows with the nation’s power elite. But Ralph knew what kind of bullshit all of that amounts to and, thankfully, steered clear of it. Instead, he’s decided to run for the presidency and put a spotlight on the issues that have not been broached by the other candidates.

And he’s taken a beating. He knew he was going to take a beating. Worse, he knew he was going to get knocked around by his so-called friends – the people who supported him in the past but would turn their back on him now. But Ralph’s deep belief in democracy and the importance of addressing issues trumped his fear of getting the collective knives in the back from his “friends.”

So it’s nothing short of hilarious to hear people say that any of this is about Ralph stroking his ego. He’s too smart for that. And he’s knows just the opposite is happening: his ego and his reputation are being trashed by folks who should know better.

Nader believes in something. He’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes. And he’s not a quitter. But those qualities have become so alien to the mainstream political world that when someone like Ralph steps onto the national scene with them, he’s condemned and called egomaniacal. The cesspool seems to enjoy its own filth. If idealism, passion, truth, and commitment are allowed into the game, how could the chicanery of the two-party game not be exposed?

The next time someone wants to engage me about Nader, here are the rules: We only talk about the issues. We talk about where we stand on the issues compared to where Ralph (and the other candidates) stand on the issues. And then maybe we can agree that a candidate who has an enthusiastic love of democracy and is running for the presidency to end the war, protect the environment, cut the defense department, curtail corporate crimes and transgressions against our democracy is rational and hopeful rather than egomaniacal.

If Kerry took just one position that was similar to Nader’s, the Nader bashers would have one small point. But he hasn’t –- and they don’t.

Enough already. Vote your dreams.