February 15, 2005

Nowhere to go?

Excerpt from "A 'Participant-Observer' on Losing Elections, Pushing Agendas," by Ralph Nader:

'Back in the 19th century, when the two party duopoly began to congeal, progressive or reform publications did not come out against slavery, women's suffrage, the industrial workers' rights to form trade unions, the farmers need for federal regulation of banks and railroads and then decline to support or even write about candidates and small parties who were championing vigorously these same issues inside the electoral arena.

'Those early journalists knew that positions of justice had to be moved into election contests, no matter how uphill was the struggle. They believed in small starts rather than least worse. And guess what -- eventually, measured by decades, the small starts continued to lose elections but their agendas took hold.

'The current crop of progressives need to rethink their imprisonment by a two centuries old, two party monopolized winner take all electoral college system. Do they want to break out of jail? Or do they want to continue sliding into the political pits with their least worse corporatized party that takes them for granted because it knows they have put out the "nowhere to go" sign?'