Ralph Nader Throws in His Hat

Ralph Nader, for the fourth time in a row, announced that he is entering the race for President as an independent. Sunday, on Meet the Press, he cited his desire to “improve his country” as he’s done for the last “40 years.” Over that time period Nader has fought for policies that have saved “millions of lives,” from stricter protection for food and water to fighting the corporate control of Washington D.C.

Many know Nader best for his run for the White House in 2000 as a Green Party candidate. He received almost 3 million votes, or 2.74% of the popular vote. Along the way he angered many of the Democratic Party faithful who accuse him of handing the election to George Bush by stealing liberal votes from Al Gore. I, however, do not share this negative view of Nader. Gore, in 2000, did not run a good campaign. He was unable to win his home state of Tennessee. He was running as an incumbent to peace and prosperity and still managed to lose the electoral vote.

One, before blaming Nader, should also blame our election system, seeing as Gore won the popular vote. By many accounts he also won Florida, before the Supreme Court decided that making sure everyone’s votes were counted was unconstitutional.

Furthermore, I am glad Nader is entering the race. As he says, “dissent is the mother of ascent.” He gives those who favor cutting the military budget, a sound environmental policy, and a single payer health care program a voice. As much as I love Barack Obama, he is in favor of “strengthening our military,” coal liquidification, and stops short of a single payer program.

Another scenario where Nader will be valuable is if the Democratic Party decides to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida, a proposal that has come up in last couple of weeks. A few of my friends and I have vowed if the Party throws out the rules in the middle of the race, we’re not voting Democrat in the Presidential election, and personally, my vote would go to Nader.

Ralph Nader enters presidential race — [CNN]


12 Responses

  1. I just wish he would have waited until at least after March 4th to see who looked like the Democratic nominee. I really don’t see how he will effect this race positively for those of us who support Obama. He is running by saying that he will “shift the power from the few to the many.” If this is his real intent, then wouldn’t he wait to see if Obama is the nominee? Because more than any candidate in the history of politics has Obama been able to “shift the power from the few to the many.” By announcing his bid before seeing if Obama gets the nomination he risks shifting the power back to the many by allowing independents who might vote for Obama to vote for him instead and thus give McCain the election.

  2. yeah i also wish he would have run only if clinton was the nominee, but i really do think he does give people an alternative to the 2 party system.

    and as he said, if the democrats can’t win this election, they should really shut and come back as something else. I don’t and i dont think he does expect to gain more than 1% of the vote.

  3. Agreed. I mean, if Clinton concocts a miracle and gets it, then I’m really glad that he is running. It’s just too bad because Obama has been able to break through many of the criticisms of the 2 party system

  4. on a side note..he is looking damn good for 74

  5. Holy shit! 74!? That mother fucker should Dick Cheney some advice. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily call Nader “an alternative to the 2 party system.” He’s about as much as an alternative as going to your polling place and writing “my ass.” They’d have about the same effect.

    Nader running only proves how third parties really don’t matter.

  6. Agreed, third party candidates will never matter until the structure of American politics is changed, especially campaign finances. Trust me, I had to write 13 arduous pages on it last semester.

  7. Yay for votes that don’t matter!

  8. man, nader gets no love.

  9. Well, it would be cool if he had any viability, but even the thought that he will force the other candidates to re-think their positions is thrown out the window since they no it will be a struggle for him to get 1%. Change campaign finance laws…and then he’ll have a fighting chance.

  10. Haha wow. That’s scary.

  11. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-tobias/hes-back_b_88419.html

    “He [Nader] said on MTP — how come people blame me? Why don’t they blame Gore for not winning his home state of Tennessee? Why don’t they blame Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush and the Supreme Court?

    And there’s a simple answer: On a planet with 6 billion people at the time, there was only one person — Ralph Nader — who could with half an hour’s effort been reasonably expected to keep this disaster from happening.

    All he would have had to do was issue a statement three days out saying, in effect: “Listen, if you live in Texas or Massachusetts, vote for me. But if you live in a swing state like Florida or Ohio, vote for Gore.”

    Gore would have won; Nader’s stature and ability to make progress on the causes he cared about would have been enhanced; there would be no war in Iraq; Bin Laden would have been dead by now, if 9/11 had even happened at all; we would lead the world in stem cell research and in the development of alternative energy.

    It’s that simple.”

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