The Shunning of Ralph Nader

Original article by John V. Walsh via Counterpunch.com:

If you’re anti-war, are you considering Ralph for President?  McCain’s not anti-war, and HRC and BO have both voted to fund the Iraq Occupation.  Is Ralph the choice?

No sooner did Ralph Nader announce his run for president than Katrina Van den Heuval at The Nation was pounding out a frantic plea to Ralph to quit the race. Her assault on Ralph, reminiscent of how her mag treated him in 2004, was the first sign that the Democratic establishment was soiling its collective panties for fear of Ralph’s run. Clearly they had reason for concern, since Nader/Gonzalez raised $300,000 on their first day of fundraising. (Matt Gonzalez who nearly won the mayoralty race in San Francisco as a Green has now left the Green Party to join Nader’s independent candidacy.)

$300 K isn’t that much, compared to the corporate candidates, but it’s a good sign.  You know that the Dems are going to try to stop Ralph at all costs.  Perhaps we should take that as a good sign also.

Three weeks ago a Zogby poll suggested that Nader will be a major factor in the race. The poll did two separate pairups and here is how they came out:

McCain, 44%; Obama, 39%; Nader, 6%.

McCain, 44%; Clinton, 39%; Nader, 6%.

Not good news for the Dems, unless the Libertarians run a reputable candidate who can pull some support from McCain (Bob Barr seems to be most likely).  The Dems will go ape against Ralph if they lose, instead of going ape about themselves (McCain shouldn’t even be in the 40s come election day).

The article then goes on to point out that a pro-war Dem isn’t likely to beat a pro-war Repug. Is having a D after your name enough to earn a vote?  Even if you’ve voted, for the most part, to fund the war.  Even when your not willing to say the troops will be home ASAP when you’re President?  Not to mention the abominations of Health Care plans both major parties will be committed to.

The Nation and other outlets, not to mention the mass media, were silent on the Zogby poll. Now another poll has come out, this time from Fox News of all places. It showed that 14% of the voters are willing to “consider” voting for Nader. That is a substantial achievement in the face of the small amount of mass media coverage given Nader so far. (Additionally Nader won the Green Party primaries by a landslide in California and Massachusetts even though he did not campaign there.)

That’s 14% in March/April.  I wonder how much that will ratchet up if there’s a bombing of Iran in the offing?  I can’t imagine that HRC or BO would be on the front lines in opposing that.

The shunning of Nader is to be expected for The Nation crowd which endorsed the prowar Kerry in 2004 and promised that electing Dems to the Congress in 2006 would bring a Congressional assault on the war. That of course has not materialized. But the response to Nader on antiwar web sites has been disappointing so far. Over at Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo has fallen into the clutches of the ObamaZombies. Nader has not received the support that Ron Paul received from the Libertarian movement ­ a big disappointment to those of us who thought that unity between the antiwar “left” and “right” was possible. It is a double disappointment to those of us who felt that the usually lucid Libertarian political analysts would never fall for Obama the hawk.

While I enjoy antiwar.com, and have contributed in the past, I have to say I’m not really surprised.  They are a ‘libertarian’ site, and so they went with Ron Paul.  There was never much mentioned about Dennis Kucinich there.  I think they’ve fallen into the trap of ‘anybody who can beat a Republican.’  Andrew Sullivan, no anti-war person, is in love with Obama, too.

So how about it antiwarriors. In Nader you have a candidate who has been against the war consistently, who alone calls for cutting the bloated military budget and for changing US policy in the Middle East. In Hillary-Obama-McCain, you have consistent Senate votes for trillions to fund the slaughter in Iraq, votes for the Patriot Act and a promise to add 100,000 more men and women under arms. Hawks all. Right now Nader/ Gonzalez is the only antiwar game in town. So where are your voices for Nader? They need to be heard. It is time to be loyal to principles and candidates who have stood unfailingly for what you want. And with a little effort we might all be surprised at the outcome.

An anti-war consumer activist as President?  It sounds better than most of the choices we have currently.

Originally posted here: http://rjones2818.blogspot.com…

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19 comments

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  1. Ralph’s closer to what I believe in than either BO or HRC.  I’ll have to consider voting for him in the general.

  2. when you don’t vote your conscience…

    Nader has every right to run.  

  3. of other issues that I don’t agree with Nader on.

    I’ve had a lot of respect for Nader over the years. He’s worked tirelessly to help people at all poverty levels, to help protect people from corporations. But, I’m not interested in his candidacy because of his priorities.

    To me, he appears to be much more interested in the spectacle of coloring outside the lines. His political activism is centered around him as a person, leading a movement. Action on issues is secondary in importance to Nader being the one getting the credit, Nader being the spoiler, Nader being the one causing a lot of hand-wringing amongst the establishment. I prefer to support candidates who are focused on making things happen for the good of everyone, not for the good of their own ego.

    Nader didn’t announce his candidacy until after Edwards dropped out. I seem to remember him saying that once Edwards was out of the race, no populist was left, therefore he had to enter the race. What exactly did he do to try and help the Edwards campaign? Nader’s actions smelled of political opportunism.

    Nader is becoming, in my opinion, our newest version of Lyndon LaRouche… person who runs every time for the attention of being a candidate. I’d prefer it if he’d put his efforts behind getting one of our remaining candidates to work more effectively on the issues he cares most deeply about. But, his campaigns seem to promote “Nader as Savior” as the top issue.

    So, no thanks.

  4. He’s the best person for the job. The Democrats have produced just as many foreign-policy horror stories as the Republicans. The political establishment deserves nothing but our rage and contempt.

    Nader gets pilloried for the crime of being honest and expecting the system to be honest too.

    I’ll vote for him in 2008. And if he isn’t on the ballot in my state, I’ll vote for the Greens.

  5. punish democrats.  They must have hurt his feelings somewhere along the line.

    Nader was also running to “punish the Democrats,” acknowledged his nephew and advisor, Tarek Milleron, “we want to hurt them, wound them.”

    http://welcometolimbo.blogspot

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