Monday, February 25, 2008

Get Off The Stage Ralphie

Well, Nader's running. Again.

2008 is yet another chance for Nader to solidify his legacy as not a great consumer advocate, but as a perennial candidate for President.

As CNN puts it: "The longtime consumer advocate announced Sunday that he will launch his fourth consecutive White House bid -- fifth if his 1992 write-in campaign is included."

Five straight elections? That's three from Lyndon LaRouche territory.

It's also more then enough for the media to dismiss Nader as a "perennial candidate", and ignore his views, and that's the biggest reason Ralph should change his mind and let the Green's pick someone new.
(This Ralph has better odds of winning.)

While Nader was right in that there were very small differences between the Al Gore we saw in the 2000 campaign and the George W. Bush seen in 2000, blind catatonics can see differences between John McCain and both Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama (and even Tommy, a former "Pinball Wizard", who spent his life deaf, dumb, and blind--and has been catatonic for decades--can spot differences between Obama and McCain.)

So pardon me if I don't run away in terror of Nader's campaign siphoning votes from the Democratic nominee and handing McCain the Presidency. I just don't think enough people will take him seriously, and from the sound of it, his issues this go around are less "left" than those of two Democratic primary candidates (Kucinich and Gravel--and Gravel's still technically running.)

Quoth Nader on Obama, via CNN: "Above all, explain why you don't come down hard on the economic crimes against minorities in city ghettos: payday loans, predatory lending, rent-to-own rackets, landlord abuses, lead contamination, asbestos."
Ok, I may have missed the lead contamination and asbestos issues, but I'm 99% sure Obama's covered the rest of this. It's not his focal point, but it shouldn't be.

What Nader doesn't get, and in fact what many 3rd party fans don't get is change isn't going to happen top-down. If a Nader, or a Libertarian candidate, or a Socialist candidate somehow came into Bloomberg-type money, and through aggressive advertising and somehow getting on the Presidential debates and then winning them, and winning a plurality of votes and took the White House, what could they get done? Those same Democrats and Republicans they would have demonized in various ways would then still be in Congress, ready to overturn any vetos they didn't agree with.

A better use of the funds Nader is trying to raise would be to either start 527s to air ads expressing his views, or to fund local Greens. Preferential voting is a nice thing to shoot for, but until a 3rd of 4th party has more than a minority in the single digits in Congress, the system will wildly resist the change.

I don't wildly disagree with many of Nader's ideas, but he's really going about implementing them the wrong way.

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