Saturday, February 02, 2008

Nader should run for President

It's time to end this Anyone But Bush bullshit. This time around Bush isn't on the ballot and the feel of post-9/11 siege mentality is much lessened. While Bush trots out gems like the idea that having judges authorize wire taps will help terrorists the actual candidates have taken more moderate, or at least more considered, stances. The Bush presidency is over, the chain of continuity between the president and 9/11 is gone now. It's time to truly "MoveOn" and start voting according to real principles again and not for pragmatic reasons.

This paragraph, from an article in "The Nation" entitled "An Unreasonable Man", features a string of classic Nader quote:

"Nader has been absolutely consistent in one thing, however, and that is his rejection of Hillary Clinton, who he dismisses as "a panderer" with "no political fortitude." Before the Iowa caucuses, Nader signed an anti-Clinton letter that asked: "Do you really believe if we replace a bunch of corporate Republicans with a bunch of corporate Democrats, that anything meaningful is going to change?"

"This has to stop. It's that simple," Nader and his allies said of the Clinton candidacy in particular and compromises on the part of the Democratic Party in general."

Sounds pretty good to me.

But then writer John Nichols goes onto say:

"There's not much question that Nader would be willing to run against Clinton and McCain. Whether he would want to join a race featuring McCain and Barack Obama -- whose candidacy has at least something of the insurgent character that Nader has sought to restore to American politics -- remains to be determined."

It doesn't depend on Obama to restore American politics--it depends on the American people. We don't need saviors coming from the sky to help us we need grass roots political engagement, independent of the two party system. Democratic candidates should have to earn our support, not just present themselves as progressive 'insurgents' and expect us to roll over and heel for them.

A Nader campaign based on the 2000 model could really raise the issues of political and social reform in the United States, and it would be pretty damn unlikely to influence the race or give it over to the Republicans. People seem to forget that it was the Supreme Court, not Nader, that gave the Presidency to George W. Bush. Do you remember vote fraud in Florida? Or is that too far in the past for the American public. Butterfly ballots, hanging chads, the Supreme Court, the Florida legislature, and Gore's lackluster campaign, that's what gave Florida to Bush, not Nader's run.

True, last time around, in 2004, Nader accepted money and support from Republicans who were eager for him to run for President just for the purpose of spoiling the race, but this time around there's much more of a chance for progressive issues to be raised.

So piss everyone off, have Nader run for President, shake the Progressive's tree a little and see what comes to pass. Expect people to object to Nader opposing Obama for no good reason whatsoever.

Incidentally, those who try to plaster Nader with the blame for the actions of Bush post 9/11 should really study some philosophy, because they're engaging in the teleological fallacy, which is basically the error of 20/20 hindsight. Were people predicting 9/11 in 2000? Did a major terrorist attack appear on anyone's radar screen then, in the Presidential campaign and in the media? The answer is no. 9/11 came as a complete shock. It's completely unfair and unjustified to blame Nader for things that happened after the 2000 election that no one had any idea could happen.

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