If it weren’t for my father-in-law, I’d have no idea that Ralph Nader is running for President of the United States. That’s right, folks: Nader is running again, he’s on the ballot in 45 states, and my father-in-law is a supporter. After reviewing the Vote Nader web site, reading about his views on a number of issues, and watching a handful of videos of him speaking, I have to admit that Nader almost has my vote. He at least has me thinking more about some of the issues that I care about, such as civil liberties, education, healthcare, and opposition to “preventive” war. That’s more than I can say about the two major-party candidates, who either speak in platitudes or try to peddle fear and lies.
Don’t get me wrong. I admire Barack Obama and am generally supportive of the general themes of his campaign, at least what I’ve been able to ascertain through the media filter. But I was deeply disappointed that he chose to vote for the FISA legislation granting “retroactive immunity” for telecommunications companies who broke the law on the government’s behest—after he had said he would support a filibuster of it. And I respect what John McCain did for the country 30-some years ago (in Vietnam as a soldier, not afterwards when he traded in his first wife for an uninjured model). But I’m not impressed with his voting record over the past eight years, and I don’t respect his sleazy, lying campaign ads, and I’m not interested in having four more years of a fear-mongering, bellicose president in office.
So, how is it that Ralph Nader, who has gained enough supporters to be placed on the ballot in nearly every state in the country gets absolutely no press coverage at all? Why did the mainstream media completely ignore Nader’s 3,000+ rally during the Democratic Convention but still manage to mention Ron Paul’s gathering? Why won’t the two major parties allow him to participate in the presidential debates? Nader calls it “political bigotry,” and I’m inclined to agree with him.
For those who like to claim that a vote for Nader is a “wasted vote” or that Nader is responsible for Gore’s loss in the 2000 election, you ought to watch this (running time 2:45).
Nader, Paul, Bob Barr and the other third party candidates get ignored because the Presidential debates have been controlled by the two major parties since 1988. And also because the MSM is allergic to anything that can’t be neatly packaged into a narrative. At the same time, Nader failed to build the Green Party after 2000, for whatever reason, and that’s always been a little disappointing to me. I’d be surprised if Paul or Barr also parlayed whatever momentum they accumulate in this election into a genuine political force. Obama wasn’t my first choice and that FISA capitulation smacked of political calculation.
That said, as much as I admire Nader, I would be very hesitant to vote for him if I lived in a swing station…say, Michigan. There’s just too much riding on this election. The alternative to Obama is first a McCain and then a Palin administration.
Of course, I meant Swing State and not Swing Station (too many hours typing academic drivel and reading student blogs). On the other hand, a Swing Station does sound like fun – cue the Duke Ellington orchestra!
Thanks for the comments. I know what you mean about the swing state thing, and I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’ll tell you what, though
Eh, Nader has made some pretty wrong and dinosaurish statements. For one, he lied about the deadliness of radioactivity by many orders of magnitude. GM did fix the Corvair, but that wasn’t good enough for Nader, he still fought to kill it. Then there’s this “talking white” soundbite, if it’s not racist, then I think it’s at least out-of-touch fuddy-duddy talk.
He’s pretty good at starting non-profit organizations, but he’s held no actual elected office. I’m not terribly happy with the way things are, but I just don’t see Nader as being a better answer.
Well, Karl…I would not vote for Nader for many reasons that have already been mentioned. I also will not vote for Obama due to his stand on the opposite side of all that I hold dear. No I am not “Pro War”, but I am a firm believer that the bad people in the world who want to kill all in this country are not interested in “sitting down and having a dialogue about how they have been mistreated and misunderstood”. That, unfortunately, is a feel good idea that will allow another 9/11 to happen. I personally do not care what the world thinks of us. We shouldn’t cowtow (SP?) to those countries that think we need to change. We are the United States of America. When other countries have problems they don’t go to the UN, they come to us for help. The only “Change” we need is to not be the worlds savior all the time. Obama is being portrayed as the US savior. I like having more money in my paycheck. I like being responsible for myself. I don’t like my 401K losing money, but Presidents don’t really have a say in that. Taxes and more entitlements (that generally make people depend on them) is what we have to look forward to if Obama gets the helm. I am not into busting stones about these issues. I know flack is coming so let’s keep it sensible! When are you going to be in the area again karl?
Chris, I think you’re misrepresenting Nader’s and Obama’s positions on fighting terrorism. Also, unless you’re making over $600,000 per year, you won’t be paying more in taxes under Obama’s plan than you are now. If your household income is under $111,000, your taxes will be lower under Obama’s plan than under McCain’s (cf. Obama and McCain Tax Proposals).
Claude, that’s a straw man argument if I ever saw one.
Re: Chris’s comments:
I wasn’t aware that Obama favors “sitting down and having a dialogue about how they (the bad people in the world who want to kill all in this country) have been mistreated and misunderstood”. I think he does favor dialogue over preemptive military action (the Bush Doctrine), which makes sense to me – and I’ll bet to most of the military families who have lost loved ones in Iraq.
Actually, the Bush Doctrine even includes preventive war, not just “preemptive military action.” In other words, Bush’s policy (and, I believe, McCain’s) is that we have a right to invade another country and depose its leader if we think that country is a threat to the security of the United States, even if the threat is not imminent.
If pacifism is your thing, then Nader (or Obama) is your choice. Congrats!
I have to admit that I have always been puzzled by the talking point of “sitting down and having a dialogue about how they have been mistreated and misunderstood” in regards to nations that are opposed to our interests. That’s a strange way to talk about international diplomacy and geopolitics. After all, I think history has proven that JFK’s open line of communication with the Kremlin, Nixon’s visit to China, Reagan’s summit with Gorbachev, Clinton’s tough negotiations with Kim Jong Il, not to mention Bush’s own Secretary of Defense Robert Gates hammering out agreements with North Korea and Iran have been good things in that they helped to decrease global tensions and avert wars.
And as far as Presidents and their Administrations and Congressional actions not having an effect on things like 401Ks, pension plans, stock portfolios and general economic stability I have only one thing to say: What we are seeing today is a direct of the Phil Gramm engineered repeal of the 1933 Glass-Stegall Act, which was slipped into the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act in December of 1999 and signed into law by President Bush in one of the first uses of his approval pen in early 2000. The economy is in deep trouble (my brokerage house just died) and McCain-Palin will do little about it, unless doing nothing counts as fixing a problem created by a cynical congressman. Phil Gramm, (who called those of us struggling to make ends meet, while the cost of absolutely everything goes through the roof, a “nation of whiners”) is still McCain’s economic adviser, which is reason enough to give one pause about McCain’s potential economic policies.
Well, I think this little conversation is interesting. I hope the best person for this country wins. CHRIS was right about the USA being saviors to every country. KARL your comment in #9 I like – Bush’s policy – NO more 9/11. For me there is two people I would like in office. Guess who, McCain and Palin. I was a little worried about McCain until he asked Palin to be the V. P. First she is a christian, 2nd pro-life, 3rd a women, 4th she’s a hunter, 5th NRA member and she knows how to run things like …………..”Alaska”.
keep this going this is great.
Nader is a no way… Obama is a talking suit, has no real ideas of his own, is a lier and a killer…PRO-ABORTION. I wasn’t too keen on McCain… that is until he brought on Palin. She is REAL, not a radical “I want to be a MAN who can kill my babies” feminist, is pro-life and (when aloud to speak her mind) says it like it is.
Hmmm. Just a couple points in follow up to my first comment. #7 Karl, Obama originally said He would sit down with NO conditions and talk the nut jobs who run terrorist organizations to find a way to “keep the peace (my words in quotes, not obama). Since then someone must have told him he was an idiot to think nut jobs will do what they say they will, & he changed his mind. Now He says there will be conditions. Terrorists cannot and should not be given credibility by negotiating. My way? “Stop blowing stuff up or we will send you to see your god allah!”. have a nice day!
The taxes thing. The top earners in this country already pay a disproportionate amount of the taxes into the country coffers. Obama wants to INCREASE spending by 800 BILLION. He wants to “spread the wealth” (socialism)Exactly where is all this money coming from if citizens like me will get a tax reduction? Are the top (i think it’s 5%) going to pay the 800 BILLION in new spending? Hmm, I ain’t no Harvard grad but that don’t make no sense to me no how! (“hick talk” on purpose).
I really do feel that a vote for Obama is a vote for sending this great country (though it appears many people think this country sucks) another step towards Marxism (socialism at it’s best (worst?))
McCain is the best choice for this country and should be the next president. God Bless America and by the way 1/2 dozen of my friends have been to Iraq one didn’t make it back.My friend of 20 years got blown up by one of those people that has the same ideology as the nut jobs that Obama wants to sit down and have a dialogue with. John Kulick was his name and he was there because He believed in what we are fighting for. 343 of my firefighting brethren and thousand of citizens were killed by people (i hesitate to use that term) who worked for the nut jobs that Obama wants to sit down and have a dialogue with. Let’s not forget 9/11 was the 2ND time foreign terrorists attacked us on our land. I believe we did NOTHING then and hmm, darnedest thing they did it again with much more spectatcular effects! Don’t forget the people that have died for our country. We live in a FREE nation because of their sacrifice. Ok, I am done.
Chris, I’ve already seen what you’ve written in the Republican talking points. The fear-mongering never worked for me. A couple quick impressions:
If you’re worried about our leaders sitting down and having a dialog with dictators/ideological “nut jobs,” take a look at the Bushes’ relationship with the House of Saud.
Obama is much farther to “the right” than I am, so the whole “he’s a Socialist” scare tactic isn’t going to work on me.
I have no idea what your point is about knowing people who have sacrificed for this country. We all appreciate these sacrifices, but what in the world do they have to do with who the next president should be? I also have friends who have fought in Iraq, but I think that’s irrelevant to this discussion.
I appreciate that you feel very strongly about these things, Chris. I just think you’re misguided.
Chris I share the same feelings with you. Just to let you know Karl’s cousin was in Iraq from day one. He just retired as a col. in the marines. His son is in the marines fighting in Afganastan ( how ever you spell it). Just remember this is a free country and everyone has their own oppions weather they are right or wrong. (karl is wrong) The USA was attacked 4 or 5 times on and off the USA shore with Clinton as President and only one time with Bush as President. I think we should just nuke the middle east and be done with it.
“SPORTSMEN FOR MCCAIN”
love ya Karl
your brother dean