View Full Version : maybe this is not the place for it, but... (what about Nader?)
I was just wondering what sorts of opinions visitors here have on Ralph Nader announcing his running for President in the US.
I have found myself in the middle of heated arguments with friends about the sorts of issues and the overall understanding of what he is trying to do. Most people don't even want to hear my thoughts on why I think what he is doing is interesting and important. Instead, what I'm saying is "wrong" and apparently, people who voted for him in the last election were "wrong." Somehow, i have trouble looking at it this way. I suppose in the bigger picture, politics has always been a little too cutthroat for me, but I am starting to feel like I shouldn't am not allowed to have a valid view on these sorts of things, as if the scope of discussion is becoming increasingly narrow, even by people who see themselves as reasonable and/or "progressive", and it irks me that I have to defend my idealism to such a great extent, that I cannot feel comfortable simply discussing my political opinions with people I know and trust. Am I being unreasonable to think that most everything Nader says is right on? And what does it mean if most people who care to pay attention to this farce of an election think it is wrong to be uninterested in status quo politics? How will whatever "system" we have in the US right now shift in a fundamental way if people are not willing to make drastic changes in not only their behavior and lifestyles, but in their thinking, in their conception of what life should be... ?????
maybe this is not esoteric or appropriate enough for this sort of forum, but since many people here are not thinking like the mainstream, I am curious to hear what people think, if anything....
02-28-2004, 07:58 PM
Unfortunately 3 choices are one too many for the
gentle folks to handle- At this point,
ANYBODY will be better than Bush,
so it must be a Democrat......
Even if a third choice is more forward-thinking,
the brain dead sheeple won't care/notice.
Maybe as the downward spiral continues,
another way will become clear-
Amongst the Dems, Kucinich
is far more progressive, but hey
he doesn't fit the suit...yet.
Baby steps are what this young nation
needs at this point...
but more important- Giant Steps
aways from BushCo!!!
What is "more" wrong? Voting for who you believe in or using a vast network of powerful family and friends to steal an election? People who call voting for Nader 'wrong' are missing the point entirely -- it is the voting system itself which is corrupted, and who you vote for no longer matters, on a number of levels. For instance: Seeing as how "anybody" is better than Bush, people are going to be a pushover for whoever the next Slick Willie who gets in happens to be, and he'll be able to get away with that much more, appearing so relatively OK by our new lowered standards. It's wonderful theatre, but it's not even worth wasting your time on, see the cat, see the cradle?
P.S. I voted for Nader in 2000. It was the first time and the last time I will ever vote in America. Period.
03-01-2004, 10:13 AM
I have issues with Nader. Mostly because he's not a Green. He's not running as a Green this time, and he wouldn't join the Green Party last time. I campaigned for him, and the GP last time because I believed in the GP, and liked what he had to say, but all bets were off after the election. He dumped us. And he's not going with us now. He's never been entirely comfortable with the GP, and that's fine, he sure had me fooled with all his talk about 'building a truely progressive 3rd party in America' though. After it was over it wasn't about the GP it was about his 'place in history'... and it's not about the GP now. it's about him. I absolutely agree, bush didn't win because Nader helped him, he won because he, and his clan were the most corrupt. (and don't even think for a second that gore ain't a dirty mofo') I don't give a damn about Nader this time around, if he ain't runnin' Green, then he's not campgaining for my vote. even if the Greens endorse him.
03-02-2004, 04:05 PM
If we win this election , and win it big, - as I believe is one of the most possible scenarios in the making, to be held back only with electoral quirks, or violence, as with 2000 – if we win with renewed passion and ardor unseen in 2000, and with new, clear sharply expressed ideas with a moral mass behind them, win them like we haven’t had a chance to do since 68, since Humphrey (who Kerry most is like, not Kennedy, not Dukakis, as the two sides might paint him), if such a real moral victory is in order for Novermber, as I believe it to possibly be, then I believe we have exactly Nader to thank.
Nader is the only one in this country’s nationally known political class to see the big swings in history, the patterns, the tidal waves, not those breaking wearily every four years on the shore, but those that will change the shape of the shoreline, the changes not pertinent mainly on the scale of a four yr administration, but the big tidal drifts, as in the US swinging strong to the left in the last 100 years, but to the right in the last 20 or 30 years, - a rightward shift that has fully swept up the the democratic party, along with its functional ideology and moral reasoning, not just its rhetorical expression and voting record –. such a large sweeping movement of mass simply cant be generated from within; from the ideological, and politicized masses of American Democratic Party voters. These are little different from Republicans, the one fearing islam and terrorism and spooky evils, and the other fearing the loss of American jobs, and the grass outside by my particular bedroom window.
Whether he saw it or not, Nader more practically enabled, potentialized catalyzed a sleeping, morally sleeping left electorate, with a whip like shock from outside. like the pied piper, he pulled the masses of democratic rats to their left again, gave em the path back that gives them their essential blood, gives them life, defines them…
In short, if it weren’t for Nader back then there would be no Dean now, and if it weren’t for Dean in January, there would be no possibility of victory in November. And Novembers is far far more important than 2000. Not then, but now the pivot turns, now can be a strong swing back to left back to the swing the progressive swing of the past 100 years, or now can be a consolidation of conservative, even medieval trends.
03-03-2004, 05:20 AM
Thought you might find this interesting.
Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing
March 2, 2004
HEADLINE: Gallup Brain: Public Perceptions of Ralph Nader
BYLINE: by Darren K. Carlson, Government and Public Affairs Editor
With Ralph Nader's announcement last week that he will mount another presidential campaign, public perceptions of Nader have again become relevant to America's political future. Gallup's public opinion database, the Gallup Brain, offers some interesting historical perspectives about how Nader has been viewed at several points over the course of his long career.
Nader's track record as a consumer advocate is remarkable. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he played David to any number of Goliath industries. But while his staunch consumer advocacy made him a well-known figure, it never materialized into true political capital.
Nader became a public figure by taking on industries and agencies that were previously unchallenged. His best-selling book, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile, skewered automotive safety regulations when it appeared in 1965. His investigation of the Federal Trade Commission triggered a revamping of that agency and spawned Nader's first consumer advocacy group.
Dubbed "Nader's Raiders" by the press, Nader's taskforces investigated, reported on, and prompted changes in government agencies regulating railroads, public health hazards, and the food industry. In 1971 and 1972, Nader and his troops investigated and published books on 17 topics still germane today, such as water pollution, the banking industry, frauds in nursing homes, pesticides in agriculture, and overdevelopment of land.
The Public Takes Notice
In 1971, roughly 4 in 10 Americans (43%) were able to correctly identify Nader as a consumer advocate. And he appeared in the top 10 on Gallup's annual list of most admired men several times in the 1970s. Relatively few Americans, however, believed that Nader should be a candidate for president. A February 1971 Gallup Poll showed that just 11% of those who knew who Nader was wanted to see him run for the Democratic nomination for president. Gallup also matched Nader against some of the leading Democratic contenders from that time in trial heat questions -- including Sen. Edward Kennedy, Sen. George McGovern, and Sen. Edmund Muskie -- but each of these outpolled Nader by a decent margin among those who were familiar with Nader.
Nader's tendency to gain public awareness without being seen as a true political force would persist. In a May 1975 Gallup Poll, Americans were read a list of public figures who were considered possible contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination and asked to identify which ones they had heard something about. Sixty-eight percent had heard of Nader by that time, making him one of the most widely recognized people on the list. But the increased notoriety did not necessarily translate to a higher political profile for Nader. When asked to choose from the same list whom they would like to see nominated as the Democratic candidate for president in 1976, only 3% chose Nader. Sen. Edward Kennedy, Gov. George Wallace, and Sen. Hubert Humphrey garnered the top mentions. At that time, just 1% chose Jimmy Carter, the eventual Democratic nominee and 39th president.
2000 and Beyond
The same story was reprised in 2000, when Nader ran as the Green Party's candidate for president. Roughly 6 in 10 knew who Nader was, and Americans generally viewed him more favorably than unfavorably. For example, a July 2000 poll showed 42% of the public with a positive view of Nader, 22% with a negative view, and 36% unfamiliar with him. Nader never polled more than 6% nationally in the 2000 campaign, and finished with 3% of the vote on Election Day.
Recent polling implies that Nader's declaration to run in 2004 will do little to change his reputation as a political anomaly. His support is most likely to come from younger voters and those not affiliated with either of the major political parties, and both of those groups have historically been among the least likely to turn out on Election Day.
03-08-2004, 10:54 AM
wrong egret! if it wasn't for US campgaining FOR nader, and the greenparty he wouldn't have gotten anywhere... nader didn't 'wake me up' I worked my ass off 'waking' others up, and not for nader. nader didn't get my vote in '96, the 'natural law party' got it... they didn't run as strong a campgain in '00 as they did in '96...but that doesn't matter because the first time nader ran, his eeyore act turned me off so completely that I refused to listen to a damn thing he had to say...
...the only reason I was excited in '00 was the fact that we were BUILDING a green party, that was going to change things... and I fully accept my share of responsibility for not sticking in there with the GP, and toughing it out to make things work out a little bit better...
...nader's a negative twerp, and this sentence doesn't do anything to help counter balance that... he dumped the GP, who worked their asses off for him, he can paddle up the creek with his own hands now. he doesn't own my vote, just like gore didn't, and kerry doesn't...
...however, I have come to a new realization. I no have never blamed nader, or the people who voted for him for gore's losing... I blamed gore for not running a better campgain, and the bush clan for stealing the election... I now have a much better sense of who's to blame... (as long as I'm playing blame) ...I blame the people who voted for bush...
anyway, it's a whole new game, let's rearrange their neurons this time...hahaha... let's see if we can't alter their consciounesses to the point that whether it's a elephant's butt, or a donkey's ass, or an independent anus we win!!
I'm not sure that Nader's the negative twerp here - do you know of any politicians that say "relax and rejoice"?
I think what Nader is doing is out of a refined belief in and appreciation of democracy and justice. Maybe I am just in love with man, but he is like Kierkegaard's man of faith to me, going against all odds because he would rather speak the truth and step into the abyss with everyone scoffing at him than play a game with stale, crusty rules.
Anyway, many many people that I was surrounded with at the time voted for Nader in 2000, their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election. And I have to say that if I had not heard him speak that fall, I would not have been as energized about the possibility for change in the world.
As for abandoning the Greens, I can't help but think of this idea that I've read here several times, that the evolution of the human being is anithetical to the clannish and possessive attitudes of political party, race, and even family - that in fulfilling one's purpose in life, one must become comfortable with the noble, pioneering spirit. Whomever needs to follow or be made aware will do so naturally, inevitably.
ugh i hate politics...
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