It crossed my mind to not even comment on Nader’s announcement this morning, on ‘Meet the Press’, that he was going to throw his hat into the ring again this election year. It was a highly dreaded moment for most Democrats. The fear is that Nader’s entry into the fray will take away votes from the Democratic nominee. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, and I also believe that everyone is being a bit hard on Ralphie Boy.
Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the most die hard “anyone but Bush” proponents you’ll meet. In my ideal world, on election day in September every liberal in America would join hands and walk to the polls together where Dems, Indies, Greens, Commies, Libertaries, people of all political affiliation would come together that one day to vote against Bush. It would go down in history as the largest landslide defeat not only of an incumbent President but of any President in history.
Still, the fact is, that’s probably not what will happen and we shouldn’t try and blame Nader for that. Nader has spent his entire life devoted to the working class. He has spent his entire life, selflessly fighting against corporations and against illegal legislation. To say that his bid for the Presidency this year has anything to do with ego is just a mean-spirited attack. Ego is not what is fueling Nader to run in this election, it’s principle. Do you not think that Nader is smart enough to know what kind of backlash this is going to create towards him? Ego is smart enough to stay away from that sort of publicity. Principle on the other hand, never waivers.
Nader is standing firm in his idealistic values that it is never good enough to settle. He’s asking the age old question, “does the end justify the means?” Is it worth giving up on trying to create diversity in politics to get what most of us will agree is a ‘lesser of two evils’ into office? Apparently Nader doesn’t think so. Does that mean the rest of us have to follow suit? Of course not. But we need to understand too that Nader will not be a spoiler in 2004. Anyone who would vote for Nader understands the importance of getting Bush out of office. Anyone who would still vote for Nader in a swing state after knowing that, wouldn’t have voted otherwise. A person that is that dedicated to a candidate would just not have bothered to come out and vote had Nader not been a candidate.
So let’s not forget what Nader has stood for over the years and try and cut him a little slack. When the numbers come out in November I think we’ll all see that most everyone understood the importance of their vote and used their conscience to tell them who to vote for. So if you’re an “anyone but Bush” supporter like me, let’s just try and remember who the real bad guy is, and it’s not Nader.
We can still do this, we can still win with Nader on the ticket. Let’s just not use up all of our energy trying to tear him down when there’s someone much more important we need to be focused on tearing down.