Monday, August 23, 2004
Ralph is "Dropping Science Like Galileo Dropped the Orange" - Beastie Boys
He is, say his critics, nothing more than a spoiler, driven by ego and self-indulgence. Mr Nader dismisses such talk. First, he says the Democrats can blame only themselves for allowing Mr Bush to steal an election he did not win. Second, he says, exit polls showed that up to 25 per cent of those who voted for him in 2000 would have otherwise voted for Bush, up to 41 per cent for Gore but that the rest would not have bothered to vote at all.
He adds: "The other thing is that 10 times more Democrats voted for Bush than voted for Nader." Democrats never want to discuss the matter he says. "Once you accept the anybody-but-Bush position the brain really does close. They don't want to hear anything."
But however he may wish to frame it, Mr Nader's argument boils down to a choice between incremental change in November or more radical change over a longer period. For Mr Nader there is little practical difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.
"The corporations have won this election. They have been winning these elections for years ... If there is a difference [between the parties] it is rhetoric. Why is Kerry identical to Bush on Iraq? I evaluate the Democrats on defence as well as offence ... Why did they not stop Bush? They [say] they were against the tax cuts for the wealthy but they did not stop it even when they controlled the Senate."
He is fond of quoting the 19th-century Indiana socialist Eugene Debs, "I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it". He concedes that if someone is adamantly of the anyone-but-Bush mindset they should not vote for him but Kerry, "if your expectations levels are so low".
The Democrats, he says, have lost sight of what they were supposed to be fighting for. "It's all about money, who has raised the most. It becomes the end itself. When you ask the members of the House and Senate why they lost [seats] in the 2002 election they say they did not have enough money."
Once again I recommend reading "Ralph's Revolt: The Case for Joining Nader's Rebellion". Buyer's note: the price is twice as high at Amazon.