...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Saturday, July 10, 2004
      ( 10:52 AM )
Enough, Already

I was a Nader voter in 2000 and I don't regret it. I think a strong message needed to be sent to the Democratic party - it has gone so far into the corporate arena that if you're voting on anything OTHER than "values" you're screwed because both parties have done the same things to screw America in the past decade: NAFTA, WTO, deregulation, etc. The Clinton/DLC takeover of the party led to Republican power in Congress for the last 10 years and no real advocacy of any of the historical causes of the Democratic Party. Anyway, I think Nader ran a great campaign in 2000 and I think he was shafted by not being allowed in on the debate. I have long maintained that election was Gore's to lose, and though he DID technically win, he betrayed his own populist roots and convention speech and let the DLC ruin him. That was in 2000.

Nader has lost my respect now. When he first decided to enter this race, I respected his right to run as an independent. Our system is corrupt to the core and any challenge to it, I believe, is valid. But he has now compromised his own political values by the way he is running his "campaign." Last night, Howard Dean, in an NPR debate with Nader, tried to point out the hypocritical turn Nader has taken.

“Ralph, I think you’re being disingenuous about your candidacy this year, and let me tell you why,” Dean began at start of the debate. “Forty-six percent of all your signatures to get you on the Arizona ballot turned out to be Republican supporters. You accepted the support of a right-wing fanatic Republican group that’s anti-gay in order to help you get on the ballot in Oregon.”

It was obvious from the massive momentum and support that Dean got from people across this country who were mobilized to become politically active for the first time in their lives that the Dem party is taking a new turn. Kerry is virtually the last stronghold of the old guard, and the influence of Dean's anti-corporate stance and Edwards' focus on real issues like race and class signal that the DLC and its failed tactics are no longer valid players in the game.

Nader pushing against this momentum to return progressives to the platform of the Democratic Party is no longer an issue of fairness. It's about Ralph Nader now, not about the issues he espoused in 2000. He even endorsed Edwards in 2002! There will always be time to fight against the system, but if we are to keep our ultimate goal in mind: saving this country from a hellhole we can't get out of - then we have to choose our battles right now. And choosing to join with Republicans to thwart the Dem ticket is not the battle that will gain Nader's cause any support.

It sucks. We shouldn't have to be controlled by this two-fisted corporate system we have allowed to infest our entire political process. We've got to deal with it. But not this year. This year, we've got to preserve our CHANCE to deal with it. It's about survival right now. When we have achieved that, THEN it will be about liberation.

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