One useful way of estimating how little separates the parties, and particularly their presidential nominees, is to tote up some of the issues on which there is tacit agreement, either as a matter of principle or with an expedient nod and wink that these are not matters suitable to be discussed in any public forum: the role of the Federal Reserve; trade policy; economic redistribution; the role and budget of the CIA and other intelligence agencies; nuclear disarmament; allocation of military procurement; reduction of the military budget; the roles and policies of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and kindred multilateral agencies; the war on drugs; corporate welfare; energy policy; the destruction of small farmers and ranchers; Israel.Alex - read the 2004 Democratic platform before you write anymore. If you can't tell the difference between us and the GOP by now, I'm just wasting my time here.
In the face of this conspiracy of silence, the more independent challenges the better. Nader is doing his duty.
In the comments to an earlier post here at Hoffmania, a Berkeley reader posed the following:
Some one please explain:My reply was - and is this:
Democrats voted for bu$h in the millions.
Greens voted for Nader, their own candidate.
Who are the bad guys in this picture?
Democrats accept millions upon millions of dollars from the same corporations that own the Repugs.
Nader gets a few thou from some loony wingnuts who think they are somehow sabatoging the demos. Nader then uses it to blast all the corporate whores on both sides.
I think you guys actually hate Nader because he has the guts to point out whats wrong with the way Democrats are doing business. Because it stinks!
Simply, to a lot of people across the political divide, Bush was sold to America in 2000 as a bi-partisan kind-hearted aw-shucks fella with no axe to grind and a break from the big bad old Clinton misbehavin'. His biggest selling point was his alleged ability to work with both sides of the aisle.
I'll also go on record as saying that Al Gore's campaign was horrible, from his selection of running mate to the tsk'ing and sighing in the debates, to the wholesale tossing aside of the Clinton record. His handlers did more to turn people off to Clinton than the Repubs could ever dream of doing themselves.
With those two strategies in play, some Democrats voted for Bush, thinking they were getting some kind of change for the better. Others "sent a message" and voted for your guy, Nader. I can guarantee that an overwhelming majority of them today regret their decision and would love to have that vote back.
This time, we have a clearer (albeit too late) understanding of what was under Bush's nice-guy veneer, and thankfully, Americans are paying more attention to this race than they ever have in the past - especially in contrast to the ADD-infused 2000 race.
And since Nader is happily accepting the Republicans' help - I know it's a crashing blow to your entire argument - it speaks volumes about how Nader is trashing his core beliefs - that he'd accept the cash and support of the disasterous, deadly, deep-pocketed and divisive 2004 Republican party, and still get a good night's sleep. If Nader had a chance to earn any respect by returning the money, he blew it big time.
Not one - NOT ONE of those Repubs are going to vote for him - but they know he can still peel 2-5% of the left-leaning vote away from Kerry. If Nader's too stupid to see that, and if his supporters are naive enough to ignore that, maybe you deserve another four years of hell. The rest of us don't.
You've heard this before: Nader has a proud history of activism and championing the rights and safety of Americans. I'll always love the guy for that. Today, he sticks his fingers in his ears, yells "NA NA NA NA NA" whenever anyone from the Democratic party reaches out to him. Yet he'll gladly take contributions by Republicans. Please reconcile that for me. My head hurts just thinking about it.
And don't give me the "You just want a two-party system" crap either. Find me a non-delusional, sane and open-minded third-party candidate, and I'll take him or her seriously.