An Open Letter to Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is thinking of running for president again. Here’s an open letter from me to him, reflecting my own views, not TMV’s.

*****

Dear Ralph,

Don’t do it. Please.

It’s not that I don’t respect and admire you — and appreciate all you’ve done on behalf of consumers and against the plutocracy that runs the U.S., which is to say, for the people, and to raise important issues, such as human rights and the environment, that the powers-that-be, political and corporate alike, preferred either to ignore or to have ignored, the ignorant masses wallowing in medicated consumerist fantasies, living in a manufactured culture of fear, all for the benefit of the profiteers, for example, while they, the powers-that-be, were raping the environment and enabling human rights abuses at home and around the world.

You exposed so much, fought for so much, and for that I — and so many others, countless millions — thank you.

And I’m sorry, truly I am, that the two-party system in the U.S. has excluded you from political contention. Here in Canada, there are many more parties that represent us, as you know, and there are at least two significant parties that would welcome you with open arms. But the U.S. is what it is, for better and for worse, and that means, for voters, choosing between two parties, two candidates, perhaps, as you might see it, two evils, but two evils that are not alike, one much worse than the other. You would not do this year what you did back in 2000, taking enough votes away from the Democrat to allow the Republican to win. So perhaps it wouldn’t matter. Surely, though, you have learned something from these past seven years. It is time for change, for new direction, for a Democrat to take over the White House.

The leading Democrats might not be progressive enough for you — but Edwards must be, no? (not that he’ll win) — but they are far better than whatever alternative the GOP throws up for consideration. Whether it’s Clinton or Obama, there were be a change in foreign policy, a renewed focus on the environment and global warming, economic help for the disadvantaged, an emphasis on social justice, and on justice generally, and so much else that you must find preferable to what the Republicans are tossing around on the campaign trail.

So join us, Ralph, don’t go against us. We are not all the same. And, this time, we must win.

Regards,

Michael Stickings

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  • DLS
  • cosmoetica

    Michael:

    This has to be your most pusillanimous post to date.

    My God!

    You have to be intelligent enough to realize the R's have no one even remotely qualified to be President, Hillary is a hack w/o spine (see Healthcare-93 & War vote-03), Obama is being Willie Hortoned by the Clinttons, and Edwards- easily the most informed and detailed candidate in the field is being ignored by the press.

    Thus, I'm sure you will be relishing Michael Bloomberg's bid when we get the Hack (Hillary) vs. either the Slimeball (Mitt) or Psychotic Warrior (McCain) match.

    Seriously, even you could see that Bloomy would be a) the best candidate, and b) unlike Ralph, has the $ to actually win a three way. Right?

  • DLS

    Bloomberg is effectively just another Democrat. No, thanks. However, he is less repulsive than Hillary Clinton and perhaps he's waiting to see if Clinton has a strong lead over Obama before deciding whether or not to enter the race himself.

  • cosmoetica

    A Dem who is a billionaire owner of media conglomerates that tilt Rightward. Yes, just the profile of 'just another Democrat.'

    If Obama upsets Clinton he does zip, but w Hillary in he goes for it, and can win if Hill and Mitt/McCain turn off too many party regulars.

  • DLS

    I look at his politics and his history, not at his (or the many other wealthy, still-officially Democrats') wallets.

    “If Obama upsets Clinton he does zip, but w Hillary in he goes for it, and can win if Hill and Mitt/McCain turn off too many party regulars.”

    That was what I meant by the second part of what I wrote.

  • cosmoetica

    DLS: 'I look at his politics and his history, not at his (or the many other wealthy, still-officially Democrats') wallets.'

    As with the ludicrous claims of liberal media, one only has to look at the wallets of the owners of the networks, the major papers, etc., to see that they are all dyed in the wool Republicans. Similarly, throwing about a few bones to the masses hardly makes Bloomy a typical Dem- i.e.- a Left wing nutjob.

    He's in the Nelson Rockefeller/John LIndsay mold, i.e.- a sane Republican with a conscience. I realize they're even more reviled than outright Reds, but to the sane middle, he's welcome relief from the corporatists, hacks, and religious wackos that have infected politics the last 30 years.

  • DAMOZEL

    Michael:

    I agree with you: he shouldn't run. But really it's not Nader who is the problem, but the voters.

    It's true that both parties are in large part financed by the institutions that Nader deplores, but the people who voted him can surely see that their particular concerns are best protected by a Democratic government…?

    Well, I say “surely”….

  • cosmoetica

    Dam: You are right the electorate is the problem, but while D's are marginally better than R's, we need multiple parties to force coalitions, which will end gridlock. The duopoly enhances extremism- multi=party rule makes compromise a necessity.

  • freyja

    How arrogant to assume someone who voted for Nader would have voted for a democrat in the first place. This whole notion of “stealing votes” boldly presumes that my vote was the property of someone to begin with. It's actually insulting to insinuate my vote was just “stolen” from another party. Not that it was something that I actually researched and considered quite carefully. A vote doesn't belong to anyone. I find it sad and bizarre that any any qualified candidate would be asked not to run by anyone. When you tell someone not to run, you are behaving no differently than the corporations that deliberately exclude and censor certain candidates. This should be a democracy we live in. Stop trying to ruin it for those of us that still believe in choices.