I live in Massachusetts, home base for the nation's liberal Democrats and ground-zero for the Anybody-But-Bush political virus that was so virulent in 2004. I also work for Ralph Nader and find myself in a frequently hostile climate surrounded by partisan Democrats unwilling to acknowledge Ralph's right to run for President even though they admit his record of public service is unequalled by any other living American.
My job as Ralph's ballot access manager has given me an inside view of a hidden world unknown to most. I have had a chance over the last six months to learn up close and personal just how unfair our political system is rigged against third party and independent candidates. In state after state, the election laws impose undue burdens on independents while giving the Republicans and Democrats free and easy access to the ballot.
Of course, unfair laws are only part of the burden. Unequal election law enforcement, done at the local level all over the country, creates another huge obstacle to the ballot. In town after town, county after county, state after state, all summer long Nader's petitioners were barred from parking lots, public streets, parks, sidewalks, courthouse walkways, universities and many other public venues where the constitutional right to petition was violated by those charged with enforcing the laws.
Why have the two major parties, with their vast financial resources and protection by lawmakers and police, worked so hard to keep voices like Ralph's from being heard? McCain and Obama, the "bailout boys" simply do not want the public aware of the gigantic fraud being waged against it. The Wall Street thieves are now stealing right before our very eyes with the encouragement of the two major parties. Grand theft on this scale doesn't want someone in the crowd declaring the emperor has no clothes.
Ralph Nader cannot be bought or sold. Ralph's message of protection for the public, a lifetime commitment for him, is not a message that McCain or Obama want heard and that is why Ralph's voice is so important now. We no longer have the luxury of "strategic voting" where the least-worse choice is considered the best we can do. It is time for principled voting. It is time to vote for change and not just talk of change. It is time to tell the "bailout boys" and their handlers who control them we are not going to go along any longer. From here on out we need to vote for the best choice, for the message we want heard, for the change we deserve.
My campaign duties have also allowed me a peek behind the curtain; a chance to see what does make Ralph Nader tick. Ralph's critics are quick, without proof, to claim his campaign is ego-driven. How wrong they are with their uninformed opinions. Ralph endures assaults on his reputation, brutally long work days, bad food, little sleep, and an endless list of other discomforts imposed by an underfunded campaign because he is motivated to make the world a better place for his having lived.
Ralph is on the ballot in 45 states and the District of Columbia. I am proud of my role in that accomplishment. Ralph may not win the election but his years of service have won my vote. Stand up to the two major parties that are willing to steal our future and tell them you are not going to take it anymore.
Vote for Ralph Nader, it is simply the right thing to do in this troubled time.