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Ralph Nader Considering Raid on Dem Votes Again

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He’s baaaaack…. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the polling places, there he is, Ralph Nader. Don’t get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for the nation’s premier champion of consumer safety of the 60’s and 70’s. One of the many non-profit organizations he founded, Public Citizen, is credited with facilitating the passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and prompting the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Even if you feel like the creation of those government regulatory bodies has been a disservice to our society you have Mr. Nader to thank for driving safer cars.

Recent appearances on a variety of news talk shows indicates he is poised to make a fifth run at the White House in 2008. Why? Is the fifth time the charm? He’s never gotten more than 2.7% of the vote! Unless he is delusional he can’t seriously think that he has a chance to win. So why run? The only reason would be to get his message out about the dangers of corporate society. Does he need to run for president to accomplish that? That message is out there, Ralph. Yes, he has a constitutional right to run. But can he mount a serious campaign that has a chance of winning? So why do it, particularly when he runs the risk of potentially playing a role in keeping the very people in power that have facilitated and encouraged the corporatization of America, the very thing he is campaigning against? The Republican party understands that aspect. It has been said that they secretly promoted his campaign in 2004 wanting to see a repeat of 2000. That is, pulling votes away from the democratic candidate.

Did the Bushites steal the 2000 election with butterfly ballots, scrubbing the voter rolls, etc.? Absolutely, but the dems fought that battle and lost since the republicans were the judge and jury. Of course, this whole discussion assumes that Gore would have been a substantially better president than Bush. I think it's a safe assumption that he would have been, but, we'll never really know.

After the 2000 election Democrats blamed Nader for taking the election away from Gore. Per Wikipedia: “Nader received some 97,000 votes in Florida. According to the Washington Post, exit polls there showed that "47 percent of Nader voters would have gone for Gore if it had been a two-man race, and only 21 percent for Bush," which would have given Gore a margin of some 24,000 votes over Bush. Some Democrats claim that had Nader not run, Gore would have won both New Hampshire and Florida and won the election with 296 electoral votes. (He only needed one of the two to win.)”. Bush’s margin of victory in Florida was 537 votes. Even Nader’s web site admitted that without his presence Gore would have won. That fact substantially hurt his reputation among liberals and progressives. Even to the point where Public Citizen has to make it clear, when fund-raising, that their founder is no longer affiliated with the organization.

This nation is in dire straits. The debacle that is known as Iraq will continue on a status quo basis if Republicans win the White House in ’08. An invasion of Iran would also be likely if a Republican wins. The continued drain on all other aspects of our budget and economy from such events could be the nail in the coffin as some are predicting for the U.S. economy and the dollar. President Bush just submitted a $3.1 trillion dollar budget to Congress featuring a $400 billion dollar deficit! Where’s the predicted benefit from those tax cuts to the rich? I guess you’d have to ask the rich. The democratic party has been labeled the “tax and spend” party by it’s detractors. This administration has become the “tax-cut and spend” party. Which is worse? The latter by far. “Trickle-down” economics is a myth. The gap between rich and poor is wider than ever and growing.

Why risk a continuation of the policies that have gotten us into this horrible mess just to get a message out that has been heard four times before? Granted, the democratic party front-runners for the presidential nomination, Obama and Clinton, are not exactly chomping at the bit to end the aforementioned corporatization of America but they would be much more consumer-friendly, environment-friendly, and more likely to really change strategies in Iraq than any of the republican candidates.

I do have to give Ralph credit for keeping a sense of humor and realism about this. When asked about a possible presidential run by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Nader said, "If some egomaniac is going to jump in and screw up this election, it's going to be me."

Mr. Nader, we love what you’ve done for consumer protection, but pleeeeaaase stay out of politics! When faced with the prospects of another neo-con administration I'd have to say that all things considered I’d rather be driving a Corvair!...without seat belts!

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A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough (more...)

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