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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/8/08

The Spirit of Nader Haunts NCMR Attendees

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I don’t know about you, but I hate that guy. Or rather, he makes me uncomfortable.

I have been stupified by how often he comes up at the conference.

It’s bad enough that these people wearing Nader/Gonzalez T-shirts came in on the first day of the conference and spread their campaign propaganda all over the convention center. It’s even worse that Nader’s impact on America can actually be felt here at the conference.

At the “Uncovering Elections” panel, a person from Canada got the NCMR to ask the panel why Ralph Nader has gotten little to no coverage in this year’s election. John Nichols decided, unfortunately, to answer the question.

He said, “Don’t think that we are having free and fair debates this election if it does not include Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, and Bob Barr.” He went on to talk about how he wrote an article on Nader being a serious candidate.

Nichols described the response and justified his article that surely took away readership of Obama articles as indicative of the misconceptions the progressives in America harbor. They seem to think you can only be a serious candidate if you can seriously win.

That night, Phil Donahue presented the conference attendees with an opportunity to view his remarkable documentary Body of War, a film that focuses on Iraq war veteran Tomas Young who was shot in Iraq and paralyzed. He came home and after release from the hospital became inspired by Cindy Sheehan and joined the antiwar movement.  

This amazing man despite all the bodily malfunctions he experiences on a daily basis became a warrior---a true patriot--- to fight for his brothers and sisters in Iraq that should be home right now.

The film was inspiring and structured in such a manner that you were shown Tomas’ struggle right alongside the failure of Congress to understand they were giving Bush the authority to justify war for the rest of his reign over America.

At the end of the panel discussion, an audience member asked how Donahue found Tomas Young. Wouldn’t you know Ralph Nader introduced Donahue to Tomas. 

This happened during his 2004 campaign. Donahue was taken to Walter Reed. There, Donahue met Tomas. Although, it wasn’t until months later when Tomas was out of his coma that Tomas met Donahue. From that point on, the magic unfolded before the camera giving way to one of the most unsanitized documentaries created during this endless war.

And that’s good because you mustn’t sanitize the war. The people must see the gruesome and disturbing images of what this war does to people until the day our troops are withdrawn.

But Ralph Nader? Barack Obama has the nomination and we need to be very careful or else he might lose to McCain. And that is why it's tough to handle this Nader talk.

Even negativity about Obama bothers me. 

Rev. Lennox Yearwood said during a panel about media in a time of war that he was heartened that a black president might be elected after Tuesday but after Wednesday he was disheartened that the black president elected might be an AIPAC president.

Naomi Klein in last night's speech told people about how Obama has no plan to end the war. She went after him and called on people to do the right thing and pressure him to change. But, I think we should give him his space and expect him to do the right thing.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com
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