Tag Archives: ralph nader

Spoiler alert

I tend to like spoilers.  Not movie spoilers or anything like that, but those behind-the-pack forces that wreak havoc for the people out front.  A last place team ruins a playoff chance for another team but pulling out an unlikely victory?  Awesome!  Maybe it’s something twisted about my personality, or maybe I just dig the expression of power that comes with it.

It’s probably not a secret that I am fairly left-leaning on the political spectrum.  Although my fiscal heart sits a smidge to the right side of moderate, for social issues I’m quite aligned with the Democratic party, and am registered as such.

I’ve written before about how much Ralph Nader gets my goat.  And it’s not necessarily because of his general role as spoiler, but that he was spoiler for MY candidate.  I suppose it’s fair to say that I like any spoiler, except when I’m vested in he for whom the spoiler works against.

But the campaigns of Ralph Nader, especially in 2000, have duly demonstrated the power of the political spoiler.

And now, I’ve got a spoiler I can get behind!

Bob Barr is running for president on the Libertarian ticket.  He’s got an uphill battle for sure — right now his campaign isn’t even certain they can get him on the ballot in all 50 states.  But people are loving him.  He’s garnering the attention of conservative Republicans, and independents are showing him a lot of interest, too.  Pollster John Zogby’s organization has done a really interesting poll that illustrates just how much influence Bob Barr might have in the ’08 election.

I don’t have the financial clout to max out my $2300 contribution limit for a candidate.  But Barack Obama‘s had a few bucks thrown his way from my wallet.  MoveOn.org Civic Action gets a few bucks when they are starting up a campaign I’m interested in (like now, they are about to embark on a big push in support of universal health care).  And today I decided to throw Bob Barr a bone, too.  If he can wreak half the havoc that Nader did in 2000, it will be money well-spent.

I’m also left to wonder how many of Ralph Nader’s political contributors were registered Republicans.


Ralph Nader, WTF?!

Seriously, Nader, WTF is wrong with you?

I’m not in any sort of disagreement that his previous life as a consumer advocate was noble, and he did lots of good.  Many people admire him for that, and I do, too.  Though he did help found OSHA, which while I personally think is a good thing, there’s lots of people who would disagree with me vehemently.

And, frankly, I don’t disagree with him much on his economic and politics.  Sure there’s some things we don’t see eye to eye on, but that happens with any two individuals.

But Ralph Nader, why are you doing this?  First of all, you’re 73.  My in-laws are 71 and in great health, and they have trouble committing to a one-year magazine subscription.  John McCain is also 71, and before he was even the front-runner the news continually brought up his age as a factor.  News flash, Ralph.  You’re older than him!  If you were to be elected, fat chance in hell that may be, you’d be 78 by the time your term was over.  And then re-elected?  That puts you at 82.  Come on – wouldn’t you rather spend your golden years playing golf?  Or is the problem simply that you’ve chosen work over personal life for so long, you simply lack the personal and social skills to enjoy any recreational pursuits?  Won’t that make you the life of the international summits!

Second and perhaps more importantly — you may dislike the Democratic front-runners, but do you like John McCain more?  Are you secretly a Republican at heart?  Your entry into the race promises to do nothing but siphon support away from the Democratic fringe.

I have to say, the very idea of you running yet again just smacks of vanity.  It reeks of desperation to cement your place in the history books.  You can’t believe it’s because you think you have a chance at winning, because you don’t.  Maybe you like the idea of being a spoiler again, like you were in 2000, and that’s just selfish on a monumental scale.  That’s basically screwing with the future of an entire nation so you can feel grandiose and influential and important.  I’m sure part of it is your real belief that you don’t like the candidates running, that the two-party system is flawed, yadda yadda.  Well, idealism sure is admirable to a certain extent.  My younger brother still is very idealistic and on a 25 year-old, it’s encouraging to see.  But as experienced as you are, and after the life you’ve lived, that sort of blind idealism is annoying and borderline pathetic.  Perhaps if you would get out of the way, someone without the political baggage and without one foot in the grave can do the work to change the world you’d like to see.

Really, I wish Tim Russert would have smacked you upside the head this morning.