Democrats can guarantee Ralph Nader won't play spoiler by embracing him

Ask your average Democrat their thoughts about Ralph Nader and most will respond with disgust that he is the man that handed George W. Bush the Presidency of the United States. And in one way of viewing it, they would be absolutely correct.

But in another way, they would be wrong. Because by not embracing the ideals of Nader, the Democratic Party opened up the door for many liberal voters to vote their conscience rather than common sense.

At the Federal level, at the very least, the American political system is rotten to the core. This is why Nader believes that running another third-party campaign is valuable. However, there is a great deal of truth to the thinking that between now and election day, that political system will not be undergoing any radical change. That change will require a great deal of work, and one wonders what someone like Nader could accomplish if he focused his final great work on changing that system.

"I'd have a lot more respect for him if he made a concerted effort to make this point—and endeavored to either galvanize a vibrant third party or progressivize the Democratic party—in between elections, instead of popping up once every four years to indulge a vanity campaign," wrote Melissa McEwan.

But here is another truth - Ralph Nader is running anyway. And while his candidacy will likely not produce anywhere near the amount of votes as it did in 2000 or even 2004, it will once again drain votes away from the Democratic nominee, whether it be Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

There is a way to stop that, however. The Democratic Party could embrace Nader and his beliefs. A look at his Web site, or his campaign site shows issues he stands for, and it's hard to imagine any liberal in the nation disagrees with any of them. The only "liberals" that do disagree with them, for the most part, are Democratic elected officials, Democratic leaders and the candidates.

The U.S. has been Conservatized over the years to the point where Nader is now heading to a land populated by those like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. He has been ignored and defamed to the point where even some staunch liberals view him as a radical. But he's not. He's a liberal. And he's not yet been demonized to the point that only those in foreign countries will allow him a place to speak, ala Chomsky.

The Democratic Party could ensure a landslide victory over John McCain if Obama or Clinton took Nader's view on the issues to heart:

On Abortion:No government role; let women privately decide.

On the Economy: Top priorities: Infrastructure; poverty; preventive health.

On Gay Rights: Get rid of gay discrimination fully, not halfway.

On Foreign Policy: Support human rights as cornerstone of US foreign policy.

On Health Care: 3.5% payroll tax to fund universal healthcare.

On Corporate Welfare: End perverse incentives that reward Wall Street speculators.

On the Iraq Occupation: Rapid and responsible withdrawal of U.S. military from Iraq. Hold Bush accountable for torture & illegal war.

Could you imagine? After all, on every single one of the issues, the majority of Americans agree. These are not radical positions, regardless of what the mainstream media and Republicans would have you believe.

Of course, this all amounts to little more than navel-gazing. The Democratic Party is only the party of the people in the sense that the Republican Party is the party actively against the people. The Democratic Party as it stands today is the Republican Party of 1978 and the only corporate reform it seems truly interested in is that corporations give Democrats more money.

Nonetheless, it would be a simple way of making Nader not just a non-factor, but making him a supporter. And it would force John McCain and the Republican Party to take a strong stand against every one of those issues, showing plainly and clearly to all Americans just how radical and obscene the modern conservative movement has become.

In the end, it's the responsibility of Democratic voters to demand that their nominee runs proudly on a platform that is liberal and stop shaking in fear that Republicans will call them names for it.

Don't vote for Ralph Nader - but force the Democratic Party to embrace many of his views.

--WKW

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus