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Commentary :: Politics
Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
Why does Nader say he’s running again? “To take our democracy back from the corporate interests that dominate both parties,” same reason he always ran. So why are so many people on his case?

Nader Announces 2004 Bid!

By Pete Stid Feb 2004

      Why does Nader say he’s running again? “To take our democracy back from the corporate interests that dominate both parties,” same reason he always ran. So why are so many people on his case? The corporate media is all abuzz about Nader “ignoring the pleas” from democratic quarters that would rather have him stand down. One paper, the Rutland Herald in Vermont has a story that begins, “To the dismay of Democrats and progressives…Ralph Nader announced…he will run for President.”

      The main argument democrats have against Nader concerns the number of votes he garnered in Florida and New Hampshire in the 2000 race. They argue that if some or all of those votes had gone to Gore, he would have won the election. Some critical observers believe that Gore slit his own throat with a flat campaign that didn’t even triumph in his home state of Tennessee, and still others assert that Gore actually won in Florida, making Nader’s interference a non-issue.

      To be sure, there are a certain number of voters who would oscillate between Kerry and Nader in the final election, but this will be a decision concerning strategy, not the quality of the candidates. In swing states there will be a difficult choice between the strategy of “anyone but bush,” and the strict "vote of conscience" play, but in less contested states the latter strategy will carry the day. Nader could make some headway in his goal to create a viable third party in America, as well as a system that allows more third parties to form. Massachusetts in the 2000 election gave Nader 173,564 votes, Gore 1,616,487 votes and Bush 878,502. With that kind of Democratic landslide Massachusetts voters can feel free to fly their true colors at the polls this year, put aside the “lesser of two evils” compromise and still rest assured that the state will turn in a pro-Kerry result.

      There is also a chance that Nader will be able to participate in Debates sponsored by the new Citizens Debate Commission. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Kerry and Bush squirm on national TV? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a debate that addresses the real issues instead of the “two person interview” style used by the bi-partisan Commission for Presidential Debates? Even in this first spate of articles confirming Nader’s intention to run, there is a flurry of quotes condemning the corporate buyout of American politics and the weakness of the Democratic party when it comes to representing the people. In fact, his anti-corporate message is getting front page press all across the country and throughout the world.

What do Bostonians think of Nader, his anti-corporate message, and the state of third party politics in the USA?


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He Won't Get My Vote
23 Feb 2004
I voted Green last election. NOT THIS TIME.
Nader blew it. He should have announced his intentions months ago.
The most important vote of my life is this November. This country is in the wrong direction. Nader will apparently try to help Bush. Too bad.
I'll vote for the Democrat canidate.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
My inclination was to dismiss Nader's campaign as a foolhardy shot in the foot, but first I spent a few minutes at http://votenader.org. I was surprised by the clarity of Nader's reasons for running, and encourage Nader detractors to at least become familiar with the rationale of this campaign that they find so upsetting.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
Nader isn't doing anything to help build a third party this time around though--he's running as an independent, and the Greens will be running a candidate of their own. Last time I voted for Nader because I thought it would be useful to boost the Greens' visibility. Even if the Bush administration was not so frightening (this election is not a choice between a neoliberal and a neoconservative--it's a choice between a neoliberal and a proto-fascist), I would argue against the Greens running a presidential candidate. If they really want to get anywhere, they need to build a grassroots base--and that means running in local races that they can win. That's one of the ways the Christian right got where it did today.
I'm excited at the prospect
23 Feb 2004
The argument that Nader cost Gore the election is a hollow threat, and for the last time, Nader is NOT a spoiler. You don't ever hear anyone complain that Ross Perot was a spoiler for the '92 elections. and he got nearly 20 percent. For months, it was believed that he would BEAT Bush and Clinton. Perot cost Bush the election in '92, but you don't hear that.

Nader is right when he says that we need more voices in protests, in debates. More opinions, more ideas. There's more than one way to solve the problem, and there are definitely more than two ways to solve it, as well.

Why isn't Pat Buchanan a spoiler? Or Donald Trump? What about people who write in Mickey Mouse as their candidate? No one ever accused Mickey of being a spoiler. Democrats are just bitter that their guy was too wishy-washy to put up any real kind of fight. What kind of candidate loses his home state? If Al Gore was really different than Bush, then Ralph Nader's run wouldn't have mattered, because more people wouldn't have had to support him, and their conscience.

If the contest ends up being Kerry vs. Bush, then Kerry will end up losing, in the end, and the American people will end up losing, no matter which one they vote for. This is why I don't vote. This is why half of the country doesn't vote.

Maybe there's a new voter demographic in the making. The media loves to go on about Soccer Moms, or NASCAR Dads, or some niche group that will "swing" the election in a certain direction. Maybe this is the year of the Angry Liberal. I mean, we're apparently that "other" half of the country. The people who are sick of Wal-Mart coming into town and driving people out of business. The one who see their jobs go East, as well as South. The ones who are bankrupt, or starving, because of the high cost of heath insurance and prescription drug prices. The ones who are sick of seeing our soldiers die, needlessly, because of lies and poor planning. Maybe the ones who really don't care, and would rather let gays be legally married, and make this issue go away, especially when there's more important problems to solve. Kerry doesn't really promise us any of this, exept through lip service. Bush flat-out refuses us on this, as if to say we're not important enough to deserve these things.

What if it were Bush vs. Joe Lieberman? Would you really say that he's a clear alternative? Would you really be able to say that he's better than Bush? You can throw "what ifs" all day, and nothing will change. To accuse Ralph Nader of one of those "what ifs" is just self denial. Those of us in 2000 were taking a stand, that we weren't going to let the Democrats take us for granted. Now, if we let the Democrats get to us with scare tactics, then they will have proved their point: they CAN take us for granted, and get away with it. And we'll be the fools who fell for it. And that's why I support Nader's decision to run. So let's put aside our rhetoric, and our baseless accusations, and really work for some change in this country. Because Kerry ain't it.

Nader speaks the truth. Truth hurts most in denial.
23 Feb 2004
I'm stoked that the ball is rolling. The whole prison planet, nepitism and corporate mentality has caused enough damage.

The youth are getting restless.

boycottbush.net
Don't get down on yourself
23 Feb 2004
Last time I waisted months of my life arguing with friends and neighbors about the election. When it comes down to it, we know that the system is rigged and the result will be the same, even if the faces change. I regret waisting so much time on it when I could have been helping build community and tear down that system. I don't worry about blaiming folks for who they vote for or wheather they vote or not. It is not their fault that we have these shitty choices. It is the fault of the motherfuckers on top. The world will live in fear untill we nock them down, be they Republican, Democrate, Socialist or Green.
Nader is a fascist
23 Feb 2004
I believe Nader is an egotistical opportunist who is thwarting the progressive movement for his own gain. His own "Nader Raider" consumer and student groups are hierchically fascist and all but one of his 19 groups allow members to vote and challenges the leaders running them. He screams about political accountability, yet he's not running with any party and is not accountable to any institution. It's not just the "anybody but bush" mantra that is keeping me from voting Nader, I believe Nader is just another opportunist who is extremely egotistical. And as far as "anybody but bush"... I think that's the message we all need to follow. Defeating Bush should take precendence for the time being, most everything can wait until he is gone. I also suggest you check out these articles......

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0223-13.htm

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0223-07.htm

http://www.realchange.org/nader.htm#authoritarian
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
I for one will be voting for nader.
I refuse to subscribe to the notion that I only have two viable choices, Bushvis and Ker-head.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
I believe (somewhat optimistically) that the addition of Nader to the race opens a great opportunity to show liberals what their beloved Democratic party truely is. Nader didn't steal votes from Gore in Florida (someone else did that), he won votes because people believed in his message. Maybe, just maybe, another democratic loss will begin to spread the thought that a Republican-lite party is not a viable force in this election or any other for this matter. A brief look at Amerikan history will that parties are not eternal. The destruction of the democratic party is necesecary for any serious leftist movement to take shape, be it Anarchist, Communist, Socialist... whatnot. Until then, millions of people who would agree with us (I mean any movement fitting into the incredible vague leftists category) will still put their hopes for a viable, peaceful, and sustainable future in Democrats. This is not to say that I believe that the green party holds the answers to our problems (I personally don't believe in the state of any form), but that before we can decide what will happen after the "revolution" (for lack of better word), we must first overthrow our current oppressors; and our first step to this is to dismantle the Democratic party.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
voting for Nader is a complete waste, total pissing in the wind. Great he's idealistic, so what.
The lesser of two evils is the best we could hope for in this election. That is the sad truth.

We must stop Bush. Nader will do nothing to stop Bush. Look around, go to a fucking mall, who are those people voting for? The majority of them will go with fear and vote Bush. Yeah I am preaching fear here too, sorry but action has to be taken, Nader will do nothing aside for provide perfect little footnotes of pretty little accomplishments that will make very little difference compared to another 4 years of Bush's effect on the judiciary.

We can only hope that enough lefties vote for the Democratic party whoever the hell they nominate just to get rid of Bush. This is an uphill battle. And we only have a chance if we pull together. . If Bush gets another four years not a single one of you cannot say that we will not be completely fucked. If Bush wins you can kiss Abortion good bye.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
I used to think it's better to pick the lesser of two evils. In 1992, I voted dutifuly for Bill Clinton. As a result, we got Nafta, Gatt, Al Gore allowing tuna companies to put the Dolphin safe label on their cans, even if the tuna wasn't dolphin safe, Not to mention the increase of people being locked up for non-violent drug offenses, and 3 strikes your out.

To all of you who say voting for nader is a waste, Wrong!!! Not voting is a waste. Admitedly, I was going to go on a voters strike this year, untill nader made his announcement. (I probably would have voted for Kutsinich if he got the democratic nomination, however, since he's a democrat, can he really be trusted?)

Anyhow, as the band DEVO put it,

Freedom of Choice-Is what we've got.
Freedom from choice Is what we want.

Being stuck with Bush and Kerry as your choices, how different is that between picking either an Atomic Bomb,(which destroys everything) and a Nutron bomb (which kills people, but leaves buildings intact.)
Or choosing between a dictator supported by the US, or a religious fundamentalist bent on waging war against the west.

Or something dumb like Coke or Pepsi.

We have choices here!
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Feb 2004
Three things to add. One, to all of you who say beating Bush is priority, Kerry has this state wrapped up! Remember, in the electoral college its winner take all. Kerry will definitely double Bush's vote or more. So why not vote for a third party or independent? We can afford the votes here.

Second, to those who say beating Bush is priority and everything else can wait, what do you think will happen four years from now? (assuming Kerry wins that is) If Kerry slips up in office, and his record shows that he will be unpopular and unimaginative (never authored any legislation talks like a piece of wood), we will be faced with a pissed off populace and a Republican challenger. When are we going to try and change the two party system if not now? The beauty of the two party system is that it keeps a good balance, always keeps the people divided superficially, while the leadership is shaking hands behing the curtains.

Third, what are the Greens without Nader? Did they chicken out under pressure? Who else do they have with Nader's profile? Or are they choosing someone who is totally unknown so they wont "rock the boat" too much and bring the ire of the democrats?
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
24 Feb 2004
Fuck Nader, Kerry, and Bush their all part of the same system. Do you really think we as voters paly a hand in who governs us? In reality voting is the way were governed, it passifies energies that could be used for revolt, for change, for real representative elections. Electing a Democrat, Republican, or Independent wont change anything. The poeple must revolt and institute change for anything to really transform beyond our current system. Our government is dominated by imperialistic agendas and Nader will not be able to squash these dreams of oppression from the U.S Corporate Beasts. So, we need to get out there and get involved, active, and fight for change. Whether it be in education, ecology, or anti-globalization. The time is now!!! WAKE UP!!! Democracy is in shambles (revolt!!!) the time is now.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante - corrected proof
24 Feb 2004
I second the notion that if elected Kerry will simply serve as a scapegoat for the crises ahead. It would be poetic justice in a way, since Kerry, though not directly at fault for W's mess, has been complicit in it, most ntably by signing off on the carte blanche to wage war, for which he now cynically ducks responsibility by claiming deception by Bush, who claims deception by faulty intelligence. The popular line these days is "everyone thought Saddam had weapons." Former U.S. Marine and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter didn't, but no one, including Kerry, seems to want to remember that fact. Kerry can spew finely crafted propaganda until he's blue in the face, but it won't change the fact that he will not be making any significant changes to the way the U.S. has since time eternal pursued its cynical geopolitical strategy as the pawn of global capital. The sad thing here is that Nader (or Kucinich, for that matter), has no chance of winning. Whichever of Bush or Kerry is elected, the country will continue to waltz, a little to left, a little more to the right, towards a dark, violent future.
Not this time
24 Feb 2004
Nader appealed to me in 2004 because his issues were my issues. That fact has not changed. What has changed is the world under the damage done by the Bush reign. Our involvement in an illegal war, our civil rights threatened by conservative court-packing, and an economy in a continuous downward spiral has me saying "Anyone But Bush" this election.

While Nader appeals to my inner "Tyler Durden" from Fight Club I feel disappointed that he is running for the Presidency and not in solidarity against the Bush administration. His prescence in the playing field is minimal serving only to take vote from radical Leftists and idealists. I think realism needs to take precedence this election. My vote can't go to a one-issue candidate this time. I supress my own conpiracy-theory, revolution-starting idealism to cast my vote to a Democratic candidate that can start to reverse the damage done by Bush.
Re: Not this time, a response to all in favor of voting bush out, or even voting for nader
24 Feb 2004
so you want to be responsible for kerry being elected? are you prepared to tell the thousands, perhaps millions (as with clinton) he murders through air warfare, and brutal sanctions, that it was necessary because we had to get rid of bush?

are you prepared to explain to the countries who will be much further exploited through free trade agreements, are you prepared to tell foreign workers living in what resembles more and more slave conditions to provide us with sneakers and happy meal toys, that they are being oppressed in the name of progress?

this whole push for kerry is based on this bizarre, selfish need for a return to normality. bush is unique only in that he has made it apparent to the world and to much of the people living within the imperial war machine the true extent of american imperialism and world hegemony. clinton was MUCH more brutal then the 2 bush's combined, when you look at the numbers dead, and the strengthening of the american empire. bush put us in a deficit! bush finally brought what was once a an air slaughter, practically done by remote control, into a ground battle where the oppressed people of iraq finally have a chance to fight against the forces that have oppressed them for so long.

bush has put a dent in US imperialism, and put a dent in the american population, by sucking them out of their cozy comfort zone.

now, you have to understand, this is in no way an endorsement of bush; he is a bumbling idiotic warmongerer. but clinton was, and kerry will be, an extremely intelligent genocidal lunatic, with better strategies of oppressing the world and advancing the cause of the united states of america.

the answer isn't in voting for kerry, it is not in voting for bush; it's not even in voting for nader. all these candidates are doing are sucking energy out of street organizing, and shoving people who were once on the streets crying for an end to us imperialism, rooting for their favorite president of the united states of america.

this is the biggest danger we face.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
24 Feb 2004
All of this is meaningless if people would just throw down and elect Kucinich. That's why he's running as a Democrat, so not to jeopardize our chances against Bush. And yet, many people argued against electing Kucinich in favor of Dean, so as to have the best chances against Bush, as if it mattered before the general election!!! The primaries are the time for voting our consciences, and the contest is NOT over, no matter what the corporate media want us to think.
The contest is still on, and Kucinich has none of the ego problems that Nader does. www.kucinich.us
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
24 Feb 2004
Well, at least Ralph Nader didn't prove his manhood by going to war. (Why doesn't bush keep an intern under his desk the way Clinton did?)

If you ask me, Bush is the one with the ego trip. the man practically thinks he's the second comming.

All I have to say, is do what you must, but be prepared for the consequenses.
2 more cents
27 Feb 2004
Months ago, I decided to vote for "Anybody but Bush," and I actually held out a little hope to save the Democratic Party. With more progressive voices in the debates, with Dennis Kucinich, and Al Sharpton, not to mention Howard Dean's rise to the top and down again, it seemed that more important issues were being more attention. Alas, it was not to be. Thanks to that famous Scream Hard Round the News, the Democratic Party is once again the bastion of everything wrong in politics. Jon Kerry is very fortunate, and probably grateful, to have heard that scream.
It has been said that Ralph Nader's decision to run as President is nothing but a huge ego trip. But Nader has voiced his support, or at least approval, of Kucinich, and even Jon Edwards. But when Kerry is being branded as the "electable" candidate, the Best Shot to Beat Bush, and turns the election into chest beating over military records, then it should be clear that nothing is going to change, no matter who you vote for. We all saw, in 2000, how close the election was. Maybe it was so close, because we couldn't tell the difference between the two candidates. Ralph brought a real alternative to the election.
And he brings an even bigger difference to this election. He is the only candidate to have openly support gay marraige. That in itself is remarkable, for any politician these days. But where a politician will stop it at "no," Ralph goes on to talk about the real problems in this country. Like universal health care for all, not privatizing Medicare, Which will happen with Bush OR Kerry. The pharmaceutical companies have gotten a free ride from both parties, at the American taxpayer's expense. Even Gore would have done that.
You know why Democrats lose elections? Because if you're going to vote, and the choice is between an asshole who tells you he's an asshole, and an asshole who tells you he's a nice guy, you'd be more likely to vote for the asshole, because at least he's telling the truth. Democrats lose elections because they never offer a real alternative. Only wishy-washy half solutions that almost never fix the underlying problems. Clinton got NAFTA pushed through, and that was a Reagan/Bush issue. Gore agreed with Bush about almost everything. What choice? Kerry voted for the PATRIOT Act, and to ILLEGALLY give war authority to Bush. Read the Constitution. Only CONGRESS has the power to declare war. Never the President. Kerry is the Trojan Horse that will get Bush reelected. Ralph Nader need do nothing to make it happen. He is being wrongly blamed for 2000 for four years now, and enough is enough.
If anyone in this race is running for his ego, it would be Jon Kerry himself. He has had no real agenda, and has pretty much stolen and bastardized all of his supposed platforms, mostly from Howard Dean. He rails about special interests, and then it's reported that, of all the Democratic candidates, he has taken the most money from those special interests. He doesn't even mention which ones he's against. I guess the blanket phrase "special interests" was popular in the polls, so he decided to use it in his speeches. He's a hypocrite of the highest order, when he didn't start getting mad about the Iraq war, until it became fashionable to be mad about the Iraq war. Jon kerry is one of the problems, since he's at least partially responsible for the unprecedented power that Bush has right now. Guess he was looking towards the future, when he would be able to use that power for himself. Do we want such a person to be sitting in the Oval Office? We are having a hard enough time as it is trying to get rid of the Tyrant we have.
Case in point: Howard Dean decided to forego Federal matching money, as outlined in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, because he believed that he had enough of a grassroots following, that he would be able to raise more than the spending limits imposed by the law. Then Jon Kerry ALSO decides to forego Federal matching funds. Because he's that confident in his constituency? Not exactly. He happens to be married to Teresa Heinz, heiress of a ketchup fortune numbered in the hundred millions. If need be, he can always draw upon that. So much for populism.
As far as I can see, Jon Kerry stands for one thing: to make Jon Kerry President of the United States.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
28 Feb 2004
Nader has lost his shine. His latest action speaks more than anything; he is an egocentric who is willing to destroy any chance of electing a new administration.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
28 Feb 2004
Ralph isn't running to get Dubya elected again. Ralph's running because with the current two major candidates, you get a Dubya elected either way. Bush and Kerry are not that far apart. Both Kerry and Bush support NAFTA and GATT. Both Kerry and Bush support the war in Iraq. (Kerry claims he doesn't, but he VOTED for it) Both Kerry and Bush support the PATRIOT Act. (Kerry has openly praised it afterwards as well) Both Kerry and Bush are in favor of a continued embargo on Cuba. Kerry supports the Bush tax cuts. Kerry opposes Universal Health Care. The list goes on and on.
Nader is Great, BUT
04 Mar 2004
http://www.allpowertothepeople.com/msgs/RunRalph.shtml

I think Nader did a great thing for the Green Party and still is. Nader will force the Green Party to stand on their own, and continue to grow.

As an independent, I think that he will allow people who still have faith in the voting system (and without faith in the current candidates in the Dem and Repub parties) a viable option.

This year, I'm seriously considering simply not voting, because I am sick of people telling me that "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush, etc", but also because I don't believe our voting system is very precise anyway. Years ago, pre-Nader, I recall that the news reported that there was a 3-5% error. That, on top of the Diebold Corporation and their paperless trail, and with George's influence on particular states, really, there is no reason for me to get all worked up and voting in a system that simply doesn't work.

So, I'm not voting for anyone. It only really encourages the system anyway.
Vote anyway - stop complaining
10 Mar 2004
So many people won't vote this year saying that it won't change anything. What these people don't understand is that that is exactly what the Democratic and Republican parties WANT you to do. They expect a low voter turnout, so they can have these close elections that they like so much, to throw in our face to say the country is evenly divided down the middle. People would like to vote for Nader, but complain that the election is rigged anyway. If everyone who won't vote on Election day this year, actually decided to vote anyway, and voted for Nader, instead of a Democrat or Republican, then the election results would be more like this: 22% for Bush, 23% for Kerry, and 50% for Nader. There would be no close race. Nader would win, handily, if you just went to vote anyway.

By refusing to vote, you don't count as a voice of democracy, no matter how flawed ours happens to be.
Voting takes very little time out of your schedule, and it's something that you only have to do every four years. A nonvoter going to the polls doesn't take away from a Democrat, because the nonvoter gave up on the Democratic Party long ago. We have Clinton to thank for that. A hundred million votes that could go to Universal Health Care. A hundred million voices in this country saying, Stop the war. A hundred million strong force to kick special interests, like Halliburton, Bechtel, Sony, Microsoft, pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, the late Enrons and WorldComs, etc. out of our political process, making decisions for us, at our expense and their profits. Let's show Bush that this is a "focus group" you don't mess with.

Can you really spare fifteen minutes of your time this year? you won't have to make another decision for another four years like this. A vote for nobody is a vote for a Democrat. Or a Republican, for that matter. Every vote not cast is a vote to leave things as they are. Does anybody really want things to stay the way they are now? Even if you think that Nader won't win, vote anyway. If you think that Bush needs to be replaced at any cost, then vote anyway. The less we vote, the easier it is for BOTH Democrats and Republicans to get away with everything they've done for the last 20 to 30 years. Nuclear arms races, free corporate trade agreements, pre-emptive strikes against sovereign nations, tax cuts for the wealthy, a skewed heath care system that puts profits before people, looting Social Security, pollution in your backyard, the trampling of the liberties that we all take for granted in this country, the list goes on and on. The nonvoter is willing to let this all happen, and for what? to not miss out on fifteen minutes of the latest Survivor episode? Tape it, and VOTE ANYWAY. It's your patriotic duty.
Bring him on...
12 Mar 2004
I say, the more the merrier. If he's included in the debates, and gets any fairly decent media coverage, I think he's gonna add to the voting season, regardless of whether he "steals" the vote from Kerry.
And tho I'm almost an "anyone but Bush" voter, we deserve what we get; should Nader suck up enough votes to prevent Kerry from winning, it simply will mean that Kerry wont have run a strong enough campaign.
I'm hoping that Nader will bring more substantive debate to the season overall...
Too Late
14 Mar 2004
The problem with Nader is that he announce his candidacy too late. He should have declared himself while the Democratic primary was going on so that they would be pressured to present a slightly more liberal person. Instead we have Kerry and given the choice between the two i cant really support Kerry. I hate the Republicrats, they are in it togather. However I fear Bush more than any other candidate.
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
23 Mar 2004
I used to respect Mr. Nader, but I seriously have to wonder why he is screwing everything up. I'm not a Democrat nor did I vote for Kerry. I think Kerry is definitely agreat improvememt over Dubya. Was Nader paid off by the republicans?
Re: Nader Ups the Ante
08 Jun 2004
الله ما اكبر غلاك بنبض بحبك فؤادي
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08 Jun 2006
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