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Commentary :: DNC : Environment
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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