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View Diary: AZ Nader ballot update (208 comments)

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  •  This Nader thing leaves a sour taste in my mouth (3.72)
    ...but it's not coming from Nader. Rather, this whole Nader backlash thing makes me embarrassed to be a liberal. As a resident of Virginia in the last election, I voted for Nader. Just like the majority of other states, my vote did not matter. I voted for Nader because I liked what he said better than any other candidate. To vote for any other reason is a waste of the freedoms our country affords us. Beyond his platform, I also voted for the principle that additional parties would lead to more coalition building within government and, in my view, to help my views become public policy.

    That said, I do not intend to vote for Nader in this election, even though Kerry is sure to win the District of Columbia by the widest margin in any jurisdiction that provides electors. While I am not super enthused by Kerry, I am less enthused by Nader (and very unenthused about Bush). But in our zeal to crucify Nader, we're just revealing the very worst in ourselves. This very site promotes a lot of the Dean-style changes to the party that Nader complained about in 2000. The way I see it, all these attempts to personally destroy him also serve to discredit everything he stands for--even those views which are unquestionably good.

    Before I get derided too heavily for being overly optimistic about the possibilities of politics, I have a few general questions:

    1. Where's the evidence that Nader is connected to this? On my first reading that 90% of the signatories were Republicans, my thought was that GOP operatives went out on their own to get Nader on the ballot. Having some experience with Nader's organization four years ago, this report smacked of outside influence.
    2. How can people seriously run this ego card? I'm sure John Kerry (or Howard Dean, for that matter) is perfectly altruistic in his quest for the Presidency. In fact, I bet every non-Nader candidate is just seeking what's best for the American people. Every election, from sorority president on up, is based--in part--on the ambition of the candidate. I'm sure it's a huge ego boost to have but 2% of the population voting for you and thousands more calling you the devil. Were I constitutionally eligible, I'm sure I'd join right in, because that sounds like a load of fun.
    3. Where are your god damned principles? When did we change from the party of the people to the Communist party of Russia, where we all but shoot people if they vote 'incorrectly?' Did our party die with Paul Wellstone? Was it dead before then? Additional candidates may not be good for our causes in this election cycle, but a myriad of candidates are good for the United States, in the long run. If the Federalist papers are to have any weight, I don't know how we can continue to say that two political parties serve all of the factions of population. Destroying people for seeking office when you don't want them to only serves to weaken our influence on the political universe.
    Again, I'm not supporting Nader this election, and I intend to vote for Kerry. I dislike Bush as much (nay, maybe more as his policies and budget issues have prevented me from getting jobs twice) as most. I'm just sayihg that we should be fair in our criticisms and should avoid the venom and self-righteousness in our partisanship that so defines the other party.
    •  There's ego, and then there's EGO. (2.66)
      How can people seriously run this ego card? I'm sure John Kerry (or Howard Dean, for that matter) is perfectly altruistic in his quest for the Presidency.

      I suppose we should all know by now that the kind of person who's willing to pretend "there's no difference between the parties" will also refuse to see the difference between the kind of ego it takes to run for president and actually having a chance at winning and whatever it is Nader's got going on in his bean.

      •  kind of people (3.50)
        This is exactly the kind of comment I'm talking about. While I disagree with most Republican policies and goals, I do not think that Joe Schmoe Republican is out to destroy the country (though I do think that that's what many of the policies enacted can do [c.f. PATRIOT act, etc.]).

        I love how it takes just 160-odd years to throw away all of the good of J.S. Mill. Remember that bit about "the truth" and "the right" and how possession of them is not absolute? It's easy to dismiss out of hand any arguement by saying that "that kind of person" can't see facts accurately. I hate to be dramatic, but that kind of argument sounds like--and has the virtol of--so many segregationists claiming that "that kind of person" shouldn't be allowed to think, let alone go to school.

        Nothing like discourse that spirals into name calling. I love being called stupid for holding on to the Great Ideas that helped shaped republican democracy. But, I guess like the Geneva Conventions, they've become "quaint."

        •  Don't be surprised . . . (3.00)
          When democrats who are labelled "tweedle dee" (or is it tweedle dum?), "no different than republicans", "captive[s] of corporate interests", "warmongerers", part of a "two party duopoly", and part of a "corporate party with two heads wearing different make-up", react negatively.

          I mean, why would you expect any positive discourse starting from that point?  Nader doesn't engage in discourse, he engages in sanctimonious namecalling, and trades in silly, demonstratively false characatures of democrats.

        •  Thin air in the ivory tower. (none)
          I love how it takes just 160-odd years to throw away all of the good of J.S. Mill....

          And I love how pointing out that the fact that Nader's ego comes from a different place than some others degenerates into this kind of pseudo-intellectualism.

          Seriously. J.S. Mill? Great Ideas? Geneva Conventions?

          And we're supposed to believe that you "hate to be dramatic?"

          •  Um... (none)
            Isn't this what every other Dem is bitching about. I mean, even though the Pour House treated me well tonight, I'm still pretty sure that the Geneva Conventions aren't some Ivory Tower bullshit but are rather ends which all humankind should strive for. If believing in liberal democracy and insisiting that all countries comply with international treaties that prevent torture make me a fucker who went to college, then I'd hate to think what you'd think of me otherwise.  What kind of a world is it in which defending a candidate that you don't support in practice--but you support their candidacy in principle--makes you flame-bait in a community you generally count as politically and intellecutally sound?
            •  Army of straw. (none)
              I suppose you can lean on the drinking if you like, but if you can sober up and show me how Ralph Nader's ego is connected to J.S. Mill, the Geneva Conventions, and all the rest of the "ends which all humankind should strive for," we'll have a game on.

              What kind of a world is it in which discussing the ego of a candidate that you don't support in practice makes you flame-bait among a community of self-important pseudo-scholars.

              We all went to college. We're all politically and intellectually sound. So, as I was saying, you can drop the pickup lines about J.S. Mill and get down to business. Tell me why the fact that all politicians have egos means anything in terms of whether or not Nader is a special case.

              Bonus points if you can do it without quoting anybody or pretending I've offended some great, underlying principles of representative government by commenting that I think might be more egotistical than some others.

    •  "Truck pulls" (none)
      From a Time article:

      But Nader's Virginia campaign coordinator, Jim Polk, knew where to find a mother lode of registered voters willing to put their names on a Nader petition. "Truck pulls," Polk said, patting his well-traveled clipboard as he suggested a quintessential red-state event. "People think they're doing George Bush a favor if they sign these. I've had some of my best luck at truck pulls."

      --- My opinions are my own and not my employer's.

      by Aexia on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 09:23:33 AM PDT

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