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The answer is, of course, that he doesn't.  While he has not told this to me personally, of course, I have no doubt that he loves America.  Perhaps he loves America too much.

More from Wisconsin after the jump...

The Madison Capital Times reports this afternoon that Nader supporters are busy gathering signatures to place Mr. Nader on the presidential ballot in Wisconsin this November.  2000 signatures by September 2 is all it will take to add the one-time consumer advocate and current political pain-in-the-ass to have a chance to win it this time for sure.  Supporter Briana Nestler hopes to have 4000 signatures by the deadline, the Cap Times quotes her as saying.  This makes me think that perhaps Briana Nestler is the one who hates America.

A McCain supporter helps explain why I think that...

James Twine of Madison was among those who signed the petition. He says he's a supporter of Republican John McCain and wants Nader on the ballot to drain votes from Democrat Barack Obama. [emphasis mine]

Make no mistake; I think the ability to vote for one's personal choice is important, and the two parties that currently own our political system don't always offer up the best options.  I can recall candidates like John Anderson and George Wallace mounting legitimate campaigns that offered real platforms that differed from what the Republicans and Democrats were selling at the time.  I also seem to remember some recent presidential elections that were "won" by razor thin margins.  Alleged vote suppression and other dirty tricks aside, one can make the case (and many have) that Ralph Nader and his ne'er do well supporters put George Bush in office by siphoning votes from his opponents.  Many who voted for Nader proudly said they did so as a sort of protest to the two-party system.  Some of them probably wanted Nader to become president too.

If Nader had been in Wisconsin this year, campaigning and explaining why he should be president... sharing his platform of ideas... then maybe he would have a reason to be on the 2008 ballot that is better than because Briana Nestler collected more than the requisite 2000 signatures.  But he hasn't been here.  His continued playing of the gadfly role is frankly tiring.  I take nothing away from the great things he has done for the people of the world in terms of consumer safety and other areas of advocacy and service.  But today, this man is analogous to that uncle who shows up at every family holiday, drinks too much, and makes no apologies after the fact for the disruption he created.  At first, Uncle Ralph was the life of the party, the family bad boy who made you think twice about every day convention.  But over the years, the family grew tired of Uncle Ralph's shtick, because that's what it became:  shtick.

As for supporters like Briana Nestler, there is a family analogy for her too.  She's the once idealistic but now self-righteous (and perhaps petulant) child who insists on having it her way.  At one time, she was coddled for thinking outside the box and approaching things from a different and even valid perspective.  But, like Uncle Ralph's one-note song, eventually this gets tiring.  What was idealistic is now destructive.

There was a time not so long ago when I would have taken issue with the statement that voting for Nader was throwing one's vote away.  Everyone gets to vote however they wish, and so who am I to say someone else's choice is a wasted opportunity?  But today, I no longer see it that way when it comes to Ralph Nader.  Uncle Ralph had his time, and made his impact.  Now, all he is doing is fucking things up for both major party candidates and, thus, for the American people.  I do believe Ralph Nader loves the United States of America.  I only wish he loved it as much as he appears to love himself and the media attention his antics give him.

cross-posted on Kerfuffle

Originally posted to Kerfuffle on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:56 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And you must hate yourself (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie53523, Fight or Die

    and the rest of us for writing this diary with a 'catchy' title and enticing us to skim through it.

    'A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.' ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Apocalypse Please on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:58:02 PM PDT

  •  Eh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ralph Nader is SO 2000.  ;-)

  •  I heard him on NPR last week... (6+ / 0-)

    Other than "I should run for President," I agreed with almost everything he said.

    Of course, that is a major disagreement...

    I'm not a Democrat, I'm a liberal. Democrats go to meetings.

    by willie horton on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:59:59 PM PDT

  •  Given that McKinney's on the ballot here already, (4+ / 0-)

    since the Green p[arty has an established line (Libertarians too,) anyone wanting to cast a 3d Party vote was going to anyway, Nader or no Nader.

    Socialist party candidate Brian Moore will likely also qualify for the Wisconsin ballot.

    This is a test of the Emergency Free Speech System.
    This is only a test.
    If this had been an actual emergency, I'd already be locked up.

    by ben masel on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:03:14 PM PDT

  •  Instant runoffs (5+ / 0-)

    These days, the instant I hear Nader's name I run off and fight for more progressive democrats.

    Not that the 2 party system's good.  Just that it's what we've got.

  •  nader love only nader (7+ / 0-)

    he don't give a shit anymore about the issues he once championed. He's bankrolled by republicans and is loyal only to his money men. He'll run until he dies, ignore the old publicity bum.

  •  Mr. Nader loves Mr. Nader more (5+ / 0-)

    My suspicion is that Mr. Nader loves Mr. Nader more than he loves America.

    Keep in mind that if the Nader voters in 2000 in either New Hampshire or Florida had voted for Gore, he would have clearly won the election.

    •  Florida, at least (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think I remember seeing NH exit polling that shows that not enough Nader voters there listed Gore as their second choice to have given the state for him were Nader not on the ballot.

      NH is kinda a weird state politically.  If memory serves, Nader drew in a larger number of people who otherwise would have been Bush supporters than he did in most other states (at lest if you trust the exit polling).

      •  I imagine exit samples of Nader voters (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        newfie53523, trashablanca, WayneNight

        would have been too small to put a lot of faith in results.

        This is a test of the Emergency Free Speech System.
        This is only a test.
        If this had been an actual emergency, I'd already be locked up.

        by ben masel on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:30:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Possibly true? (0+ / 0-)

          I honestly have no idea.  I read about this years ago, when I was a freshman in college and writing a term paper about the 2000 election.

          The only reason I brought it up is that, from what I understand of NH, people have views there that are "unique" enough for me to honestly beleive that a lot of Nader voters might have had Bush as their second choice.

          However, you're probably right about the exit samples being too small for us to draw conclusions.

          •  See my response to KLS. (0+ / 0-)

            Had you only known me back then ... man, you'd have had a kickass term paper.

            But then, your professor probably wouldn't have understood it.

            I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

            by UntimelyRippd on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:43:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  keep in mind, as i tirelessly try to get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      people to do, that you are postulating a first-order counterfactual history. which is to say, you are claiming that if Ralph Nader had not been running:

      a. The other candidates would have said and done exactly the same things.
      b. Whatever the press would have written would have affected the electorate in exactly the same way.
      c. The exact same voters would have shown up at the polls with the exact same opinions (except for the ones who believed that they would not have voted at all, had Nader not been on the ballot).

      Since neither a, b, nor c is true, your counterfactual history is an exercise in meaninglessness.

      For example, if Nader had not been in the race, perhaps Gore would have continued to allow the DLC to run his campaign careering down the right lane of the political highway, and lots of Gore votes would have been lost to disillusioned stay-at-home votes. And perhaps if Nader had not been posing a threat, lots of Gore votes would not have been motivated by fear to get off their couches. Perhaps Nader's assertion that there was little difference between the two candidates motivated the Gore campaign to sharpen it's presentation of the real differences, which led some of the morons in the middle to choose Gore. There is simply no way to know. You don't know. I don't know. Nobody knows, one way or another.

      This is, incidentally, exactly the same argument that blows holes in the various claims by HRC supporters that "if" there had been no caucuses, or "if" Edwards had not been in the race, HRC would have won this, that or the other thing. Actually, all evidence suggests that if any of those counterfactuals had applied, the HRC campaign would have been mismanaged correspondingly, while the Obama campaign would have been well-managed correspondingly, with the expected result that Obama would have won in any case.

      As the baboon in The Lion King says to Simba: Look harder.

      Oh, I lied. I'm not tireless in trying to communicate this. Actually, I'm so tired of it that i can barely stand to do it anymore. But now and then I push myself.

      I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:42:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe it's just me... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikolo, UntimelyRippd

    but wouldn't it be easier to reach out and listen to the concerns of voters who are disillusioned with the two party system rather than demonizing third party candidates and voters? Or maybe work toward a more equitable voting system, such as approval or range voting, that would reduce the 'spoiler effect'?

    I'm sure not every Nader voter is a disgruntled nutjob out to derail Gore in 2000 or Obama now, and plenty of them, surprisingly enough, might actually have valid reasons for feeling disenfranchised by both of the major parties. I'm not suggesting that a candidate should violate his or her core principles simply to attract third party voters, but calling them spoilers who are out to make a statement doesn't really make them feel all warm and fuzzy or any less disillusioned with the system.

    •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

      To me, the damning issue here is not that there are disenfranchised voters looking for an alternative.  I'm OK with that.

      My issue with Nader specifically, and the reason I tossed up the diary, is the underhanded aspect characterized by this gentleman, as taken from the Cap Times article...

      James Twine of Madison was among those who signed the petition. He says he's a supporter of Republican John McCain and wants Nader on the ballot to drain votes from Democrat Barack Obama. [emphasis mine]

      The people circulating petitions to get Mr. Nader on the ballot may in many cases have the best intentions.  As Mr. Twine of Madison points out, not all the signers of the petition have the best intentions as far as Mr. Nader becoming a candidate are concerned.

      dissent not only welcome... but encouraged

      by newfie53523 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 04:44:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nader is demonized (0+ / 0-)

      because he's a serial liar and a Republican tool, and not just because he's a third-party candidate.  

  •  he, like mcgovern did wants america to come home (0+ / 0-)

    So join with me in this campaign. Lend Senator Eagleton and me your strength and your support, and together we will call America home to the ideals that nourished us from the beginning.

    From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America

    From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America.

    From the entrenchment of special privileges in tax favoritism; from the waste of idle lands to the joy of useful labor; from the prejudice based on race and sex; from the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of  the neglected sick -- come home, America.

    Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.

    Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this "is your land, this land is my land -- from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters -- this land was made for you and me."

    So let us close on this note: May God grant each one of us the wisdom to cherish this good land and to meet the great challenge that beckons us home.

    And now is the time to meet that challenge.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:59:36 PM PDT

  •  Nader loves America, it been berry berry good to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie53523, Mia Dolan, oceanstar17


    America has allowed Nader to become a millionaire, shaft his staff with union busting, poor salaries and no benefits, and take money from Republican financiers.

    Yes, America has been great to Nader. And as a result, Ralph is content not to change America at all, but use it as a platform for his Nader brand of whine and expensive cheese.

    What Nader does hate about America is change-- the kind of change that would make people tune his whining out because his message would be obsolete. So, yes, Nader loves and hates America. But I do know Ralph hates you and me, and everyone else who really wants to change this country because that would make Ralph the professional whiner obsolete.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 04:24:33 PM PDT

  •  Bottom line: Nader is a fuck-face (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie53523, Mia Dolan

    He is a fuck-face. I've written here several times about his hypocritical behavior. The bottom line is that he wants to destroy the Democratic Party because it moved on without him. At some point in the last three decades he became bitter because his influence declined. And so now he wants to take it out on everyone else.

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