What’s motivating Ralph Nader to run again for president?

Neatnessdotcom (via Flickr)Neatnessdotcom (via Flickr)Like many Americans, I lost respect for Ralph Nader after his campaign in 2000 siphoned votes away from Al Gore and… well you know the rest. That’s why the prospect of a new Nader campaign is so unsettling. The last thing that Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton need is a force pushing the party more to the left.

But the AP is reporting that the one-time consumer advocate plans to announce on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” that he plans to throw his hat in the ring yet again. Why? Well, his web exploratory committee’s Web site, which is offering a DVD featuring Nader and singer Patty Smith for a $100 donation, offers the usual Naderite rhetoric.

Maybe we’re wrong
Maybe the Democrats and Republicans will nominate Presidential candidates this year who will stand up against the war profiteers, the nuclear industry, the credit card industry, the corporate criminals, big oil, and the drug and health insurance industries.
We doubt it.
But hope springs eternal….
But one person is ideally suited to lead this grassroots force – if he chooses to do so and runs as the citizens’ candidate for President in 2008.
And that one person is Ralph Nader.

Actually no. The world has changed quite a bit over the past eight years because of Nader’s earlier run for the White House, and mostly not for the good. Nader isn’t the agent of change in this election. He’s an impediment to it.

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6 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Presidential Election, Ralph Nader, Republicans

6 responses to “What’s motivating Ralph Nader to run again for president?

  1. Based on years of work on the topic and some interactions with Nader, I speculate on his motives in the post and comments at:

    Instant Runoff Voting Excluded: An Unreasonable Omission from An Unreasonable Man. You might get some insight there.

  2. 4 Wise Men march with the people
    Washington DC

    Whistleblowers
    Honesty compassion intelligence guts
    Not carrots sticks coercive diplomacy

    Divided we fall
    Mike Gravel
    Dennis Kucinich
    Ron Paul
    Ralph Nader
    No bribery blackmail extortion

  3. what if someone’s most important issue is reigning in corporate power? i think it’s hard to make the case that obama or clinton are talking about that in even vague terms. what if someone believes that the half-assed clinton/obama healthcare reforms might spoil the chances for a real solution to the healthcare crisis – single payer insurance? why would you want to deny those people the option of voting for someone who represents their views? instead of attacking someone who’s right on the issues, you should be demanding instant runoff voting, the simple electoral reform that would simultaneously eliminate the spoiler problem and make our politics more democratic.

  4. Nader reached his nadir playing chicken in 2000. Look around you and see what that has cost us. When you’re trying to take the country back from fascists, you ought not to play with toy soldiers. Nader’s constituency is the scrap heap of history and, by shunning his ass, that’s where we can consign him.

  5. Deran

    Actually, blaming Nader for the Democrats crappy presidential candidates is just whiny bs. Had Gore not been such a hack, had he been a candidate like who he appears to be now, Gore would be president. Actually, if the Democrats were an actual existing opposition party they would have fought Bush in court and not let the GOP get away with that, Gore would be president. In the many states where Democrats tried to keep Nader of the ballot in 2000 and 2004 Nader is still carry out legal challenges to open up and make fairer bllot access lawas. The Democrats have nothing to say and rigeed voting systems or unfair ballot access laws.

    And I would feel a lot worse abrt being a values voter and voting for what I want, if over the last 8 years the Democrats had shown themselves to have any spine as an opposition party.

    Having said that, if former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney really gets the Green nomination, Nader would make a great VP candidate, or he should just sit this round out.

    Either a Nader or McKinney is a good thing for you Obamaniacs, they will help keep Obama honest, or authentic (assuming he is). With pressure from the left Obama won’t be able to run so far to the right in the general. And that way leftist values voters like me won’t be tempted to stray from the Democratic candidates.

  6. Steve Rudin

    Why didn’t Nader announce his run earlier so he could go through the same political process as the other candidates? If he spent time on the campaign trail, built a viable political following, then he would be a legitimate candidate
    He has not spent the time to build a political base, gone on the campaign trail, or participated in any debates. Every 4 years he just seems to appears out of no where like some sort of ghost from the past. If he gets enough people to take a “political suicide pill” and vote for him, they will be working exactly opposite to their best interests, when they end up helping to elect yet another Republican! For those who said in 2000 that there was really no difference between Gore and Bush, I would say they have been proved wrong!For a historical perspective: In 1968 many democrats wouldn’t vote for Humphrey because of the Vietnam War. By “staying home” on election day they helped us to get Nixon!

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