December 5, 2003
Take the Deal, Ralph!
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Here’s the bottom line reality: if Ralph Nader runs as a Green Party candidate for President or as an Independent candidate (which is apparently a recent consideration of his.), Nader’s candidacy will, in large part, be a tool of the RNC Campaign to Re-elect Bush.
Nader may run as an Independent, by the way, because some members of the Green Party (although not all) believe that Ralph has drunk the water:
So if Nader offers himself as an Independent, what happened to his justification of running for President to ensure that a viable third party, the Green Party, is established and qualifies for matching federal funds?
Over many years, Nader brought integrity, vision and ideals to a stale political process. At first, he built on his experience as a consumer advocate and ran on a mission to reform America and return power from crony corporate governance to the power and creativity of the individual.
Now it appears that the anti-ego candidate has either been baptized in the water of political self-importance or is involved in far more sinister motives: a grudge match against the Democratic Party that -- in its intensity -- far exceeds his concern for the future of America under an anti-democracy, repressive, polluting, lying, corrupt, theocratic Republican rule. Nader, of all people, should be daily railing against an illegitimate administration that combines the worst tendencies of a Soviet style police state with a Francisco Franco/Mussolini style of a few inside large corporations fusing themselves with the ruling party to determine the policies and regulations that govern this nation. That’s not a radical, extremist statement: that’s how radical and extremist the Bush Administration is.
Yet Nader only criticizes Bush and his anti-democracy cohorts when he takes a coffee break from vilifying the Democrats. Of course, since BuzzFlash slams "the Democratic wing of the Republican Party" on a daily basis, we are not unsympathetic to Nader's criticisms.
But the difference between us and Ralph is that we live in the real world of asking the question, "Who is going to rule this country after 2004?" Because if it is Bush who returns to the White House with a Republican Congress, we can kiss the great legacy of American democracy goodbye. We will likely become a Soviet/Franco/Mussolini style government that will require a second American revolution to overthrow the modern day Tories.
Anyone who thinks that Rove and the RNC WON'T be secretively doing everything that they can to support Nader either has a cabbage for a brain or is so blinded by idealism that they have become naïve puppets. Ralph's decision to run, which appears made out of his personal sense of entitlement (despite his spokesperson's standard political hedging), will probably accomplish only one goal: the election of George W. Bush in 2004.
In the 2002 election, the Chairman of the New Mexican Republican Party revealed -- before the RNC shut him up -- that he had been told to offer the state Green Party oodles of cash support. In Washington State, Republican operatives infiltrated the Green Party and were starting to rig the nomination process. This is probably only the tip of the iceberg.
The loyal, idealist Green Party supporters, who deserve our admiration, will be used to advance the interests of the Karl Rove 2004 victory strategy if they field a presidential candidate in 2004, or if Nader runs as an Independent. There is simply no way that they or Nader can keep the Republicans from financing either presidential bid and manipulating support through "cut-outs." That's the fact Jack, and Ralph knows it.
But let's assume for a moment that the NEW Ralph Nader, as compared to the sincere visionary of his earlier years is still idealistic and pure of heart (despite meeting with Grover Norquist and generally holding his fire against Bush.)
In this case, if Ralph really wants to move the progressive agenda forward in America, we have a deal.
BuzzFlash’s deal to Ralph Nader is this.
Nader’s espoused goal was to see the Green Party flourish as a third party. We say follow your dream Ralph. Let the Green Party run for positions at the state level and local level, as they already have begun doing. (The Green Party candidate recently came in second in the open primary for Mayor of San Francisco.) Let the Green Party win more elective offices (they currently are estimated to hold about 200 mostly minor offices) and show what they can do as a voice for progressive ideals.
Let the Green Party even take on Democrats who have sold out in Congress. Collect some scalps. Chase out the closet Republicans who disguise themselves as Democrats. Show that you can win, govern and redefine issues to gain broad political support. That is the democratic process at work.
But don't run for president in 2004. And if Nader is denied the Green Party nomination or chooses to turn it down and runs as an Independent instead, that is also our message to the Green Party as far as nominating a separate candidate for president.
BuzzFlash has many, many Green Party readers. We share most of their goals. We admire their idealism. We are as impatient as they are with the business as usual attitude of many Congressional Democrats -- epitomized by Tom Daschle -- during a time when democracy is under siege by an illegitimate executive branch and a congress run by radical extremists. We are in the midst of a national emergency that challenges the fundamental foundations of our democracy.
But a Ralph Nader or Green Party Presidential candidacy won't change the reality of this crisis. Indeed, it will likely put change beyond our reach after 2004, if Bush is elected.
As one of our readers wrote us:
Our response is that it is what the Republicans want -- and Nader is prepared to help them (knowingly or unknowingly) achieve their goal, because he will accomplish nothing else as a candidate.
If Ralph runs for president again, the GOP will be operating behind the screen of his candidacy, tossing money into his campaign and making sure that he gets as many votes as possible.
This isn't speculation. It is a fact just waiting to become reality.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original