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Nader to run for U.S. president again

Boss Hog

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Nader to run for U.S. president again
Democrats fear activist's inclusion is a boost for Bush


WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced today he will run again for the U.S. presidency, declaring that Washington has become "corporate occupied territory" and arguing there is too little difference between the Democratic and Republican parties.

Nader, who will turn 70 this week, said he contemplated retirement but decided against that. "I've decided to run as an independent candidate for president," he announced on NBC's "Meet The Press.''

"This country has more problems and injustices than it deserves," Nader said, bemoaning a "democracy gap." He said he needed to get into the race to "challenge this two-party duopoly.''

"There's too much power and wealth in too few hands," he said . "They have taken over Washington.''

"Washington is now corporate occupied territory," Nader said. ``There is now a for-sale sign on most agencies and departments. ... Money is flowing in like never before. It means that corporations are saying no to the necessities of the American people. ... Basically, it's question of both parties flunking.''

Asked if he would withdraw if he concluded his candidacy would merely ensure President Bush's re-election, Nader told interviewer Tim Russert, "When and if that eventuality occurs, you can invite me back on the program and I'll give you the answer.''

Nader decided against running under the banner of the Green Party. His candidacy four years ago has been blamed by many Democrats for costing Al Gore the election against George W. Bush.

Last week, Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe revealed that he had met with Nader several times urging him not to run.

Asked if he was getting into the race to be a spoiler, Nader replied: "A spoiler is a contemptuous term, as if anyody who dares to challenge the two party system .. is a spoiler, and we've got to fight that. You can't do that from the outside, ... You've got to fight that from the inside as well.''

"Let me say, this is going to be difficult," said Nader, who planned a round of interviews after his announcement. "This isn't just our fight. This is a fight for all third parties ... They want to have a chance to compete. This is not a democracy that can be controlled by two parties in the grip of corporate interests.''

Third party candidacies have been a greater part of presidential politics in recent years; businessman Ross Perot twice ran for president, winning 19 percent of the vote in his first try in 1988 against George Herbert Walker Bush and Michael Dukakis.

"It's his personal vanity because he has no movement. Nobody's backing him," New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson said Sunday in advance of Nader's announcement.

"The Greens aren't backing him. His friends urge him not to do it. It's all about himself," Richardson told "Fox News Sunday.''

"Now, Ralph's made some great contributions to consumer issues over the years, but clearly it's not going to help us," he said. ``I don't think he'll have a sizable impact, but it's terrible if he goes ahead because it's about him. It's about his ego. It's about his vanity and not about a movement that supposedly he headed for many years very effectively.''

As the Green Party's nominee in 2000, Nader appeared on the ballot in 43 states and Washington, D.C., garnering only 2.7 percent of the vote. But in Florida and New Hampshire, Bush won such narrow victories that had Gore received the bulk of Nader's votes in those states, he would have won the general election.

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I'm glad he's running... I hope he wins, though i'm sure the brotherhood of the skulls won't let it happen!


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I'm glad he's running too.. but he should pull out before the election if it looks like Bush is getting gold or else it will do more harm to the progressive movement than good.


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Subversion of corporate domination will not happen at the top level. If Nader did get into the Oval office I would be surprised if he made it through his first day alive ..



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Originally posted by oddmyth
Subversion of corporate domination will not happen at the top level. If Nader did get into the Oval office I would be surprised if he made it through his first day alive ..


I agree
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Ditto Much

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if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is anywhere near it ...

who cares nadar your party stands less of a chance then the communists


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I don't really know much about ralph, but i thought this article was interesting.


The Lone Ranger Of Righteousness

By Paul Loeb, AlterNet
February 22, 2004

It's my right to run.

This is Ralph Nader's core case in announcing his 2004 presidential candidacy. Yes, Nader has a legal right to run. He also has a legal right to donate $100,000 to the Republican Party and become a Bush Pioneer, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

So much of Nader's career has been built on reminding us of our common ties. It's wrong, he's argued, for companies to make unsafe cars, pollute our air or pillage shared resources. Actions have consequences, he's pointed out with persistence and eloquence.

Now, he's taking the opposite tack, fixating on his own absolute right to do whatever he chooses, while branding those who've argued against his running as contemptuous censors, who "want to block the American people from having more choices and voices." This argument would seem familiar coming from an Exxon executive. Coming from Ralph Nader, it marks a fundamental shift from an ethic of responsibility to one of damn the consequences, no matter how much populist precedent he tries to dress it up with.

The reasons to defeat Bush escalate daily. The administration enacts regressive tax cuts; wages pre-emptive wars and lies about their justification; hacks away at civil liberties and appoints hard-right judges to shut down challenges; and undermines the union movement. The Bush administration attacks root structures of democracy by disenfranchising tens of thousands of Florida voters, redistricting dozens of Texas, Pennsylvania and Michigan Congressional seats in raw power grabs, and jamming Democratic phone banks in New Hampshire. It brands those who oppose it as allies of terrorism.

That doesn't even count global warming, which (as sources from Fortune Magazine to the New York Times and a Pentagon study have recently warned) now brings the potential for melting polar ice caps to shutting down the Gulf Stream and plunging Europe and northeastern North America into a man-made ice age.

How can Nader know this and still run? He says he'll raise the otherwise buried hard issues. He says he'll bring disenchanted citizens back into politics. He offers Byzantine explanations of how he'll actually help defeat George Bush by raising fresh subjects and approaches, opening up "a second front of voters against the regime," and offering an alternative for moderate Republicans. But he can raise the issues on his own, as he has throughout his life. He can do it without critiques of the "two-party duopoly" that may discourage some for voting for the Democratic nominee. He can do it without offering the illusion that a purely symbolic vote will do anything to get Bush out of office.

Nader seems to have forgotten his own historical contribution to a different, more hopeful path, where he encouraged thousands of citizens to join in challenging illegitimate actions of power. He once recognized that progressive politics gathers its strength from the breadth of citizen movements. Now he acts with an almost messianic fervor, a Lone Ranger intent on holding onto his own moral purity whatever the pleas of his compatriots. By denying the real choices we face, he betrays the best of his legacy.

Will Nader's candidacy ultimately matter? Maybe not. Many of his supporters have bolted. He may not get on the ballot in every state. But if the 2004 election is as close as it was in 2000, his candidacy could still have a devastating impact. The Nader vote made the difference in New Hampshire and Florida, and his support in states like Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, New Mexico and even California forced Al Gore to divert time, money and resources away from other close races he might well have otherwise won.

Assuming the admittedly flawed John Kerry becomes the Democratic nominee, progressives do not have to support him blindly. We can work to unite historically separated progressive movements and keep raising core issues no matter who's elected in November. But this election we're faced with as critical a choice and challenge as we've experienced in our lifetime. It's too bad that by prizing his own righteousness over the risks of his actions, Ralph Nader has just made that challenge a little bit harder.

Paul Loeb is the author of "Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time."


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Originally posted by oddmyth
If Nader did get into the Oval office I would be surprised if he made it through his first day alive ..
Word of advice: Don't eat the pretzels!

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Originally posted by Neo-Marxist
Even if Nader did win, he wouldn't be president. The Electoral College would make sure of that.

I think Diebold has more power than the electoral college because they are a more low profile element in the election outcome. I'd say between the two & the Supreme court, it will be a miracle of democracy if anyone but Bush wins.


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Originally posted by whatwaytoturn
I think Diebold has more power than the electoral college because they are a more low profile element in the election outcome. I'd say between the two & the Supreme court, it will be a miracle of democracy if anyone but Bush wins.

I don't disagree with you, but the Electoral College was set up to make sure that the great unwashed wouldn't vote in a leader that appealed to their basest instincts. Nader could be interpreted as one such leader because he goes against the common good -- which in Madisonian terms means Nader threatens the institution of private property. God bless Madisonian democracy!


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I agree 100% that the EC was put in place as a contingency to ensure "democracy" does not get to a point where it's too out of synch with ruling class interests. I'm just saying that the contingency plan is now spreading to other levels that are more subversive and less accountable.