Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ralph Nader Did Not Steal My Vote

Note: I wrote this just days before the '04 election as a guest editorial in my hometown newspaper. I'm sorry Bush won. But I'm not sorry I voted for Nader. The Democrats have moved back to the left a little, very little. But, at least it's in the right direction. I hope Dennis Kocinich stays in long enough for me to vote for him in the primary.

I got mail; Three e-mails in as many days. Each one foretold the end of the world as we know it, if I cast my vote for Ralph Nader for President. God, I hope so!

Each email listed reasons why Nader is stealing votes from Al Gore and just how terrible that is for the world at-large and the USA in particular. Well, I’ve one thing to say about that.

Ralph Nader did not steal my vote. He earned it; and Al Gore lost it by moving so far to the right. Al and W. agreed 40 times in the second debate. Wow. My ex and I didn’t agree that much in a month let alone one night! Maybe they should consider a long term relationship.

When Gore and the other members of the Democratic Leadership Council decided that winning an election was more important than the issues and people they used to represent . . . I refused to vote for them. Well, not right away, but now for sure.

The further the Republicans move to the right, the further the Democrats move too. Now, most everyone in politics represents unfettered businesses, without restrictions, like those nasty OSHA rules or sexual harassment policies.

Who represents me . . . The little gal who is trying to make a buck and leave the world a better place for people, not business?

I voted for Clinton eight years ago, hoping his centrist rhetoric was a clever ploy to get elected. I held my nose and voted for him again four years ago, even though he failed us miserably on healthcare, education, the environment and countless other traditionally Democratic, let alone Progressive, values. After all, a Dole presidency would be worse . . . right?

I wonder. I can’t even remember what the differences were between the two now. Probably the same as now...Maybe that says it all.

Most people don’t vote. They are on to something. They see a corrupted political system and don’t see a place for them.

I’m all fed up with the politics of “whatever it takes to get elected,” of sacrificing what we want for what will sell, of pushing “character” instead of policies. I’m tired of believing we’ll get anything out of a system that pays lip service to core family values but its puts lips to work on corporate rear ends. I’m just not going to vote that way any more. Al and W. may talk the talk, but they do not walk the walk.

The biggest forecasters of doom say that if I vote for Nader, we (Democrats, progressives) will miss opportunities to appoint supreme court justices with “big D” Democratic tendencies. Republicans have appointed Justices like Earl Warren and David Souter., Democrats have appointed justices like”Whizzer” White. Clinton’s appointees are progressive only in relation to Scalia and Thomas certainly not with Douglas, Marshall or Black.

Civil rights, women’s rights, disability rights were not won in the supreme court chamber. We won in the streets, where the injured made the uninjured so uncomfortable, they were forced to change. No supreme court leans left. The tides of change make them move that way.

Today’s politics is not about issues, not ideas, and certainly not ideals. It’s about money and image. Could Abraham Lincoln, or Janet Reno, or Madeline Albright run for President today? Naww. Not pretty enough, and if you’re not pretty enough, then you can’t raise the money. And, if you can’t raise the money, you might as well shoot your self in the foot. You’re not going anywhere.

We must have campaign finance reform before we can talk about real issues. Have you heard those words since John McCain dropped out? Only if you’ve been listening to Ralph Nader on C-Span, the only place he can get coverage.

I refuse to waste my vote on the candidate that raised the most money, or is the heir apparent, or has the best image. Substance, I want substance!

Yup, I’m willing to see Al Gore lose to get it. Maybe in the next election the Democrats won’t take my vote, and that of my fellow frustrated others, for granted. Maybe they will come back to our core working class values. I’m not budging.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen, amen, and AMEN!

Great blog. Now bookmarked!