March 5, 2004
Hello Ralph, Hello Four More Years
(Wake Up Ralph!)
Bad News -- Rove, Bush and Company are happy now, and have good reason to be. According to an AP-Ipsos poll, Kerry's lead over Bush just went to Nader. (See SF Gate) So looks like we're looking at four more years of Bush, the end of abortion rights, possibly the end of elections forever, lots more wars, continued progression of the police state at home, increasing economic impoverishment for most, a drive for military domination of the world.
Thanks Ralph, very progressive. Now Ralph is really becoming a bummer. I was never quite for calling him a spoiler in the last election. I wished then that he would make a coalition with those closest to him who had a chance of winning, but I accepted his premise about how the country needs to be open to new parties. But now I think Ralph is in a cloud somewhere. Ralph, this is no longer relevant!
The content of what Ralph is saying is valid, that's what is seductive about his candidacy. Everything he said about corporations in the '70s is still true today, only worse. But the whole context of what he is saying has changed. It has changed in large part because of what he is doing. He himself changes the political dynamic. Paradoxically, he changes it in a way that materially, drastically worsens his own cause. Why can't he see this? And there he stands insisting that he has every right to be there; and sure he has the right to be there, but that's not the point. Sure the U.S. needs a real opposition party, but not a third party splitting whatever viable opposition there is to a criminal regime at a desperate moment. His logic for running sounds like some kind of ivory tower logic, some pure Platonic exercise. Your theories don't matter if the actual result of your action is the destruction of your stated agenda.
Ralph, come on! Wake up! 2004 compared to 1974 is a meta-reality. The universe has expanded in an accelerated evolution so that the world of 1974 is only a small element of the world we are now living in. Your theories about what is wrong with America are still valid, but your actions are out of touch with reality. You are dividing those who stand for those principles and aiding and abetting the crime syndicate that is now running the U.S. government. Wake up, Ralph!
In the 1970s Nader was effective. He used the power of the court to create changes in America which were largely beneficial. Safer cars, safer factories, the assertion of the responsibility and accountability that must be demanded of corporations as well as people. Those were great things. Running as a third party candidate in 2004 when Bush is running for a second term is not. It is delusional.
This is a very serious juncture in history. This is a confrontation between a corporate oligarchy that has asserted its right to rule as an autocracy and those who still believe in a democratic republican form of government. Yeah, Ralph, we know the Democrats and Republicans are the same in many ways, but not all of them in all ways. And this is no longer about Republicans and Democrats. This is about a fascist military police state, and the hope of resistance to it and the maintenance of whatever degree of freedom and justice is still possible.
Under pressure your true character asserts itself and through your actions you create your destiny. For Kerry, there is a chance to rise to the call of history, to rise beyond his privileged faction and become a leader for the real majority of Americans. He could do that, or he could cave in and cleave to his Skull & Bones Yale good ole boy network.
As for George W. Bush, I hate to even contemplate the existential choices of the man. I see virtually no chance for him to ever become more than a spoiled brat whose great joy in life is flaunting how much he can get away with. I don't see any capacity for growth, the remotest possibility of expanding, repenting from his selfish, small-minded, vicious ways and seeing a more authentic spiritual reality. I would as soon expect to see crocodiles become friendly.
But Nader has some essential value as a contributor of something positive to American life in his time on the scene. But he is essentially out of touch now. His theories are no longer engaged with the reality he exists in and acts upon. He has the potential of making an existential decision that will put him on a level that accommodates his theories with his actual effect on the world he lives in. He could negotiate an agreement with those who constitute the only viable opposition with a hope of unseating Bush. He could have an actual positive effect on the dialogue, even on the political bartering. And he could continue that without holding any office.
But as a third party candidate, he has virtually no chance of having a positive effect on the actual quality of life in the United States in the coming years. No effect on our chances of coming out of this assault on our democratic values and rights. No chance of tempering the ongoing corporate takeover of the world, in fact, actually enabling the greatest agent of that corporate movement: George Bush (either one of them, you name it).
Okay, so Nader is just one person. If he's behaving in a somewhat deluded manner after 40 years as an activist, that's forgivable. Now the issue is the American people. Just as the most important thing about the Dean campaign was the people's movement that buoyed it, the Bummer movement is not about just Nader himself. It's about how many people sign on to Nader's presidential campaign. The rest of his agenda is pretty much on the mark, at least as much as any mainstream politician. But the presidential run is not a good idea. It's lunacy. It's Don Quixote attacking a windmill. It's a mad bull attacking a red cape. It is Karl Rove's dream come true.
Come down, Ralph! And everyone else with any sense, let's get together and get George W. Bush out of office. And then we can continue to work for a less corporate-controlled government. Then we can splinter into various causes. But not now.
Right now you are making George W. Bush look very smart.