February 23rd, 2004

Thank you, Ralph

I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I am by Ralph Nader’s decision to run for president again. Now I have someone I can vote for in November, which is nice. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to watch the Democrats go into their whiny “spoiler” routine. Awww. Tough luck, Dems. Remind me again which party has ignored the only real progressive in the primary race, Dennis Kucinich, and worked like crazy to undermine the candidacy of a half-decent compromise candidate, Howard Dean, in favor of a pair of same-old, same-old conservative Democratic party hacks.

As I told some friends this weekend, if I knew for a fact walking into my polling place that my vote, and my vote alone, would make the difference in the race — that is, a vote for Kerry or Edwards would mean a Democratic win and a vote for Nader would result in four more years of Bush — I’d still vote for Nader. I’d vote for him even though I think Bush is the worst president in the history of the United States. Why? Because, as I’ve said before, I’ve had it with the lesser of two evils bullshit. I’ve had it with picking between two corporate-owned candidates. And I don’t give a rat’s ass about the fact that one of them might be marginally better for working people than the other. I cannot support a system that tells me I’d better take the least bad of what its offering me. Not and keep a clear conscience, anyhow. And part of me really believes that if we’re headed in the direction we’re clearly headed in — a system that ignores the poor and the working class entirely, except to steal from them; a system in which civil rights are continually eroding; a system in which the corporations and the rich are supreme and above the law and the rest of us are trampled upon — I’d rather get there quickly than slowly. Rather than four or eight years of Democratic control in which we slide gently to the right followed by four or eight under the Republications in which we march in that direction as quickly as possible, let’s just go ahead and get there already. That way the people can become fed up with it all the sooner and we can start the work of bringing about real social change.

You know what, though? I would have compromised this time around to get Bush out of office. I really would have. I would have compromised all the way to Howard Dean. But I won’t go as far as Kerry or Edwards. I don’t trust either of them worth a damn. And I don’t think either of them has anything approaching a real progressive bone in their body. Wanna know why I’m voting for Nader no matter what? Because the Democrats, by working to destroy Dean’s candidacy, effectively told me and people who think like me that they’re not really interested in our vote. No, they didn’t say, we want your vote, but we want it for this candidate. They said, “Hey, lefty, screw you. We don’t need you and your politics.” Well, okay, folks. Thanks for the honesty. Good luck in November. You’re really gonna need it now.

p.s. One more thing, my Democratic friends. Please don’t bother pointing your bony little fingers at me when you lose in November. You may think it’s my fault. But I know it’s yours. And I’ve no more interest in your recriminations than you have in my politics. Your whining, I promise you, will fall on deaf ears.

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