Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Nader Redux Redux

Matthew recommends a post by Left In The West on the subject of Nader voters. I second that recommendation. I happen to agree with much of the criticisms leveled by the Naderites. The basic problem I have with them is the way they went about trying to change the system. It's hard to conceive of a less effective political strategy than the course they chose. If Nader had really wanted to make a difference in American politics (and not just by being one of many reasons why a close election swung the way it did) he should have run for the nomination of the Democratic party. If he had he would have gotten equal time in the debates alongside Al Gore. He still would have lost, but he would at least have gotten the opportunity he claimed he wanted to confront the establishment on its failures. But, I have this suspicion that the reason Nader didn't do that was because he wasn't interested in defending his position on an equal footing with Gore. He was more interested in being the stone-thrower outside the palace then actually getting into the thick of things and present his opinions alongside those of his opponents. I've always felt there was something authoritarian about Nader. Indeed, he reminds me of Dubya in many ways. What better way to describe the Nader position than "you are with us or you are against us"? Nader didn't want to debate the issues and persuade people over to his side. He wanted to just be able to say what should happen and, voila, have it happen. The unfortunate thing is that Bush, unlike Nader, had the backing of powerful interests who had the ability to put him in the position to actually make that happen. Oh how I wish Bob Dole were President.


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