A somewhat reasonable man is probably going to announce yet another candidacy for President on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.
Venerable activist and public figure Ralph Nader is expected to declare an independent run for the Presidency tomorrow. He'll have a snowball's chance in the geographic center of the sun of winning, but that won't stop him from entering the fray and bringing his unique and somewhat refreshing voice to the dialog.
We all remember 2000, where many Democrats saddled Nader with the blame for putting G.W. Bush in office. I don't agree with that, and in fact I think that Gore blew what should have been a slam-dunk election by running a shitty campaign and making stupid mistakes. I've written a little about Nader in a previous post (A Very Reasonable Man).
In that post I looked at a speech he made regarding the gutless actions of our new Democratic majority in Congress, and I fully agreed with his comments. I think Nader will help provide some useful arguments to the discussion, and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.
However (and I know this doesn't need to be said, but I'm going to say it anyway), it's an absolute moral imperative for us to place a Democrat in the White House this November. If John McCain (or god forbid, Mike Huckabee) somehow manages to ooze their way into winning a majority of our nation's electoral votes, we'll all be in such deep shit we'll forget what it was like to actually breathe fresh air.
There's no doubt in my mind that Nader will help pull votes from Democrats and left-leaning unaffiliated voters this November. While I don't blame Nader for the loss in 2000, he sure didn't help the Democrats.
But the stakes are SO much higher now.
So any third-party types out there, feel free to support Nader emotionally and spiritually, but use your intellect to decide what this country is going to need to help stop the hemorrhaging and damage, and get back on track. Yes, I know that neither Clinton nor Obama are perfect candidates and will be the solution to all our nation's ills, but either of them will be exponentially better than either McCain or Huckabee.
Right now we're in the midst of a very heated contest between Hillary and Barack. Emotions are running very high. Once this primary process has run it's course, approximately half of the Democrats out there are going to be disappointed at their party's selection for the nomination.
But we all must remember that we'll need to stick together to defeat the Republicans in November. A protest vote for Nader will take a good, useful vote away from the Democratic candidate. He or she will need every single vote available to beat the Republican for whom the current administration is going to do everything they can to give a win. We'll need enough votes to make it obvious if there is voting fraud in some states. A close contest may be decided like Florida was in 2000.
And we all know what that got us.