Don't Fear Nader
by Attila Gyenis
The louder the Democratic Party leadership and so-called progressives complain about Mr. Ralph Nader’s bid for presidency, the slimmer the chances are for the democrats to win the election this next time around. Why is that? Because it means they are again ignoring the ‘issues,’ the very thing that they ignored the last two elections. There are people who want to see critical issues being addressed in the presidential debate. Instead, all we get is election rhetoric and empty promises that they try to pass off as presidential leadership.
There are important issues other then ‘beating the republican’ that need to be discussed in the public forum. These issues are the very thing that Mr. Nader will bring into the public debate. He will discuss policies such as: ending the war/occupation of Iraq, impeachment of George Bush, corporate fraud, national health care, NAFTA, and a whole host of other issues in a thoughtful and intelligent manner. These issues haven’t been addressed in a fair and open manner in the last eight years. In fact, they haven’t been addressed even during the Bill Clinton presidency. And if Mr. Nader is not successful in bringing the discussion of issues to the table, I’m afraid that the democrats may see a replay of the recent presidential elections.
And let’s be clear about this, Mr. Nader didn’t make Al Gore in 2000. Al Gore simply didn’t win. He didn’t win his home state of Tennessee. He failed to challenge Bush on basic issues. He didn’t have the leadership or conviction to demand a proper recount in Florida. By adopting a 'centrist' position (read republican), he failed to provide workable solutions on critical issues, and lest we forget, Lieberman was his vice presidential choice. And while he did get the majority of the votes, he certainly didn’t win the mantle of being the 'democrat' that he professed to represent.
The Democratic Party asks us to unconditionally support their frontrunner while being contemptuous of anyone suggesting that there needs to be more issues on the table. They inform us that the ‘fear’ of another Bush term is all that we need to be concerned about. They play this ‘fear’ card by suggesting that anyone who questions their political approach will be responsible for another Bush term.
Why does this ‘fear’ card sound familiar? Oh yes, we see Mr. Bush using the very same ‘fear’ card when anybody challenges his presidential leadership. He defends his policies by calling into doubt the patriotism of anyone who dares to question his policies or his resolve against terrorism (remember 9/11).
Democrats and progressives looked down on Mr. Bush for that simplistic knee-jerk argument that fraudulently rationalized the reason for the Iraqi war. And we should look down on the Democratic Party leadership when they warn us against raising issues that undermine their candidate's position. There is one issue more fearful than another republican term. And that is when neither party stands up for freedom and justice for all people.
When we act out of fear, we get fearful results. Fear is sometimes useful for identifying danger, but it is not useful if we react in a fearful manner. Fear is also used by manipulative people to make others believe that there is danger when none exists.
Responding with a fear-driven reaction without cognitive thought (jumping without thinking) is usually not in our best interest. We are capable of rational thought, and that is what we should expect from our public officials. We should object strenuously when any party attempts to use 'fear' based messages and arguments. We need information and issues that aren't clouded by manipulative intent.
Unfortunately, mainstream media is also complicit in repeating the lies and manipulations that allowed Bush and company to 'sell' the war to the American people without any challenge or independent investigation.
We need to welcome all that Mr. Nader will bring to the table. We don’t need to fear what he will take away. This is a person who dedicated a lifetime working for the benefit of society, and who approaches issues with a thoughtful and insightful manner that has resulted in profound change. We don’t need to silence his voice. We need to encourage it.
©2008 Attila Gyenis
Author’s note: I am an unrepentant Nader supporter.
I find the Democratic Party Leadership to be the lesser of two evils. Their 'fear the republicans' based message used to urge their supporters to vote for them is similar to the fear-based messages by the republican leadership.. Both parties fail to represent the public's well-being when they fail to present solutions on critical issues: endless war; corporate corruption,universal health care; NAFTA/WTO; environment; schools; oil/energy; and justice (where is the outrage over Guantanamo detainees?).
We should demand leadership that makes truth and justice the basis of their platform. Who was the last American soldier to die in the illegal and immoral war in Iraq? And who will be the first in the new war? (I say immoral because the purpose was not to get rid of a tyrant, but to take control of the oil resources)
So it goes.
Ralph Nader -http://nader.org/
Green Party - http://www.gp.org
The Democratic Party on the Yellow Brick Road - If only the democratic had some courage to stand up against the Wicked Witch of the East. Beating the Republican party should be a no-brainer.
The American Dream? - What exactly is the American dream? We are at a crossroads and have to start making choices about which dream we want to follow. Who will make the choice, the community or a corporation? A look at the struggle in Humboldt County, CA, between community members and the Pacific Lumber/Maxxam corporation that spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars into an attempt to recall the District Attorney in March of 2004. The recall attempt was not successful. But the struggle continues.
Take the Pledge for Peace = www.NotOneMore.US
www.culturechange.org - A website dedicated to eco-justice.
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