Ralph Nader

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Torlek42
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Ralph Nader

Postby Torlek42 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:10 am UTC

I am wondering how much you guys know about Ralph Nader and how you feel about him running for president. I happen to support him, and I think he makes a very strong argument that corporations, lobbyists, and special-interest groups have far too much control over Washington. I like Obama's idea of change, but I am a little too cynical to see him having a major impact. He is, after all, a Democrat, and like the Republicans they are funded by corporations that do not have America's best interests at heart. I also wonder if you feel he should get more media coverage - if he should be allowed to debate with the major candidates, for instance, so that people can here what he has to say.

Note: I am not trying to make this about how he "lost" the election for Al Gore in 2000; I disagree with that, but I think it is another discussion altogether.
Edit: Obviously this is probably irrelevant for those of you who are not in the U.S.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Lumpy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:27 am UTC

We already had a topic about this when he declared his candidacy, but I really think his running as an Independent rather than a Green will hurt the Green Party as a third party overall and their numbers will be lower than if he hadn't been on the ticket in 2000 at all. Really, Nader is the only non-D/R candidate ever mentioned on cable news.

What will he do when he gets into office? His only political experience, and the only experience of all the other Green Party candidates except for McKinney, is that he has run for office before, and not actually doing anything in office. In fact, for a lot of political candidates, they list their primary experience as holding office as a leader within a state affiliate of the Green Party. He should have tried at least getting elected in a legislative or executive office somewhere, even if it means parachuting to an easy district---if Hillary Clinton can do it without an eyebrow being raised, so should Nader.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby ++$_ » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:36 am UTC

Ralph Nader has good things to say. I would like to see his ideas being implemented. However, I am realistic, and I know that a vote for him is a vote thrown away. So I won't vote for him.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Belial » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:38 am UTC

Ralph Nader has nice things to say, it would just be nice if we'd hear from him (and likewise, if he'd keep working for his goals) more often than every four years when he crawls out of the woodwork to run for president. As it is, it seems kindof insincere.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby EsotericWombat » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:12 pm UTC

2004 seemed almost like a vanity campaign. In 2000 there was this whole, "let's put a dent in the two party system" thing, but then he left the greens and fucked it up. And he was completely disingenuous about his status as a spoiler. At first he promised not to run in swing states, then later he said that he might only run in swing states. And he claimed that there was nothing suspicious about the Republican donor money he was getting.

He fell off the bus.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby eds01 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:09 pm UTC

The only way to get anything other then a 2 party system is to scrap the system we have now, and replace it with something like approval voting that can handle more then 2 candidates. The current system more or less enforces a binary election - if either side (i.e. liberals or conservatives) introduce more then 1 candidate, then the other side has an advantage. Political discourse obviously has more then 2 sides, trying to represent it as such is stupid and moronic.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby mosc » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:26 pm UTC

eds01 wrote:The only way to get anything other then a 2 party system is to scrap the system we have now, and replace it with something like approval voting that can handle more then 2 candidates. The current system more or less enforces a binary election - if either side (i.e. liberals or conservatives) introduce more then 1 candidate, then the other side has an advantage. Political discourse obviously has more then 2 sides, trying to represent it as such is stupid and moronic.

I've said this before but I think step 1 is to change the lower house of congress to be state-wide elections with representative seats. The concept of "congressional districts" is stupid anyway and the current house is of a similar make up to the senate (since we no longer have states choosing the senators instead of the people). Step 1 is to have the lower house become close to a parliament. You'd still have a 2-party senate (at least as much as ever) and it would bring back some much needed division of purpose between the two houses as well.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby cvitullo » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:39 pm UTC

I think that until we stop looking at what party the candidates are from and only look at what they have to say, Ralph Nader doesn't have a chance. But, based on the fact that around 30% of the US population is dumb as hell, that's not going to happen any time soon.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:53 pm UTC

Ralph Nader hasn't shown the requisite concern for his country to be worthy of the office. Where would we be today if in 2000 he'd left his name off the ballot in swing states? And it's one thing not having the foresight to do that. He's been completely unrepentant about having delivered the presidency to George W Bush.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:26 am UTC

++$_ wrote:Ralph Nader has good things to say. I would like to see his ideas being implemented. However, I am realistic, and I know that a vote for him is a vote thrown away. So I won't vote for him.

And that's called Wasted Vote Syndrome. You're only hurting things if you don't vote for who you want.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:20 pm UTC

I will not vote for a candidate who effectively makes my vote more worthless than it is.

The 'all or nothing' format of elections in the US has left me absolutely disinterested in a majority of politics; partial representation would get me to vote what I actually felt, and not who I think would do the least amount of damage of the available candidates.

I mean, when the sitting vice president says 'the American public gets its chance to voice it's opinion every 4 years', I'm left pretty unsatisfied with our method of electing.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby turnwrite » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:08 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:And that's called Wasted Vote Syndrome. You're only hurting things if you don't vote for who you want.


Giving it a name doesn't make it any less the reasonable thing to do.

Helping the lesser of two evils get elected is still better than tossing your vote off into irrelevancy and thereby helping no one. If the greater of two evils gets elected now, well, you could have done something about it.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby DougP » Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:28 am UTC

Just that we have a discussion about "wasted" votes shows how sick the American political system is, the bad part is that most people just roll over and accept it.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby turnwrite » Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:42 am UTC

DougP wrote:Just that we have a discussion about "wasted" votes shows how sick the American political system is, the bad part is that most people just roll over and accept it.


Just that we have a discussion about wasting votes shows how sick the American political system is. The bad part is, some people just roll over and waste them.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby rockin2the70s » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:32 am UTC

In response to the original post, yeah, Nader has some good ideas. But a presidential campaign isn't the way to voice them, especially when said campagin will take away votes from the candidate most likely to create policies close to his ideas. As for Obama and corporate/lobbyist interests, I'd like to point out that he is completely supported by individuals; he has taken no money from corporations or lobbyists. True, some of his contributors are on the wealthy side. Still, its a step in the right direction.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Malice » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:32 am UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:Ralph Nader hasn't shown the requisite concern for his country to be worthy of the office. Where would we be today if in 2000 he'd left his name off the ballot in swing states? And it's one thing not having the foresight to do that. He's been completely unrepentant about having delivered the presidency to George W Bush.


Where would be today if in 2000 the Republicans hadn't rigged the election, depressed turnout with negative campaign tactics, and disenfranchised minorities? Where would we be if Gore had contested the results? If the American people had actually done something about it?

Honestly, Nader is a secondary cause, as equally culpable for the past 8 years as the pretzel that didn't quite kill Bush. Blame any or all of them if you like, but it's just a way of removing guilt from, first, Bush himself (and his administration), and, second, the American people for, in the end, not giving a flying fuck about changing the situation.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby EsotericWombat » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:31 am UTC

I'm not placing the blame only on Nader. There's enough to go around. I'm just saying that what he did was disastrous and he was completely unrepentant about it. Upon reflection, Gore regretted not pushing on. Four years later, Nader still campaigned in swing states. That alone shows that he doesn't pass the Commander-in-Chief test.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Ari » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:25 pm UTC

Malice wrote:as equally culpable for the past 8 years as the pretzel that didn't quite kill Bush.


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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Cycle » Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:56 am UTC

turnwrite wrote:Just that we have a discussion about wasting votes shows how sick the American political system is. The bad part is, some people just roll over and waste them.


What is a wasted vote? Unless your candidate won by exactly one vote, isn't your vote wasted? If you had stayed home, the outcome would have been the same.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby turnwrite » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:17 am UTC

Cycle wrote:What is a wasted vote? Unless your candidate won by exactly one vote, isn't your vote wasted? If you had stayed home, the outcome would have been the same.


Semantics. And this kind of exaggeration could be used to justify not voting at all. I assume that instead you are advocating voting for a third party, so I'll address that. (I already posted this in another thread, but here it is again.. :roll: )


Voting for the candidate who fits your beliefs perfectly seems all good and well, until you look at what your vote has actually done.

Let's say you have the following opinions of three Presidential candidates:

Candidate A: You support him entirely. Everything this man has to say is solid gold.

Candidate B: Decent enough. A tiny step in the right direction, some of the right ideas, but not nearly so holy as that unparalleled Candidate A.

Candidate C: Ehhh. Obnoxious. Several steps in the wrong direction.

You know going into the election that Candidate B is supported by about half the country, as is Candidate C. Candidate A is backed only by a marginal fraction of the country; probably not even one percentage point.

You throw your vote in for Candidate A, because he is the messiah. And then Candidate C gets elected by a very small margin.

Look what you've done.


Voting for the lesser of two evils is still better than making some naive statement about how the "system is broken" and then in your ineptitude helping the greater of two evils prance his way onto the White House Lawn.

(And don't give me any crap about how there aren't any differences between Democrats and Republicans; there are obvious policy differences between the two, they just aren't so great as the differences between these two very dissimilar parties and your raving fringe of a third party.)
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Cycle » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

turnwrite wrote:Semantics. And this kind of exaggeration...


I don't see how this is semantics or exaggeration. It's a statement of fact. Unless the candidate you voted for won by a single vote, you did not change the winner. What's your definition of "wasted vote?"

...could be used to justify not voting at all.


Correct. The way we elect rulers in this country is horrible (you need the support of a major political party and more than $10 million to even have a shot). I refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy by voting.

I assume that instead you are advocating voting for a third party, so I'll address that.


Nope :wink:

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby EsotericWombat » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

Cycle wrote:I don't see how this is semantics or exaggeration. It's a statement of fact. Unless the candidate you voted for won by a single vote, you did not change the winner.


That line of thought, multiplied by the millions of voters sharing it, makes for a significant difference.

moreover, the likelihood of the election between two mainstream candidates coming down to a single vote is far greater than the likelihood of the third party candidate getting elected.

as for Nader specifically, he's been completely disingenuous about the "both candidates are the same" shtick. In 04 all of the candidates at the shadow debate were taking aim at Bush, and he was going after Kerry.

I'm in favor of third party politics as a matter of principle, but this guy sucks.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby fjafjan » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:57 pm UTC

Cycle wrote:Correct. The way we elect rulers in this country is horrible (you need the support of a major political party and more than $10 million to even have a shot). I refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy by voting.

*points to Obama*
So you're saying he doesn't have a chance?
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Quisquis » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:16 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:
Cycle wrote:Correct. The way we elect rulers in this country is horrible (you need the support of a major political party and more than $10 million to even have a shot). I refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy by voting.

*points to Obama*
So you're saying he doesn't have a chance?



I'd say he's got more than 10 million.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... s_politics

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Cycle » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:31 pm UTC

Obama's is kind of an exception, being one of the poorest candidates in a while. And he's still a millionaire. The fact that someone worth a scant $1.3 million is ridiculously poor compared to the other candidates (second poorest being Clinton with $35 million) says a lot.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Lumpy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:21 am UTC

I think that article just refers to spending campaign donations to advertise to get more donations. He recently released his taxes to the public up until 2006 and in 2006, he was making $1.6 million, the vast majority being from royalties from his book The Audacity of Hope. The rest, about $600,000, comes from his salary as a U.S. senator ($180,000) and his wife's salary as the director of a grocery store food supplier company.

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby fjafjan » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:44 am UTC

Quisquis wrote:
fjafjan wrote:
Cycle wrote:Correct. The way we elect rulers in this country is horrible (you need the support of a major political party and more than $10 million to even have a shot). I refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy by voting.

*points to Obama*
So you're saying he doesn't have a chance?



I'd say he's got more than 10 million.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... s_politics

That is money raised, money his campaign recieved from people to convince other people. Not money he owns.
And yeah, as mentioned most of the money he has he made recently from being a brilliant writer and notably popular politian, which I mean you can't blame him for.
Obama's is kind of an exception, being one of the poorest candidates in a while. And he's still a millionaire. The fact that someone worth a scant $1.3 million is ridiculously poor compared to the other candidates (second poorest being Clinton with $35 million) says a lot.

He is one of the poorest candidates in a while, with a background in community organizing. Do you really think that fits with Naders "they're all the same" argument?
Basically I agree with Chomsky on this one, if you don't recognize that small changes will produce large outcomes you're fooling yourself.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby william » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

Not only is that "they're all the same" argument complete BS, Nader owns stock in Halliburton. He also owns stock in McDonalds and Walmart, companies that he's railed against(note that Halliburton isn't one of the companies he rails against, despite being twice as dangerous as either of those companies)

I'm going to repeat this.

Nader owns stock in Halliburton.

Fuck Ralph Nader.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby frezik » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:09 pm UTC

I could buy Nader's idea of "both parties are the same" in 2000. But not by 2004, and not now.

I lost all respect for the man in an NPR interview during the 2004 elections, though I don't remember a lot of the specifics. A magazine had published an editorial asking Nader not to run. Nader claimed this was an infringement of his freedom of speech. This is a far too common misunderstanding of freedom of speech. The magazine had every right to run the editorial; Nader has just as much right to ignore it if he chooses. The magazine runs their printing press, and can do whatever they want with it. They don't have the right to force Nader not to run, which really would be a freedom of speech issue, but they don't really have the power to do that, anyway.

A vote for a third-party candidate really is throwing your vote away. The mathematics behind the American voting system forces it that way. The only realistic way to fix this is to force current politicians to a different kind of voting system.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby EsotericWombat » Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:22 am UTC

william wrote:Nader owns stock in Halliburton.


Citation?

I mean, I don't have any particular investment in Nader, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby schmiggen » Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:43 am UTC

Cycle wrote:
turnwrite wrote:Correct. The way we elect rulers in this country is horrible (you need the support of a major political party and more than $10 million to even have a shot). I refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy by voting.

Do you acknowledge that it has power and effect? Not voting by itself doesn't send anyone a message that the system itself is what you have a problem with. I'd say go ahead and vote, since you might as well exert whatever influence you do have to make the system closer to how you would have it be. Besides, if you won't take even easy steps like voting toward the change you'd like to see, who are you to criticize the way things work now?

(Do you not see any upside to any candidate, even ones you could write in?)
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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Illemonati » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:17 am UTC

Malice wrote:
EsotericWombat wrote:Ralph Nader hasn't shown the requisite concern for his country to be worthy of the office. Where would we be today if in 2000 he'd left his name off the ballot in swing states? And it's one thing not having the foresight to do that. He's been completely unrepentant about having delivered the presidency to George W Bush.


Where would be today if in 2000 the Republicans hadn't rigged the election, depressed turnout with negative campaign tactics, and disenfranchised minorities? Where would we be if Gore had contested the results? If the American people had actually done something about it?


I'd have to say that we'd be in the same place we are today, given that the election wasn't rigged, all parties have used negative campaign tactics since the inception of this country, and that minority disenfranchisement didn't really happen. :roll:

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Torlek42 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:09 am UTC

Illemonati wrote:
Malice wrote:
EsotericWombat wrote:Ralph Nader hasn't shown the requisite concern for his country to be worthy of the office. Where would we be today if in 2000 he'd left his name off the ballot in swing states? And it's one thing not having the foresight to do that. He's been completely unrepentant about having delivered the presidency to George W Bush.


Where would be today if in 2000 the Republicans hadn't rigged the election, depressed turnout with negative campaign tactics, and disenfranchised minorities? Where would we be if Gore had contested the results? If the American people had actually done something about it?


I'd have to say that we'd be in the same place we are today, given that the election wasn't rigged, all parties have used negative campaign tactics since the inception of this country, and that minority disenfranchisement didn't really happen. :roll:


There is considerable evidence suggesting that minority disenfranchisement did indeed occur. Also, while Bush beat Gore by less than 600 votes, 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for Bush. Perhaps most distressing...the Florida recount was halted when the Supreme Court ruled along party lines to halt it.

Didn't do too much googling, but I found this site and I think it makes a lot of good points regarding that election and Nader's influence.

http://www.cagreens.org/alameda/city/0803myth/myth.html

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby Illemonati » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:21 am UTC

Torlek42 wrote:
Illemonati wrote:
Malice wrote:
EsotericWombat wrote:Ralph Nader hasn't shown the requisite concern for his country to be worthy of the office. Where would we be today if in 2000 he'd left his name off the ballot in swing states? And it's one thing not having the foresight to do that. He's been completely unrepentant about having delivered the presidency to George W Bush.


Where would be today if in 2000 the Republicans hadn't rigged the election, depressed turnout with negative campaign tactics, and disenfranchised minorities? Where would we be if Gore had contested the results? If the American people had actually done something about it?


I'd have to say that we'd be in the same place we are today, given that the election wasn't rigged, all parties have used negative campaign tactics since the inception of this country, and that minority disenfranchisement didn't really happen. :roll:


There is considerable evidence suggesting that minority disenfranchisement did indeed occur. Also, while Bush beat Gore by less than 600 votes, 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for Bush. Perhaps most distressing...the Florida recount was halted when the Supreme Court ruled along party lines to halt it.

Didn't do too much googling, but I found this site and I think it makes a lot of good points regarding that election and Nader's influence.

http://www.cagreens.org/alameda/city/0803myth/myth.html


The Green Party is hardly what I would call a credible source. You do have this "considerable evidence" from credible sources, don't you?

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Re: Ralph Nader

Postby william » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:05 am UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:
william wrote:Nader owns stock in Halliburton.


Citation?

I mean, I don't have any particular investment in Nader, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

http://archive.salon.com/politics/featu ... print.html

Technically it's a mutual fund which owns stock in Halliburton, but you'd think that if you had hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in a mutual fund you'd check to see what it invested in. Especially if you were an anti-corporate crusader like Nader.

As for the Green Party's credibility, it's probably a lot more credible on issues that don't involve the Green Party, like how much a then-Green Party member has to do with the loss of an election. But 3 out of 4 Nader voters in Florida would have voted Gore had Nader not been running.
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