Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on March 3, 2008
Democrats are shaking in their boots…again. Last week, Ralph Nader announced that he’s running for president, criticizing Dems for being Republicans in costume, criticizing Republicans for being the lapdogs of big industry, and hoping to push the debate on all issues towards a more sustainable model.
This year, however, Nader seems a bit more critical of his opponents than he has in the past; he lashed out at both Obama and Clinton for their corporate ties, and the tone of his statements makes his discontent seem personal.
For Nader, however, it’s not about any single issue. He’s more concerned with human rights and human dignity, something he sees as being lost in the corporatization of America that has dominated since the Reagan years. Environmental health, Ralph believes, is a primary human right, and his platform includes prioritizing solar over nuclear, eliminating coal, and enacting a carbon tax, among other clean ideas.
This time, Nader is not running with the Green Party, and his running mate from 2000, Winona LaDuke, has bowed out; she is officially supporting Obama. In a recent interview with Montana Public Radio, LaDuke stated that she shares Nader’s concerns, but she believes that Obama is the man this time around.
Nader has a long list of accomplishments to his name – mostly in consumer safety – but visionary nonetheless. I attended a speech at Appalachian State University in 1988, where he described a future in which every new car would have airbags. I remember scoffing at the time, but he delivered on this vision. So, pay attention to what he says — even if you believe he will spoil the Dems again.
Let’s face it. The current two-party system eliminates many good ideas on both sides, providing unnecessary advantage to big-name, status quo candidates. It’s just not fair to prevent people like Nader (and more recently Dennis Kucinich) from being part of the discussion, especially during debates where nothing is at stake except public opinion.
If you’re unfamiliar with Nader, you might want to check out his campaign site. You might even find something to believe in.