Sunday, October 12, 2008

About Ralph Nader

I can write about him, right? I mean he stands side-by-side with the Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. But I couldn't help noticing how he drastically outpaces both Ms. McKinney and Bob Barr in fundraising ... and upon closer inspection of his website, not to mention the latest Newsweek article on his presence in Florida, well ... it's pretty hard to just overlook him. I mean, heh, this is Ralph Nader we're talking about.

My earliest memory of Ralph Nader dates back to the early days of Carty Finkbeiner, Mayor of Toledo. Let's just say Mr. Nader wasn't exactly a fan. Okay, the truth is whenever Nader was in town it was guaranteed to be a great day in the news industry because when Nader and Finkbeiner got together sparks would fly tantamount to the Fourth of July. But then Carty has that effect on just about anyone he deals with. The biggest point of contention as I recall was the now-defunct Jeep plant. Something about eminent domain, I think. I can't find it exactly, and my mom would know better than me.

But I digress.

Take a look at Nader's website, Pretty impressive not to mention easy to navigate compared to Also, I wouldn't put a big ol' picture of Roseanne Barr on the front page either. I'm not even sure I would bury a benign text comment about how she supports me either. Not in a bid for the ultimate expression of American patriotism: the Presidency of the most powerful country in the free world. And I like Roseanne! But I wouldn't use her as the celebrity vehicle to promote me for President. That's just dumb. (I've made sure not to point people to that website for that reason.)

After reading the latest Newsweek article on Mr. Nader, I can honestly say I'm rethinking my vote. The point for me is not to vote for who's most likely to win - the point for me is to vote for who is most likely to effect change. Mr. Nader seems to have chosen a very strong running mate in Matt Gonzalez, too. Matt Gonzalez was elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2003. This was significant because he ran as a Green Party member at the time.

So I urge you dear reader to give Ralph Nader a closer look, as I am doing. He has a proven track record. He has more ballot access than Ms. McKinney, and I don't mean to knock McKinney's run for the Presidency. But I still believe my vote counts, and Ralph Nader feels the same way I do about all the issues that are important to me. I want there to be effective change - I don't want to just be sweet-talked about it, like I feel Obama is doing. And although I don't dislike McCain, he's been making some stupid mistakes. And don't get me started on Sarah Palin. I just don't know about her. Part of me likes her, part of me is really scared of what she would do to women's rights if she got anywhere near a leadership position in the White House. I think I would rather be sweet-talked about change, quite frankly.

Moreover, I think Ms. McKinney and Ms. Clemente stand a better chance of having their voices piped through Washington if Nader became President.

1 comment:

  1. I did find the info on what Nader did in Toledo regarding the Jeep Plant. It was actually the Daimler-Chrysler plant (which is what the Jeep plant morphed into) that wanted to wipe out a whole entire neighborhood in order to put landscaping in front of the new plant. People had to leave their homes. Ralph Nader stood alongside those people and fought with them (text taken from The Green Papers website):

    "In Toledo, Ohio, we joined with members of a community of some 80 householders and 16 small businesses taken by the City, under threat of eminent domain, to provide Daimler/Chrysler with a landscaping area. Already, the cowed city had given Chrysler ample acreage for its Jeep Plant. The city of Toledo cleared the land for the giant company, absorbed any environmental liabilities, gave Daimler/Chrysler a long tax holiday as part of a nearly $300 million package in federal, state and local subsidies. The auto company got the additional land it wanted for its shrubbery and a long-time cohesive neighborhood was utterly demolished just like Detroit’s Poletown in the 1980s. A World War II veteran told us that when he was fighting the fascists, he never dreamed his long-time home would be taken for corporate shrubbery. In stark contrast, Daimler/Chrysler, recording record profits, had $20 billion cash in the bank."