Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ralph and Matt

I will give Nader and Gonzales credit for making their position clear regarding the Green Party Presidential nomination.
Message from Ralph Nader to the Greens and the Draft Nader Committee

March 8, 2008

Matt Gonzalez and I wish to restate that we are not seeking the Green Party nomination in 2008 at the Chicago convention.

At our news conference last week, I wished the Greens and their four Presidential candidates good luck, and indicated that progressive campaigns with good agendas and issues can run parallel and forward to help strengthen democracy and subordinate corporate power to the sovereignty of the people.

These issues include single payer health insurance, a negotiated, expeditious withdrawal from Iraq and Iraq's oil fields, an aggressive crackdown on corporate crime, fraud and abuse, vigorous diplomacy toward a two-state Palestine-Israel settlement, electoral and labor reforms, and opening up the Presidential debates.

The savings from reducing the bloated, wasteful, military budge and achieving international arms control, will help rebuild public works and services in our country.

For other initiatives illustrating how the Nader/Gonzalez campaign is on the opposite side of the political fence from the two dominant parties, see

I want to thank the Draft Nader Committee for their encouragement and expect that they and others disposed toward our candidacy, will pursue options either inside their Green Party or with our independent campaign.
On re-reading this, I think back to my original position regarding Nader, offered before the debate in San Francisco. Nader is a one dimensional candidate, railing against corporate greed as he has always done. At the time I posted my endorsement of Kent Mesplay, I noted this about Nader. He did not refer to any environmental issue. If you read the note above, he still does not mention the environment at all. It is as if the Unreasonable Man had never seen An Inconvenient Truth.

There may not be any greater moral issue today than dealing truthfully and justly with the implications of Global Warming. It seems as if Ralph and Matt are living on a different planet that I am.


Anonymous said...

Well, interesting, Matt is listed as an environmentalist at the big WorldFest this Saturday in the San Fernando Valley.

Wes said...

It matters little in a campaign what you might have done positively in the past. Shakespeare got it right in Julius Caesar "The evil that me do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."

In the middle of a campaign, for all the good that Nader has done for the environment in the past, he is defining this one as a purely anti-corporate rant.

Global Warming is just not a focus item for him, though he does talk intelligently when someone else brings it up, but always brings it back around to "corporate evil."

I don't believe that... not that corporations don't deserve criticism, but rather that the public has not yet incorporated this into their view of life. The title of a recent book, The Myth of the Rational Voter, explains a lot.

Alex Walker said...

Dear Wes,

I tried to make a long-winded comment that seems to have gone into digital heaven. Just as well. Let me summarize my two points in three sentences.

(1) It is impossible to deal with global warming seriously without challenging the unaccountable power of the interests that clearly reap huge profits going the other way.

(2) I understand the reasons why you and many other Greens are tired of Ralph Nader, but please, please, do not fall into the trap of wasting a lot of energy attacking Ralph. I love Ralph Nader. Just leave Ralph alone to do his thing while we continue building the Green Party.

(3) I, too, was impressed by your candidate, Kent Mesplay, but he doesn't seem to me to be running much of a campaign and he lives right here in Southern California. What's he doing? There is so much "material" around here. I don't hear as much about him as I hear about Kat Swift.

Wes said...

Alex, going point by point.

1. It IS possible to use global warming to start breaking down the power of the corporation in America, if that is your target. For a national candidate to ignore Global Warming at this stage of our understanding is totally irresponsible.

2. You have a good point. But the failure of the left in general and Nader in particular to adequately deal with environmental issues, especially global warming, is a moral failure. In economic terms, this would be called the Tyranny of Small Decisions. In political terms, it is call pandering to special interests, even when those interests may not be corporate. The path to national prominence seems to require micro manipulation of the electorate as a community of special interests and the secret is to get as many special interests as possible to understand that the grab bag is open. An so the identity politics you so love to castigate.

3. Two things are going on. One is that Kat and Kent are sharing some resources. Right now, Drew is helping both. But, Kent is much more tied down by his day job, I believe (may be wrong) and Kat is more adept at using all the media available. Thus, you will hear more of Kat.