Searching for the “why” in Nader’s run

I’ve been looking around the internet to find an answer to one question: Why is Nader running? He’d better have a damned good reason, but I can’t find one, at least not one that jives with basic notions of common sense.

From what I’ve found, he feels the three leading candidates are too close to big business and he wants to shift the balance of power from the few to the many. Fine, that’s a laudable effort. But apparently he feels that he can best empower the few against the many by… running for president? How does getting 2% of a vote in a general election help empower us lowly citizens? Let’s be wildly, irrationally optimistic: let’s say he gets 10% of the popular vote. What does that accomplish?

The answer of course is “nothing.” There is no benefit to a Nader run for the presidency. Zero. Even the idealists would lose out. Let’s say the response is the other end of the spectrum, that he is rendered invisible, a non-entity. That’s a step backward in the hope of reforming the system toward acceptance of independent candidates. What I’m saying is that no matter the outcome of a Nader run, everyone loses. Or rather, anyone progressive-minded loses. Conservatives, libertarians… they can dance a jig.

Nader is not needed or wanted. Not this time. If it was Clinton/McCain, okay, I could understand the rationale. But we have our breath of fresh air in Obama. We have our new voice, our beacon of hope, our outsider.

So if it’s not realistic, and there’s no need, what is the real why? I think we have a man who once accomplished some impressive things, who once held a brief, low wattage spotlight, and now wants to step back on the big stage and speak his mind. I don’t see anything other than ego at work here. Look at his website. The first three tabs are Contribute (your money to him), Volunteer (your time to him), and Take Action (your work to get him on the ballot). You have to get four steps over to find “issues,” and once you click, you only get a list. There’s no substance, no how, no budget. His website is a reflection of the candidate—it’s all about him.

There’s also something delusional going on. If he can’t support the nation’s potentially first female president, or first black president—what most of us would consider monumental progress—what does that say about the progressive rhetoric he speaks? Let’s look at Obama, probably the more liberal of the two. Which president in history comes close to embodying progress as a liberal black man as leader of the country? Anyone? It begs the question, has Nader ever found anyone in U.S. history worthy of the office? If he hasn’t, what country is he living in? What world is he living in?

So I’m still left with “why?”. Why not do charity work, start another foundation, fund independent documentary films, write more books, give lectures. Don’t run for president.

I think people will see through it this time. The problem is that others won’t. There is some undefined number of irrational idealists who will cast their vote away from Obama/Clinton and toward Nader. We have yet to see what kind of impact that will have.

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One Response to “Searching for the “why” in Nader’s run”

  1. Makes me think of Oprah giving away all that money. It really draws attention to herself.

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