In defense of Ralph

I can’t put in one single blog entry the frustration I have with people who have a knee-jerk hatred of Ralph Nader. If it’s not some pseudoliberal who is utterly convinced his presidential candidacy was responsible for Bush’s win in the 2000 election (let alone the absolute nuts who claim Nader was to blame for 2004 as well), it’s some conservative or pseudolibertarian who thinks Nader is skimming money from college tuitions. Since my rage is so great and the misinformation so vast, I’ll have to counter the hatemongering in pieces, when I have the time and strength to deal with the Nader-haters.

But just for an inkling of my consternation, consider this: of all the angry anti-Nader tirade you’ve ever heard or read, how many were about specific disagreements with his platform? Have you ever heard someone proclaim a distaste for Nader–not because they thought he was somehow indirectly responsible for the crimes of the Bush presidency, not because he’s apparently asexual, not because they resent having to wear seatbelts–but because they simply disagree with his positions?

I didn’t think so.

My guess is that most people would actually agree with an awful lot of his ideas, but they never take the time to actually learn what those ideas are–and that way, they can go on scapegoating him without ever being held accountable for their own ignorance. We scold the people who saw the pictures of Obama in a turban and, without doing their homework, erroneously conclude he’s a sleeper cell pro-bin Laden Muslim. But when people say things like, “Nader reallyWANTED the Democrats to lose!” or “Nader is just being EGOTISTICAL!” or “What has Nader EVER done since Unsafe at Any Speed?“, they are not only engaging in gutless ad hominem attacks, they are putting the depths of their own sciolism on display for all to see.  Unfortunately, very few people ever look, which just makes the problem worse.

That being said, I don’t agree with Nader 100%–but then, I don’t agree with ANYONE 100%, politician or otherwise. Of course I don’t expect to–the only person who will ever have the exact same views as you is the one in the mirror, so unless you’re willing to run for office yourself or lead a revolution, no one will ever meet your unrealistic expectations of perfection. Hell, even if you DO run for office or revolt, there’s always the chance of failure–something Mr. Nader understands very well. It’s only people with big egos and small genitals who chastize those who are willing to stick their necks out.

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