the friday five
bruce a-z

no to nader

ralph nader

I voted for Ralph Nader for President in 2000. I am not ashamed of this. I thought it was a good idea at the time; I am not a fan of the centrist/right-wing drift of the Democratic Party, I am not a fan of Al Gore, and at the time, I underestimated the vile nature of George Bush. Hindsight is just fine, but it's not real. Given what I knew in 2000, I made the correct choice.

It was, nonetheless, with hindsight, the wrong choice. I say that now. This is what George Bush has done, this is how colossally bad he is as a President: he made me wish I'd voted for Al Gore.

Well, that won't happen again. If the Democrats run Kerry, I will vote for him. If they run Edwards, I will vote for him. Hell, I don't care who they run as long as it's not a pop culture-hater like the thankfully now extinct Joe Lieberman (or Al's wife Tipper, for that matter). I do this because I've learned something over the past few years. George Bush is the worst American president in my lifetime, and I've lived long enough to see some fucked up presidents, like Kennedy and Nixon and Reagan. Shit, Helen Thomas says Georgie is the worst president ever, and I think she was alive for George Washington.

Some Democrats are just sadly misguided twirps, as are many Republicans. I'm not very fond of any politician, Democrat or Republican, who is to the right of Barbara Lee. But George Bush is evil, the people he works with are evil, and whereas in 2000 I saw the race as being between DemoTwirp and RepubliTwirp and cast my vote for Nader, in 2004, I see the race as being between DemoTwirp and Lucifer. And even I understand the difference between those two.

Sadly, it appears that Ralph Nader does not see this. Rumors are that on Sunday he will announce his candidacy as an independent for president. I just wanted to let Ralphie know in advance that I represent at least one fewer vote for Nader in 2004 than he got in 2000.

Comments

Kim Dot Dammit

Thanks for this. It's good to hear. I have spent the last few weeks railing on the people who voted for Nader, screaming that it's their fault that my daughter's future is in jeopardy. Because that's the way I look at it: Everyday the Bush regime is in office it takes away a day of my daughter's future. You can't vote with your ideals in this country. You have to vote to defeat the baddest of the bad. In this case, there's no question who that is.

Steven Rubio

Well, I want to be clear on this: I did my best given what I knew in 2000. And after the kind of venom I took for my vote, not just from dickwads but from friends, it doesn't take much to set me off again. IT IS NOT MY FAULT that anyone's future is in jeopardy. Hindsight is bullshit ... it was NOT clear in 2000 that George Bush would be this bad, and despite the "brave" stuff Al Gore sez now that he's not running for office, it was NOT clear in 2000 that he was different enough from Bush to deserve my support. For me, this is all about responding to the reality of what Bush has been as president. He is historically awful and needs to be stopped. But if folks still want to rip me a new asshole for my vote in 2000, I'm ready to fight.

Kim Dot Dammit

Well given that you voted in California, your vote didn't count for shit anyway, so I'm not ripping you a new asshole, but I am ripping the Nader voters in Florida a new asshole.

Steven Rubio

Fuck it, I'm not gonna get sucked into this again. It's 2004, Bush needs to be stopped. In November, when hopefully he's lost the election, we can start arguing again about 2000. For now, I'm just gonna shut up, because it took me a really long time to get over the last batch of fucking abuse I took for voting for Nader in 2000.

Charlie

Let's not get personal. I don't think you needed to take Kim's first response as a personal attack. She obviously wasn't screaming at you, Steven, was she?

Hindsight may be beside the point, but I think you could at least acknowledge that some of the people who have directed "abuse" your way -- I never did, BTW -- had the foresight to see that Bush was unlikely to be the "compassionate conservative" of his propaganda.

It didn't matter in California. It mattered elsewhere. Vote trading would have been a good idea.

I can't imagine Nader getting more than a few votes this time, for the reasons you list in your entry.

Steven Rubio
Let's not get personal. I don't think you needed to take Kim's first response as a personal attack. She obviously wasn't screaming at you, Steven, was she?

I post a message on my personal blog stating that I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, but would not be doing so in 2004. The first comment states "I have spent the last few weeks railing on the people who voted for Nader, screaming that it's their fault that my daughter's future is in jeopardy."

Beyond that, my personal history on this issue over the past four years has been fucked up enough that yes, I assume I am being personally attacked whenever it raises its ugly head again. For the record: it is not my fault that anyone's future is in jeopardy.

Hindsight may be beside the point, but I think you could at least acknowledge that some of the people who have directed "abuse" your way -- I never did, BTW -- had the foresight to see that Bush was unlikely to be the "compassionate conservative" of his propaganda.
First off, and this is VERY IMPORTANT: there is quite simply no need to put the word ABUSE in scare quotes, as if I was exaggerating. Beyond that, of course some people did a better job of predicting how Bush's reign would play out than I did. I had no illusions myself that Bush was any kind of compassionate conservative. My stance then, and now for that matter, is that the difference between a typical Republican and a typical Democrat, at this point in time, is relatively small, and that there will be times when I do not feel obliged to vote for a typical Democrat just because he or she is marginally better than their Republican opponent. John Kerry is not my idea of an ideal president, nor is Al Gore.

What I know now that I didn't know then is that George Bush is not a typical Republican. He is an extremely conservative Republican, too much the fundamentalist xtian, a liar who has absolutely no regard for truth beyond his extremely limited world view, willing to do anything and everything to get his way, willing to send soldiers off to their deaths to revenge his father, willing to steal elections ... he is the worst of all presidents. I was misguided about that fact in 2000; having lived through the years of Bush's presidency, I am no longer misguided. But let me be clear: my vote in 2004 will be entirely a "NO ON BUSH" vote ... there will be no "YES" involved in my vote.

It didn't matter in California. It mattered elsewhere. Vote trading would have been a good idea.
But I wouldn't have traded my vote in 2000.

But back to the "abuse" question, because that's where all my anger comes from. People like me have been abused for almost four years now. Some of it is general ... it's not "personal" when I read, as I have time and time again since 2000, that someone, often someone I respect, thinks people who voted for Nader in 2000 are responsible for [insert laundry list], but it piles up, it's directed at people like me if not specifically at me. And some of it is not general but personal ... I have been abused personally over this issue, and abuse is the proper word, no scare quotes needed, we are not talking about reasoned disagreement over political philosophies, we are talking about Steven Rubio and people like him being blamed for the every fucked up thing that has happened in America since 2000.

I felt at the time like the anger directed towards me and my ilk was extremely inappropriate. George Bush stole the election, with the help of his brother and friends in Florida and five people on the Supreme Court. There were plenty of relevant targets for attack from liberals and leftists: Al Gore for being a crap, mediocre centrist candidate ... everyone on the long list of those who helped Bush steal the election ... then, as now, it seemed important to me that like-minded people of the left identify common enemies for the battles ahead. Instead, the blame was placed on "people who voted for Nader." I still don't see the point in alienating fellow travelers ... it was common to argue that Nader and his followers were disrupting a liberal/leftist attempt to work together against a common enemy, but nothing seemed more childish and selfish than the self-righteous attitudes of those who would tear apart the left because they didn't like how some of their "friends" voted.

And still it continues. Yesterday I posted a blog entry that said I would not be voting for Nader in 2004, that with hindsight my vote in 2000 was the wrong choice, that, on the off chance that Ralph was reading my blog and wondering what my thoughts were, Mr. Nader could no longer count on my support. I pledged myself to join with other liberals and leftists in the fight against the common enemy, George Bush. And what is the first response I see? People who voted for Nader are responsible for the dire future of our nation's youth.

Honest to god, I really don't need that crap all over again.

Charlie

It's interesting that you don't seem to mind deploying vitriol when critiquing others' views -- see your original entry "In Judith Butler's Cut," to use a personal example -- but use curse words and say things like "I'm ready to fight" and "I don't need that crap all over again."

From where I sit, there's a bit of a double standard at work here. I've never known you to shy away from harsh statements in the heat of debate. But you seem to feel that others who make harsh statements directed at you or your views are guilty of "abuse."


Steven Rubio

You're right ... once I looked back at all the comments here instead of just posting responses while grading papers, I can see how silly I am. First I say "I'm ready to fight," then I say "I don't need this."

I do think there's a difference between heated debate and abuse ... I should know, I've been on both sides of both concepts. Heated debate is like

Bill: I think X

Bob: I think Y

Bill: I think you're wrong, because of ABC

Bob: I think you're wrong, because of DEF

Bill: I'll give you D, but otherwise, you're wrong.

Bob: I still think I'm right.

Bill: I think I'm right and you're wrong. Let's eat!

Abuse is more like

Bill: I think X

Bob: I think Y

Bill: I think you're wrong

Bob: You are the reason the world sux

Charlie

Grading papers! That explains it.

Seriously, I know how connected the Nader stuff is to unpleasantness in your life, including your departure from Bad Subjects.

Kim did mean her first response to applaud the statement in your entry, believe it or not.

I think it's helpful to put things in geographic perspective. When you're in a swing state like Arizona, the urge to be "practical" tends to win out.

Steven Rubio

"Kim did mean her first response to applaud the statement in your entry, believe it or not."

I know ... been a nice heated debate, though!

Kim Dot Dammit

Damn. This is all way more than I bargained for. I've only recently developed this intense anger towards Nadarism. I'm sort of with you Steven in that my fury is based on the present situation. I didn't mean this to be a fight. I was just airing my thoughts in response to your blog. Sorry.

Steven Rubio

No need for apologies. I'm kinda soured on Naderism myself ... hence the original post!

Back to grading papers ... let's face it, I'd rather argue here than grade papers, anyday.

Steve

I voted for Nader in 2000, too, for approximately the same reasons as Steven, and with pretty much exactly the same view of the act now. I have no regrets.

Besides, it was a no-brainer: I voted in Texas--not exactly a swing state.

What we NEED, in addition to excreting Bush and his handlers from the body politic, is to do something about the Electoral College.


Don Neal

I voted for Nader for 2 reasons:

1. Michael Moore told me to.

2. I cant vote for anyone married to that bitch Tipper who's impact and my music is felt today. I have the privledge of growing up in Berkeley where there are/were Leopolds/Amoeba/Rasputins. What about all of middle America that big chains wont/wouldnt sell music with that fucking parental advisory sticker?

Geoff Rubio

I think it's important to remember that it wasn't the handful of people that voted for Nader in 2000 that allowed Bush to steal the election, it was the 50,456,169 idiots that voted for Bush to begin with.

Cynthia

Funny. I was listening to the news this morning on my way up the hill and thinking "wonder what Steven is thinking about all of this". Glad you're okay.

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