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Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Posted on Nov 3, 2008
AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaks during a news conference outside of the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington.

By Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who has covered many wars around the world. His column appears Mondays on Truthdig.

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. He can’t win. A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain. He threw the election to George W. Bush in 2000. He is an egomaniac. 

There is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues. Sen. Barack Obama’s vote to renew the Patriot Act, his votes to continue to fund the Iraq war, his backing of the FISA Reform Act, his craven courting of the Israeli lobby, his support of the death penalty, his refusal to champion universal, single-payer not-for-profit health care for all Americans, his call to increase troop levels and expand the war in Afghanistan, his failure to call for a reduction in the bloated and wasteful defense spending and his lobbying for the huge taxpayer swindle known as the bailout are repugnant to most of us on the left. Nader stands on the other side of all those issues. 

So if the argument is not about issues what is it about?

Those on the left who back Obama, although they disagree with much of what he promotes, believe they are choosing the practical over the moral. They see themselves as political realists. They fear John McCain and the Republicans. They believe Obama is better for the country. They are right. Obama is better. He is not John McCain. There will be under Obama marginal improvements for some Americans although the corporate state, as Obama knows, will remain our shadow government and the working class will continue to descend into poverty. Democratic administrations have, at least until Bill Clinton, been more receptive to social programs that provide benefits, better working conditions and higher wages. An Obama presidency, however, will make no difference to those in the Middle East.


Square, Site wide
I can’t join the practical. I spent two decades of my life witnessing the suffering of those on the receiving end of American power. I have stood over the rows of bodies, including women and children, butchered by Ronald Reagan’s Contra forces in Nicaragua. I have inspected the mutilated corpses dumped in pits outside San Salvador by the death squads. I have crouched in a concrete hovel as American-made F-16 fighter jets, piloted by Israelis, dropped 500- and 1,000-pound iron-fragmentation bombs on Gaza City. 

I can’t join the practical because I do not see myself exclusively as an American.  The narrow, provincial and national lines that divide cultures and races blurred and evaporated during the years I spent in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Balkans. I built friendships around a shared morality, not a common language, religion, history or tradition. I cannot support any candidate who does not call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to Israeli abuse of Palestinians. We have no moral or legal right to debate the terms of the occupation. And we will recover our sanity as a nation only when our troops have left Iraq and our president flies to Baghdad, kneels before a monument to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi war dead and asks for forgiveness. 

We dismiss the suffering of others because it is not our suffering. There are between 600,000 and perhaps a million dead in Iraq. They died because we invaded and occupied their country. At least three Afghan civilians have died at the hands of the occupation forces for every foreign soldier killed this year. The dead Afghans include the 95 people, 60 of them children, killed by an air assault in Azizabad in August and the 47 wedding guests butchered in July during a bombardment in Nangarhar. The Palestinians are forgotten. Obama and McCain, courting the Israeli lobby, do not mention them. The 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza live in a vast open-air prison. Supplies and food dribble through the Israeli blockade. Ninety-five percent of local industries have shut down. Unemployment is rampant. Childhood malnutrition has skyrocketed. A staggering 80 percent of families in Gaza are dependent on international food aid to survive.

It is bad enough that I pay taxes, although I will stop paying taxes if we go to war with Iran. It is bad enough that I have retreated into a safe, privileged corner of the globe, a product of industrialized wealth and militarism. These are enough moral concessions, indeed moral failings. I will not accept that the unlawful use of American military power be politely debated among us like the subtle pros and cons of tort law. 

George Bush has shredded, violated or absented America from its obligations under international law. He has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, backed out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, tried to kill the International Criminal Court, walked out on negotiations on chemical and biological weapons and defied the Geneva Conventions and human rights law in the treatment of detainees in our offshore penal colonies. Most egregiously, he launched an illegal war in Iraq based on fabricated evidence we now know had been discredited even before it was made public. The president is guilty, in short, of what in legal circles is known as the “crime of aggression.”

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By Getreal, November 5, 2008 at 2:09 am Link to this comment

It’s so simple. It’s called reality. Nader can only take votes from the ‘progressive’ pile, and of course that helps McCain/Bush/Palin/Rove, etc.

Sure it feels good to vote for Nader for insecure, holier-than-thou people who must absolutely pat themselves on the back as being more pure than the rest of us. We all know that what Nader stands for makes sense—defence spending totally out of control, etc. Obama knows that much better than Nader…don’t worry. But a pretty nasty reality keeps things from being perfect, and perfection is the deadly enemy of good enough.

Nader can only skim progressive votes to help the fascists, and he’s never going to come close to winning, because he’s a weird, egotistical, authoritarian gadfly, who picks his arse for 3.5 years, then runs for president. It’s just as weird as it sounds.

Poor Nannie, did they block you out? Maybe it’s for making a pest of yourself with your kindergarden bleating for Nader. These sites should be for people with something to say, not just for people to sell an annoying product with endless repetition like you were selling pantyhose or dish detergent. 

See how it’s done Ralph? Did you notice how Obama got off his f*****g ass and did something you really should learn about. Pssst… It’s a secret, but here goes: it’s called ORGANIZING. You should try it sometimes.

See you in 3.5 years all you silly Naderites. So long Ralph. (Don’t tell me you’re still going to be gadflying the next time around at 78!???? Give it a break already.)

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By thebeerdoctor, November 5, 2008 at 2:08 am Link to this comment

re: KDelphi

Sorry it took me awhile to respond, but I was up at my favorite convenience store, owned by American citizens from the middle east, who support President Obama, despite his crazy pandering to the AIPAC lobby.
Many of the customers are black Americans who wandered in a state of shock, after trying to absorb the knowledge that a black American is actually the next President. This is huge, as someone who remembers the voting rights act of 1965 when I was ten years old. This election is a sea change in American politics, whether progressives or conservatives acknowledge it or not.
As far as your question about the poor, whether black or any other color, President-elect Obama, being a thinking person, is aware of the inequity of the human condition. Consider how he was attacked for allegedly proposing “redistributing wealth”, when he was simply issuing a reasonable response.

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By Ron Ranft, November 5, 2008 at 1:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perhaps nothing illustrated your utter lack of political courage or even the mildest version of this trait than your surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention. This is a tradition for former presidents and one accorded in prime time to Bill Clinton this year.

Here was a President who negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt, but his recent book pressing the dominant Israeli superpower to avoid Apartheid of the Palestinians and make peace was all that it took to sideline him. Instead of an important address to the nation by Jimmy Carter on this critical international problem, he was relegated to a stroll across the stage to “tumultuous applause,” following a showing of a film about the Carter Center’s post-Katrina work. Shame on you, Barack Obama!

But then your shameful behavior has extended to many other areas of American life. (See the factual analysis by my running mate, Matt Gonzalez, on You have turned your back on the 100-million poor Americans composed of poor whites, African-Americans, and Latinos. You always mention helping the “middle class” but you omit, repeatedly, mention of the “poor” in America.

Should you be elected President, it must be more than an unprecedented upward career move following a brilliantly unprincipled campaign that spoke “change” yet demonstrated actual obeisance to the concentration power of the “corporate supremacists.” It must be about shifting the power from the few to the many. It must be a White House presided over by a black man who does not turn his back on the downtrodden here and abroad but challenges the forces of greed, dictatorial control of labor, consumers and taxpayers, and the militarization of foreign policy. It must be a White House that is transforming of American politics—opening it up to the public funding of elections (through voluntary approaches)—and allowing smaller candidates to have a chance to be heard on debates and in the fullness of their now restricted civil liberties. Call it a competitive democracy.

Your presidential campaign again and again has demonstrated cowardly stands. “Hope” some say springs eternal.” But not when “reality” consumes it daily.

Ralph Nader

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By Ron Ranft, November 5, 2008 at 1:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

During your visit to Israel this summer, you scheduled a mere 45 minutes of your time for Palestinians with no news conference, and no visit to Palestinian refugee camps that would have focused the media on the brutalization of the Palestinians. Your trip supported the illegal, cruel blockade of Gaza in defiance of international law and the United Nations charter. You focused on southern Israeli casualties which during the past year have totaled one civilian casualty to every 400 Palestinian casualties on the Gaza side. Instead of a statesmanship that decried all violence and its replacement with acceptance of the Arab League’s 2002 proposal to permit a viable Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in return for full economic and diplomatic relations between Arab countries and Israel, you played the role of a cheap politician, leaving the area and Palestinians with the feeling of much shock and little awe.

David Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, described your trip succinctly: “There was almost a willful display of indifference to the fact that there are two narratives here. This could serve him well as a candidate, but not as a President.”

Palestinian American commentator, Ali Abunimah, noted that Obama did not utter a single criticism of Israel, “of its relentless settlement and wall construction, of the closures that make life unlivable for millions of Palestinians. ...Even the Bush administration recently criticized Israeli’s use of cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians [see for elaboration]. But Obama defended Israeli’s assault on Lebanon as an exercise of its ‘legitimate right to defend itself.’”

In numerous columns Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, strongly criticized the Israeli government’s assault on civilians in Gaza, including attacks on “the heart of a crowded refugee camp… with horrible bloodshed” in early 2008.

Israeli writer and peace advocate—Uri Avnery—described Obama’s appearance before AIPAC as one that “broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning, adding that Obama “is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests. After all, the US has a vital interest in achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace that will allow it to find ways to the hearts of the Arab masses from Iraq to Morocco. Obama has harmed his image in the Muslim world and mortgaged his future—if and when he is elected president.,” he said, adding, “Of one thing I am certain: Obama’s declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people.”

A further illustration of your deficiency of character is the way you turned your back on the Muslim-Americans in this country. You refused to send surrogates to speak to voters at their events. Having visited numerous churches and synagogues, you refused to visit a single Mosque in America. Even George W. Bush visited the Grand Mosque in Washington D.C. after 9/11 to express proper sentiments of tolerance before a frightened major religious group of innocents.

Although the New York Times published a major article on June 24, 2008 titled “Muslim Voters Detect a Snub from Obama” (by Andrea Elliott), citing examples of your aversion to these Americans who come from all walks of life, who serve in the armed forces and who work to live the American dream. Three days earlier the International Herald Tribune published an article by Roger Cohen titled “Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque.” None of these comments and reports change your political bigotry against Muslim-Americans—even though your father was a Muslim from Kenya.

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By Ron Ranft, November 5, 2008 at 1:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Instead of the suppositions, predictions, accusations distortions, and lack of knowledge about where Nader stands, here is a letter I received as a Nader supporter. It covers just a few reasons why I chose Ralph over Obama. This is what Chris was talking about. This is where the rubber meets the road!It is posted in 3 parts.

November 3, 2008

Open letter to Senator Barack Obama

Dear Senator Obama:

In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words “hope and change,” “change and hope” have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not “hope and change” but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo.

Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?

To advance change and hope, the presidential persona requires character, courage, integrity—not expediency, accommodation and short-range opportunism. Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Eric Alterman summarized numerous polls in a December 2007 issue of The Nation magazine showing that AIPAC policies are opposed by a majority of Jewish-Americans.

You know quite well that only when the U.S. Government supports the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements, that years ago worked out a detailed two-state solution (which is supported by a majority of Israelis and Palestinians), will there be a chance for a peaceful resolution of this 60-year plus conflict. Yet you align yourself with the hard-liners, so much so that in your infamous, demeaning speech to the AIPAC convention right after you gained the nomination of the Democratic Party, you supported an “undivided Jerusalem,” and opposed negotiations with Hamas—the elected government in Gaza. Once again, you ignored the will of the Israeli people who, in a March 1, 2008 poll by the respected newspaper Haaretz, showed that 64% of Israelis favored “direct negotiations with Hamas.” Siding with the AIPAC hard-liners is what one of the many leading Palestinians advocating dialogue and peace with the Israeli people was describing when he wrote “Anti-semitism today is the persecution of Palestinian society by the Israeli state.”

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By Ron Ranft, November 5, 2008 at 1:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everytime the subject of Ralph Nader comes up, here comes ITW with the same old tired rhetoric which shows his ignorance of Nader and what he has accomplished. The most ridiculous is the reoccuring charge that with Nader it is “my way or the highway.” All of the legislation that Ralph was able to get Congress to pass mandating the seatbelt, the airbag, the clean water and clean air acts came about by his ability to gain support from other organizations and get consensus from people in Congress. Those bills would never have gotten through if Ralph was who and what ITW claims. ITW is a diletant. A psuedo intellectual who continually shows his lack of substance on the subject.

As for the individuals who continue to ask what Ralph would do differnt show that they are too lazy to go to his website and get that question answered. They are the very same people who go to the polls and don’t know one candidate from the next so they vote the Party ticket. They are just to busy watching American Idol to spend some time seeking out the knowledge they are obligated to have to participate in a Democracy. If Nader was elected President it would mean that the People were fed up with 545 people in Washington continuing to create more problems than they solve. Things are the way they are because those 545 people want it that way. If they didn’t, they would change it. So, if the People were to understand how the present people in power do not have their best interest’s at heart and they elected Ralph, they would more than likely also vote in a new slate of people who would understand that the People wanted to change directions, not argue about whether sitting on the left or the right side of the train headed to oblivion would save them.

To vote for Ralph Nader for any other reason than that he is the best person for the job. Not as a protest, not because it is safe, and not because of what one might think he would do. Ralph doesn’t lie has never changed his position on anything because it is unpopular. He is a man of principle and integrity. Obama wouldn’t even meet with Iraq Veterans during the Convention. He finally sent some low level rep to take their petition. As a Nam Vet he showed the same dishonor to the Vets that McCain and Bush have shown.

Earlier in the week Michael Moore was on Democracy Now and he said that he had voted for Obama. When Amy asked him why, since Obama had clearly come out against all the issues that Moore believed in, Moore replied, “every politician lies and makes promises and then when elected doesn’t keep them. I hope he doesn’t keep his either.”

What makes the two parties so very similar is that they are owned totally by the Corporatocracy and the wealthy elite. No matter who wins, they will dance to the master’s tune. Obama, for all his words of change and hope, will dance just as fast as the tune is played.

On the subject of our Noble Prize winning ex VP. He did not win it for Peace or for something he did while in the service of the people. He, in fact, helped gut the original Kyoto accords while VP. As someone said, “it is amazing how well one can promote the right thing once one no longer has the obligation of governance.” Ralph has done more for the citizens of this country than anyone who has ever served in Congress or has been President. Imagine what he could have done if he had ever been elected. We wouldn’t be where we are now, believe me.

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By Tunde, November 5, 2008 at 1:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges is right about Nader, wrong about other things. For instance “We dismiss the suffering of others because it is not our suffering.”

Americans do not care about their own suffering either. In addition, Iraq is our suffering as well. There are 150 000 veterans on the street, homeless. Hundreds have committed suicide. The war is causing untold damage to our deficit. The interference into any matters abroad causes suffering at home. Americans have been weaned of any sense of community. This includes their own country, their own state, their own town, even their own family. This is how totalitarianism is achieved, as Orwell described it.

Nader is so appealing because he cares about his fellow man at home and, by extension, abroad as well. Humanity begins at home.

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By KDelphi, November 4, 2008 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

ITW—I am glad Obam won. I voted for him. I dont fully support him . I am wiling to give him a chance.

One thing we can al be glad of—Bush is gone,adn the neo-cons may have been castigagted.

Gloating to people who were never “against you” is unpleasant. You realy feel that Nader supporters’ hearts are in the wrong place? I have found them to be decent , fair minded intelligent people. People will not get behind Obama by people saying"na-na” like children.

I congratulate Minority America!

Wait! I mean majority America! lol

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By Tom Paine, November 4, 2008 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

I give it to Barack Obama. He is an excellent orator, he has charisma, and is very intelligent, but that doesn’t win my support.

You know Nader, McCain, Barr, and Obama all said that they were for change. Yes, change may come. But I ask what kind of change? I’m sorry fellas, but I just can’t get behind FISA, torture, the Patriot Act, all Street bailouts, or the fantasy of clean coal. I’ll spare you the rest. What poppycock! It belongs to you. I’ll leave you with one question that the Afghani people also ask. Why are we in Afghanistan? No one (including the CIA) say that Bin Laden is in Afghanistan. There is more to think about of course. The enemy is nbot in Afghanistan, rather ignorance is the enemy. It’s just all too simple.

Good night and good luck!

Onward and Upward!


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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment


And all you Naderites who SWORE Nader would/could win…It’s all over.  Obama will be the next President, not Nader. Obama’s unstoppable now!

After 8 years of Bush, and 2 years of campaigning, it’s finally over and we can start looking forward to a healing of America.

Congratulations to Barack Obama, our 44th President!

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By Bob D., November 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The democrats lost an enornomus amount of credibilty when they failed, or failed at the very least an attempt to impeach george bush. That is probably the number one reason to not vote Democratic, not vote Obama, at least IMO. That would/should go down in history as one of the biggest failures of the Democratic party. The American people needed them to stand up and fight. They needed a voice to stand up and say “this is B.S.” All the democrats did was lay down and cave in like cowardized bastards. If they had fought and even lost, they would have earned respect for their actions, but they couldn’t even muster that.
They let down millions of Americans because they did nothing at all.
One more reason why Nader is right.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad Truthdig stepped in and took out those posts, even my posts quoting him.  It’s not right…

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By Paracelsus, November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

I have the same awful sense of disaster with Obama being elected into office today as I did when GW Bush “won” the election 8 years ago. Obama is going to finish the monstrous machine that GW had started to build. We are going to rue this day down to our bones.

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By cyrena, November 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind and cann4ing…

Thanks for response. I missed the whole thing. I guess TD must have deleted it before I could get back to the computer. (I’m restricted to a desk top these days, so it’s a back and forth operation as we celebrate Election Day here).

Anyway, this would be the first time, (to my face at least) that I’ve been referenced by that C word. (others, but not that). Nope, even my ex’s never called me that. Actually, they’ve been calling me all day with compliments. Go figure. ;

So, I missed the tired and fowl name calling from Scottk. And I’ve been so NICE to him. I wonder what brought all of this up?

Now I DID get to read the part about the ONLY reason he called me that terrible name, was because (he said) “She called me a ‘Big Guy’ first.” (OMG!!!)

When I read that part, it sent me into another giggle spasm. (not to worry…this same thing kept happening to me when I was in Las Vegas with Tony Wicher, getting the vote out.) It’s some sort of a silly stage. I straighten up after a while.

But…I’m not sure about today. I kept reading the comments and came to the woman who proudly informs us that she ALWAYS votes for Ralph Nader. EVERY election, she votes for Ralph Nader. This is the 5th one for his presence on the ballot, so I guess this is her 5th time voting for him. So what if he never wins?

So when I got to that part, I just busted up all over again. (Couldn’t help it). Now I’m wondering if that’s why everybody around here sort of all disappeared at the same time. Maybe these outbursts of laughter have them thinking that I’ve finally lost it.

Then I tune in to sherwoodforest, and he’s right on the money, so that sobers me up..Sherwoodforest writes:

“Nader could be in the Senate fighting the good fight right now or legitimately running for prez. But NO! Nader just runs so he can fund his organizations and his speaking tours. If he was a serious- he would soil his dainty self and Run for the People who so willingly support him and build coalitions to get things done. But he does not build- so in my mind he does not deserve much attention.”

And, it’s all true. It’s really a shame too. But, it is what it is.

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By KDelphi, November 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing—or anybody!~When did everyone on here become so HOSTILE?!

It wil all be over soon (I hope—there wil be lawsuits, probably—hope not),and you guys will stil be in Southern California, and some of us will still be stuck in the Rust Belt.

In the meantime, it doesnt make sense to me, to make enemies of each other.

I am going to take your suggesetion taht I am dyslexic or stupid as election day enthusiasm.Actually, I DO have ADD—but I am not stupid. I may have misread. The PDAs are NOT progressive.

They are neo-liberals. But the person I would like to have win is not going to—shouldnt that make you happy? If you guys have the money to go somewhere and celebrate, I have no idea why you are here.

CD is having live coverage at 7:00 with Amy Goodman. If you cannot get on CD (jesus h christ), it wil be on Democracy Now. Just passing it on, in case anyone is interested.

BTW—Everyone here seems to have pretty informed and intelligent opinions to me, whether I agree or not.I do not think anyone here is a four letter word, or and idiot, or an ass*ole. Stop it.

I’ve had “words” with people here—I support the Peace and Freedom Party. Words like that are no way to support anyone. Banning people is not democratic.Anyone acting liek that will be ambarrassed later—think about it.

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By ed_tru_lib, November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Its encouraging to see that it’s apparently the same few long-winded lefty blowhards who whine on & on about us true (or at least rational) progressives who won’t leave poor Ralphieboy alone. I’m old enough to remember, and have greatly admired and respected the Nader of the 60s & 70s, of the clean water and abolished Corvair, of a man whose little personality quirks could be endearing because he was obviously so RIGHT!, and so effectively right.
For years now he’s just been the same tired old whiner, but with sufficient charm left, (not that much seems to be required) to get the support of he same leftyloons who would STILL vote for Nader over Gore, or Obama, and STILL think they were picking the better man. Why attack Ralph-because he used to be an unashamed patriot, and now is clearly an unashamed traitor. He would, if he could, give us Palin the way he did Cheney. Not that he doesn’t have an insanity defense, but c’mon, there are people deservedly on death row who would pull our troops out of Iraq tomorrow morning and tax everyone who makes over 100K a year @90% too-gonna vote for them if one runs next time and Ralph’s finally had enough? Gore in his sleep would have been a better president 8 years ago, and Obama will likely be one of the great ones, but then even FDR had to put up with a few nuts on the ballot when he ran.

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By Frank, November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Mr Hedges,

The Republican National Committee would like to thank you for your article. If only more ‘progressives’ like you were willing to vote for Ralph Nader, the GOP would be able to hold on to the White House for 4 more years.

Sadly for Republicans, most progressives are more pragmatic and…well…more intelligent than you.  But the GOP loves you anyway, Chris.


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By KDelphi, November 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

I spent the Denver Convention online LIVE with the so-called “Progressive Dems of Am-”-Alot of them used to be my heroes! They censored people, even cut out words like “crap”???(When did students for a Dem Society become so undemocratic??)—they are HARDLY progerssive!A few people from other countries were in the chat—I was embarraseed—they said stuff like “Are they CENSORING us in here?? Why???”

Hayden’s article as to whether their is “any reason for protest in the AGE OF OBAMA “, Soloman’s “Progressives shoudl fix Obama (my name for it) The “magnificent man”-the introduced a Blue Dog Dem as..-blah!! What a disappointment.

You know guys cant we stop the name calling in here? I havent read thenm all—probably wont.(It would take days) Jeez! The neo-cons msut love it!

Nannie—No, I’m not banned now—who the hell knows why? I think that if they keep this up, their 501 (c) (3) status should be challenged.I’m almost afraid to talk about them!! They “look for dissenting views” to ban people !! THAT is “Democratic”????Well, after FISA—maybe!! Neo-liberalism is all it is.

Well, just got back from voting—-took 5 vets with me—2 had to fill out provisional ballots. Everything else fine.

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

scottk—you can’t spin your way out of it.  Your use of the C-word was despicable.  And if you really want to “build a peace and freedom party” resorting to name calling is an exceptionally ineffective way to accomplish it.

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By Anarcissie, November 4, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther: ’.... So an emphasis on reason and evidence in the power process must be instilled by emotional appeals.  Ratioanal political morality must be inculcated by spiritual ideology.  Which is what Hedges is trying to do.

Ineffectively to judge by the majority of comments.  How could it be done effectively? ...’

Hedges is doing the best he can, I think.  Most people think magically—and it’s always a temptation for all of us.  Magical thinking includes such ideas as the belief that one’s single vote will be thrown away if one votes for an unlikely candidate.  A vote is thrown away only if it does not do what is expected of it.  If one wants to send a message or take a moral or aesthetic stance, or express solidarity with some person or group, or register one’s judgement upon evildoers, and votes accordingly, then no one can say the vote was thrown away.  The only votes that are thrown away are those which are conceived of as practically decisive, because a single vote has an infinitesimal, that is, zero, effect on the outcome of a national election.  I guess I’ve said that a few times before, but not many people seem to get it, much less engage it enough to argue with it.  I see that this page is full of comments by people tearing their hair out because someone voted for or not for Nader (or Obama or whoever).  Be calm: they will not change the outcome, which will “roll down like mighty waters.”

I do find the particular attraction to Nader curious, but if that’s what floats your boat, by all means set sail and enjoy the breeze.

As for emotional appeal and spiritual ideology, I think they start at home and require everday action rather than a vote once every four years, but you can see how earth-shatteringly effective I am.  Maybe illusions and delusions are necessary.

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By Nannie, November 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment


Actually UNTIL Obama becomes a better Senator how can we expect him to become a better President? Actions are words…

VOTE NADER/GONZALEZ 2008… You’ll be glad you did and so will I…


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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

By Nannie, November 4 at 1:57 pm #

I also very proudly voted for…

So now we hear from the delusional?

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

By scottk, November 4 at 12:57 pm #

...democrats are worthless in stopping republicans.

Which is why it is critical that we have a Democrat in the White House so that we no longer have to rely upon those who lack the intestinal fortitude to filibuster a S.C. appointment.  There was no need to worry about a filibuster to stop the nomination of a Stephen Bryer or a Ruth Bader Ginsburg by President Clinton.  Both are excellent jurists who were part of the majority which rejected the military tribunal system and the assault on habeas corpus.

Obama has made it clear that he would appoint the centrist jurists devoted to the rule of law.  McCain has made it clear he will appoint Federalist Society ideologues.  And you, my friend, are willing to throw your vote away on someone who doesn’t have a prayer of success even though you “know” that McCain would appoint ideologues who could take this nation toward the final descent into fascism and even though you “know” that it is unlikely that Democrats in the Senate would block such a move.

And you call your position principled?

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By eileen fleming, November 4, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The media should be a sanctuary for dissent. It is our job to go to where the silence is.”-Amy Goodman

IF ONLY it were, we would have had MSM debates with ALL the candidates!

“As president, I will set a new direction in nuclear weapons policy and show the world that America believes in its existing commitment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to work to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons. I fully support reaffirming this goal, as called for by George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn, as well as the specific steps they propose to move us in that direction.”-Senator Barack Obama’s response to ACT. [1]

ACT/Arms Control Today is a leading journal devoted to nonproliferation and global security issues. ACT asked the presidential candidates questions on arms control and nonproliferation; from Russia to Iran, in regards to U.S. policy on cluster munitions and nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. Senator McCain’s responses have not yet been received, but he is on the record for renewing American commitment [on paper] to nuclear disarmament through strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, created in 1968, maintains that nuclear weapons proliferation can only be curtailed if nuclear countries make moves toward disarmament and the rest of the world is allowed to access civilian nuclear technology.

If the media were a sanctuary for dissent the candidates would have been grilled on America’s record regarding the NPT; and why the silence about Israel’s still un-inspected underground WMD facility and refusal to sign onto the NPT in light of the fact that we the people of America who pay taxes provide Israel with $7 million per day.

The Rest:

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By Nannie, November 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment


I also very proudly voted for…


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By Outraged, November 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

“Practical men and women do not stand up against injustice. The practical remain silent. A voice, even one voice, which speaks the truth and denounces injustice is never useless. It is not impractical. It reminds us of what we should strive to become. It defies moral concession after moral concession that leaves us chanting empty slogans.”  .....Chris Hedges

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By ScoutKJ, November 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Thank you so much for letting us hear about Mr Nader and why you support him. American citizens deserve a chance to hear from *all* candidates, and Third Party candidates deserve to be heard! I have always voted for Mr Nader, never for any other Presidential candidate. It surprises me that some people think Mr Nader “stole” my vote from the Democratic party. The Democratic Party does not own my vote! I have never been a registered Democrat and have voted in various elections for members of almost every party there is, including Libertarian and even Natural Law. I am a huge supporter of the Green Party and vote for their candidates every time I have the option to do so. So, which of my votes was “stolen”? I cast a vote for the candidate that most represents my beliefs, even when that belief may simply be (in the case of my votes for conservative Third Party candidates) that these candidates should get my vote merely because the option of voting for a Third Party is more important to me in some elections. My vote is my voice, and it’s honest, uncorrupted political influence. I use it to vote for the Candidate or platform I believe in. I trust Mr Nader because I know what he has done for us. I believe in him! When I “imagine Democracy”, Mr Nader shares my vision. He deserves our admiration, and we deserve the chance to vote for him. I voted early for Nader/Gonzalez in one of the “battleground” states. Sure, lots of people have tried to coerce me into voting for Democrats or try to bully me because I voted for Mr Nader. I don’t let someone else tell me I can’t vote how I want or that my considerations are unimportant, etc. My vote is about the issues, about my beliefs, about Democracy. This isn’t a game of chess, in my view. It’s a chance to vote how I believe. I have never regretted voting for Mr Nader. Yes, run Ralph, Run!

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By Bob, November 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excuse me. I learned in 2000 A.D. that there in indeed a BIG difference between Republicans and Democrats. Let’s not waste our votes on Nader, who will not be winning this election.

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By CitizenE, November 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have very little quarrel with Ralph Nader’s perspective on things, and find Democrats who blame him for the ascension of George W. Bush unwilling to accept that the Al Gore we’ve come to know and love had allowed himself to become so coopted by the political process that he ran an infuriatingly bad campaign.
That said, while I certainly can understand voting for Ralph Nader in a state where the electoral college vote is fait accompli, I think Mr. Hedges overlooks two things:
the first, and most important, thing he overlooks is the cultural achievement of the Obama campaign, which has as no electoral campaign in my 62 years, brought together so much American diversity in such a history healing manner,
and the second how it portends in a way that Nader has never been able to the possibility of grass roots bottom up politics that if our citizenry takes advantage will compel a President Obama to take notice.
Before the issues a Nader professes can be effective, there must be someone who gives them air; the very system that will elect Obama could, again if taken advantage of by the people, move him (as Obama’s purported philosophy already avers)toward much of Nader’s particulars. 
However, currently a vote for Ralph Nader does not portend such an outcome in the least.

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By cyrena, November 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Ah ScottK

What, ME HYSTERICAL? Now that IS hilarious. But then, maybe I’m just immersed in the delightful delirium of this historical event. The excitement is in the air (at least around my neighborhood it is – just of bunch of Indians and eggheads here) and even your petty spitefulness can’t much tarnish this beautiful day.

So, congratulations on being a ‘BIG Guy’ in your state to hook Nader up this time around. Seeing as how this is his FIFTH time on the presidential ballot, (every 4 years for the past 20, just like clock work – or leap year birthdays) I can’t comprehend why there was so much ‘work’ involved for you.  I mean, just seems like that would have been perfected by now. Maybe it’s because he only shows up for the recital every 4 years, and doesn’t bother to practice in-between. That’s what happens when one doesn’t bother to do the work, and waits until the end to cram. I would think a scholar like Ralph would know better.

Anyway, the kid’s home from school, so he’s gonna join me on the path so we can continue meeting and greeting our fellow celebrants.

Meantime, I’ll share this little diddy with you, that I just received via e-mail.

To Family and Friends,
There is still time to vote and make a difference!
I Didn’t Vote For Obama   by Kentucky Scott
I’m a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville, Florida .  I’ve got a wife and two kids.  Because the kids had no school today, I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early.
Fifty-nine minutes later, two smiling children and I proudly sported ‘I Voted’ stickers. But I didn’t vote for Obama.
I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with nothing as immigrants.

I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades. I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky.  (Killed by an
IED two years ago in Iraq).

I voted for Shawn, another who’s been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who’ll be going back to Afghanistan again soon—and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started.

I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school—it was years before it occurred to me how different her experience of our school must have been.

I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and yes Muslim.

I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young.

I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I want him to get a REAL tax break!

I voted for four little angels from Birmingham.

I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it.

I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too.

But mostly, I voted selfishly. I vote for two little kids, one who has Ballet in an hour, and one who has baseball practice at the same time.

I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them.

I voted for a government that will be respected in the world.  I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile.  I voted for everything I believe in.
Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn’t him I was voting for—it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all!

Who else is there to vote for?

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By Nannie, November 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

KD, Now I’m blocked by CD. WTF did I do?

Election day of all things…grrrrrr

Tell them I said Hi….LOL

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Tom Paine, November 4 at 11:48 am #

Inherit The Wind,

Unfortunately you sound somewhat naive, Inherit.
Whose talking on the issue of election fraud and campaign/electoral reform if not Nader?


You are voting and shilling for Nader and you call ME naive?

Have at it, Tom! I’m defenseless because I’m laughing so hard I can’t move!!!!!!!!!!

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By KDelphi, November 4, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Just had to let someone know…Obama has a new “endorsement”. Or , at least a “nothing to fear” endorsement..

Its CNBC—The Money Channel! They are touting how few of the tax cuts he wil really roll back, that he wil not tax most big business, that they wil stil get 90s level “cuts”—and the Dow is up.

Looks like it is “working”.

If youre into Chicago School.

We ARE the new “experiment” , we will live the next “Shock Doctrine”.

You know, this is disappointing, even to me.

We do NOT have to live by the “stock market”—but, it seems most people want to.

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

By scottk, November 4 at 12:43 pm #


I find it hilarious you Obama supporters always go back to the courts, last time I checked a democratic controlled senate can stop any judicial appt. they want…

Oh?  That worked out real well during the Alito nomination, huh?  Get real!  McCain has made it clear he will appoint another ideologue from the Robert Bork founded, Richard Mellon Scaife funded Federalist Society.  One more and there will be a permanent majority of Federalist Society radicals in robes on the Supreme Court—all committed to the erection of permanent control of the corporate security state.

The election of Barack Obama is central to braking this nation’s slide into fascism.

But be smug in your belief that you can afford the luxury of a fool’s errand—throwing your vote away on someone who stands no chance whatsoever of getting elected.  Continue to ignore the superior PDA strategy.  It’s precisely what I would expect from those whose world view is Manichaein.

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Headline Feb. 20, 2010.  The Supreme Court, now solidly in the hands of Federalist Society jurists, upheld an order issued by President Palin making it a crime to teach evolution in public schools.

Asked to comment, ScottK, a former Nader supporter declined to respond, concerned that he would add to the prison term he was about to serve in Guantanamo for speaking out against corporate control of the U.S., though he was overheard to mumble to a friend, “I wish I hadn’t thrown away my vote.”

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By mill, November 4, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

I don’t support Nader myself, but i do respect his supporters for their focus on issues and policy.

Never heard a Nader support say he was going to vote for Nader because of how HOT he looks when he winks at the camera .... unlike supporters of another national-ticket politician

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By KDelphi, November 4, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Actually, it is very possible taht Eric teh Red may have been a distant ancestor to me, FEN—of course, all teh Vikings died here, but, Dennmark adn Norway were pretty isolated for a long time—so I am probably related. What do I get?? LOL

Actually, what I should probably get for being related to these people is KILLED by Native Americans! But, I think that they wil show mercy. My ancestors didnt do what the Anglos did, at least. ..cold comfort

Actualy (as stated above), when teh Congress passed the FISA Amendments, I DID switch from ATT to a cable provider. Seriously. I take that stuff very seriously, when I can afford to. I wish that the duopoply would do the same.

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By cyrena, November 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

WOW!!! This SAYS IT ALL: (for anyone that had any doubts)

scottk REVEALS

“..By scottk, November 4 at 10:52 am #


“ felt great because when Obama sells out the progressives, I can tell you all, see I told you so.”


There you have it. In his own words. It ‘FELT’ -great- because, scottk thinks it will allow him to say “I told you so”. This is something he admits that he will enjoy.

That tells us what type of a person scottk is, which is exactly why the rest of us have been suffering under the persecution of a Dick Bush Totalitarian regime for 8 years.

These are NOT the *ignornants* that are voting for Nader. That’s a whole other ball of wax. No, these are the psychopaths in our midst, who actually ENJOY the chaos that that help create. In fact, they TRY to create this massive divisiveness to make entertain their own sick psyches.

He thinks he’ll get to say “I told you so”.

I guess I could have said the same thing a few jillion times over the past 8 years, but I’ve made it a point to bite my tongue. Too many people –too many of US- have lost too much blood, life and treasure to the disastrous (intentionally so) policies of Richard B Cheney (the Shadow Dictator) and George W Bush, (the puppet wanna be dictator). Too many coming home dead in boxes or dead on their feet, to do a whole bunch of “I told you so stuff”. Besides, they aren’t stupid, because most of us are not stupid.

So in honor of all of US, I offer these words from Maya Angelou,

•  “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

~Maya Angelou

If faced with COURAGE, (*not* hatred, contempt, and vindictiveness) we can fix and avoid this ever happening again.


Thanks for your great post @ By Inherit The Wind, November 4 at 11:13 am

And, thanks for that primer on tax revenue from a few days ago. That was actually very helpful. (at least for me).

Ok…it’s a beautiful day to vote here in this seaside hamlet in Southern California. So, since I voted the first day of absentee voting, I’ve got a little post set up on the foot/bike path between villages/reservations/compounds/whatever, so I can wave and cheer everyone going to or coming from the voting booths. (just for voting). I do have on my very fancy Obama tee shirt though, that Tony Wicher so graciously provided me with. (two of them actually, so I may change later in the day, or just wear them both at the same time). I’ve also got some coffee and tea out there with me, in case they need some refreshments, or wanna just sit and chew the fat, and celebrate what a great day it is to vote for a real leader, who will lead us forward, instead of over the cliff.

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, November 4 at 11:41 am #

I do not know how you can say that Obama’s ideas and policies on the issues are “nearly identical” to McKinney’s or Nadedr"s [sic.].

Do you suffer from Dislexia?  What I said pertained to “the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).  Their substantive objectives are nearly identical to those advocated by Nader, McKinney, the Greens, etc.”

I never said that Barack Obama was a member of the PDA or that his substantive objectives are nearly identical to those advocated by Nader/McKinney.

It is a significant disappointment that individuals like you are incapable of subtle but vital distinction—which is precisely why the Left in this country is, and always has been, badly fractured and always relegated to the outside looking in.

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By jackpine savage, November 4, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment


I have never once suggested that Obama - or any other politician - will solve our problems.

Read the two posts i wrote below yours again. We want the problems solved, we solve them. Our politicians are only as good as the people that they represent. And i’ll argue (and win) that as long as we keep acting like we do we cannot very well expect our politicians to act any better.

Voting Nader is an excuse to rationalize a lack of right conduct on our parts. I say this with authority because i’d buy a hat to eat if most of the Nader voters who are so proud of themselves can show how their personal conduct is significantly better than Obama’s Senate record (or any other politician for that matter).

The problem with our politics is that it DOES represent us. Our problems are ours, yet we expect someone else to solve them…or that we might discharge our duties by pulling a lever for candidate who has no chance of actually doing anything.

I have no problem with someone voting for Nader, but that vote should be an extension of the voter’s conduct, not a replacement for it. And hell yeah that goes for people who vote for Obama or McCain too.

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By Tom Paine, November 4, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,

Unfortunately you sound somewhat naive, Inherit. Many of us have gone through this facade in the past. You are assuming that the two hawks (Gore and Lieberman) would represent “good government”, yet if you look at their voting records, in terms of working class issues, war, health care, campaign reform,  wall street, and…. I do not consider that call that “good government”. The problem here is again the refusal to acknowledge that these corporate and Israeli tools represent fundamentally different values from most progressives. Their policies wreak disaster in the long run. You may not be a progressive (certainly Joe Lieberman is not). That’s your right and I afford that right to you. But all because these corporate tools were/are “players”, doesn’t make them attractive, “good”,  nor does it command my vote.

If you remember Gore couldn’t win his home state, in 1990 and he totally caved in over the voting fraud in Florida. He has always been a hawk, and although many “think” that he is against global warming, he perpetuates the illusion of clean coal among other illusions. In short Gore and Lieberman defeated themselves and that is dysfunctional democratic politics again. Remember even after 5 disastrous years of a Republican Congress and presidency the Democrats were not able to gain a true majority in the Senate in 2006 (borrowing Joe Lieberman who was an independent and Bernie Sanders who was a socialist… gasp). Something is wrong with the Democratic play book, and it calls for some scrutiny IMO. You know the Republicans are already gearing up for 2012.

In any case I don’t see how Lieberman/Gore has anything to do with today’s elections other than to show how not to inspire voters and warn us that election fraud is a serious problem and something must be done about it. Whose talking on the issue of election fraud and campaign/electoral reform if not Nader?


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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

By scottk, November 4 at 9:25 am #

My wife and I just voted for Nader/Gonzalez,and it felt great.

My wife and I just voted for Obama/Biden, and it felt great.  Your point being?

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By KDelphi, November 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

I’m getting ready to go vote, and take some people with me..after I check some Ohio polls…looks a little tight. What looks worse, is the phony emails, door leaflets, etc. that they are trying again—they used them in 2004.

Just want to say this—NOT to foment the “hate Nader” stuff.

beer dr.—I like you alot, from what I know, and your site. I am just asking a serious question , here, that you can answer for yourself. I just do not see that Obama has said that he will do anything at all for “poor blacks in Ohio”, nor “poor anybody”.In fact, “class” has been an issue (anything below middle class, anyway) that Dems have stridently avoided this campaign.

cann4ing—I do not know how you can say that Obama’s ideas and policies on the issues are “nearly identical” to McKinney’s or Nadedr"s. Obama’s proposalas are all mostly m (or completely) market-driven, tax based, for-proft and, maintains teh current reliance on private health insurance industry. It may be a little better funded. I heard someone say that, if you could not afford the Congressional plan, it would be “subsidized”—well, there is absolutely no way that they wil reimbuse or pay for people that cannot pay for it at all, to have care just like themselves..if they wanted anything vaguely like that they would pass HR 676.

For primary care, none of the “universal health care plans” elsewhere includes a market based model,—you can ussually BUY into one—if you have the money, but to keep it al mkt based wil just deliver crappy care to the poor again.ANY program taht is tax based is intentional in its desire to provide the poor with nothing, or worse. Both “stimulus” packages were that.

Obama;‘s stance on “war on terror”, FISA, etc.—not even close to McKinney’s or Nader’s..

I guess that the Wall St Bailout was alot more do-able—it was for the middle class also—or, so they are told. I guess it indicates priorities, which, despite, much talk of it, teh Dems have never shown a “shift” from.


“Class” (except for tax cuts and rebates—which they do not get)is the word sounding in horrifically noisy silence, this campaign. The gOP has thrown it at the Dems a couple times—and they most adamently “defend” themselvse—NO CLASS WARFARE! Well, after what has happened in the last 8 yrs, I think it is already a class war, and, that the poor just havent been allowed to hit back!The “hurls” just give the Dems the chance to reassure the middle class and rich that “we wil protect you from your fellow poor folk. “Reparations? Socialism? Are you crazy? Is that a joke?”

Now, I wil go vote for Obama, as it looks tighter. (Moore wil probably get what 5 votes here?),I wil get a little tear that I finally voted for an Af Am president. But , neither wil I tell myself I am voting for change of any substantive kind, for progressive policies, or “social democracy” that the GOP has been crowing about. I wil be voting to keep the “status quo” from gettintg worse. I

If Obama surprises me—great!


I also have the Black Box voting kit, although I really doubt that there will be much problem at my poll this year (or any year). It is small.


My vote will matter only to me—and my conscience that would bother me (isnt that silly?) if I did not vote. Its not enough (as my dad used to say), and I hope I wil be welcome to help on the ground after the election, to clean up Dubya’s “dead” and bring some of them back to life.

It should be up to those who “progressivised Obama” in their minds to “pull him to the Left”—if you really want to.It looks an impossible task, to me, Hope I am wrong.

And hope for a more liberal Congress, even if that means moderate GOP over Blue Dogs.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

I don’t believe in the pendulum of government. I believe good government begets good government. Had not the election been stolen in 2000 and again in 2004, we would have had 12 years, maybe 16 years of good government.

The last time we had such consistency we had 20 years of good government and the nation was changed for the better—until Ronald Reagan deliberately started the dis-assembly of the New Deal.  The result? The infrastructure of the nation is crumbling.  The industries of the nation are gone.  They don’t make steel anywhere in Pittsburgh anymore.  The educational system is having to fend off the Sarah Palins who want our kids to learn Genesis as science and believe dinosaurs co-existed with early man (62 million year discrepancy).  We don’t compete in anything but fast foods, jetliners, and weapons.  And entertainment.

Jimmy Carter tried to get us going on that New Deal track again, updated for 1977-1981.  What happened? Tossed out so we could destroy our economy with Reaganomics.  Who called “Voodoo economics”?  George H.W. Bush, that’s who.  And he was right.

So…you have a few more hours to waste your votes on Nader.  If your state is a sure thing for Obama or McCain (doesn’t matter) like Chris Hedges, have at it and enjoy that smug feeling of how much smarter and more moral you are than us Obama voters.

But if your state is a battleground, please, PLEASE don’t help McCain by voting for Nader unless you really believe McCain is better for America than Obama if/when Nader loses.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

scottk, November 4 at 9:25 am #

My wife and I just voted for Nader/Gonzalez,and it felt great.

I can only imagine that being true if you were filling out your absentee ballots buck nekkid and then decided to celebrate. (in private, of course).

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By Folktruther, November 4, 2008 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Who said anything about God or religion, Cann4ing.  Interpersonal morality has always been enforced by spiritual and emotional ideology-what one feels is RIGHT- and political morality must be enforced in the same way.  We must extend morality from individuals to groupings of individuals.

As to the First Amendment, Cann4ing, noone pays any attention to it except highly indoctrinated lawyers and teachings instilling it in school children.  The American population has historically been indoctrinated with religious delusions-I was read a passage of the (Christian) bible every morning in my rural elememtary school- (that is why I am so pure) and religous respect of progressives is a major constraint against confronting the right wing loonies.

As for Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, or Freedom of Expression in the US, it is an outright fraud. Freedom of communication is so grossly restricted in this country that people even object to my elementary use of evidence and logic.  Since formulating the simple truth from a world historical perspective subverts American Patriotism justifying a murderous foreign policy.

All power structures delude the people they rule, conceptually and emotionally derange their consciousness, distract them from their crucial power interests with learned and popular trivia, and ideologcial repress the simple truth about people and power.  And since the Bushite counterrevolution, freedom of communication is increasingly restricted in the US, and will be more so in the future since Obama and the Dems voted for the US power system spying on the American people.

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By Tom Paine, November 4, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Hey ed_tru_lib, loosen up! When you can’t defend yourself on the issues, then try primitive character assassination (ad hominem arguments) instead of attacking the an assertions or issues. That’s a logical fallacy used mostly by neocons, like Limbaugh, Pal.

I think even middle of the roaders respect that Nader is a man of integrity and do not question his motivation, rather what is being questioned is his strategy. So go take your character assassination script and give it back to GW, it doesn’t work here.. 

Nader is not attacking Obama (or you). Be clear about that. Rather he is attacking their stand on the issues based on the issues. That’s what a debate is about. It’s not about winning or losing, sorry. It’s about opening your mind and learning something. We all have something to learn IMO. There is a discernment to be made between platitudes and issues. Being hypnotized to window dressing is misleading. Such leads to eventual disillusionment at best or catastrophe at worse. 

Americans lately are getting what they bought (or voted for) – same thing. It is obvious that they are both bought out by the corporate agenda. That’s another word for corruption. It’s both a morally and economic bankrupt systems fraught with Patriot Acts, incessant opportunistic wars, Wall Street bail outs, torture, incarceration rates,  an unaffordable for profit disease care system, a corporate media with its own agenda, a dysfunctional and expensive educational system, and a etc. . . . none of which the Democrats will address in practical terms. If that serves “democratic” interests/agenda, then one may say that it is a functional system for them; i.e., that it is practical, but it doesn’t serve my interests, so it is not practical, you dig?

The fate of a democratic nation has much to do with the “ability” of its people to make wise decisions. It’s not the Bush, Cheney, Nixon, Agnew,  Reagan, Clintons, Guiliani, Lieberman, McCain, or Palins who are responsible, rather their power is the result of the vote. By the way, it is a good idea to bring a video camera with you to the polling place and if you have time, film any “irregularities” if they let you.

If people vote for Santa Claus or Obama, I will support their right, but I think that we could benefit more from a populace who is capable of questioning the assumptions and platitudes of their sacred cows (political parties), institute critical thinking, and undergo the often painful process of disillusionment. Many years ago I had to make my break with those who talked a good talk (the demopublicans) and those who were honest and really meant intended to do what they said (walked their talk). Since then I felt much better about myself. IMO most Democrats are more dangerous than Conservative Republicans (misled as they may be). The glaring exceptions are Russ Feingold in the Senate and Barbara Lee (my congresswoman) in the house. She gets my vote regardless what party she may join. Why, because she has integrity. I suggest taking local action and throw 90% of the sellout politicians out if you practically want to live in a functional world with less prisons, less wars, less cancerous air, water, food, and more clean energy, affordable health care, and better working conditions. I do. I’m taking a stand with truth and such is an action with consequences as long as the vote gets counted. It’s a start. Thank you for supporting my right to do so. 


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By Tom Paine, November 4, 2008 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Voting for the person who best represents my values is never a wasted vote Rather my vote would not only be wasted if I voted for some one whose cowardice and hypocrisy on the issues was antithetical to mine and misleading, but it would be counterproductive to my stated goals and purpose. I don’t hear Nader supporters boo hooing, only you and your cavalier friends booing. LOL Teh Nader people that I know are realists who are pushing for a brave new future. Such movements start slowly when a country is coming from deep denial. It is counterproductive to confuse soliciting money from large corporations in order to hire campaign strategists and marketing experts, with the ability to build a democratic grassroots movement. The former is based upon selling out, while the latter is based upon affording the people teh ability to think critically, so that their own best interests are represented.  That’s the shame (that people are no longer demand what is in their own best interests) or worse that those who do are labeled as holier than thou extremists..

Unlike most Democrats, I do not buy into the new mantra that says that you must vote for the lesser of two evils. Using that “logic” voting for George McGovern in 1972 was wasted because the pundits said that he could not win. I suggest thinking about the future of America. What makes Democrats certain that Pelosi. Lieberman, Obama, and Biden are going to bring you into the promised land? For me this isn’t about personalities as many suggest, but about the best government for our children. I don’t care if that person is a democrat. republican, green, or whatever, just so they are not sold out and hence not untrustworthy.

I would agree with the democratic faithful ideologues is that this election provides the astute observer with an object lesson should one inquire deep enough. If critical “issues” again are obscured and lose out to Madison Avenue marketing funded by Wall Street crooks, then it clearly points to the existence of a dysfunctional (read impractical) political system which has become entrenched in the American psyche. When I inquire more deeply whether or not Pelosi or Obama are part of that corrupt system and intend to reinforce it, or if they are willing to change it, I have come to the conclusion that it would be counterproductive to vote for them. You call that idealist, but I have said when voting one’s conscience based on facts, appears to be “holier than thou” to another person, it seems obvious that that other person might be in a very dark place. I urge you to think about this (it’s your life that you are gambling with).

Personally, I can’t afford “holier than thou”. Too many people have died already needlessly. Just take me as some one born during WWII and who has gone through the disillusionment process of the Vietnam War. I have no wishes to re-experience that deception again. It’s time to take a stand, and that time is now. Again if this sounds out of place to you or impractical, then maybe you want to enlist to fight in Afghanistan or wherever Obama wants to send you? The real enemy to a democracy however is the denial and ignorance if its populace – it’s inability to discern charades from fact – it’s the truth dig it! Americans have been getting shafted for a long time. We are on our credit card and the balloon payment is due. Are you ready? 


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By ed_tru_lib, November 4, 2008 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Nader’s egomania remains undiminished, and perhaps is even more severe now than when he gave us Rove/Cheney back when some of the Nadernuts, even those as eternally hopeless as Hedges, could still be forgiven for being deluded not just that Gore=Bush, but that Nader was preferable to Gore. The world has changed, and even someone with Barack’s obvious ability and potential will never be able to undo all the harm Nader and his nuts caused by giving us Bush. Fortunately this time enough people have both McCain’s, and Nader’s numbers. It’s going to be a great day in America. It’s just coming 8 years late.

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By Amy, November 4, 2008 at 11:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the third election cycle that I’ve had to engage in this bitter conversation.  What a waste.  It is easily fixable.

Why isn’t Instant Runoff Voting central to this discussion?  We are never going to agree on this.  How about we just fix the system so that the winner is required to get a majority of the vote? 

Will each of you that is so angry about this issue please channel your energy towards writing a letter to someone that represents you (council member, state rep, congressperson, whatever) and tell them that you want Instant Runoff Voting so that we can rank our first, second, third choices and never have to worry about the spoiler issue ever again?

Do you want to have this same conversation yet again 4 years from now?

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By seanriley, November 4, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges makes a good case for Nader, but what about the Supreme Court? However compromised Obama may be in many ways, at least in the crucial upcoming appointments, he’s not going to solidify the damaging rule of Scalia, as McCain would do—and Ralph, after all, is not going to be in a position to make a difference. After what happened in 2000, isn’t this reason enough to vote for Obama, Chris?

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By cyrena, November 4, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Fenwick writes:

I went to vote with some neighbors this morning.  One of them, a Cape Verdean, a recent arrival to our shores, got her ballot and voted without any problem. I, however, was asked to fill out a Provisional ballot because my name was stricken from the rolls.  My family has been on this side of the Atlantic since 1759.
Now, I ask you dear reader, is this the new change.  I was all set to cast my ballot for Ralph, now, I’ll have to wait to cool down and go after work.


Fenwick, I know this isn’t funny, (to you) but I think it’s absolutely HILARIOUS that you were asked to submit a Provisional ballot because you name had been stricken from the rolls. And that’s despite the fact that your family has been on this side of the Atlantic since 1759!!! OMG

Welcome to the club Fenwick. My family has been on this side of the Atlantic since about 1208, (long before the terrorist attack of 1492) and the same thing has been happening to US. In fact, we only just became eligible to cast ANY vote about 100 years ago, and they still make it really difficult. So…THAT ISN’T THE ‘CHANGE’. That’s the SOP for us. I guess they must not have known you were a white guy. Did you tell them you were white? Maybe they thought you were an Indian.

So, do you think after you ‘cool off’ that your name will suddenly reappear on the rolls? If not, here’s what to do: Just tell ‘em Smitty the Scalp Sculptor sent you. He’s dead now, (my grandpa, a former barber) but they’ll recognize the name and his organization. The Blackfeet. (I think they’re all pretty much dead now as well.) But, it’s worth a try.

Oh my. What a hoot!! You’ve made my day Fenwick. But, just so you know…it’s not new. It’s just ‘new to you’ since it’s the first time your white privilege didn’t speak for you.

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By JimBob, November 4, 2008 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Voting for Nader?  You are an ass, sir.

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By Outraged, November 4, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

“In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current”  .....Thomas Jefferson

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By Tony Wicher, November 4, 2008 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

By joseph barbato, November 3 at 12:50 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

I voted for Nader in 2000 and got eight years of George Bush. I’ll make that mistake once
Good thinking, joseph. Some people actually change their minds based on evidence. I never did vote for Nader, but back in 1980 I voted for Anderson, a liberal Republican, because I wasn’t happy with either major party candidate, Reagan or Carter. Worst vote I ever cast. What did I get? Eight years of Reaganism and ruin. Anderson might as well have been a Reagan campaign plant.

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By MINA, November 4, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would like to point out that while NADER makes really good points, his message is so subtle and high up there that the people who have to really get the point misses it completely.

In other words, you have to be open to analyzing facts, you need to be able to think for yourself and make your own opinions to be able to understand NADER’s message. Not to mention that you also need some college at least.

Unfortunately, all of those who call themselves liberal and realistic and would never support a third party candidate probably don’t have the willingness or capacity of going through this process.

Because let’s face it folks, people is just plain LAZY!!!!

they all want to feel like “Winners” while voting for the the “Winning” party who continues to screw them from the butt without a condom. BUT UNDERSTAND THIS! They are Winners because they were able to choose who would screw them. Although they had the opportunity to vote for a “looser” who would not screw them at all.

It is all about perception. People fail to see consequences when they feel detached from the situation.

Politics would be explained better in the following way.

Imagine this: you are trapped in a deep well for forty days and forty nights. Suddenly you hear a voice providing you with only two options, you know there are more, but you are only given two, here they are:

Option 1 - An old white man will look down on you, shine a light, and take your picture.
Option 2 - A younger black man will be lowered into the well, provide you with food, drink, and remain down there with you for an hour, just to talk to you, then he will be pulled up while you remain in the well.

Which do you choose? You are really hungry, remember.

Either way you are screwed because nobody is promising you a way out.


Now: What about the other option? Did you hear option 3?

Option 3 - to be rescued from the well and delivered to your family and friends, given food, drink, a change of clothes and appropriate compensation for days lost.

Of course nobody told you of option three. Were they afraid you might accept it? This is another example of the politics of fear where third party candidates are not able to enter the game, not even debate.

Can you guess who I think option 1, 2, and 3 represent? For those that need help, 1 is McCain, 2 is Obama, and 3 is Nader.

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

By MeHere, November 4 at 8:29 am #

It is not about thinking that Nader will miraculously get to the presidency and solve all our ills.  It is about building support for a party, a group, a movement, or whatever you may want to call it.

There is such a movement afoot.  It can be found within the Democratic Party.  Its formal title is the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA).  Their substantive objectives are nearly identical to those advocated by Nader, McKinney, the Greens, etc.  The difference entails tactics and strategy.  It entails an understanding that the most efficient vehicle for arriving at a progressive tomorrow involves the hard work at the grass roots level to elect true progressives within the Democratic Party.  It recognizes that the Nader/McKinney/Green approach will always have progressives on the outside looking in.

Assuming this election is not stolen, Barack Obama will be the 44th President of these United States.  While his election is essential to preventing a further slide into fascism, none of the progressives supporting his candidacy expect that Obama will be the answer to all of our concerns.  Grass roots advocacy will be required to pressure Congress to bring about meaningful change, including electing more progressives to Congress in 2010. 

The reality of American politics is that Nader/McKinney/the Greens have only served to fracture the American Left, reducing the impact that it could have by joining together in PDA to effect meaningful change from within.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 4, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

re: floydw

“But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.”

You should know who wrote that. I can think of no better reason to cast a vote for Senator Obama.

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By MeHere, November 4, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

It is not about thinking that Nader will miraculously get to the presidency and solve all our ills.  It is about building support for a party, a group, a movement, or whatever you may want to call it.  If we keep voting for the two ruling parties, the message is that we are satisfied with their policies.  We must keep in mind that what most people hear during a Republican or a Democratic government is not what defines the course of the country.  Many of the important decisions and policies made by these governments don’t make the headlines in the popular media which is what most people seem to be guided by for everything, from news to voting.  It is people like Chris Hedges, Nader, the Greens, and many others who bring attention to the real issues.  Misguided foreign policy and wars, lack of regulation in the financial market, and out-of-control medical expenses and uninsured citizens, to name a few things, have a long and messy history under both ruling parties.  It would be nice if everything got straightened out simply by getting rid of the Bush gang.

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, November 4 at 7:51 am #

Ratioanal political morality must be inculcated by spiritual ideology.

After eight years of a faith-based (as opposed to fact based) administration I am nothing less than shocked to find someone who claims to be a progressive trying to inject religious doctrine into political decision-making.  Ours is a secular state with a first amendment which not only guarantees the free exercise of religion but bans the “establishment” of any religion (freedom from religion).  One does not need to believe in God in order to make a moral choice, and a pragmatic decision to vote for Barack Obama is not an “immoral” choice.

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By Folktruther, November 4, 2008 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

TdBach has coined a phrase that exactly expresses the the practices of the day, election day.  And which makes Hedges approach reasonable. 

We are talking about faith-based voting here.  Objectively, as Anarcissie continues to point out, it doesn’t matter how you vote, you are only one of a hundred milliion people.

Subjectively, however, it matters enormously, because our actions give our lives meaning.  And they only have the meaning that people give them.  And part of this meaning is that we are doing the Right Thing.  Whichever way we conceive it, from a moral or practial standpoint.  And since we cannot know all the factors involved, this always involves a leap of faith.

This political faith of the American people is contrary to the longer term power interests of the American people and the people of the world.  The change that you can Believe in is a delusive faith, the Hope a subjective illusion. 

It is based largely on the American Dream which has been destroyed by the Bushite counterevolution.  But this is not acknowledged in a simple easily grasped way in the mainstream truth because it poses the American population as opposed against the American power structure.  And people not only identify with power, we are afraid to oppose it.

So an emphasis on reason and evidence in the power process must be instilled by emotional appeals.  Ratioanal political morality must be inculcated by spiritual ideology.  Which is what Hedges is trying to do.

Ineffectively to judge by the majority of comments.  How could it be done effectively?

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By cann4ing, November 4, 2008 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

By jackpine savage, November 4 at 5:12 am #

All these comments - and though i don’t know why, i’ve read them all - and nobody’s answered my question: how would electing Nader change anything? Or, how would his being “right on the issues” be translated into action?

Excellent point, but the question of the impact of a Nader presidency is about as meaningful as the question about the arrival of the tooth fairy.  It just isn’t going to happen.

The question about whether Nader is “right on the issues” is about as meaningful as whether a tree falling in a forest a hundred miles from the closest human being actually makes a noise.

Nader’s brilliance on the issues of our time is lost because Nader’s tactics have bordered upon idiocy.  Had he chosen the route of running within the Democratic Party, perhaps seeking first a Senate seat, he could have used the U.S. Senate as a far more powerful platform for directly challenging the corporate oligarchy.  Had he then later run for President in a Democratic primary—i.e., at a time when a vote for Nader would not enhance the prospects of a Bush or McCain presidency—had he then put in the time and effort at community organizing required, his efforts may well have translated into meaningful change, especially if it brought with it a slew of progressives to House and Senate seats.

Instead, Nader has chosen to be a perennial footnote.  He will fade from view, returning only to engage in another exercise in futility in 2012.

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By floydw, November 4, 2008 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Chris. An excellent article. A superlative expression of moral integrity. I salute your courage, your valor, your fortitude, your resolve and your insight. I am certain your kin, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and the countless others of the heroic motive recognize and appreciate your effort, and you are justified by it.

I am reminded of the seer and courageous New Englander Henry David Thoreau, who in his protest of the war against Mexico and the iniquity of slavery, refused to pay his poll tax and was cast into jail. Ralph Waldo Emerson came to visit. As he approached Thoreau’s cell he asked his friend, “what are you doing in there?” Thoreau — reflecting on the morality of endorsing the government’s depraved policy by paying the tax it demanded, and the consequence of complicity —  responded simply, “what are you doing out there?”

It was this experience that inspired Thoreau’s magnificent essay Civil Disobedience. It was this essay that inspired and encouraged MLK and Gandhi. A simple, genuine act of virtue became the foundation for two of the next century’s greatest movements — think Butterfly Effect in Chaos Theory. Kudos to you, Chris.

Here, in this courageous New Englander’s refusal to pay his taxes and his choice of jail rather than support a war that would spread slavery’s territory into Mexico, I made my first contact with the theory of nonviolent resistance. Fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system, I was so deeply moved that I reread the work several times. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mahatma Gandhi first read Walden in 1906 while working as a civil rights activist in Johannesburg, South Africa. He told American reporter Webb Miller, “[Thoreau’s] ideas influenced me greatly. I adopted some of them and recommended the study of Thoreau to all of my friends who were helping me in the cause of Indian Independence. Why I actually took the name of my movement from Thoreau’s essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,’ written about 80 years ago.” — Wikipedia

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By thebeerdoctor, November 4, 2008 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

To explain, for those who think they are being moral by supporting untenable candidates, also find it provides a lovely alibi for righteous indignation that will “ease you and cool you and cease the pain of your useless and pointless knowledge”.
It has been said that politics is the science of the possible. Yesterday the Obama campaign put a door tag on a million houses in Ohio, explaining how you can make sure you are able to vote. I think they call that ground game. For those who seemed to be unaware, the process of politics involves much tedious work. When Barack Obama was out in Iowa, 2 years ago talking to people. Where were his critics then? Why weren’t they willing to work their asses off, when no one was paying any attention?
For those who want their candidate to meet an idealogical litmus test, I say I don’t agree with Senator Obama on many issues, but that does not mean I am so ignorant to think that McCain and Obama are the same on very important domestic issues. The Military Industrial Complex is dug in so damn deep, that it is naive to believe that a change of president will stop it.
For those who bemoan the Corporate Complex, how many of you use Microsoft technology on the computer? Got time on your hands? How about contributing to an open source project? There are so many people, in so many different fields, working to improve things, that they simply do not have time to bemoan.
They are not waiting for the world to change, they are working to make it happen.

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By mackTN, November 4, 2008 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I voted for Nader in 2000, and I’ve donated to his campaign this year.  Nader is one of my personal heroes, and I agree with Chris—he is the only candidate who is right on the issues.

But I can’t vote for him this time.  If Nader had kept his hand in over the past 8 years and built a 3rd party based on his platform with recruits who can educate people on these issues, I’d be there.

Nader’s error is in attaching his quest to the presidency when he should be spreading these messages throughout the country at local levels. He should have built the kind of organization that Wellstone has and pushed and trained from the bottom up. His tactics defeat him. His insistence that his movement can only be dealt with at in a presidential context reveals why his opponents call him arrogant. 

I know Obama is not anti-corporate, and his health care reform protects the corporate nature of medical care and profits. John Edwards, too, warned against the rise of the corporatocracy and its hijack of this government. I hope Nader uses his power to educate people about these issues on a regular basis, not just during presidential elections.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, November 4, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘scuse me savage let me get something straight; you say: “Anyway, good luck to Ralph and his political pixie dust that will magically erase all of our problems by executive fiat or whatever”

With all the “Blue dogs” following the Repubs, what kind of “dust” is the neophite Obama going to use?

I notice that inspite of a “Democratic” majority in the house and Senate, Bush still got all the funding he needed for the Iraq war, he got the massive bail-out through the passive no-spine idiots. He got the Patriot act reauthorized and his telecommunications companies are free from worry about law suits.

My guess is if the O is elected, he’ll give us more of the same…see, change is only a word for him.. it means something else to a guy behind on his bills, without a job, and about to be evicted. 

He have only one chance every four years to hold feet to fires at the executive level, but as I’ve said before, a nation of sheep deserves the leadership of butchers…which we will surely get. the only question remaining for voters to decide is where the wars will be fought.

Oh and Cyrena:

Here we go…here we go…here we go again.

You got that line from Ron Reagan?

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By tdbach, November 4, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Jackpine, nobody will answer your (our) question because there is no answer. We’re talking faith-based voting here. Principle without purpose.

Voting is two parts practical attempt to shape governance, one part ritual secular sacrament in the body and blood of the democratic ethos. The people who vote for unelectable ideologues have embraced the latter to the exclusion of the former. These are the pious, uncompromising few, who are appalled at the dirty, material world of politics, where compromise is intrinsic to function. They are the aesthetes, the monks. As the world churns on about its business, they break bread together and quietly pray.

As long as they don’t fly planes into buildings, God bless them.

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By Bob D., November 4, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with Mr. Tom Payne. I live in Cal. where Obama is pretty far ahead, I think approx. 20 points. If it was close, like in 2000, I would consider that before casting a vote for Nader before Obama.
What angers me is how the big corporate media(s) have kept Nader out of public view.
It’s a perfect example of how we Americans are manipulated by corrupt corporate power and, yes, it does anger me to think our newspapers/TV are playing a huge role here.
Probably, and I’m guessing, there are maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of eligible voters in this country who are unaware that Nader is on their ballot.
I was actually one of them myself until 2 1/2 weeks ago. I just happened to see his “Wall Street Rally Speech” on CSPAN by shear accident. (Anyone who hasn’t seen this should check this out. It is on his website, I believe.) 
In this election, particularily, there was/are alot of undecided eligble voters who weren’t too committed to the 2 major candidates. Nader would have gotten a big slice of this vote had he recieved any exposure..
BTW, thanks to Chris for writing a great article.

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By jackpine savage, November 4, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

Ok, so Obama is a traitor because he voted for the FISA bill. When that news broke, did you look at your phone/internet bill and see that you give money every month to a complicit corporation? Did you cancel your account with said corporation, damn the consequences…even if it meant that you had no other telecommunication option?

You didn’t? You still use AT&T;? Ah, so you hold others to higher standards than you set for yourself…very endearing. But if you vote for Nader, he’ll end FISA (somehow) and then your decision will be retroactively ok.

Sometimes i feel forced to admit that the Republicans might be right on at least one thing: Liberals/Progressives don’t seem to understand personal responsibility.

And Mr. Hedges proves my point very well. He bemoans our warlike ways, yet he still pays his taxes. But! If we go to war with Iran, he’ll stop paying his taxes. Very convenient, put off the hard decisions/actions to some point in the future. And i’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that he’ll keep paying his taxes if we attack Iran. After all, it won’t be his fault…he voted for Nader.

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By Anarcissie, November 4, 2008 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

MeHere: ‘Mr. Hedges has the most practical and realistic approach in his support for Nader.  We need to build a party that will challenge the “mirage” that the two parties offer us every four years while the country keeps moving in the wrong direction. ...’

It’s practical and realistic to vote for whoever you like.  It is not practical and realistic to vote for Mr. Nader in order to build a new political party, because Mr. Nader is not running as the representative of a political party.

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By jackpine savage, November 4, 2008 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

All these comments - and though i don’t know why, i’ve read them all - and nobody’s answered my question: how would electing Nader change anything? Or, how would his being “right on the issues” be translated into action?

And piss off with your collective holier than thou attitude, which includes you, Mr. Hedges. Some of us have been abroad and seen the effects of US imperialism, even if we haven’t hung out in Sarajevo…and we are still able to view our political action through a lens of realism.

In a few minutes i’ll be going to the polls and my list includes mostly people who have no party affiliation or minor party affiliation. Yet it’s hard not to get the feeling that if one doesn’t vote for Nader then one is somehow a traitor to “the cause”. What damned cause? What is a progressive? I’ve been asking that question for a long time and i’ve never heard an answer that wasn’t ideological fluff.

And let me reiterate, since my original post has vanished into the ether. How you vote once every four years is of little importance compared to how you act every day. Wrong action won’t be made right by a vote for Ralph, dig it?

And a vote for Ralph won’t change the fact that by just “having” to get that new i-pod touch you fostered brutal wars in countries where the resources to make it were mined. That big bank credit card you use creates far more damage than a vote for Ralph will fix. What is your 401K money (if there’s any left) doing in the world…do you even know? Remember the sweat shop laborers who made the clothes your wearing when you pull the lever for Nader, and pray to God that Nader can fix the problems that you created.

You can’t tell me how he’ll fix those problems, but you believe that he will.

Anyway, good luck to Ralph and his political pixie dust that will magically erase all of our problems by executive fiat or whatever.

P.S. the guy running for Senate in Michigan down ticket of Nader believes that the US should have NO role in world politics. Should i vote for that jackass too? Is he “right on the issues” because he’s aligned with Nader. They are in the same party. So by the Naderite reasoning that any and all Democrats are basically worthless by virtue of being Democrats, that would make Nader as big of a jackass as Dan Dern.

Oh, and welcome to our flawed world…

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By MeHere, November 4, 2008 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges has the most practical and realistic approach in his support for Nader.  We need to build a party that will challenge the “mirage” that the two parties offer us every four years while the country keeps moving in the wrong direction.

Some of my reasons to support Nader:

- The man has devoted his life to doing the right thing for society which is very different from simply pursuing an ambitious political career. And he has plenty of experience with Washington.
- He is not vague when explaining his ideas.
-  The election process is not democratic. The two parties have a grip on how elections and debates are conducted which makes it next to impossible for third parties to run. And the popular media follows the same formula, making it impossible for other candidates to get any exposure.
- Nader is not focused on ideology but on practical and comprehensive issues which affect all of us.
- Liberals are a highly mixed breed when it comes to values, priorities, loyalties, etc. The Democratic party reflects that so I don’t trust them.
- Democratic party voters continually express disdain for anyone who will vote for a third-party candidate. That is a highly undemocratic position—bordering on fascism.
- I don’t fear a Mcain presidency any more than an Obama one.  They are both funded and supported by powerful business interests and lobbies. And both have expressed plans to continue to support military intervention abroad.  A change of government doesn’t imply a change of direction for the country, as a number of decades have already proved.
- The possibility of having one or two less conservative justices in the Supreme Court under the Democrats is not an impressive argument. The consequences of bad government policies are far more dangerous to society at large than the benefits stemming from having a “less” conservative judge.

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By jersey girl, November 4, 2008 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

Inherit..“So…to all you complaining Naderites and Nader dreamers…enjoy your fantasies.  Learn a little bit about how our democracy works and has worked for over 200 years.  Nader could not be elected in ANY era because he doesn’t know how to get elected and will ALWAYS lose to those who understand the game.”

Yea, our two party system has worked so well for us, hasnt it?  I suppose you love that the corporations have taken over everything including stolen your right to a candidate that is for the people and not the corporations?

Time for REAL CHANGE.  Time for the proles to wake the hell up and do something. Nader has done more for the consumer in his lifetime than Obama can do with 8 years in the white house.  Wanna know why?  Because Nader fights for US, the little guys, not for the fat cats on wall street.  Obama has taken the path more traveled by the average politician and fallen into the hands of the elite where they have been molding him into their likeness.

If that’s what you want, then don’t dare call yourself a liberal or progressive. Call yourself what you truly are, a republican in progressive clothing.

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By jersey girl, November 4, 2008 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

Outraged… let’s not forget his voting for the patriot act TWICE. Oh and no single payer health care. This man is not about civil liberties or helping the working class.  He’s about amassing the power for himself. Colin Powell, another sellout, throwing in his support in should be embarassing to say the least. Unfortunately for all those who want to believe so badly, he is no different than any other bought out corporate candidate that ever graced us with their presence. 

Of course, Nader can’t win. He’s not backed by the millionaire bankers and energy industries. And because those with eyes wide open to what this so called “democratic duopoly” is about are in the minority. I can only hope that four years of an Obama republican presidency will wake the living dead to the ugly truth about our fraudulent political system.

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By idealism_not, November 4, 2008 at 5:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A vote for Obama is a vote for incremental change in the direction of Nader.  Our flawed 2 party system does not allow for a “Nader” type candidate.  Work with the facts and vote for the shift in direction you desire.

Save the idealism for making choices about what charities and organizations to support, not presidential elections.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 4, 2008 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

sherwoodforest, November 4 at 12:08 am #

No Tom,by “holier than thou”- I mean hypocrite. In the past 8 years Al Gore won a Nobel Prize, an academy award and got the world working together. Obama has created an amazing grass roots movement that has re-energized the Democratic Party and crossed every known barrier in American politics- race, class and party affiliation. You and Nader- got what, in the past 8 years? NOTHING. NO movement, no energy, no coalition, not even a potent third party. So waste your votes for what ever reason- but it is not some perceived higher ideal of truth- truth without action is a bell that is never rung.

By thebeerdoctor, November 3 at 11:55 pm #

So Mr. Hedges wants to boo-who for Ralph Nader. The 74 year old candidate who has never held public office in his entire life. Maybe Mr. hedges should come out of his book lined study and see what happens to black citizens in the state of Ohio. Maybe then he would understand what Barrack Obama means to every disenfranchised voter in this fascist state who know that previous elections were stolen here, not maybe Mr. Hedges, but a fact. But of course he is too busy being moral, like Ralph Nader, it’s their High Ground or No Ground, which means no results at all. Enough. The noble loser concept is starting to wear thin.


TBD, Sherwood and Cyrena have all put it very well.

I like that…Al Gore, described by Nader as “Not a dime’s worth of difference” from Bush won a Nobel Peace Prize in the years since Nader’s ego allowed the Re-thugs to rob him and our nation of a wise and sane President.

An awful lot of bandwidth is being wasted by the Boo-Hoo-ers on Ralphie.  Nader is and has always been “It’s my way or the Highway”.  He’s always right and never wrong.  We’ve had 8 years of that from Bush.  I don’t want it ever again.

And Naderites sound JUST like the Re-thus: “Boo-Hoo! The Main stream media is unfair to us!”

And Chris Hedges is a coward.  He’s proudly voting for Nader here in NJ, a state that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in HELL of going for McCain.  He’ll cast his “moral” vote knowing full well he’ll benefit as a free-rider from Obama’s reversal of the 8 years of irresponsible Republican leadership.

So…to all you complaining Naderites and Nader dreamers…enjoy your fantasies.  Learn a little bit about how our democracy works and has worked for over 200 years.  Nader could not be elected in ANY era because he doesn’t know how to get elected and will ALWAYS lose to those who understand the game.

If you want Nader to be President, start building your organization TOMORROW.

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By Outraged, November 4, 2008 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

Re: sherwoodforest

Your comment: “truth without action is a bell that is never rung.”

So….how did ya like that FISA vote of Obama’s?  How about that 500 million he’s proposing for faith-based initiatives(expansion of the BUSH doctrine)?  What did you think of his MORE WAR mantra (someplace else of course)?  Oh…what was your take on the TRILLION DOLLAR bailout, no strings attached?

Yep…Obama’s already in action, so sad…so sad.

BTW, there’s “truth” which is not the same as BS.

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By Outraged, November 4, 2008 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

Re: beerdoctor

Your comment: “But of course he is too busy being moral, like Ralph Nader,”

Hmmm…. well…someone has to do it, sorry you couldn’t join in the “fun”.  But what good is being moral anyway… I mean, what would THAT really mean?  So, a few hundred or maybe a few thousand…okay, maybe a few hundred thousand…well..shit, let’s make it an even million foreigners DIE… what’s with these STUPID MORALISTS WHO VOTE TO STOP IT.  Idiots.

Did I understand that right…?  Wouldn’t want to put words in your mouth.

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By sherwoodforest, November 4, 2008 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

No Tom,by “holier than thou”- I mean hypocrite. In the past 8 years Al Gore won a Nobel Prize, an academy award and got the world working together. Obama has created an amazing grass roots movement that has re-energized the Democratic Party and crossed every known barrier in American politics- race, class and party affiliation. You and Nader- got what, in the past 8 years? NOTHING. NO movement, no energy, no coalition, not even a potent third party. So waste your votes for what ever reason- but it is not some perceived higher ideal of truth- truth without action is a bell that is never rung.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 4, 2008 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

So Mr. Hedges wants to boo-who for Ralph Nader. The 74 year old candidate who has never held public office in his entire life. Maybe Mr. hedges should come out of his book lined study and see what happens to black citizens in the state of Ohio. Maybe then he would understand what Barrack Obama means to every disenfranchised voter in this fascist state who know that previous elections were stolen here, not maybe Mr. Hedges, but a fact. But of course he is too busy being moral, like Ralph Nader, it’s their High Ground or No Ground, which means no results at all. Enough. The noble loser concept is starting to wear thin.

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By Outraged, November 4, 2008 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

Oh gee… I wasn’t going to comment again, but…. well, never mind.  Anyway….

Re: Cyrena

It sounds to me like you are calling Chris Hedges a liar.  I take exception to that.  I really do.  For me it says so much more about you that it does Hedges.

I’m certain that Mr. Hedges could royally put you in your place, as it is (and I hope he doesn’t mind)  I will….AGAIN. One would think Pulitzer Prize winners to be busier than people with diarrhea of the mouth.  So in honor of your prattle I give you this link.  Enjoy.

Your comment: “Yes, a vote for Nader *IS* a vote for McCain.”

>> Political bigotry.  How passe’.  Wait a minute… this just in…..DICTATOR AND ALL AROUND KNOW IT ALL CYRENA SAYS “VOTE BARACKO” OR ELSE!

In addition, your comment: “WHY can’t Pulitzer Prize winning journalists CITE these statements? I wanna know WHAT votes – SPECIFICALLY – cast by Senator Obama, have continued to fund the War On Iraq. I wanna know in the context of when and how many of these votes have been conducted, and over what period of time, and what the language of the bills were, and what (if anything) he provided in terms of language himself, as to why he voted yes or no.”

>>  My…my… Glenda the good witch, why don’t you just offer up that information YOURSELF since, as you claim,

I already know, because I make it a point to find out and put the information in the pile with everything else to be considered. But,(and remember this folks) I’m not a Pulitzer prize winning journalist who gets paid for my work.”


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By Tom Paine, November 4, 2008 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

SherwoodForest said:
“I love the holier than thou tone of Hedges.”

Not holier than thou. Just truth. Dig it? When truth sounds holier than thou, then “thou” may be wading in the “lesser of the two evils”, yes? HEdges is telling it the way it is.

Nader is ten times more savvy than any other candidate. Whether or not he wins is another issue. Unfortunately that is reduced to MONEY and corporate media backing. He doesn’t have the funding of the corporations and military/prison industrial complex because he is not their tool. Are you really that naive, no, I didn’t think so.

Have a good day.


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By Tom Paine, November 4, 2008 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

Acting in alignment to our deepest ideals and principles, is integrity. I’m for it! If it seems “impractical”, then I’d say that describes the dysfunctional democratic left the past 40 years.

It’s fine to vote our values, versus compromise. To suggest that anyone vote against their own values seems schizoid, if not corrupt and dishonest. We have the right to vote for people who represent us, regardless if they are popular, are not allowed to debate, or are not given press by the media. To suggest that one should not vote for the candidate one believes to be best on the grounds that he is not in bed or popular with the corporate media, is to deny one’s basic democratic rights. To assume that Nader’s popularity is low because of a lack of appeal to the public, displays ignorance. Nader’s candidacy has been purposely ignored by the mainstream media, where 90% of the populace get their information exclusively. If he was given some media coverage or an opportunity to debate, his popularity would no doubt have soared. That is why they have kept him out of sight and out of mind. 

What many Obama supporters are suggesting is very foolish. They are assuming that because our candidate is not popular then the vote is wasted. Yes, we don’t have proportional representation like in Europe, but every vote counts. Even if Ralph loses the election, there will be some success sending a message to the rightists in the Democratic party that they can’t take the progressive vote for granted or continue to ignore them. This country is hurting for many reasons, but one is that it needs a robust multiple party system.

If I lived in a country where only two candidates were approved by the mainstream media, that would not dictate to me which one I would vote for. Why should I have vote for the disease of the “lesser of two evils”. That seems like a new democratic disease. Sorry evil is evil. That doesn’t work for me.

America is already in deep hock because of its dysfunctional political two party system. I agree that it is time for a change, but it’s naive to believe that Obama will stand for that in action, granted he is a good talker. I’ll go further, it is dishonest to even suggest it.

It is clear that the democratic party is suffering from dysfunctional denial since the LBJ days. There has not been one progressive congress or president. The closest they have come to that has been a peanut farmer from the deep South (an honest but naive man to be sure). Ralph Nader may have ideals and principles but he is not naive. He is standing up against the lie and I respect that in a man. Life would be much netter in America if more people had that kind of courage and integrity. All because they don’t, that would only make me a liar to vote for other liars. The person trusted with the power of president should not be elected on the basis of how best they lie.

Some people here have suggested that this election is about winning or losing. Maybe that is true for them. But for me, it’s about old people dying in the streets of America due to neglect, soldiers dying in foreign lands in order to further enrich the already rich, it’s about clean air and clean energy, sustainability, the price of food, affordable health care, shelter, individual liberties, and the future of our grandchildren. Those are some of the gut issues that are decisive for me. All this talk about the overweighing value of popularity demeans my sense of humanity. No wonder Europe, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Australia have universal health care. We just can’t afford this foolishness for four more years. Clinton/Gore, Gore Lieberman,, and Kerry/Edwards didn’t help. I’d wish to believe that Obama/Biden would, but that would be only wishful thinking. Sure they may win or may not, but I don’t support charades anymore.  “Think twice, it’s alright”


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By disparu, November 4, 2008 at 12:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sadly, by his own doing, Ralph Nader is about as important a candidate for president as Pat Paulson. The first comment by sherwoodforest nails it on a head. And, yeah, thanks Ralph for the last eight years of hell.

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By sherwoodforest, November 3, 2008 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

I love the holier than thou tone of Hedges. Nader comes out of the wood work every 4 years and shows how clueless he and his supporters are about politics. Nader could have built a strong third party in the past 8 years if he used Obama’s grass roots policy. Nader could be in the Senate fighting the good fight right now or legitimately running for prez. But NO! Nader just runs so he can fund his organizations and his speaking tours. If he was a serious- he would soil his dainty self and Run for the People who so willingly support him and build coalitions to get things done. But he does not build- so in my mind he does not deserve much attention.
Thanks for the past 8 years. Do you feel better knowing the lives lost, the time lost and the justice misplaced? Yes, Obama is a more practical man -and Thank GOD! He has made an amazing journey that many of us have shared. He is fighting/working for his beliefs. I feel great about my candidate and think this is a lousy thing to post on November 3rd.

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By cyrena, November 3, 2008 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

•  “….his votes to continue to fund the Iraq war…”


Here we go…here we go…here we go again.

WHY can’t Pulitzer Prize winning journalists CITE these statements? I wanna know WHAT votes – SPECIFICALLY – cast by Senator Obama, have continued to fund the War On Iraq. I wanna know in the context of when and how many of these votes have been conducted, and over what period of time, and what the language of the bills were, and what (if anything) he provided in terms of language himself, as to why he voted yes or no.

To continue the same lame and general rhetoric is lame journalism. The irony is that the other side…the republican crackpots, (to be distinguished from the Nader crackpots) have accused him of REFUSING to fund the ‘troops’ in Iraq, based on votes that they never cite either. So, which is it? I already know, because I make it a point to find out and put the information in the pile with everything else to be considered. But, I’m not a Pulitzer prize winning journalist who gets paid for my work. I’m just a citizen voter, and so it’s my citizen duty to know these things. It’s a journalist’s duty to present the truth in its correct context.

And what would that truth be, in terms of Barack Obama and the War on Iraq? Well, for starters, the man has been highly vocal in his opposition to the War on Iraq before it was launched, and he has been ever since. That was 6 years ago…and since. He was HIGHLY vocal in his opposition to the ESCALATION of the War on Iraq, otherwise known as ‘the surge’. He’s made it clear that he intends to get the US OUT of Iraq, and stated clearly that there will be NO US military bases maintained in Iraq. He’s been saying this stuff for a long time, and frequently.

So, in the face of that continued stance from Senator Obama, WHY would Chris Hedges make a generally misleading statement such as “his votes to continue to fund the war in Iraq”, and all the rest of the stuff that he claims Obama has ‘failed’ to do?

And why does an article intended to promote the perennial monarchial candidate Ralph Nader, spill so much ink on all that is allegedly wrong with Barack Obama? That’s the same thing John McCain’s team has been doing.

Why not just leave out all of the stuff about Barack Obama, and tell us how wonderful Nader is? (might help to know more than that he ‘stands on the opposite side’ of Barack Obama, since we don’t much care about that.)

In fact, seeing as how it’s the eve of this historical election, we’ve either already voted, or have already decided how we’re gonna vote tomorrow. And, just as these things are true tonight, they will be true tomorrow:

~Nader can’t win. And, in THIS election at least, Nader SHOULDN’T win, because he’s not the most qualified person seeking the office. And, he doesn’t have any kind of a support staff/apparatus for operating a bureaucracy set up the way we are, with three branches of government, and checks and balances.

~Yes, a vote for Nader *IS* a vote for McCain. Until the US eliminates the Electoral College and coverts to direct/popular vote, that’s the way it is.

~Final Yes…Nader *IS* an egomaniac. I only became’t convinced of that after paying much closer attention to him this time around, than I did in the previous four presidential elections he’s run in.

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By sanford sklansky, November 3, 2008 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I admire those voting their conscious in voting for Nader.  I tend to agree with Hedges on some of the things that Obama has done like voting for the FISA bill.  But if we have a McCain administration with the chance of Sarah Palin taking over if something happens to McCain than this country will be in big trouble.

Here is an article by John Dean on his thoughts on why it would be a disater to elect McCain.

Who ever said up thread said Nader is hack is clearly mistaken.  He is probably one of the most honest and honorable men in America. While he may have a big ego, I would like any one to point out where he has been wrong on a lot of things.

I saw a performance by Clay Jenkinson who portrays Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson.  As Roosevelt he hopes that Obama uses the “bully pulpit.”  While I admire Nader, I don’t know if he would actually be a good leader.  We have certainly had mediocre and smart people as presidents.  Both the mediocre and bad have been bad presidents.

I think a good president has to use good judgement and hopefully Obama will use good judgement if he is elected tomorrow.

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By KDelphi, November 3, 2008 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

Inherit—I am truly puzzled as to your visceral hatred of Nader. It always puzzles me.

When people become so adament, I alwasy wonder if they arent, somewhat, at least, trying to convince themselves

You admit he cannot win. The way you have done the math, he wil not even make a dent. But, still, you rant and rant. I just dont get it.

McKinney would be my “trader” choice, if Moore/Alexander were not on the Ohio ballot—which I am surprised that they got on at all.

You know, none of these people are in the electoral college , I dont think—you know—we dont have a direct popular vote for the presidency? Anyone in the electoral college ?

I have stated before what I wil do if the polls becom close.

Does someone think that, if they put enough “stuff” up here that, people will just go “Oh..ok. Youre absolutely right. You win.”

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By Gerbeel Haamster, November 3, 2008 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

I am a Paleo-conservative, so I agree with Nader almost none of the time.

I did see a 1/2 hour interview on NPR, maybe with Moyers.

Nader knows more about the economy than Obamamania or McCrazy put together.

I may not agree with his conclusions (although on the bailout he was spot on), but I cannot fault his knowledge. 

I also think that the complaint about his ego is off base.  If you were twice as smart as the other two candidates, and were given no chance and cut out by the media, wouldn’t you be pissed? 

I think that is what is mistaken for ego….

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By Joanna, November 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What we hear too little about among those who feel a vote for Nader is tossed to the winds is that Obama, who once spoke of ending these barbaric wars in the Middle East, is now saying he would instead simply pull troops out of one ruined area and send them to another—with a possible attack on a third.

In all the hullabaloo about economic fears and what Bush has done to make this nation poorer and less safe, we seem to have forgotten that our own problems are nothing compared to those inflicted on the the innocent victims of Bush’s war.  Their crime was simply that of having been born in a country whose natural resources have irresistible appeal to an administration without a conscience or even a sense of decency.

I an one of a remnant now left of WWII widows and the sister of another WWII casualty. Both of my sons served in Vietnam, one of which has stumbled through life ever since with diagnosed but uncompensated PTSD. Although I have not visited the battlefields and seen the carnage first hand like Chris Hedges, I do know something about the devastating losses suffered by innocent victims of these chronic atavistic state killing sprees.

Ralph Nader has been consistently against these senseless,destructive wars from the very beginning and has never wavered from this position. This is in addition to having always had the intelligence and the insights to understand why this country has not lived up to its promise of greatness and the wisdom to understand what we need to do to get us on the right path again. He is by far the most qualified person in America to be honored with the presidency. In a more enlightened society he would be considered a national treasure.  That’s why he has my vote.

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By Folktruther, November 3, 2008 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

Oh, nnw you’ve done it, Ihherit, you’ve pissed off Jersey Girl and ezibethe as well.  Lout.  But I confess that, with Anarcissie, I’m puzzled why so few vote for McKinney, who might help build a party. Nader is honest and courageous but he is old, White, and male.  (So am I, but I’m an ideologue not a political leader.)

We live in Calif, which is perhaps 20 points for Obama, so we voted for McKinney with no drawback.  Roosevelt in 1932 and 1936 was pulled to the left by Norman Thomas, socialist, getting a million plus votes.  McKinney is really gutsy, a rarity for Congress. But apparently she hasn’t caught on with political devients.  I don’t know exactly why, although race, class and gender can’t be excluded.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, November 3, 2008 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

The klaxon and gridlock in the commentary section of this column might tempt one to conclude that the nagging guilt some feel for betraying their own better judgement has reached a fever pitch at this eleventh hour. One might be tempted to conclude that something momentous was afoot.

It’s hard to believe, mostly because I’ve only read about it, or seen it in movies, but I’ve heard this country was once populated by people who would sacrifice their lives for an idea, if that idea were potent enough. These days it seems you’d have to crawl over a mountain of self-absorbed pricks just to find one samaritan who’d suffer a 10% loss in their 401k for ANY idea, no matter how powerful.

Some changes can’t happen overnight. Some require generations of sacrifice. Having a viable third party might be one of those changes. But be assured, a vote for Nader is not a vote for Ralph, it’s a step toward a new kind of country. It’s a small foot forward into a new way of looking at the deep problems we face, and for a completely different set of solutions. It’s not a vote for Nader so much as a vote against the fake debate that goes down 24/7 on that widescreen media outlet in your bedrooms.

Come Tuesday, you will probably get your progressive corporocrat. Yes, he’s better than the authoritarian corporocrat. Perhaps even much better. But now, at the eleventh hour, on the eve of your anticipated deliverance, I just want to suggest that when the house is on fire, a rancorous, 2-year debate over which bucket holds more water aint gonna get it done. It’s just another distraction.

There I go, kicking against the pricks again.

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By 123456, November 3, 2008 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

I disagree with the idea that Obama will not be different than McCain in foreign affairs.

McCain, ike most politicians, would never associate with a Palestinian professor, like Obama did (sort of).

I don’t think Obama will change much, largely because he can’t, but still a small change for the better (Obama) is better than a big change for the worse (McCain).

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By KDelphi, November 3, 2008 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Erich—To the Dems, conpromise = negotiation.

When was the last time the Dems had a Bill (or and Amendment) that they did not end up bending to the wil of the GOP (which is alot more THEIR will, if the truth be told).

Do I have to go through the litany? DC gun ban, FISA, Death penalty, Afghanistan, Blackwater, single payer health care (he was for it in Ilinois),gay marriage, when to “get out of” Iraq, WHETHER to get out of Afghanistan, not taking fed.lobbysist money, but taking more from Wall St (as well as small donors) than any candidate in the history of the world, backing coal and nukes, picking Biden (bankruptcy Bill, credit card bill, Zionist views), having an “Af Am Christian Leadership Council” led by Rev. Wright, and then dropping him (I dont want religion in politics at all—I find Pastor Hagee even more offensive), supporting faith based initiative and charter schools, and No Childs Behind Left, constantly changing when/at what level the tax cuts may be “rolled back”, voting for the Wall St bailout without a single amendment being allowed—even to vote on (Kaptur, Kucinich, Sherman, DeFazio, etc.)(Sure, it was Pelosi and Reid , too, but you KNOW that if Obama had insisted…).Also, censoring Kucinich at the Dem Convention about impeaching Bush; on and on. You guys shoulod really stop trying to make him what he is not, and just admit he is a preferable choice to McCain.

It is a strategic choice—unless you are pretty damn conservative for a Democrat.

How can a “Social Democratic man of the people”, who is a constitutional scholar, vote for a Amendment like FISA?? After what the “free mkt” has done to this country and the world—we want a financial advisor trained in the Chicago School, like Goolsbee? We want Powell and Emanuel? Do we want to implement the Colombian Free Trade Agreement as is?

You know, there is an “encapsulated” version of the Mental Status Exam in psychology, when you have to predict someones behavior without knowing them very well—“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior” if all else holds true.

If we do not get at least a somewhat more liberal Congress—it wil hold true. And, now , they have the Wall St Bailout Bill to use as an excuse to do nothing…

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By Outraged, November 3, 2008 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Article quote: “I can’t join the practical. I spent two decades of my life witnessing the suffering of those on the receiving end of American power. I have stood over the rows of bodies, including women and children, butchered by Ronald Reagan’s Contra forces in Nicaragua. I have inspected the mutilated corpses dumped in pits outside San Salvador by the death squads. I have crouched in a concrete hovel as American-made F-16 fighter jets, piloted by Israelis, dropped 500- and 1,000-pound iron-fragmentation bombs on Gaza City….” 

“...We dismiss the suffering of others because it is not our suffering.”

Good article Chris Hedges, very moving.

“Practical”....sounds harmless enough…. Reminds me of “worth it”.... remember… that’s what Obama’s foreign policy advisor Madeline Albright called the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children during the years of sanctions put upon Iraq by Clinton,.... she said it was “worth it”.

“Practical”/“worth it”...  soft porn rhetoric for very dirty deeds is it not…?  Sounds like you’re buying a new pair of socks, and they’re on sale today.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2008 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

elizabethe, November 3 at 7:13 pm #

I am voting for NADER tomorrow and I say HE CAN WIN, SHOULD WIN, and MAY WIN.  I believe my vote counts, NOT for few but for the MANY.  Nader does not represent either party, a vote for Nader is not for either a Democrat or a Republican, it is indeed for NADER.  President NADER can be found in the proper hands of the affirmative majority rule ballot power in our people for people and people’s government, the ballot is for usurping power, and the many may decide NADER tomorrow.  We have 100 million OUTSIDE registered non-partisan nationally across the country.  NADER is on 45 ballots.  Independents are a majority.  Independents can WIN by a majority IF they want NADER for President.  62 million are in the two corrupt parties, combined.  Tomorrow the overturning of corruption and putting credibility with proper leadership on track, can happen.  President Nader can happen, by the majority, one vote at a time, to the tune of 100 million.  I am aiming for it to happen.  This country is basically in the tiny 1-3% minor parties, 62% in the non-partisan best is the winner, and 37% in the COMBINED two parties.  36 million Democrats and 26 Republicans will not defeat the independents if they vote NADER by the majority across the nation.

Notice how this poster continual ignores correction to her absurd math?

Let’s try ONE MORE TIME!!!!  Tomorrow about 140 million votes will be counted.  A minimum of 40% of those will go for McCain, even if he’s found with a live boy or a dead girl.  That’s 56 million. 

Another 40% will absolutely go for Obama, same as for McCain.  That’s another 56 million voters. 

That’s 112 million voters, leaving the battle for the presidency over the remaining 28 million votes.  Even if Ralph Nader gets every one of them he’s not going to have enough to become President.

It’s elementary school arithmetic.  She must be drinking the same water as JG.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2008 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

“jersey girl, November 3 at 4:41 pm #

It’s amazing to me how people always point out the fact that Nader can’t win.  Why can’t he win? “

‘Cuz not enough people will vote for him!!!!!
(Sheesh, more and more I worry about the lead in our Jersey drinking water…)

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By Inherit The Wind, November 3, 2008 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

jersey girl, November 3 at 5:19 pm #

If I were you inherit, I’d keep my koolaid drinking mouth shut until you see what your man does as president.  So far, he’s proven to be one helluva a republican.  But then. you think he’s just foolin everyone to get elected.. right?

“If I were you…”????????????????????????

If you were me, you’d recognize what a dogmatic unrealistic twit you regularly show yourself to be.  Folks like you are the reason I always worry we have too much lead in the water here in New Jersey. 

So stay up late Tuesday night waiting for that AMAZIN’ breakthrough that puts Ralph Nader in the White House as something other than a dinner guest! It’ll keep you out of trouble.

(And it was Flavor-aid, not Kool-aid they all drank at ...  remember where?)

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By doglover, November 3, 2008 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges, you just dropped to the bottom of my list. You are intellectually dishonest.  If you truly believe in Nader, then do something about making his vote count before an election - like starting on Nov. 5.  Nader, for years, does nothing to change the landscape.  He sits around for 3.5 years, is an egomaniac shill, and lies in wait for people like you.  I will read your articles, henceforth, with a big dose of skepticism.  You are easily duped. Sad indeed.

P.S. Not much your issues will do for you when your candidate doesn’t have a snows chance in hell of winning.

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