Donut Age: America's Donut Magazine

Don't point that thing at me

So Ralph Nader is running again, and many Democrats are pissed off. Not me. As I've mentioned before, I voted for Nader in 2000, and I'm not sorry about it. If Nader's candidacy cost Gore the election in 2000, and if it costs the Democrats the election this year, it's because the Democratic Party has so alienated its natural constituency, by betraying its core liberal values, that people like me are willing to "waste" their votes on Nader. The appeal of Howard Dean, for me at least, was that he was the only one willing to defend these core values and risk public disapproval by criticizing the President for his absurd policies before the polls said it was a viable strategy. The remaining candidates have all appropriated many of Dean's positions, but their records give little hope that they will actually defend my values, should they get to the White House. And that is the whole point of Nader's candidacy. He says that the Republican and Democratic parties are functionally the same, and nothing that has happened in the last four years has suggested that he's wrong. The national Democratic Party capitulated on the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and Bush's tax cuts. That they are now among the loudest voices criticizing those policies is an hypocrisy even more offensive than the policies themselves. Bush at least supports his policies because he thinks they will do somebody (if only his oil business buddies) good. Kerry and Edwards support what they think will get them elected. While in the short-term, they would probably make positive changes in the direction of the country, but they have yet to show me that they would be good for the long-term health of this country.

After Dean pulled out of the race, there was a lot of talk about the legacy of his campaign. Pundits have said he gave the party a "backbone transplant." Maybe. But let's not forget that the first reaction of the Democratic establishment was to sandbag Dean with cowardly, anonymous attack ads (remember Americans for Jobs, Healthcare & Progressive Values). The party can imitate Dean's grassroots organization, his Internet fund-raising, and his anti-Bush rhetoric, but unless they actually back these cosmetic changes up with action, nothing is going to change.

I refuse to be mugged by the Democratic party. They are pointing Bush at me like a gun, saying, "Give us your vote or else this guy will be president." Voting for Nader is my gun, and if the Democrats don't start acting like Democrats and standing up for my values, I'm gonna start firing back.

Update (2/23/04): Well, at least one person agrees with me.

Update (2/25/04): Mischief to data (no permalink) doesn't like being held hostage by the Dems either.