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Ralph Nader Might Announce Run For President 333

Posted by kdawson
from the third-time's-the-charm dept.
SonicSpike writes "According to the AP, Ralph Nader could be poised for another presidential campaign. Nader will appear on NBC's 'Meet the Press' tomorrow to announce whether he will launch another White House bid. Nader kicked off his 2004 presidential run on the show. Kevin Zeese, who was Nader's spokesman during the 2004 presidential race said, 'Obviously, I don't think Meet the Press host Tim Russert would have him on for no reason.'"
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Ralph Nader Might Announce Run For President

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  • by empaler (130732)
    The problem with the US being that if their economy folds, so does a lot of others. Huzzah!
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @06:55PM (#22529958) Homepage Journal

    Is it too likely that a Democrat might win this time?

    Hey, remember when he stood in 2000, with the full support of the Green movement, because, wait for it, Al Gore wasn't an environmentalist?

    • I really wonder if Nader is financially backed by the GOP as a spoiler meant to take votes from the Democrats. Our election system is a joke, and the people with the power to fix it rely on it being broken to stay in power. Obvious conflict of interest.
    • Which essentially means he wants to create a trading scheme on top of carbon, and the only way they can have value is that somebody would trade their right to call a generation mechanism carbon-free, so that carbon-consumption is something they are ok with -- they are ok selling it out.

      So, you see, Gore isn't an environmentalist. He's a capitalist that wants to make money off of guilt -- guilt is the only way in which carbon credits have any meaning without real limits on carbon output (which don't exist).
  • by SonicSpike (242293) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @06:57PM (#22529974) Homepage Journal
    Yup - don't blame me, I voted for Ron Paul. :-)

    • by morari (1080535)
      I only forgive you because supporting "Dr. Paul" takes votes away from viable Republican candidates, and thus hopefully ensures that they won't be able to continue to ruin the country. ;P
  • by TheQuantumShift (175338) <monkeyknifefight@internationalwaters.com> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:08PM (#22530058) Homepage
    I would love to see less of the two party system, but lets face it, Nader running an extended campaign will only take votes from Obama and give McCain the edge. (at least this time it's not Bush)

    Someday I hope we can get beyond the "I belong to this party" mentality. To me there should only be one party, American Citizens. Candidates step up and state what they actually believe and what direction they want to take the government, and are judged by the voting public on those merits alone. Hell, we can even do it American Idol style and text our votes each week.

    Though I have noticed in the last few years the lines between the parties blurring quite a bit (excepting the childish displays during the State of the Union). I wonder if we could find someone who's never been exposed to any of the contenders and see if they can guess the party affiliation and what they stand for.

    • by jjohnson (62583) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:13PM (#22530098) Homepage

      To me there should only be one party, American Citizens
      All this would accomplish is to make the U.S. like the Soviet Union with its one-party system. The end result is informal parties called factions. You'd just be moving the factional politics inside the party itself. What the U.S. needs is a parliamentary system with the possibility of coalition governments so that candidates aren't forced into one of two molds.
      • by LithiumX (717017) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:53PM (#22530380)
        Coalition governments seem to have a nasty tendency to break those coalitions, because they're not truly one government. They're parties agreeing to cooperate, under current circumstances, in a power sharing deal. I have long considered this to be one of the most delicate forms of democracy, only suitable for a fledgling government trying to find a final form.

        For all the bickering, our two party system is effectively one government, but polarized largely along two artificial poles. What those poles are changes over time, but it's a constant adversarial system. It does not work very effectively, but it seems to do far better than most of what we see in the world.

        Consider that we have (if I am right), the longest running continual government - only broken once, partially, by a civil war. That civil war managed to crystalize a new format that, for all of it's faults, was more manageable over the long term than the previous form, and managed to effectively stay the same model of government (but with the balance of power shifted in ways that not everyone likes). Even the UK, while still the same nation, has changed drastically in waves, and each new government that comes in is virtually a new government, whereas ours is designed - imperfectly - to make the transition of power between parties relatively mild and - in the end - of little relevance except to policy.

        I'd agree with Washington that static parties are a generally bad idea. It promotes partisanship, and that partisanship is preventing us from having the government we could have. It is, however, far superior to a parliamentary system - a system that rarely seems to function as well as our own inefficiently adversarial model.
        • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @08:33PM (#22530716) Homepage Journal
          The founding fathers thought a revolution every now and then was a GOOD thing. You seem not to like multiple parties out of some kind of distaste for the mess. Democracy is messy. There are different needs and wants and power structures and powerless constituencies out there, all constantly vying for a piece of the pie or all of it. There NEEDS to be give and take.

          You talk about ONE government that lasts hundreds of years, finds a "final form" (is inflexible, doesn't adapt to newer times).

          I can see how such a government would be desirable - to those governing. But how is that a good thing for the people?

          • by Xtravar (725372) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @01:31AM (#22532616) Homepage Journal
            One of my favorite quotes - Thomas Jefferson to William S. Smith Paris, Nov. 13, 1787:

            God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.
      • by mr_matticus (928346) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:56PM (#22530404)
        We've already got that. We don't have a two-party system. We've got a 100-party system. California Democrats and Wyoming Democrats couldn't even ideologically be considered part of the same party, to say nothing of New York Republicans and Alabama Republicans. The factional politics ARE inside the party itself. There is no "national" party since we don't elect national candidates, with the exception of presidents and vice presidents. The national leadership is the faction within the party that can wield the hammer best at a given time. Parties for Congress are run at the state level. Once they all get to Washington, they figure something out as a pool of a couple hundred individuals.

        Are you saying that Ronald Reagan is a Republican in the mold crafted by the current leadership? Is Ron Paul? Hell, is John McCain? Is Eisenhower?

        Is Harry Reid the same kind of Democrat as Nancy Pelosi? As FDR? As Wilson?

        Each party has a fully realized set of factions, but only one gets to lead at any given time. There's no problem with the "number of parties" in the United States. There's a strong party line dictated by the leadership, and whips keep Reps and Senators on short leashes. All that needs to happen is for the caucuses within the parties to start banding together and voting on the issues, but there's always going to be someone in charge, and that means they've got the loudest voice. The basic problem is that the voters are too lazy to elect people based on their values and ideals. Getting rid of the neocons and Jesus people would be easy if the people wanted it.
        • by perlchild (582235)
          If one vote for one candidate is automatically against the other candidate, you have a two party system. Next!
          • There's only one chair, and more than two candidates. A vote for one candidate is a vote against every other candidate, even in SMDM (or are Westminster system democracies "two party systems" as well?).

            Maybe you're forgetting that there aren't two candidates. There are four candidates for president right now, and there were many more when voters first started voting. And I don't know about you, but I've had at least six choices for Congress as far back as I can remember.

            Next, indeed, you sanctimonious to
            • by tverbeek (457094)

              And I don't know about you, but I've had at least six choices for Congress as far back as I can remember.

              As a matter of fact, I do know about me :) ... and most of the time I get one choice for Congress. My party sometimes recruits a sacrificial lamb, while the other party either nominates the incumbent if he's healthy, or calls someone up from the minors (i.e. state legislature) if he's not. In November, I get to vote for their candidate, or against him. There's a "Soviet Russia" joke in here someplace.

        • by jjohnson (62583)

          It's a very good point that the two parties each have deep factionalism inside them. The problem is that the U.S. system winnows it down to one person representing all those factions. When it's a California Democrat candidate, the Wyoming Democrat is faced with a binary choice: vote for someone who's not really representative of them, or don't.

          The visible result of this dilemma is that Christian Coalition now gets zero representation in their president. Because they supported Mike Huckabee, Romney lost

          • by jjohnson (62583)
            I will observe that this exact scheme, winnowing it down to one person, is cited as a virtue of the U.S. government, not a flaw. At the end of the day, there's one candidate, and after the election, one president, with very little ambiguity (usually).
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mr_matticus (928346)

            The problem is that the U.S. system winnows it down to one person representing all those factions.

            Every system winnows it down to one person.

            The virtue of a parliamentary system is that factions retain their relative power after the election, and a continual process of compromising with them is required.

            Well, for starters, you're conflating parliamentary and proportional systems, and even allowing that for the moment, a "continual process of compromise" isn't necessary in majority governments, and coalition governments of more than two parties rarely last more than six months, if that.

            The US system requires compromise, too. Reps are technically free to vote as they like. There are frequent bipartisan votes, and winning any major issue often requires at least a

    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      Hell, we can even do it American Idol style and text our votes each week.
      Bad idea.
  • What next? (Score:3, Funny)

    by The One and Only (691315) * <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:17PM (#22530126) Homepage
    Is Ross Perot going to run again too? I miss that guy.
  • by Draconix (653959) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:22PM (#22530156)
    If Obama gets it, Nader probably won't get much support anyway, but if Clinton gets it, he'll probably get enough support to hurt the DNP in the general election, and frankly, the DNP needs a massive smack upside the head. They need to learn to stop fielding candidates the people can't get behind. Gore was too robotic, Kerry was too wishywashy, and Clinton is too ambitious and unscrupulous. Maybe, just maybe, if Clinton runs and Nader "steals her votes" the party might just get a frigging clue.
    • by Apiakun (589521) <tikora AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday February 23, 2008 @08:16PM (#22530552)
      I understand your sentiment here, but I think that instead of stepping up and realizing that it's their own fault, they'll just happily blame Nader instead. It's always easier to blame someone else than to modify one's behaviour.
      • by ryanov (193048)
        That's what everyone has done so far.

        I have to say, though, parent is incorrect on almost everything. All of those things he said about the other candidates were what the media says was true of them. In reality, to me, the reason Gore didn't win is that he didn't stand for what he stood for. In reality, that's the same thing Kerry did. Look at Gore now -- did he believe all of the things he says and does now in 2000? Maybe, but it certainly seems as if he was told not to say any of it. Every time the Republ
        • by Draconix (653959)
          Sorry, I probably should have qualified my statements with "in the eyes of the public."
          • by ryanov (193048)
            This is actually a very interesting article:

            http://www.alternet.org/election08/77346/ [alternet.org] ...it talks about how, before Kerry was seen as a flip-flopper, Bush's media advisor laid out his plan during an interview. I'm not sure it really matters who they run as long as they can't combat this stuff. You can find some sort of way to discredit almost anyone, and if it isn't addressed as bullshit right away it gets into the public subconscious.
  • by Tiger4 (840741) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:35PM (#22530256)
    He has an Iconoclastic view of the world,
    He pulls obscure facts out of nowhere to make trivial debating points,
    He thinks ThePowerStructure is out to ruin everything,
    He knows how everyone else should run their lives,
    And he's a total Karma Whore.
  • by Kligat (1244968) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @07:42PM (#22530306)
    whether he likes it or not. He won in California, the state with the most delegates, by 60%. They have over 100 while all other states have 4 to 16. In states where he can't be on the ballot in the Green primaries, they have someone from the Draft Nader committee, who will presumably tell his delegates to all vote for Nader. What happens if he wins, but doesn't run? He essentially gets to single-handedly pick the Green nominee. In second place is Cynthia McKinney, a former Democrat member of the House of Representative and the Green running with the most political experience, but nearly all media attention she's received is for striking a security guard with her first after being caught running through the halls without the badge identifying her as a Congresswoman, and also saying "Al Gore's Negro tolerance level isn't very high. He only has one Negro around him at maximum at all times." As someone earlier mentioned, the Green Party weirdly doesn't seem fond of Al Gore. In third place is Kat Swift, whose main political experience is being co-chair of the Texas Green Party and coming in 2nd place for city council. Get this---while running for president, she's also running for city council! Just because it's a third party, doesn't mean it's better than the two in power. The Green Party seems to be the only third party tracking how many delegates each candidate has, but I saw while researching third parties that in Minnesota, all Constitution Party candidates available in their caucuses were Republicans or Democrats, minus one guy I'd never heard of with 2.5% of the vote, and Ron Paul won with over 80%, despite saying he would not run on a third party ticket. The Constitution Party, from their website, looks like the Republican Party without support for the Iraq War or warrantless wiretapping or anti-drug laws, but they mention Jesus in the preamble of their platform. It's pitiful that 2 out of 3 of the third parties the media ever talks about seem to be in favor of people that are not running. Also, I'm new here, so be nice.
    • Nader is not running for the Green Party nomination. Cynthia is and is winning most of the other primaries, so it's likely that Cynthia will win by count in the end. California had a similar amount for Nader in '04 and he still lost. Most of the rest of the Greens outside of California aren't rich former-hippies, so they tend to not support Nader-types.
  • That's the sound of John McCain's campaign staff high-fiving each other.

    In other news, Lyndon LaRouche launched a lawsuit against Ralph Nader in federal court today, claiming that a 2008 Nader presidential campaign infringes on his trademark to "crackpot candidate."

    "I'M the nutjob who always runs for President, no that tree-hugger!" rages LaRouche in a strong-worded press released issued earlier today. "The American public looks to ME as their butt of wisecracks and snide remarks come election time, and I'
  • Who is Ralph Nader? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by orangepeel (114557) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @08:02PM (#22530464)
    Before he ran for president the first time, all I really knew about Ralph Nader was that he appeared on Sesame Street once long ago.

    During his run for president (both in 2000 and 2004), I learned a little more about him here on Slashdot. 90% of what I read here was negative.

    I was deceived -- the reality was that 90% of the comments I read here on Slashdot were just gross oversimplifications and instances of senseless finger-pointing.

    What changed my point of view? Just one thing: an Independent Lens documentary, "An Unreasonable Man" [pbs.org].

    After watching that documentary, I still don't know if Ralph Nader would have made (or would make) a good president. Instead, what I do know is that I'm sorry I took most of the Slashdot comments back in 2000 and 2004 as a good source of information. Ralph Nader has been unfairly dragged through the mud by many, and by some has been blamed for everything they care to believe went wrong with American leadership over the last 8 years. From some of the comments I'm reading here, it seems there's still a lot of unfair hostility aimed at him.

    If you have the opportunity to watch that documentary, do so. It might create a more complete picture of the man for you, as it did for me.
    • by ryanov (193048)
      Thanks for writing this. I hate to read the 90% here too -- I already knew otherwise, but it's a little disappointing to see so many idiots parroting bullshit on a site that one might think has some intelligent users.
  • This is the man who put George Bush in the White House, by getting a small number of votes in the closest Presidential election in American history. Nader needs to give it up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ryanov (193048)
      Really? Let's take a step back for a moment -- why was this the closest Presidential election in American history? Gore's shit campaign? Republican meddling? Ralph Nader's margin NEVER should have mattered in an election where a man with a fairly distinguished record was running against an apish former cokehead. You can't blame that on Nader.
      • by kst (168867)
        I agree; the 2000 election shouldn't have been close. I've never understood why so many people voted for Bush in 2000, much less in 2004.

        But even in 2000, Nader knew it was going to be a close election, he knew he had no real chance of winning, and he knew that he would be taking more votes away from Gore than from Bush. Knowing all this, he ran anyway.

        I'm not saying the Bush presidency is his fault (there were plenty of other factors in play), but if he had chosen not to run, there's a very good chance B
    • by rpillala (583965) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @10:31PM (#22531566)

      No one but Gore is to blame for Gore not being able to get enough votes.

  • In 2004 I listened to an interview with Ralph Nader and why he was running. It was very apparent by the end that he does not give a damn what happens if he runs, he is only concerned with feeding his ego. In fact he seems to think that the disaster of the last eight years is a validation of why he must run. He does not have a clue, nor does he want one.

    Ralph needs to wake up and figure out just how much damage his running would cause.

    A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)
      This seems to be a rather popular position. It embodies a rather dim view of Nader-nee-Dem supporters, unable to foresee Nader's inability to win, yanking the lever for their man, ignorant of the consequences. I don't think so. Your average voting, bipedal primate is wickedly good at applied game theory and certainly able to understand the two party situation endemic to presidential elections in the U.S.A., and the consequences of a third party vote.

      I could get behind "Occasionally, a vote for Nader is a vo
    • by xealot (96947) on Saturday February 23, 2008 @09:26PM (#22531124)

      A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain.
      People like you are the reason why America is locked into a two party system, with only the choice between the lesser of two evils. I voted for Nader in 2000, and if he wasn't on the ballot I still wouldn't have voted for Gore, or Bush for that matter. My vote for Nader was not a vote for Bush, and I doubt many of the other were either. I have no trouble believing that there are 5% of voters in America who feel the same and would never vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate because it's obvious that they are both in the pockets of lobbyists.

      I'm sorry, but as a geek I'm only going to vote for someone with an ounce of intelligence and common sense, not the one who needs the votes to beat the greater of two evils. Nothing is ever going to change unless the greater population of the US realizes that professional politicians, regardless of party, are all the same. If you don't vote for who you actually want to win what is the point of living in a democracy, why not move to China?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)

        A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain.

        People like you are the reason why America is locked into a two party system, with only the choice between the lesser of two evils.

        Sorry, but it's really not his fault that the analysis is correct. Let's say you have a 60/40 spilt in Congress. Now, for some infinitesimal reason the 60% party splits right down the middle to two 30% parties. The voters haven't moved one bit, but they've lost all power to the 40% making up the minority. I mean seriously, it's like 30% want a slightly darker blue and 30% a slightly lighter blue, so let's go with the 40% that wants red. WTF? The US is recognized as a representative democracy, but that's th

    • by Fex303 (557896)

      In 2004 I listened to an interview with Ralph Nader and why he was running. It was very apparent by the end that he does not give a damn what happens if he runs, he is only concerned with feeding his ego. In fact he seems to think that the disaster of the last eight years is a validation of why he must run. He does not have a clue, nor does he want one.

      Pure character assassination with nothing backing it up. Care to add some actual quotes or examples? If not, -1 Troll.

  • I want John McCain in the white house and I would love to see him tip it again.

    You go Ralph. :-)

  • The two-headed beast known as Tweedledeeum has something like a 101% chance of winning. Truly, if you don't like the beast, nothing can be a greater waste of your vote than to give it to either of its heads, Dee or Dum. The Iraq War, for instance, is a lost cause and will be given up soon, no matter which branch of rhetoric the president subscribes to. Don't forget that the Vietnam war began under a Democratic president and ended under a Republican one. Despite the common, status-quo-serving wisdom, I insis

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