FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Or Why I Voted for Ralph Nader

by DIANA BARAHONA

 

Although I predicted Kerry would lose the election, I kept my prediction private since I wasn’t sure if I was letting my disgust with the candidate interfere with my judgment. My reasons for supporting the independent candidacy of Nader had little to do with the outcome of the election and were centered on doing the right thing. Here were my reasons:

1. John F. Kerry had extremely bad positions on the following issues:

a. Iraq, Iran

b. Israel-Palestine

c. Patriot Act

d. Free Trade

e. Cuba

f. Venezuela

g. Kyoto, CAFE standards

2. In addition, Kerry has the worst attendance record in the Senate. He failed to defend the UN and international law. He failed to denounce torture and illegal detentions. And he tried to deny freedom of speech to Ralph Nader and his supporters.

3. Contrary to the many claims made by the liberal intelligentsia, there exists no objective evidence (statements or historical record) that

a. “organizing would be easier” with Kerry as president

b. He had any intention of withdrawing from Iraq

c. Blacks would be better off under Kerry

d. Workers would be better off under Kerry

4. The Democrat Party is extremely corrupt, and voting for JFK would do nothing to either change his right-wing positions or make the Democrats less corrupt or rightist.

5. This leaves two options:

–Try to reform the Democrat Party

or

–Reject the Democrats and support a third force (as the people in Uruguay and Venezuela have done)

7. Since voting for the Democrats as is will not reform the party but will have the opposite effect of confirming their belief that they need to keep moving farther right

and

8. Since the only way to build a third force is to start to demonstrate to the public that the third force is both different and viable, the best way to use one’s vote would have been to support the third force. Continuing to support the Democrat Party postponed and undermined this effort by doing the following:

a. It confused the public

b. It deceived the public, making people more cynical and apolitical

c.. The Green Party lost its independence and credibility, wasting long years of work which were ostensibly to build an independent, viable third force.

Some people who spent the last year being vocally wrong may think there’s no point in going over all of this. There is no lack of irresponsible types who have no sooner made one mistake than they are off and running toward the next one, and in four years they will do it to us again. Every mistake is magnified now because the planet’s days are numbered. Global warming is destroying the fabric of life as I write and unless there are radical changes in policies right now, its effects will not be at all mitigated; more likely, the US leaders will increasingly resort to military violence to try to maintain control in the face of constant natural disasters, wars over resources, and massive displacement of populations. The time for radical change was twelve years ago, and the failure of the American left to lead us toward this change is unforgivable.

DIANA BARAHONA is an interpreter and journalism student in Long Beach, CA. She has written about environmental issues, the California energy swindle, the media, and observed recent elections in El Salvador and Venezuela. She can be reached at: dlbarahona@cs.com

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
Charles R. Larson
Review: Gregor Hens’ “Nicotine”
David Yearsley
Handel’s Executioner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail