Ralph Nader vs. the Fundamentalist Liberals



We live in scary times. And no one scares me more than the faux-liberals of today. They are a most intolerant mob that has become so dislodged from logic that they’d rather gaze reverently at the false packaging of hope than seriously contemplate the issues of the day. They love bandwagons and hate activism. They strive for insular popularity while trampling the populace. And, in the true spirit of fundamentalism, they loathe dissent and flog the dissenter with the kind of glee that is seemingly borrowed from Jimmy Swaggart’s beating of the ungodly unbelievers.

Oh yeah, hell hath no fury hot enough for the fool who holds a mirror up to the nonsense of modern liberalism. Just ask Ralph Nader.

Nader, as we all know by now, committed the horror of horrors in the eyes of the liberal fundamentalists Sunday by announcing–gasp!–that he’s exercising his Constitutional rights by throwing his hat in the ring of presidential politics. But, given the reaction from the rather slovenly liberal not-so-intelligencia, you’d think that he announced that he wants to suspend the Constitution and, instead, fly planes into tall buildings.

My goodness, imagine if all this liberal bluster was saved for things like taking it to the streets and stopping the war, or demanding universal health care, or cracking down on the subprime criminals on Wall Street, or impeaching the president who has brought us all of these not-so-nice policies. But that would require real action. And the fundamentalist liberals don’t have time for action–just rhetoric, blame and all the Obama Kool-Aid they can fill their confused kidneys with. It’s easier that way.

Remember, it’s these same liberal fundamentalists who have time after time denigrated the anti-war crowd for “going too far,” much as they’ve also wagged their blogging fingers at those who dared to demand real solutions to health care, tax injustice, workers’ rights, the Bush debacle (impeachment) and energy policy.

Sadly, it’s a symptom of the fundamentalist liberals that is becoming all too familiar: They don’t believe their own rhetoric. How else can you explain their rabid condemnation of Bush AND the condemnation of the impeachment movement? Or their understandable yelps against the current health care crisis but their seeming acceptance of the nonsensical “solution” being rhetorically weaved by Obama/Clinton? Or their preaching of tolerance but their vile invectives toward a man’s right to speak and/or seek office? If Nader’s right to seek office can be so easily ridiculed, where will they stop? Sorry, but that’s not the liberalism I studied.

Worse, my perusal of the myopic blogging universe has revealed that most liberal commenters blasting Nader’s announcement have almost completely ignored the issues that Nader has cited in announcing his candidacy. Remember, Nader made it clear that he wasn’t going to run if someone like Edwards was going to be the Democratic nominee because he saw eye-to-eye with Edwards on things like health care, reining in corporate control of our democracy, stopping the war immediately and demanding workers’ rights now–not tomorrow after all the jobs have been effectively shipped to China. But the good liberal fundamentalists didn’t choose the substance of Edwards, instead choosing either the “hope” of Obama or the same old shit of Clinton. And so Nader moved to fill a rather large void in the issue spectrum.

Nader did NOT say on Sunday that there was “no difference” between the Democrats and the Republicans, as many liberals are trying to say he said. Instead, he said there was a difference, just as there is a difference between the Obama/Clinton positions and his positions. And then he went on to articulate those differences, just as he’s done on his website (www.votenader.org).

It’s sadly comical to me to see the fundie liberals bash Nader while he’s calling for universal health care but give Obama a pass for leaving more than 15 million Americans uninsured in his so-called solution. Or bash Nader for his role in “causing” the Iraq war but giving Clinton–and a majority of her Dem colleagues — a pass for actually voting for it. Or blaming Nader for the entirety of the Bush years while refusing to acknowledge the real blame that rests at the feet of the fundamentalist Dems who have done little but play along for eight years–remember, it was only ONE Dem (Feingold) who opposed the Patriot Act.

For the Dems, the solution to the Nader candidacy is not to call for a repugnant and chilling rebuke of his Constitutional rights but to strengthen their own issue resolve so that the Nader option wouldn’t be necessary. But they’re refusing to do so, instead zeroing in on a candidate–Obama–who is mostly hype and hope and very, very little substance or resume. It’s Obama–not Nader–who is in bed with the nuclear industry and its lobbyists. It’s Obama–not Nader–who won’t say a peep about reining in Wall Street. It’s Obama–not Nader–who won’t promote universal health care. It’s Obama–not Nader–who won’t even mention the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. And it’s Obama–not Nader–who doesn’t have a track record for standing up and speaking up even when it’s not very popular to do so.

Earth to the liberal fundies: Skip the Kool-Aid, try the reality sandwich.

And thanks for offering a necessary option, Ralph.

MICHAEL COLBY is the editor of Broadsides.org and can be contacted via mcolby@broadsides.org.





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