FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Time for Democracy; This is an Emergency!

 

Ralph Nader finally fought his way into a presidential debate on Friday June 9th. However he didn’t spar with John F. Kerry or George W. Bush on national TV, but rather took on the “insurgent” turned “detergent” of dirty Democratic linen, Howard Dean. At least Nader called the ex-Vermont governor as much during their one-hour contest that aired on CSPAN and NPR, which offered no new insights into the Kerry campaign, nor showed Nader supporters why they should indeed run and join up in Kerry’s army.

Nader hardly flinched as Dean repeated half a dozen times that we must do everything in our power (that is legal of course) to rid the country of the Bush plague. We are in a state of “emergency” he boldly announced. And if getting rid of Bush means supporting a pro-war, pro-Israel, pro-welfare reform candidate like John Kerry, so be it. The country and the world will be better off.

Dean, obviously reincarnated after his own presidential death earlier this year, went as far as to claim that Kerry has “progressive credentials,” something you would have never heard quiver off the lips of Dean the candidate, who himself doesn’t even have credentials of the progressive stripe. But now Dean, the defender of the party that did their best to slaughter him during the primaries, is becoming the poster boy for a lousy Kerry ticket that continues to pander to right-wing ideologies, like the Israeli wall and tax-cuts for corporations.

In hopes of slandering Nader’s character, Dean pointed out several times that Republican ‘anti-gay’ groups were helping his campaign in Oregon. Nader admitted he doesn’t even know these individuals that are giving to his ballot access efforts, but said it was funny how republicans want voters to have choices when Democrats are working overtime to keep Nader off the ballots, like they did in Arizona. When asked if Dean knew of these attempts, he answered, “not to my knowledge,” but then stepped back and said members of his “former staff” were involved. Hmm.

Inevitably throwing Dean into a chicken fight match with Nader was a poor attempt by the Kerry camp to draw Naderites into his fold. And instead of taking on the issues, Dean attacked Nader’s moral fiber, while ignoring the suspect fund raising skills of the Kerry/Edwards operation. Dean must have also forgotten that his own presidential campaign was helplessly infiltrated by many right-wing nut jobs, including long-time Halliburton board member Robert Crandall. But never mind that. Who believes such individual donations, not soft money of corporate PACs, which Nader won’t touch, can influence the old consumer advocate anyway? Isn’t this the guy so many liberals claim is only motivated by his stubborn ego? Isn’t he unable to be persuaded?

And what about the fact that this group, who goes by the name Oregon Family Council, is only trying to get Nader on the state ballot? What is so wrong with giving voters the choice to vote for whom they desire, despite their motivations for doing so? Democrats by and large don’t want voters to have the option of voting for Ralph Nader. They don’t trust citizens to make rationale choices. I guess these Democrats hate democracy. If I am right, you can bet that Dems will do their best to keep Nader out of the televised debates as well. Why wouldn’t they? Like Dean said, the house is on fire, it’s no time to “rearrange the furniture.” What he really meant was, it is no time for democracy, let’s put that off until 2008, this is an emergency we’ve got here.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the upcoming book, Left Out: How Liberals did Bush’s Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press and is a contributor to Counterpunch’s forthcoming book, Dime’s Worth of Difference. He welcomes comments at frank_joshua@hotmail.com.

More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

Weekend Edition
May 25, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet
Andrew Levine
Could Anything Cause the GOP to Dump Trump?
Pete Tucker
Is the Washington Post Soft on Amazon?
Conn Hallinan
Iran: Sanctions & War
Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of Space: John McCain, Telescopes and the Desecration of Mount Graham
John Laforge
Senate Puts CIA Back on Torture Track
David Rosen
Santa Fe High School Shooting: an Incel Killing?
Gary Leupp
Pompeo’s Iran Speech and the 21 Demands
Jonathan Power
Bang, Bang to Trump
Robert Fisk
You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People
Brian Cloughley
Washington’s Provocations in the South China Sea
Louis Proyect
Requiem for a Mountain Lion
Robert Fantina
The U.S. and Israel: a Match Made in Hell
Kevin Martin
The Libya Model: It’s Not Always All About Trump
Susie Day
Trump, the NYPD and the People We Call “Animals”
Pepe Escobar
How Iran Will Respond to Trump
Sarah Anderson
When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers
Ralph Nader
Audit the Outlaw Military Budget Draining America’s Necessities
Chris Wright
The Significance of Karl Marx
David Schultz
Indict or Not: the Choice Mueller May Have to Make and Which is Worse for Trump
George Payne
The NFL Moves to Silence Voices of Dissent
Razan Azzarkani
America’s Treatment of Palestinians Has Grown Horrendously Cruel
Katalina Khoury
The Need to Evaluate the Human Constructs Enabling Palestinian Genocide
George Ochenski
Tillerson, the Truth and Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department
Jill Richardson
Our Immigration Debate Needs a Lot More Humanity
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again a Slaughterhouse Raid Turns Up Abuses
Judith Deutsch
Pension Systems and the Deadly Hand of the Market
Shamus Cooke
Oregon’s Poor People’s Campaign and DSA Partner Against State Democrats
Thomas Barker
Only a Mass Struggle From Below Can End the Bloodshed in Palestine
Binoy Kampmark
Australia’s China Syndrome
Missy Comley Beattie
Say “I Love You”
Ron Jacobs
A Photographic Revenge
Saurav Sarkar
War and Moral Injury
Clark T. Scott
The Shell Game and “The Bank Dick”
Seth Sandronsky
The State of Worker Safety in America
Thomas Knapp
Making Gridlock Great Again
Manuel E. Yepe
The US Will Have to Ask for Forgiveness
Laura Finley
Stop Blaming Women and Girls for Men’s Violence Against Them
Rob Okun
Raising Boys to Love and Care, Not to Kill
Christopher Brauchli
What Conflicts of Interest?
Winslow Myers
Real Security
George Wuerthner
Happy Talk About Weeds
Abel Cohen
Give the People What They Want: Shame
David Yearsley
King Arthur in Berlin
Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail