Results tagged “Ralph Nader” from onegoodmove

Election 2008 Utah Edition

A couple of interesting tidbits from Utah one week out. The early voting is going gangbusters, over 147,000 as of yesterday.

A friend went to vote last night and had to wait in line for 1 1/2 hours, unbelievable. I don't know what it means, and there have been no recent polls in Utah measuring the presidential race, the last back in September had McCain up by 30 percent, not a surprise. ( Ah a new poll on the 25th of October MCain 56.4 Obama 32.4 Nader 1.6 Undecided 12.3) I think the final result will be much closer. I'll go out on a limb here and predict that the margin will be 10 percent or less.

There is a fellow at a nearby service station/convenience store who listens to right-wing radio non-stop. It's usually Sean Hannity when I stop by. Today my son asked him who he was voting for, expecting to hear John McCain, but instead listened to this right-winger say that he didn't like either of the two candidates and had already voted early for Ralph Nader.


Major reasons he isn't voting for Obama:

  • Inexperience
  • The Reverend Wright
Major reasons he isn't voting for McCain:
  • Campaign framed in terms of why Obama is bad, not why John McCain is good. Doesn't like McCain's negative ads
  • Sarah Palin
  • Didn't like the way he treated Romney in the primary

I guess a vote for Nader is sometimes a vote for Obama.

Ralph Nader Interview

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Nader on Limbaugh


Nader On Consumer Protection

Matt Gonzalez

Ralph Nader's running mate, Matt Gonzalez at the 2004 Green Party convention raises an important question. Are you as a Democrat willing to work for a fair voting system, one that doesn't treat those who choose to vote for someone other than a major party candidate as un-American. And if not how can you in good conscience complain when a third party candidate plays the role of a spoiler. (tip to Aaron)

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Don’t Worry About Nader

Don’t Worry About Nader | The Progressive Magazine since 1909

I don’t know why there’s such a hullabaloo about Ralph Nader’s announcement that he’s running for President again. I know a lot of people hold grudges against Nader for Gore’s defeat in 2000, and I’m not going to deny he played some role. But so, too, did Gore himself. So, too, did Katherine Harris. So, too, did the Supreme Court. . .

And what’s happening this year is that it’s really unlikely that Nader is going to make any impact on the outcome of the race whatsoever. . .

And it doesn’t mean he can’t possibly do some good by running.

One function he could play is to point out how undemocratic our two party system is, how rigged it is against third party or independent challengers. He’s doing that already.

Another, even more important function, is to raise issues that no other candidate is raising, and he’s started to do that already, too.

Nader’s presence is a reminder that Obama doesn’t represent the left pole in American politics, and it is salutary to call Obama on his support for a bloated Pentagon budget, or his reluctance to lead on the issue of Israel and Palestine, or single-payer health care.

Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday


Ralph Nader for President

For those Democrats upset by another Nadar run for the presidency let me remind you that it might have been avoided if you'd had the wisdom to vote for John Edwards. I haven't donated money to either Hillary or Barack though I did contribute both to the Kucinich and Edwards campaigns. I'll be sending some money to Ralph, not because he has any chance to win, but that I want his voice heard during the campaign, and please don't deluge me with counter-factuals they aren't very persausive.

The transcript

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Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader's opinion of John Edwards. He likes John's anti-corporate message.

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Hardball w/Chris Matthews

Ralph Nader

Bill Maher interviews Ralph Nader and as usual Ralph is spot on with his analysis of the country's problems and what to do about it.

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Real Time w/Bill Maher
More Bill Maher video here

Run Ralph Run

Chris Matthews interviews Ralph Nader on his prospects of running for President. Run Ralph run!

Part 1

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Harball w/Chris Matthews

Part 2

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Harball w/Chris Matthews


One of the most interesting logical fallacies is the counterfactual also known as "Hypothesis Contrary to Fact"

After the 2000 election many made the argument that if Ralph Nader hadn't run then Al Gore would have been elected president. This is an example of a counterfactual, and it cannot be proven. Recently we have heard the neo-cons making claims that had we not invaded Iraq the movements for peace in the area would not be taking place. This is also a counterfactual. In both of these examples there are many other causes to consider. it is true that one of the possible causes for Gore's loss was Nader's participation in the race, but that is not proof that he would have been elected sans Nader. Likewise the war in Iraq is one of the possible causes for the democratic stirrings in the Middle East, but neither is it proof that the results wouldn't have been the same or similar had the war not occured. In the Nader case those who voted for Nader may not have voted or voted for another third party candidate. Had Nader not run other candidates may have entered the race. Gore may have campaigned differently if Nader hadn't run, well you get the idea. In the case of the Middle-East, the death of Yasser Arafat may have been a more significant factor to name just one of the many possible causes.

Bruce Thompson's Fallacy Page has one of the best explanations of the counterfactual also known as Hypothesis Contrary to Fact.

Hypothesis Contrary to Fact


From a statement of fact, the argument draws a counterfactual claim (i.e. a claim about what would have been true if the stated fact were not true). The argument falsely assumes that any state of affairs can have only one possible cause.


"I taught you logic. So, if I hadn't taught you logic, you never would have learned logic at all."

--paraphrased from Max Schulman's "Love is a Fallacy"

"In this country citizens are permitted to own guns. Therefore, if guns were outlawed, citizens would be unable to protect themselves and there would be an uncontrollable crime wave."


We know that actions have consequences. We are able to speculate about the consequences of our actions because there is a real causal connection between how we act and how things turn out. We avoid certain actions because we are able to understand those causal connections. Wise choices require an awareness of consequences and an ability to reason hypothetically about them. It is perfectly good reasoning to say, "I didn't turn left because, if I had turned left I would have gotten lost."� This means, of course, that we can speculate on how matters might have turned out differently if we had acted differently - for good or ill. A teacher is entitled to say, "You got an F because you didn't turn in your assignments. If you had turned in your assignments you wouldn't have gotten an F."

The fallacy of Hypothesis Contrary to Fact follows the same general pattern of reasoning. However, it does so in a context in which the consequences of an action are not actually clear. In a complex situation other factors are likely to intervene. The boundary between clear situations and complex situations is, of course, broad and fuzzy, and the fuzziness of the boundary allows fallacious reasoning to masquerade as good practical speculation. The connection between failing to turn in assignments and failing to pass the class is simple and obvious. It is easy to understand how things would have turned out differently if the assignments had been turned in. The connection between gun ownership and levels of crime in a community is complex and indirect. In that context we can't easily project how things would be different if circumstances were changed. Nevertheless our usual success with speculative reasoning (in simpler contexts) may embolden us into thinking that we can speculate successfully even here.

Classification: A False Cause Fallacy (a retroductive fallacy of soundness with a falsehood in the major premiss).

Ralph Nader: Will the real Michael Moore Re-Emerge

Ralph speaks his mind in this open letter to Michael Moore and he has a couple of things right. We need to keep working against "against the war or for an anti-poverty agenda, for corporate reform, for consumer justice, or for cracking down on the epidemic of corporate crime, fraud and abuse... stand up for the simple right of wrongfully injured and defrauded Americans to have their full day in court without tort deform handcuffing judges and juries."

Ralph Nader's post election letter to Michael Moore

Dear Michael,

Will the real Michael Moore ever re-emerge and shut the door on his theatre of the absurd? It was a wild and crazy run, was it not, Michael? Weeks of standing before large college audiences mixing a potion of book and movie promotions with a message that was more laughable than producing laughter. You told the young men and women that "George W. Bush and John Kerry both suck. Vote for Kerry." That is supposed to be "cool?" Here you were -- against the Iraq War occupation, pro-justice for the Palestinian people, against the Patriot Act, against the swollen military budget and you were telling the university students to vote for Kerry who is on the complete opposite side of these issues.

Now that you no longer have to pose as a "least-worster", with no more tactical excuses, what is your post-election confession? So far your website has dodged this question, unless that is you have no reflections on the merit of abandoning both your principles and your authentically progressive friends for candidates--Kerry and Edwards-who so often performed as crypto-Republicans during the campaign.

Continue reading "Ralph Nader: Will the real Michael Moore Re-Emerge" »

A Final Word on Nader

Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo make the argument that asking them not to run would be to abandon millions of voters whose ideas they represent.

In a February 2004 appearance on Meet The Press, Nader said to Tim Russert, "You'd never find that type of thing [resistance to a third party] in Canada or Western democracies in Europe. It is an offense to deny millions of people who might want to vote for our candidacy an opportunity to vote for our candidacy. Instead, they [the Republicans and Democrats] want to say, 'No, we're not going to let you have an opportunity to vote,' for our candidacy."

Thom Hartmann addresses this argument quite well. He points out that the Canada and the Western European democracies Nader is talking about have proportional representation rather than our winner takes all system. He argues that in the winner take all system we have, third parties mean less democracy not more. Hartmann gives the following example in support of his view.

A good example of this happened in the 2002 election in my state of Vermont, where the Republican candidates became Governor and Lieutenant Governor with 45 percent and 41 percent of the vote respectively because each had more votes than his Democratic or Progressive opponents alone. (Example: Republican Brian Dubie - 41%; Democrat Peter Shumlin - 32%; Progressive Anthony Pollina - 25%. The Republican "won.") The majority of Vermont voters selected liberal or progressive candidates, but conservatives are in charge of the state - the exact anti-democratic result that gave some of the Framers nightmares.

Nader may be right that a few million voters that support him would not be given a choice at the ballot that reflects their views. However, this discounts the fact that he will deprive even more people of success in their desire to get rid of George W. Bush in favor of John Kerry. So what's the best solution?

The simple solution is to institute IRV in the United States, a step that many communities across the country have already taken. But to do this at the national level will require the agreement and participation of at least one of the two major parties - which is why many Progressives are supporting the Greens and, at the same time, infiltrating and becoming active in the Democratic Party.

It's similar to the strategy conservatives successfully used in the 1970s after the 1964 defeat of Barry Goldwater, when they proceeded to infiltrate and ultimately take control of the Republican Party and then bring Reagan to power. As progressives do the same with the Democratic Party - while still helping keep the Green Party and other progressive movements strong - we can then use the Democratic Party to push for IRV, re-enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, an end to "corporate personhood," and other progressive and truly democratic reforms.

This year I am supporting the Democratic party with my financial donations and the Green Party with my voter registration with the Green Party and a vote for David Cobb as I live in the redest of red states. I will also support efforts for electoral reform.

Kucinich On Unity

Unity is essential
July 22, 2004

For the past two and a half years, I have led a national effort for peace, for social and economic justice and health care for all. My campaign reached every state and territory. We participated in every primary and caucus. We pointed our party towards new directions. I am here to say that the next critical step we must take is to help elect John Kerry the next President of the United States.


Today I am happy to endorse the Kerry-Edwards ticket. And I look forward to helping to lead the way to elect John Kerry President and John Edwards Vice President of the United States.

Continue reading "Kucinich On Unity" »

Green Party Refuses to Back Nader for President

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Reuters) - The Green Party on Saturday refused to back Ralph Nader in his independent run for the White House, a move that could reduce his chances of being a factor in this year's election.

Delegates to the half-million-member party's presidential convention voted to nominate party activist David Cobb, a California lawyer who led the delegate count going into the meeting.


David Cobb will run a "smart growth" campaign. He will avoid swing states and focus on states that are not in contention in order to build the Green Party. The Green Party understands that this is an exceptional year. The Green Party understands that George W. Bush is a threat to everything it stands for and it did the right thing by not backing Nader. As I live in a state that is not a swing state I will vote for Cobb. I encourage those of you who live in swing states to hold your nose and vote for Kerry in order to get Bush out.

David Cobb for President

Ralph Nader has pissed off a lot of Democrats with his independent Candidacy this year. He has also pissed off many Green party supporters, including myself. David Cobb is seeking the Green party nomination this weekend at the Green Party National Convention. Cobb wants to build a non-corporate third party. I thought that was what Nader was all about, but running as an independent does nothing to help third parties. Cobb also believes there is a more responsible way to build the Green Party without risking throwing the election to Bush. There is an excellent interview with David Cobb on Salon. Here are some important excerpts.

Salon: Would running a safe-states strategy -- one where the Greens wouldn't campaign heavily in states where they might cost Kerry the election -- be a wise and intelligent use of the Greens' strength?

David Cobb: First of all, I'd never call my strategy a "safe-states strategy." It's a smart-growth strategy. Smart growth means focusing resources where we are more likely to build the Green Party -- the 40 states where the Electoral College votes are not going to be genuinely contested.

John Kerry is no progressive, and the message for the Green Party in those states can be "progressives, don't waste your vote, invest your vote." A progressive voting for Kerry in an uncontested state cannot help unelect Bush. All voting for Kerry will do is say that you support his corporatist, militarist policies. Let's remember John Kerry voted for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for No Child Left Behind. He voted for the PATRIOT Act. He voted for NAFTA. He's on the record supporting the war on drugs, the prison-industrial complex, he's on the record opposing universal healthcare and raising the minimum wage to a living wage.

Salon: It seems like the reason for avoiding swing states is as much to prevent an erosion of the Democratic base as it is because you'll have an easier time party-building elsewhere. If it's worth showing mercy on the Democrats in swing states, why not go one step further and ask Greens in swing states to vote for Kerry?

David Cobb: Because my goal is to grow and build the Green Party, not to acquiesce to Democratic Party leadership. I don't believe that John Kerry is going to solve any of the fundamental problems facing this country.

I'm going to tell people to vote their conscience. But if people are so terrified that they're going to [vote for Kerry], I'm saying, "Then do what you need to do, but join with us in the Green Party, register for the Green Party, and vote for Green Party people down ballot." Ultimately those people, I believe, are going to have enough confidence, and courage, and vision, to stop "holding their nose" -- but if they can't do it in this election cycle, I'm patient with them.

I acknowledge that I'm articulating a very nuanced approach, and that it is not black-and-white. But that reflects my understanding of where we are.

As I live in an uncontested state, I will definitely vote for David Cobb if he wins the Green Party nomination this Saturday. I believe it would be a big mistake for Greens to endorse Nader instead.

Good Cop, Bad Cop

There have been several articles in the press speculating about John McCain joining Kerry on a Unity ticket. McCain has been pretty clear that he does not want to do this and I don't think it will happen. But the thought of it makes me sick. It makes Ralph Nader's criticism that there is little difference between the two major parties look prescient. In fact, a Kerry/McCain ticket would remove any illusion we might have that there are two seperate parties. John Stauber has written an important article about this prospect that provides a warning to progressives not to let there guard down if Kerry wins the election.

Anyone who believes that the Republican far-right's ascendancy to power is going to fade away should Bush manage to lose in November is over-medicated. The powerful right-wing juggernaut constructed over the decades is just hitting its prime, politically. Sure, the Republicans are far to the right of most Americans on key issues such as tax fairness, health care, abortion rights and the environment. But that was true during the Reagan regime, too, and we've just had a non-stop, week-long, media love-in reminding us how little it mattered then or now that Reagan was way out of touch on policies, since his tough-love patriotic cowboy image still sells so well.

Bush may very well lose in November given his foreign policy disasters and growing questions over why 9/11 was not prevented. But there is very little indication that even a Bush defeat would be much of a speed bump for the Republican right's growing power. Until progressives in America roll up their sleeves and work to create real political power on the left in the sort of disciplined, long-term, visionary and well-funded way that worked for the Right, desperate ploys will accomplish nothing in the long term. Kerry/McCain anyone?

One thing that has mobilized the left more than anything is the Iraq War. I believe Bush and Cheney should be impeached for their lies. However, what will actually change when it comes to Iraq if Kerry is elected. Practically nothing. This is not to say that people in battleground states shouldn't vote for Kerry, it is just a warning to progressives not to let their guard down if Kerry should win the election. Republicans and Democrats play good cop, bad cop with the American people. If given a choice I will certainly take the good cop over the bad cop, but we must realize that they are both still on the side of their corporate paymasters.

UPDATE: I just came across this, this, and let's not forget that Kerry said, "I am not a redistribution Democrat." I am warning you now, don't be surprised or upset when Kerry's presidency (should he win) pisses you off. Then maybe we can get support for a real progressive party.

Kucinich Targets National Convention

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on Kucinich's efforts to change the direction of the Democratic Party.

"Rep. Dennis Kucinich, no longer claiming he can capture his party's presidential nomination, unveiled a strategy Monday he hopes will make him a force to be reckoned with at this summer's Democratic National Convention in Boston."

Hopefully he will be successful in his efforts. He will push for "a near-immediate pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, establishment of a Cabinet-level Department of Peace, repeal of the Patriot Act, and creation of a universal, single-payer health care system."

Perhaps if Kucinich succeeds in pushing Kerry more to the left on these issues, progressives on the far left won't feel the need to defect to Independent Candidate Ralph Nader.

We've Been Down This Road Before

In 1965 I was attending the University of Utah. The draft was on everyone's mind. Friends were leaving for Vietnam, others were scrambling for a spot in a guard or a reserve unit. Some talked of going to Canada, but what I remember most was meeting friends before class for a cup of coffee and hearing the names of friends that had been killed in Vietnam. Lives just beginning that were now over. I saw tears in the eyes of my friends and in those of strangers. All of us did our best to comfort each other as the list of those lost grew. We were too young to lose our friends that way. Many of those that returned had difficulty resuming the lives they had left behind. There are no good wars but some are worse than others and Iraq is one of those. Ralph Nader is right we've been down this road before. We should instead take the one less traveled, the road to peace, and it will make all the difference.

Message To America's Students

Nader: The War, The Draft, Your Future

We have been down this road before.

U.S. troops sent to war half a world away. American foreign policy controlled by an arrogant elite, bent on projecting military power around the globe. A public misled into supporting an unconstitutional war founded on deceit and fabrications.

As the death toll mounts, we hear claims that the war is nearly won, that victory is just around the corner. But victory never arrives.

As the public loses confidence in the government, the government questions the patriotism of any who express doubt about the war.

When a presidential election arrives, both the Democrat and Republican nominees embrace the policy of continued war.

The military draft comes to dominate the lives of America's young, and vast numbers who believe the war to be a senseless blunder are faced with fighting a war they do not believe in, or facing exile or prison.

The year was 1968. Because voters had no choice that November, the Vietnam War continued for another six years. Hundreds of thousands of Americans like you died, were maimed, or suffered from diseases like malaria. A far greater number of Vietnamese died.

Today, the war is in the quicksands and alleys of Iraq. Once again, under the pressure of a determined resistance, we see an American war policy being slowly torn apart at the seams, while the candidates urge us to "stay the course" in this tragic misadventure. Today's Presidential candidates are not Nixon and Humphrey, they are now Bush and Kerry.

Once again, there is one overriding truth: If war is the only choice in this election, then war we will have.

Today enlistments in the Reserves and National Guard are declining. The Pentagon is quietly recruiting new members to fill local draft boards, as the machinery for drafting a new generation of young Americans is being quietly put into place.

Young Americans need to know that a train is coming, and it could run over their generation in the same way that the Vietnam War devastated the lives of those who came of age in the sixties.

I am running for President, and have been against this war from the beginning. We must not waste lives in order to control and waste more oil. Stand with us and we may yet salvage your future and Americas' future from this looming disaster.

Ralph Nader