Why A Former Nader Voter Supports John Edwards for President

Ralph Nader shaking hands

I admit it, I was a Nader Voter. Throughout the Bush-Gore race I was highly disillusioned with our “two” party system because the politicians were obviously not working for the good of people, instead choosing to pander to the same corporate interests who had paid them off with wads and wads of “free speech”. The argument was that both parties had been completely corrupted to the point of no return, and were essentially two sides of the same coin. I was close to the front of the crowd at the Health and Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, CA when Ralph spoke:

Our society is being subordinated to giant global corporations who are planning the future,” he said. “They are planning our future by mass marketing … making sure (children) are overmedicated at a very early age, shown programs that are violent and addictive. … When are we going to put it all together and say this world has to be subjected to the sovereignty of living people, not the sovereignty of corporations?” Silver, Miriam. “Nader Preaches to Converted at Health and Harmony Fair”, The Press Democrat, 2000-06-11, B1.

Over the course of the past six-odd pocked and scarred years of Bushdom rule, we have begun to see the rise of Electronic Populism as an equal adversary to the Corporate Media pay-for-play system. In the not-so-distant past, it would take years for damaging stories like yellowcake to make the airwaves. Now a vast left-wing conspiracy of RSS feeds keeps us all informed and the MSM on its toes. Amidst this information warfare, too few truly progressive voices have risen to the forefront. Howard Dean came close, but he was line balanced out. The time has come to turn up the volume, and I mean crank it to 11: John can carry our torch:

For more than 20 years, Democrats have talked about universal health care. In 1993, Democrats controlled both chambers in Congress” and voters had elected “a president who actually had the courage to propose a plan for universal health care. It was completely killed” by lobbyists for insurance companies and the health care industry. … “You don’t have to take my word for it,” he said. “You can ask the person who was in charge.” That would be Clinton, her party’s presidential front-runner. cosbo. “Edwards: Bringin’ it & Obama: Swingin’ it”, Daily Kos, 2007-09-09.

When Edwards said, “to build the America we believe in requires fundamental, transformational change”, he wasn’t talking about the lobbyist-written, focus-grouped kind of change espoused by the Dinosaur Democrats. He really understands the power of the people, and the right way to wield it. This man has the quality of leadership which we have been sorely lacking for generations. Today we have an enormous task: to reform the Democratic party from within. To flip from being one side of the evil corporate dime, we must make change and get our nickel back! Then we can spend it on things that actually matter to us, like our childrens’ future. One thing Nader said at the festival back in 2000 has always stuck with me:

The crowd rose, as Nader ended his speech, quoting John Adams, the second U.S. president, who said: “Our generation had to be made up of politicians and statesman so our children’s generation could be composed of scientists and doctors, so their children’s generation could be composed of artists and musicians.”

In 2000 we didn’t have a Democratic candidate who openly said what we’re all thinking, but now that we do, I think the message is clear:

The choice we must make is as important as it is clear.
It is a choice between looking back and looking forward.
A choice between the way we’ve always done it and the way we could do it if we dared.
A choice between corporate power and the power of democracy.
Between a corrupt and corroded system and a government that works for us again.
It is caution versus courage. Old versus new. Calculation versus principle.
It is the establishment elites versus the American people.
It is a choice between the failed compromises of the past and the bright possibilities of our future. Between resigning ourselves to Two Americas or fighting for the One America we all believe in.
As always, at these moments, the choice we make is not for us, but for our children and our great country. And this time, like no other time, the consequences for our children are truly profound. Edwards, John. “To Build One America, End the Game”, Speech presented at Fighting for One America Bus Tour, Hanover, NH, 2007-08-23. (See video)

After listening to that, there’s only one thing I can say, and it’s actually a quote from the Wisconsin state Democratic Party chairman Joe Wineke, who is unofficially endorsing former U.S. Sen. Edwards: “In 50 years, I’ve watched eight or nine of these presidential campaigns, and the last person who talked this way was Bobby Kennedy.”

Iowa Bus Tour- Robert's Sign

Comments

Nader at Health and Harmony

I was there, too. I still wonder who was behind the “vote for Nader and you give a vote to Bush” drivel. I don’t think a vote should be driven by anything but your political views.
If this was why Gore won, and I don’t think it was, then there is definitely something wrong with our system. Perhaps we should dispense with the Electoral College.

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