Compare the issues among candidates here.
I had been considering voting for Obama. It’s created this sort of nauseated feeling in my gut as I’ve watched him swinging to the mainstream (sic. moderate Republican) view of things lately. A few examples are his recent support of a conservative supreme court decision regarding gun ownership, his kowtowing to religious and patriotic nutters, and his statements about how withdrawing troops from Iraq would be left up to field commanders. Not to mention his abandonment of his pledge to use public financing. I’ve never been in love with candidate Obama but I was considering voting for him as the least worst of the candidates available.
Until last night that is. Luckily for my integrity and churning guts, Ralph Nader showed up and spoke at the University of Hawaii last night. I voiced my fears to Nader, told him I had voted for him twice before (once writing him in on the Hawaii ballot in 2004) and that I wanted to vote for him but I was scared by what 8 years of Republican rule have already done to our country and that I felt we might not be able to survive another four years of it.
Nader asked where I was voting this year. I told him Hawaii. Then he laughed.
“You’re actually worried about Obama losing here? As long as we are in the electoral system, your vote only counts in Hawaii.”
I was confused at first but he explained it in further detail and I realized he was right. It is virtually impossible for Obama to lose in Hawaii and besides that, I’m not convinced that Obama is as big a change as he would have us believe anyway.
So I’m voting for Ralph Nader for the third time in three elections. For the record, here is my presidential voting record. In 1992 I voted for Ross Perot, this was my first election. I was voting not so much for Perot as for change and the inclusion of more than Republicans or Democrats in U.S. politics.
In 1996, I voted for Bill Clinton, I was drinking a lot in those days and couldn’t see far enough to find a viable third party candidate. Besides, I had just read Al Gore’s book and thought it was pretty cool that a Vice President could be an environmentalist.
In 2000 I voted for Bush…haha. Just kidding, I voted for Ralph Nader of course. Having just come off the highs of the WTO protests in 1999 and then having gone to the North American Anarchist Convention in L.A. during the Democratic Nominating Convention, I was not going to back the Democrats or Republicans despite the fact that I still had a soft spot for Al Gore. It was at this time that I really fell in love with the radical idealism of Ralph Nader. I saw him speak at several venues and everything he said resonated with me. In 2000, I am proud to say I voted for Ralph Nader. My vote for Nader was for Nader and everything he stands for…I wouldn’t change it.
In 2004, I voted for Nader again even though it virutally negated my vote here in Hawaii. I wrote him on the ballot here in Hawaii where he didn’t appear on the ballot and we don’t have a write in line. It’s my vote and it went to the man who I felt (and feel) is the most likely and able to put the United States back on the track of being a country I can be proud of.
And in 2008, I almost forgot that. A vote for Nader is not a vote for McCain, nor was it ever a vote for Bush. A vote for Nader is a vote for radical change in American politics. A vote for Nader is a vote for a man who has never had a credit card, never been in a McDonalds or Walmart (really!), and a vote for a man who started his life of public service by hitchhiking to Washington D.C. and getting autos made safe because he was tired of seeing his friends die in unsafe automobiles and who has continued to fight for principle, for truth, for liberty, and for justice for all, not just the few.
If Ralph Nader can show that he has 10% support in the country, he will be included in the Google debates with the major party candidates. If you want to see the candidates shaken to their core, pray for this to happen.
The event last night made me sad in a way, sad because I look at this great man and listen to his words and realize that my country could be great again if he were able to take the helm–and I see him being ignored by the mainstream media, being marginalized, and being villainized.
At the same time I feel this stirring of fire in my belly as I recognize that Ralph Nader has not given up, that he has not lost hope, and that he never will. This feeling that I get from this man who doesn’t hide from the nasty truth of our politics and yet who refuses to compromise his own values, politics, or ideals. This feeling is hope being born again, this feeling that is replacing the nausea I’ve been experiencing as Obama becomes like Clinton who is not really all that different from Bush…not really.
I’m going to vote for Nader…again. So should you. Ralph Nader is not a spoiler. In fact, he might be the only candidate that can prevent this entire country from going sour. Find out more and look at his platform at
Nader in Hawaii- Link
On a side note, if you haven’t seen Ralph Nader speak, you need to. He is funny, inspiring, and approachable. He knows the issues, he knows the dynamics of foreign politics and policies, and he is the only guy that cares about everyone…not just the members of his party.