Monday, December 31, 2007

An Unreasonable Man

I want to let you know of a great documentary I just saw on the life of Ralph Nader called "An Unreasonable Man." Nader is one of the greatest patriots that America has ever seen. You may know him from his presidential campaigns, but he's also been a lifelong advocate for the American public. He's been the spearhead for many forms of legislation, including the Clean Air Act, he got seatbelts and air bags into our cars, he's responsible for the X-rays we get at the dentists' being free of lead.

And this is a fantastic documentary. It covers his presidential runs in detail, including the aftermath of the 2000 elections. I voted for Nader in '00 and '04, happily and unregrettably. I still can't fathom the logic of the Democrats who were rabid with rage after 2000 and blamed Nader for why Gore lost. As most rational people know, there were many factors behind the coup of 2000, but Nader's participation as a candidate was very low on that list, if it's on it at all. It's all covered, and to the filmmakers' credit, some of Nader's vocal, outspoken opponents are interviewed. Guys like Todd Gitlin and Eric Alterman, guys whose works I read and are informed by, do come off as total douchebags. And they should really know better. I never felt as if Nader set out to "spoil" the election, and research that was conducted (and is revealed in the film) validates that perspective. I remember for awhile afterward, when I told people that I voted for Ralph, they told me that I voted for Bush, and I'd tell them "you don't understand, New York's a safe state", and it just flew right over them. A lot of people aren't educated in the electoral college, I suppose.

What's worse to me are the turncoats like Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon, who supported and campaigned for Nader in 2000, yet then proceeded to turn on him in '04. That's the worst, just total hypocrites in my book.

I unregistered from the Democrats last week. I wasn't a Democrat to begin with (independent) until Kucinich ran in '04. He is running again. I like Dennis, he's a lot like Ralph on the issues and he's probably as close to a progressive Democrat as you're going to find. Unfortunately, he has no chance. I had to hear that a lot in '04, when I directed his campaign in western Suffolk. I was more idealistic back then, younger. But now, I realize that if a candidate like him had half of a ghost of a chance, he'd be shot. Besides, in '04 when he was told that he couldn't win, he said that he was running to move the Democratic party platform to the left. Which, on paper, makes sense. But just look at the Democrats in the '04 general election leading up to the present. They've been horrible and haven't stood up to Bush once. To me, that vindicates Nader's position in his campaigns. We're told that Nader's responsible for our last 8 years, but in the meantime, where the fuck were the Democrats?

Well, I didn't mean to get off track. Anyway, do see the Ralph Nader movie, "An Unreasonable Man". I'm not planning to vote next year, but the one exception I'd make would be if Ralph ran again. Run, Ralph, Run!

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