Nader: An Unreasonable Man

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I watched the Ralph Nader documentary "An Unreasonable Man" tonight.

It was quite good. Biased in favor of Nader, but that's to be expected. And I don't mind: I like Ralph Nader. I disagree with him on a bunch of issues, but I respect him a great deal. He's perhaps the most honest person I've ever seen, and certainly the most honest person I know of who has run for an elected office.

I loved the part where he went to the Congressional Black Caucus and didn't kiss their rings. Basically, they told him not to run, and he said they were treating him like the white man used to treat blacks in the South, and he spoke truth to power, and they didn't like it.

Part of the movie reminded me of the recent Dylan documentary, "No Direction Home." There, you had people like Joan Baez criticizing Bob for betraying what he suppoedly stood for, for destroying his legacy ... the problem is, they didn't really know Bob Dylan, and made him out to be something he wasn't.

Same thing with Ralph. One of his former colleagues understood this when she became a government official and he called for her resignation because she didn't do what he thought she should. She was angry, and thought he went too far, but ... she understood, That's Ralph. He is no respector of persons: he is not going to look up to you or down to you because of who you are, but will put the issues first.

But Eric Alterman makes himself out to be a total moron by saying Nader should have come on TV right before the 2000 election and said "I've made my point, now everyone vote for Gore," and that if he really stood for all the values he says he's stood for all those years, that's what he would have done. But Nader would never have said that. That is not, in fact, who Nader is. Nader believes in standing up for certain issues and that if the candidates won't go along with those issues, they will not get his support, tacit or otherwise. If he is going to call for the resignation of a friend he knows will mostly do a good job, why would he endorse someone whom he thinks won't do a good job?

Alterman also said Nader focused on spoiling the race by going primarily to swing states, even though an analysis of his travel, appearances, and campaign ads shows this isn't true. Typical Alterman, but I digress.

Another Dylan moment: a campaign rally in 2000 where Eddie Vedder sings "The Times They Are A-Changing." I wonder what Dylan thought of that, if anything. Yeah, because 2000 is so much like 1964.

As many people reading this space may recall, I supported Nader's attempts to be in the debates in 2000, 100 percent, and obviously not because I thought it would help Bush or hurt Kerry: I supported Perot's inclusion in 1996, and I donated money to a group working to reform the Commission on Presidential Debates. I believe, very strongly, that people should vote the way they want to vote, and should have the information available to do so.

A Republican friend of mine expressed that she may not vote GOP in 2008 if the candidate is not conservative enough; while she took a lot of heat from other Republicans, and while I would vote for any of the GOP candidates myself, I defended her, because people must vote the way they think is best, whatever it is. She thinks that while it will be short-term moderate gains to vote for a "liberal" Republican, it will be in the long-term better for the Republican Party to not do so. And who is to say she's wrong? I can disagree with her, but I can't prove she's wrong.

So I agreed with Michael Moore's comments at the same 2000 rally when he said people should vote their conscience, and if that leads them to vote for Nader, then they should vote for Nader.

The funny part was when Moore said in a 2004 apperance that you shouldn't vote for Nader even if your conscience tells you that you should, because it's the wrong thing to do.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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