NJ Democrats Block Nader Campaign

Aquarian Weekly 8/11/04 REALITY CHECK

2004 Campaign RUNNING SCARED New Jersey Democrats Play Hardball To Block Nader Campaign

Terry MacSay what you will about Ralph Nader’s 2004 edition of an independent candidacy, there can be no argument on his right to conduct one, unless you are members of the New Jersey Democratic Party, who have seen fit to try and block Nader from getting on the ballot over the past weeks. Lawyers allegedly hired by Governor McGreevey’s top aids lost the battle late last month, so Nader will be allowed to participate in New Jersey. However his campaign is currently tied up in legal scuffles in several states to include a third candidate, which is wrong constitutionally and very wrong politically for the Democrats, who despite being solid contenders this November have, in this reporter’s summation, shown petty and cheap methods to keep the disaster of 2000 at bay.

Fear mongering, a Bush administration staple, is now firmly entrenched in the Kerry campaign. These dime-store tactics and infantile personal attacks on Nader’s integrity as a candidate will only serve to alienate the all-important independent voter and cause many who voted for Nader in 2000 to do so out of a show of protest for voter rights.

Many feel, and I must count myself as one, that enough is enough for Ralph Nader. But if that’s truly the case then no one should vote for him, like no one should listen to Howard Stern or Eminem or watch bad reality television if they don’t want and it will all go away. The whole point of democracy (even in a compromised democratic republic) is for its people to be heard, especially in elections. The power wing of the Democratic Party apparently doesn’t adhere to this principle. It has perpetuated these frivolous blockades of the independent candidate to ultimately only damage the image of their candidate, who, in its wake, appears scared and weak and unable to take on the landscape of an arduous campaign without leveling the playing field in his favor.

Isn’t this what the Democrats accused Republicans of pulling in Florida four years ago?

In a letter recently sent to Democratic chairman, Terry McAuliffe, the man who buried Howard Dean, Nader wrote “I am writing to request that you stop Democratic Party officials, state Democratic partisans, corporate lobbyists, and law firms from inappropriately and maliciously taking steps to keep the Nader-Camejo ticket off the ballot. I was disturbed to read press reports from the Democratic Convention that indicated sessions were held at the convention to plan a national campaign to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot and limit the choices of voters.”

The accusations went on to list Dem corporate lobbyists, a stream of attorneys and key Dem officials, including using Dean (ironically the only anti-war candidate besides Nader and the recently silenced Dennis Kucinich) to block the independent campaign from getting on the ballot in key battleground states.

Hate Bush all you want, but victory at the cost of the freedom to vote with conscience and make a stamp on the public record is sinking to everything The Left claims Bush represents.

Nader’s charges support the theme this space has presented for months, that this Kerry/Edwards campaign had better be about something other than the alternative to another four years of Bush fast, because in the end it might not be enough to stop the expected late rally by an incumbent in September, particularly if Nader corrals even the slightest groundswell of independent voters. What the Democrats should be doing is working harder to cull the disenfranchised vote, not pushing its only voice, however wacky and repetitious they deem it, out of the process to force these people to choose between a two-party system they rightly feel has been long co-opted by money and political favors.

In other words if the Dems keep this shit up it could backlash and lead to a Bush victory, which history tells us will have crippling effects on the immediate future of the war effort and the structure of this executive branch. Second terms have been unkind mistresses to presidents for half a century (Nixon – Watergate, Reagan – Iran-Contra, Clinton – Impeachment) and this one has the chance to sink into the kind of oblivion rarely seen on a national political stage.

But the growing litany of problems with George W. Bush and his doomed presidency will have to wait for a future column. For now, having spoken to Nader in length over the past days, (full interview on the record to come in Issue 8/25) the idea of a late bow out to endorse Kerry is less and less likely due to these constant harassments. Kerry must now fight, albeit a slight one, on two fronts for the presidency.

There is no secret the Bush people see, and rightfully so, an inadvertent ally in Nader. In four or five key battleground states in 2000, not the least of which was the penultimate Florida count, Nader votes pulled some 60% of possible Gore votes out that easily could have sent Bush back to Texas. What Ross Perot’s historic independent run did to make Clinton presidency a reality has happened already once for Junior, and these ardent and clumsily pusillanimous blockades of voter rights conducted by the Democratic Party speaks volumes to those fears.

Crazy as it seems, I adhere to the outlandish idea that if people wanted to vote for Gore in 2000, they would have. What frightened Democrats choose to believe instead is if forced to vote for Gore, maybe more people would have.

What transpired in the Supreme Court of Florida in 2000 was a travesty, despite these myths that Gore somehow won the election because he carried the popular vote, as if having more hits in a baseball game you finish with less runs counts as a victory, and its legacy should be for the press (asleep at the wheel on this one) and the American people (busy keeping tabs on an Olsen Twin’s weight loss) to stand up and be heard. Voter fraud, pay-offs, corporate and special interest lobbies are all part of the two-party system that is so patently dysfunctional and crooked it begs the manner of revolution, but not allowing an independent dissenting voice to join the fray is the exact reason why there is a Ralph Nader and why so many Americans refuse to be included in what they view as a fixed process.

Hate Bush all you want, but victory at the cost of the freedom to vote with conscience and make a stamp on the public record is sinking to everything The Left claims Bush represents. Trading one set of shenanigans for another is playing big-time politics, and all of us having spent anytime around this bilge understand it, and in weaker moments claim to love it, but in the end the people must be allowed to vote for a tree stump if they so choose.

Isn’t that what these asshole country-club white guys keep telling us we’re sending the poor out to die for?

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