Amazingly, not so long ago, we had a regime which dismantled our protections under the Bill of Rights, caused the death of at least a million of people by the violence of its war profiteering, ordered acts of abduction and torture, abolished due process, put us all under extreme surveillance, and generally raped our nation from the comfort of the White House for no less than two presidential terms without ever having been actually elected.
The regime entered its seat of power both times through election fraud, but got away scot-free as the members of the oligarchy always do (until we change this rotten system). And to explain away their election rigging and the shameful defeat of its alleged opponents from the “Democratic” Party which happily participates in this theater of a fake democracy (this “good cop/bad cop” routine acted out by the GOP and DP), and to push a lone champion of the people out of the ring at the same time, they smeared him as the “spoiler” allegedly responsible for the first election’s outcome. That’s what the establishment did to us and Ralph Nader, once a household name and recognized national treasure, and now mostly forgotten or remembered wrongly as the “spoiler” of 2000, much as they tried to smear Bernie Sanders in 2016. Bernie may have wriggled out of it more successfully, albeit at the cost of a lot of political capital. Sadly, though, these kinds of smears seem to live much longer than the public memory of dark deeds, and so – while G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney are now getting normalized, their crimes forgotten, their status edified – Nader continues under the shade cast by the smears. Well, I for one am not so easily manipulated and respect this man greatly.
I shared with you a medium-sized clip and a long speech of Nader’s recently, and after the hiatus of the Las Vegas Massacre which I simply don’t have any desire to revisit unless it becomes absolutely necessary, I want to serve you up a little more from this great fighter for people’s rights who gave us great protections and instruments of democracy like the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and a whole bunch more. He is the anti-corporate people’s champion of old who amazingly still lives and fights. The video below is of a fairly recent interview of Nader which touches upon a variety of topics (corporate rule, inequality, setting our goals high, taking democracy seriously, the spoiler accusation, fighting back…) and personalities (Trump, Obama, the Clintons, Bernie, himself, and others):
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Ralph Nader in Conversation – February 2017”)
For those who have been gullibly gobbling up the corporate media’s and corporate politician’s smears, Nader is asked about (and responds to) the spoiler smear at 1:01:45 and 1:12:44 into the video.
The idea of scapegoating minority candidates (as “spoilers” who are allegedly responsible for us getting the worse of two evils) is nothing more than a strategy by the twin-party tyranny to entrench itself and defy dissent. In Nader’s words, this is very unpatriotic. I would go a little further and call it very anti-democratic.
Nader: “The greatest movements for justice in our history started with third parties (except for the G.I. Bill). The liberty party against slavery in 1840, the Women’s Sufferage Party, the Farmer–Labor Parties. They are the ones that put forth the changes and reforms. They are the ones who went to the ballot for them. They are the ones who threw it up against the two-party-entrenched candidates. It took a while, but they broke through again and again. How can we degrade that seedcorn of resurgence and renewal of the democratic society? That’s what I call two-party bigotry; and we shouldn’t tolerate it.”
Personally, I find that smearing a man like Nader as the reason we got Bush-Cheney amidst overwhelming election fraud by the “winning” political gang (not just once but twice!) utterly silly and underhanded.
To me the real issues of the 2000 election are (A) the massive election fraud in Florida (under Bush’s brother, mind you!), (B) the unconstitutional meddling by the Supreme Court, and (C) Gore’s refusal to challenge these dirty tricks. The latter fail was later repeated by John Kerry after even more massive election theft was used against his campaign in 2004. Even worse is that the “Democratic” Party sold out the people starting around 1980 and therefore has been losing ground with voters (despite the GOP being no better, of course), as well as the fact that pretty much all our candidates are picked by the establishment, and we only get to rubber-stamp these establishment shills at the voting booth, unless we find in ourselves the courage and wisdom to vote for challengers like Nader, Sanders, or Jill Stein.
To pick a challenger of the duopoly as the one and only reason for the 2000 POTUS installation ignores the real issues and supports the establishment propaganda. Democracy means to vote for what or whom you favor, not for a “lesser” evil that evil establishment operatives scare you into voting for. Once you let them do that, democracy is dead, and as a voter you have become a puppet of the establishment.
And if you doubt the above-mentioned “good cop/bad cop” routine of the party duopoly, maybe you should look into Obama’s Military Commissions Acts and NDAAs which cemented Bush-Cheney’s burial of our constitutional protections against being disappeared without arrest warrant or trial and widened it to apply within our national borders. Should Trump or any other future president wish to act like a third-world dictator, the nest has been prepared. When will we finally resurrect our Bill of Rights? Our system has become so corrupt, we must fight for systemic change with urgency, not unthinkingly repeat the establishment’s smears and false narratives.
Blaming Nader is the wrong move. He didn’t commit the election fraud. He didn’t commit Bush-Cheney’s criminal acts of treason and war crimes. Rather, the extent to which Bush & Cheney got away with blatantly ignoring and violating our Constitution with nefarious law bills, institutions, and executive orders, and the extent to which so few of us raised an eyebrow when Obama continued the practice rather than rolling it back, is how ignoring our constitutional rights and protective laws has become business as usual among our rulers. They know they can get away with it.
Nader has been in this fight for so long, he should be a stone monument by now. What amazing stamina! We owe him a lot, and he is still worth listening to.
Did you know Nader has a weekly podcast? It is excellent. It’s available on iTunes, Stitcher, and his website.
When dealing with those who give up too readily and fatalistically accept our rigged system, Nader tells us: “When people say, oh I am not turned on to politics, respond: politics will turn on you.”
Related reading: America’s Unsung Hero
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