A week of watching Richard Clarke on TV tends to reduce anxiety over the probable outcome of our upcoming, life-affecting, national election. But, this April 2 newspaper report
ratchets my personal sense of anxiety right back up again.
Nationally, polls show Nader cutting into the percentage of voters who otherwise would choose Democratic Sen. John Kerry and improving the prospects of re-election for President Bush.
In key states, where mere dozens of votes could change the outcome and swing the electoral vote for president, early polls show Nader taking enough of Kerry's potential supporters to make it possible for Bush to win the state.
I wish this wasn’t real, but it seems to be, right now. Again.
All of our chances for liberty and the pursuit of happiness (if not yet to keep on living) may depend upon convincing people we empathize with and respect not to make the mistake of voting for Bush out of a belief that they are voting their consciences for Nader.
I live in a state where I could stay home and sit on my hands; and the electoral votes will still go to Kerry. That’s probably why I stopped arguing with my roommate at a recent science fiction convention at 5 in the morning, instead of continuing until sunrise.
“I’ve been voting for the lesser of two evils for sixty years, and I’m sick of it,” my roommate said. “I won’t do it again.”
After a certain number of exchanges about the evil effects of unregulated corporations versus the consequences of not stopping political thieves and murderers when they’re attacking you, *right now,* in real-time, my roommate declared:
"The One Ring had to be destroyed. In my opinion, Samwise was the one who actually got the job done -- not Frodo."
“So, I said, “I think this is actually contrary to the spirit of the book -- but suppose we're there at the Council of Elrond; and it's deadlocked 50-50 between choosing Frodo or Boromir to get the job done. Now, someone puts Sam up as the “level-headed” worker’s candidate. Samwise: loyal, sensible, agrarian, won’t buy an inch of Gollum’s BS.
"The votes of the hobbit fans among the Wise are split; and the ring goes to Boromir. Boromir brings it to Denethor, who keeps it for 10 minutes before Sauron sends him to Hell. Everyone in Middle Earth winds up working minimum wage for the S&S corporation; and the Shire is converted into an Orc football stadium.
"What do your agrarian, populist politics get you then?”
“Sam was a better ringbearer,” my roommate said. I went to bed on that note.
Reading this transcript of Nader’s Air America appearance
will offer you a bit of moral support, if you already accept that his candidacy this year can do no good. But, I'm afraid it will also affirm the belief of Nader supporters that the Democrats will not give him a chance to speak.
I hope Randi Rhodes is right: that Ralph wants to use his campaign, this time, to broker a deal at the Democratic Convention. But I don't believe it, yet. Today's papers provide statistics that 71 percent of all foreign corporations and 61 percent of U.S. corporations paid no federal income tax between 1996-2000. Other corporations paid less than 5 percent of their total income in taxes. I might be happy with Ralph Nader as an income tax Czar under a Kerry administration.