Friday, May 14, 2004

A Letter to Ralph Nader

Dear Mr. Nader,

I recently read your letter to President Bush. I have to say, it was spot on.

I also agree with you, more than I agree with John Kerry, on many of the issues. But I have to say, I think your campaign is irresponsible. It simply is not a tenable position that your capturing approximately 4% of the vote in 2000 was not a deciding factor in an election decided by less than 1% of the vote.

Yes, Al Gore didn't run a perfect campaign. John Kerry isn't running a perfect campaign. But your campaign argues that what is really needed is a "two-front" campaign against Bush. I would wholeheartedly agree if your strategy was to give speeches, try to move the Democrats left, or to somehow affect Democratic policy thinking. Unfortunately, it seems that you mean that the best way to defeat Bush is to divide the roughly 50% of the voters that would vote for a Democratic or Progressive candidate between you and Kerry, which is only a recipe for defeat.

I urge you, a man who has devoted his life to progressive activism, not to help reelect a President whose administration has been far more destructive to our environment, to women's rights, to free speech, and to our international standing than anyone who argued that Democrats and Republicans are nearly indistinguishable on many issues could have imagined. This time around, it doesn't take much imagination.


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