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December 11, 2003

A Letter to Ralph Nader

Ralph, listen. I'm not mad at you. You were never my ideal candidate but you were much closer than the other two guys, and I voted for you in 2000, here in NY where Gore was a shoo-in. If I lived in Florida I would likely have made a different choice, but I won't judge anyone who did vote for you down there. A citizen has every right to save their vote for someone who truly represents their beliefs, regardless of how it pans out from a cynical, strategic standpoint. And I've always been a little offended by this idea that Nader "stole votes" from Gore, as if the left's votes belong to him by some divine right, even though it was Gore and his DLC crew who led the Dems in fleeing from the left and abandoning whatever progressive principles they had represented. If we keep acting like the Democrats own our vote instead of showing them they need to earn it, there's no incentive for them to stop treating us like dirt.

So I'm not mad at you Ralph. But listen man, you gotta know when to hold'em and when to fold'em, and in this election you should really think about sticking to the sidelines. I know this is probably hard to accept, but you are just not a popular guy right now. Justified or not, a lot of people bear a lot of resentment for your "spoiler" role in 2000. The desire to inject new ideas into the debate is always worthwhile, but whatever message you brought to the table right now could be obscured beyond recognition by having you as the messenger. Basically, as they used to say on okayplayer, NGCCOT.*

I just heard you on Democracy Now, responding to a supporter who implored you not to run this time.. and pardon my Kerry-mouth, but you sounded like an asshole. Suggesting that anyone who says you shouldn't run is attempting to curtail your freedom of speech is a cheap, disingenuous tactic. I'm used to getting the "criticism=censorship" dodge from conservatives, but it's very disappointing to hear it coming from you. I'd think you are smarter than that, and I'd hope you know we are too.

Nobody is questioning whether you have a right to run, the question is whether this campaign, at this moment, would be in the best interests of the constituencies you seek to represent. You say you will be holding meetings and such to determine whether running this year is the wisest move, and I hope cooler heads prevail in that process. Cuz I don't like what I'm hearing so far.


Posted by jsmooth995 at December 11, 2003 3:25 PM

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