Ralph Nader…the Lyndon LaRouche for a New Age

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Have a moment? Then let me take you back to the year 2000. Miss Pop Rocks was just a young lass then, fresh out of college and earnest as Hell. In my gin-and-tonic infused idealistic stupor, I fell crazy ass in love with Ralph Nader.

I ordered a Ralph Nader T-shirt. I got a Ralph Nader yard sign (despite not having a yard, so I put it on the door of my apartment instead). I went to see Ralph Nader speak at U of H. And I voted for Ralph Nader.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was a damn fool.

Now before all the wild-eyed leftists out there start slinging tomatoes, hear me out. I think Ralph Nader has done a lot of amazing things for this country, like sparking the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (the government agency that makes sure nurses and doctors throw out dirty needles). And I think he’s fought a good fight in many arenas and brought a lot of attention to some super important causes.

But by jumping into the presidential race for the third time, I fear this great American is now running the risk of turning into the Lyndon LaRouche of our day…a man who is running simply on his personality and personal platform alone. When I saw Nader announce his candidacy on “Meet the Press” last weekend, I found myself shaking my head in dismay as I munched my Life cereal. (By the way, have you noticed when Nader mentions his website, www.ralphnader.org, he says, “Go to Ralph Nader dot o-r-g.” ??? He spells out “org” every time instead of just saying it. Weird.)

Anyway, as I type this, I remember what my (brilliant) high school government teacher told us. With a two party system, you make sure the greatest number of people will be moderately satisfied. With a multi-party system, you make sure a small segment of the population is thrilled and everyone else is pissed off. Made sense to me at 17, then I forgot about it for a few years, and now it’s making sense to me again. (Maybe it’s because I’ve cut back on the gin.) At any rate, Ralph, for many reasons, I love you. But please don’t waste your time and brilliant brain running for President. Make sure nurses are throwing out dirty needles and keep those blasted Corvairs off the street instead. Honestly, that’s where we need you. – Jennifer Mathieu


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