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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on February 24, 2008 2:17 PM.

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Third Time's the Charm?

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Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced on Meet the Press that he is entering the 2008 campaign for President of the United States Of America as an independent. Nader ran for the presidency back in 2000 and 2004 gathering no Electoral College votes but 2.7% of the popular vote as the Green Party candidate and 0.3 percent as an independent in 2004.

Many Democratic Party leaders and pundits say Nader split the Democratic vote in the 2000 election and blame him for Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush.

Here in 2008, with John McCain as the presumptive Republican nominee and Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, could Nader break the two party hold on the presidency?

Many voters are disenfranchised with the current crop of presidential hopefuls. Conservatives question McCain's conservativeness. Liberals worry about putting another Clinton in the White House or Obama's lack of experience. This could open the door for a third party candidate, but is Nader that person?

Nader could easily carry Democratic voters are can't get behind either Clinton or Obama. He has a very populist message that could possibly strike a cord with some Republicans.

On his website,, Nader lists twelve issues he wants to go after if elected, all of them "Off the table", as he says, for Clinton, McCain, and Obama.

  • Adopt single payer national health insurance

  • Cut the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget

  • No to nuclear power, solar energy first

  • Aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare

  • Open up the Presidential debates

  • Adopt a carbon pollution tax

  • Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East

  • Impeach Bush/Cheney

  • Repeal the Taft-Hartley anti-union law

  • Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax

  • Put an end to ballot access obstructionism

  • Work to end corporate personhood

Some of these issues make no sense. Impeach Bush and Cheney? This is just political grandstanding. Come January 2009, both of them will be out of office because of the end of their terms. How can you impeach them in they are not still in office?

Solar power is still too expensive. Solar energy averages $0.38 per kWh with the average consumer electrical price in the US is $0.11 per kWh (I couldn't find a break down on prices by natural gas, coal, or nuclear generated electricity, but I think the average of the three is good enough here). Oil and coal prices will have to climb a lot more or solar needs to drop to become worthwhile.

Gas prices have been climbing like crazy for the last two years, Americans will vote out anyone that passes yet another tax on gasoline or other carbon pollutants.

Yes, there is a lot of corporate greed with CEO's and other executives pushing the limits of what should be considered moral business practices. However, I don't see anything happening today or in the past that would indicate the Taft-Hartley Act should be repealed.

And just what is Nader intending with a Wall Street securities speculation tax or putting an end to ballot access obstructionism? Love it or hate it, Wall Street is a necessity. Without it, our standard of living would be severely stunted. As for ballot access obstructionism, I don't know if he is talking about four years ago when the Democratic Party fought to have Nader's name placed on the ballot in several states or if he is talking about voters being able to go to the polls and vote.

As much as he may try to convince people otherwise, I don't think Nader will be that third party candidate to win the presidency. But he will make it harder to handicap who the eventual winner will be.


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