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Ralph Nader: Still Unsafe at Any Speed

January 31, 2008

In much the same way that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Ralph Nader is once again contemplating a presidential run. Exhuming his vanity candidacy every four years, Nader's interest in the White House increases in direct proportion to his ability to inflict lasting harm on the United States. The only difference this time is that he might have to compete with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the nomination of the Narcissism Party.
History is replete with examples of the left and center-left uniting in a common effort against dangers from the right. That lesson, of course, is lost on (or more likely ignored by) Nader and his followers. In 2000, Nader's candidacy was catastrophic. In 2004, the extent of Bush's reelection victory made Nader merely annoying. Now it is just pathetic. With the country at war, facing recession and the composition of the Supreme Court for the next generation now in play, Nader simply can't help himself.
With no relevant experience and an even less relevant agenda, the bombastic Nader has resumed his quadrennial ritual of getting on his high horse and taking the low road against would-be (and should-be) Democratic allies. There are only three certainties with a Nader candidacy. First, this Corvair of progressive politics has shown his proven ability to attract substantial sums of cash from right-wing attack groups like FreedomWorks an Freedom's Watch. Second, to the degree Nader can have an impact, it is to help advance the radically reactionary program of the conservative movement. Last, the longer Ralph Nader tries to play in the political arena, the more lasting damage he does to his already-diminished legacy as a consumer advocate.
Hopefully, Ralph Nader in a rare moment of humility will stay out of the race. If not, he will once again show that he is unsafe at any speed.

7 comments on “Ralph Nader: Still Unsafe at Any Speed”

  1. This meme of Ralph Nader as narcissist is as obnoxious as the noise machine's oft repeated lie about Al Gore claiming to have invented the internet. Far more important than whether a Democrat or a Republican wins the election in November, is whether democracy prevails, and democracy cannot prevail if proper debate is allowed to be derailed by deceitful, ad hominem talking points.

  2. A vote cast is duty. The highest level of civic participation in this democratic republic. The highest level of critical thinking is a mandatory prerequisite.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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