[Marxism] Confronting the liberal virus

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 31 07:52:34 MST 2004


NY Times, March 31, 2004
Reason to Run? Nader Argues He Has Plenty
By TODD S. PURDUM

WASHINGTON, March 30 — Ralph Nader knows all the arguments against him. 
He can recite, word for importuning word, the letters from old friends 
urging him not to run for president — "all individually written, all 
stunningly similar" — and he does so with the theatrical relish of a man 
whose public life has been one long, unyielding argument with the world.

"Here's how it started," he said, his soft voice taking on mock 
oratorical tones over dinner with a group of aides in Charlotte, N.C., 
last week: "For years, I've thought of you as one of our heroes." He 
rolled his eyes. "The achievements you've attained are monumental, in 
consumer, environmental, etc., etc." He paused for effect. "But this 
time, I must express my profound disappointment at indications that you 
are going to run."

"And the more I got of these," Mr. Nader said, "the more I realized that 
we are confronting a virus, a liberal virus. And the characteristic of a 
virus is when it takes hold of the individual, it's the same virus, 
individual letters all written in uncannily the same sequence. Here's 
another characteristic of the virus: Not one I can recall ever said, 
'What are your arguments for running?' "

So ask him already. He is bursting with answers.

No, he says, he is neither a nut nor a narcissist. Yes, he agrees with 
his sharpest Democratic critics that defeating President Bush is 
essential. In the end, he believes, out-of-power Democrats will rally 
around John Kerry, and Mr. Nader will take votes from disaffected 
Republicans and independents. He is running as an independent, but might 
accept the endorsement of the Green Party, which nominated him four 
years ago, though not if doing so means refraining from campaigning in 
swing states, as some in the party insist.

His goal is to raise $15 million to $20 million ("Very tough to do," he 
said, noting, "We had $8 million last time.") He aspires to get on the 
ballot in all 50 states, a daunting task demanding tens of thousands of 
signatures in each state. He vows to conduct a creative campaign, 
"opening up new areas in August, September and October as the two 
parties zero in on five issues and beat them to a vapid pulp." He has 
asked for a meeting with Mr. Kerry next month to make his case that he 
can offer fresh ideas "field-tested by a second front," and Kerry aides 
say a session is being arranged.

"We are going to focus on defeating George Bush and showing the 
Democrats, if they're smart enough to pick up on it, how to take apart 
George Bush," Mr. Nader told a rally of a couple of hundred students at 
North Carolina State University in Raleigh last Thursday, his shoulders 
no more slumped and his chest no less concave at 70 than when he began 
addressing another generation almost 40 years ago. "Things have gotten 
so bad in this country, you look back at Richard Nixon with nostalgia."

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/31/politics/campaign/31NADE.html

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