Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 10/17/2008 - 12:28.

There is probably no one in the world that I respect more than Ralph Nader. No one I trust more. But I’m telling every Ohio voter, don’t vote for Ralph Nader.

The reason is simple. We cannot afford to have President John McCain.

Nader speaks the brutal truth to power. But much more than that he knows and articulates exactly what is wrong with our government and its policies. His assessments are so right.

It’s hard to imagine any candidate in our political duopoly with ability to discuss critically as well as Nader does what is wrong with our government. Nader also has had the ability to forge institutions that try – often successfully – to correct our ills.

However, Nader himself warned, I believe before the 2004 election, in an appearance at John Carroll University that if you thought the election in Ohio was so close that a vote for him would elect the Republican, do what your conscience tells you to do. The question came from Janice Cogger who was conflicted because she found Nader’s policy critique so compelling but feared the re-election of George Bush. The implication of Nader’s answer was to vote for the Democrat if the election in Ohio were close. It was and it is.

Nader has been personally helpful to me, someone who had no connections to him other than he viewed what I was doing in my small way in Cleveland as a civic endeavor that he advocates and champions. I will always appreciate his concern for me. It speaks to his sincerity and commitment to the smallest of efforts.

Personally, I think Barack Obama represents a wise choice, a choice I can make in good conscience.

I hope that Obama early in this term will seek out Nader’s advice on a whole host of issues. I hope he will not, as other Democrats unwisely have done, shun Nader. It would be a bad mistake.

We don’t have the luxury of many more political blunders.

Anyone who has doubts about Obama should read the endorsement by the New Yorker magazine. It is a masterful critique of the candidates. It can be found here:

So please this one is very important. It will be important also to keep the pressure on Obama to end the war in Iraq, and Afghanistan, too, and give him the popular support to redirect America to be the hope it once represented to the world.

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I've always loved Nader, but STRONGLY agree

As I was growing up - with a liberalism awakened by exposure to the 1960s and a professional mother made feminist by the realization she made half that of male PhDs - I asked my mother why she didn't vote for Nader and she said that was throwing her vote away - and the same holds true today. Which is a shame, because I would definitely be Green Party if a third party mattered.

I hope Obama makes Nader part of his administration... vote for that... Nader for Secretary of State, or some such action role!

Disrupt IT

cabinet positions in new administration

I agree Nader would be an asset to an Obama Biden administration and after reading his letter to the next Farmer in Chief can readily envision Pollan as Secretary of Agriculture.

What other hopes and dreams do you have for a cabinet in a new administration?


the Nader impulse

I agree that Nader would be a wonderful in a cabinet or even just an advisory position.

I think that the last election was fraught with election problems and was stolen rather than that people who voted for Nader threw the election to Bush. But that can be argued in a history class. My memory is more filled with a wet cold day at the polls wearing a t-shirt that had an iron-on "November 2" on it under warmer layers. I recall hearing accounts of polling places where the whole system seemed to have broken down. No Umbrella by Cleveland filmmaker, Laura Paglin captured it well. This year there will be no Fannie Lewis on the phone calling for more help.

Obama will be an important choice for voters to make and if elected, his choices for advice will be important, too. A republican backlash in the Senate or the House could put a lockdown on his brilliance; so let's remember, too, that in addition to a smart legislative branch, Obama will continue to need the support of many just plain citizens. Voting for him is just the first step in a long march.

Perhaps my favorite item in the long list of reforms Obama suggests is this one:
"He has called for greater and more programmatic regulation of the financial system; the creation of a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, which would help reverse the decay of our roads, bridges, and mass-transit systems, and create millions of jobs; and a major investment in the green-energy sector."

Yes indeedy, he sees the depression ahead and the need to address our infrastructure in a sustainable way. It sounds like funding for something very similar to the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps of yesteryear.

As this election cycle has worn on, I have had a brisk correspondence with one of my siblings (whose husband's job as a professor of History took them to Toronto years ago). What we have not written about is how pleased our father would be to see a bi-racial candidate with smart ideas moving ahead in polls - even on the lips of Americans.

On reading that New Yorker article, for the first time during this long election cycle, I considered his life and my Mom's growing up during the depression, serving in WWII and having to endure the civil rights era violence, the ERA and the war in Vietnam, George Wallace (I thought my Dad would simply explode watching the evening news)... How pleased they would be today if they were here to see this. They'd be hard pressed, too, not to vote Nader, but they would, as you suggest, Roldo, color in the oval next to Obama's name on the ballots. Then they would prepare their letters for after inauguration to recommend Nader and others to him.