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The New “N” Word

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I can hear the Democrats cringing now. Ralph Nader, who ran for US president on the Green ticket in 2000, has not yet turned his back on joining the 2004 campaign. Given the present popularity of Howard Dean over “peace candidate” Dennis Kucinich, a Nader candidacy would offer non-Democrat progressives a viable voting choice that would enable us to live by our principles and keep our integrity. Some of you more “pragmatic” people may laugh or sneer at us, but to my thinking, winning through the commission of an immoral act is the same thing as losing. I can take losing an election more easily than losing my soul.

If Dems want to continue on with the nastiness and fingerpointing and harrassment with which too many of them have hounded non-Democratic libs for much of the last three years, well, that says much about those Dems. Has the Democratic Party become a haven for fascists? I certainly hope not.

Understand: I am not a Democrat. I don’t support the Democratic Party, just as I do not support the Republican Party. Now, if the Dems field the best candidate, I will vote for that person. Proudly. But if the party nominates a candidate I can not support on moral grounds — such as an anti-gay-marriage Al Gore or a war-supporting Howard Dean or John Kerry — I will not vote for that person. On principle, I can not do so.

Every voter has the right and responsibility to vote for the candidate they deem best — not for the one a political party orders them to choose. As of now, for me, that person would be Dennis Kucinich. If he doesn’t win the nomination and Nader opts to run, my only option is the consumer advocate. That would make me unpopular, but then, that is nothing new.

So, why am I using what, in lib/centrist circles, seems to be the new “N” word? Because Ralph Nader is making a much welcome noise these days. He has plenty to say on the issue of the Shrub, Iraq, and lies — and he’s one of the few pols with the stones to use the I word: impeachment.

By the way, you may not have to worry. Nader has made a number of appearances with Kucinich, and he is said to be supportive (with reservations, of course) of Dean’s candidacy as well. How’s that for proof that my candidate need not be perfect?

A Few Words from Dr. King

A [human] who won’t die for something is not fit to live.

Violence … is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.

A Few More from Dan Fogelberg

You know that everybody has a voice / And how they use it is their own free choice
But in your glory I can not rejoice / If you choose the ways of war…
Let mine be a voice for peace.

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