Amidst the nearly unprecedented interest in the Democratic primaries and an unusually high satisfaction with the remaining left-wing presidential hopefuls, Ralph Nader sees something very wrong. The problem: None of the candidates are named Ralph Nader.
Nader, who turns 74 later this month, apparently views the whopping 0.3% of the vote he earned in the 2004 presidential election as a mandate to squander more time, energy, and ballot ink on another campaign in '08.
He once again based his decision to run on a few convoluted reasons (electoral reform, corporate greed) that completely disregard the actual, wide-ranging job description of president (uniting and leading people, building coalitions, creating jobs, running the military).
When you think about it, Ralph Nader's about as suited to control the most powerful nation in the world as I am suited to run General Motors. Just because I can idealistically point out some of the flaws in GM doesn't mean I am fit to be its CEO. As a matter of fact, maybe I'll send off an email to GM right now just to defend my right to apply for executive-level jobs. I'll attack all the experienced candidates as being "automotive-industry insiders beholden to corporate interests" and tout my ability to run an online literary magazine as somehow relevant to automobile manufacturing. I'll cry foul if they don't interview me, claiming that their system is corrupt. Maybe if I tell everyone about it, my name will appear in all the news wires. People will take note of my altruistic audacity and idealism. I will be famous, and people will say, "That Matt Borondy is morally superior to everyone else. He really should be in charge of a major car company."
During Nader's announcement, he sounded like a true John McCain supporter in attacking the most progressive of the remaining candidates, Barack Obama, implying the young Illinois senator's very successful campaign of hope "lacks substance."
"(Obama's) leaned, if anything, toward the pro-corporate side of policy-making," complained Nader, who in the year 2000 owned $3 million worth of stock in corporations.
Barack Obama, the current favorite to earn the Democratic nomination, responded: "My sense is that Mr. Nader is somebody who, if you don't listen and adopt all of his policies, thinks you're not substantive...He seems to have a pretty high opinion of his own work."
Both Nader and Obama rely on the energy and idealism of young people for support. However, Nader is nearly thirty years older and far less charismatic than Obama, so he has little hope of attracting their attention. Perhaps he could lecture them by saying, "I was fighting for consumer rights before you were even born."
So, why is he entering the race?
Maybe he really does care about the rights of marginal, extremely unqualified candidates (can you picture Ralph Nader as commander-in-chief?) to get their names on the ballot. Or perhaps he plans to pull a Hillary Clinton and blow his supporters' hard-earned cash in a Vegas casino.
Either way, conservative nutjob Mike Huckabee, who knows a thing or two about futile, self-promotional campaigns, fully endorses the run.
"Naturally, Republicans would welcome his entry into the race," said the shameless exploiter of religious people.