a friend of consumers and regular folks. A trier, a doer, a person whose heart was in the right place most of the time. That was why I kind of looked at his quixotic 2000 Presidential run as sort of like what someone might do if one were having a mid-life crisis, but, being Ralph-freaking-Nader, one were quite incapable of getting the flashy sportscar. Why wouldn't a person try running for president to get an airing of issues one cared about?
Unless you were a Nader supporter in 2000, you probably can't remember what Nader was running on. If you were a regular, just kind of politically-involved person, you probably remember he didn't think there was a dime's worth of difference between Bush and Gore--well, I looked at the same thing, but "O! the difference to me!" But anyhow, I could respect Nader on the policy issues--I am no fan of corporate personhood, I believe in a living wage, I am for universal healthcare, affordable education, and so on. I might have even found his views more in line with my own than Al Gore's, but I am a funny old thing, and was then--I tend to vote for the least obnoxious and most electable person I can find.
This isn't a weird phenomenon for educated voters at all. William F. Buckley talked about, for his tribe, voting for the most electable conservative in any race. Nader was a third-party candidate whose lack of charisma was made up for in prissy certitude--which isn't a big fan-winner. So me--I left his candidacy alone, although I wasn't that inclined to blame him for how the 2000 decision went down.
But now in 2014, he's commented a bit on what he'd like to see happen in 2016, and I just can't even.
I treat Rand Paul with a kind of respect for his political instincts. He has a better EQ than Ted Cruz because I think he recognizes he needs a broader appeal than the base, but he's also very independent, and very independent people aren't notably coalition-builders. But I can't help but think that there is something really weird about Ralph Nader thinking any Libertarian-leaning candidate is a good fit for a really liberal worldview. Because a Libertarian would naturally not think that government has anything to do with encouraging things like universal healthcare, affordable education, living wages, they are pro-business and near as I can tell that isn't necessarily pro-consumer or pro-employee unless somehow they could bring "market forces" to bear (and they can't in practical terms, can they?) And--and? He is probably not all that electable.
Look--I don't like NSA spying and I think the use of drones is lazy and messy. I think the US has no business being "World Cop" and I'd like us to pull back our intelligence and military apparatus to something a bit less bloated. But I would bet you would get more Republicans who would cross over to support a Hillary Clinton candidacy over foreign policy than you would get liberals to cross over to Rand Paul, all other things being out there. Because I don't think you could sell libs on all the rest of what Rand Paul is about. Even if you could get Republicans to find him an acceptable candidate over Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, or Mitt Romney--and no, there is no way in hell this guy is viable without a major party backing him, and yes, his backing would have to be the GOP. Because once again--independent as hell people are not coalition builders.
Nader has also spoken about MERPS--or Modestly Enlightened Very Rich People. You know, I might like Oprah or Tom Steyer or even respect George Soros from a distance, but I just don't think someone who isn't terribly offensive should buy an office. I wrote one of my college papers in PoliSci about how H. Ross Perot was no outsider, and was really aligned with a certain party. I don't like to say it, but I think even 20 year old me saw the problems with this shit Nader isn't acknowledging. Americans have a certain conditioning. You have to work with it--they are the ones that vote. There is no billionaires without enemies and a oppo research disaster about to happen. (Remember how Perot eventually got labeled as crazy?)
Here's a thing to do--look at whatever Nader thinks about politics, and go for the opposite thing. If he's serious, he isn't right, and if he isn't, that trolling isn't even funny.