Adventures in Hacktivism
February 21, 2004
Tell Ralph Nader Not To Run In The Election

Update 8:33 am 2/22/04 - Damn. He's gonna run as an Independent.
Oh well. Let's hope nobody cares.

Update 4:50pm 2/21/04: Nader will be
announcing his plans tomorrow
on Meet the Press (8 am CBS). (Yes, I'll be recording it. I'll try to get it up in the morning quick-like. Just play back any old tape of him from 2000. He's saying the same thing. I'm not going to promote him any by re-running the footage.)

I just sent this letter to Ralph Nader's exploratory committee.

The email is, in case you want to let them know what you think. Please do.

Dear Ralph (and his committee),

Please don't do this guys.

I can't believe you would all risk the safety of our country and the world, by doing anything that could jeopardize removing President Bush from power this year.

Even though I have mixed feelings about his not pulling out the day before the election in 2000, I've been defending Ralph over the last few months, and telling people that he eventually would come out on the side of the Democrats this year in order to help secure the election -- because he realizes what's at stake.

We simply can't afford to fragment the votes against Bush this time.

If Ralph runs in this election this time, I will have to question his ulterior motives for doing so. No "greater good" can ever come from such a thing that can only do damage to the movement in the short term.

If Ralph runs in this election this time, to me, he will have let his country down. (Again.)

I hope you guys will do the right thing.

Thanks for listening.

Lisa Rein

here's the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

Nader to Announce Presidential Plans on Sunday
Email this story

Nader to Announce Presidential Plans on Sunday

Feb 20, 6:27 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, whose third party run in 2000 many Democrats say cost Al Gore the presidency, will announce on Sunday whether he will run again this year.

"He will be announcing his decision on 'Meet the Press,"' said Linda Schade, a spokeswoman for Nader's presidential exploratory committee.

She said only Nader knew what he was planning to do when he appears on NBC's Sunday morning talk show.

Many Democrats, still angry at Republican George W. Bush's narrow victory in 2000, blame Nader's liberal, consumer-oriented run as the Green Party's presidential nominee for taking away votes from their candidate, then-Vice President Gore.

The number of Nader votes in key states such as Florida and New Hampshire were greater than the gap between Bush's winning total and Gore's losing total. Gore would have been elected president had he won one more state.

Nader, who turns 70 next week, said last year he would not run again as the Green Party nominee but did not rule out running as an independent candidate. An independent run, however, might make it more difficult for him to get on all 50 state ballots.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe told CNN he had met with Nader several times to urge him not to run. He said he told Nader that his legacy should not become eight years of Bush as president.

"It would be a shame if what Americans remember after a lifetime fighting for working families is the fact that he did not fight on the side of the Democratic Party and its nominee when all of those issues he and us hold dear were at risk," the Democratic committee said in a statement.

Posted by Lisa at February 21, 2004 07:47 AM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)

Wow this topic is really making it's rounds on all the blogs out there. I just found my way back from Larry Lessig's Blog, where the topic is sprouting into a hot one. I know I will send my email today.

Posted by: Joe McBride on February 22, 2004 08:22 PM

I can't find Ralph Nader's email so if you have it please forward this:

Please Ralph, think beyond yourself! Sad as it is, getting rid of the incumbent president is far more important than worrying about electing the right guy in this election. Anybody but Bush. Bush is an incompetent moron and an obsessed war-mongering, head-up-his-ass pinhead! He MUST not be allowed to serve another term, and your entering the race will only serve to split the oppostion in what probably will be a close vote.

Let's get rid of the asshole first, and then worry about the rest. I'd rather have a democratic trained seal as president than Bush. This man is a scourge on the Oval Office.


AL Gennnari,

Posted by: AL Gennari on February 22, 2004 08:28 PM

You I really can't understand this. I live in Canada where there are four national parties. Don't americans understand the principle of strategic voting?


Posted by: S Woodside on February 23, 2004 10:54 AM

This is wonderful news! Now the Democrats will actually have to pay attention to their members, rather than just corporations. Hurray Ralph Nader! The Democrats don't have motivation to do shit for their members right now because their members are so determined to toss Bush out into the gutter--this is a mistake. Nader is the perfect person to "thwack" the Democrats into trying to win the people instead of just the election.

Posted by: Christopher Sachs on February 23, 2004 05:45 PM

4 years ago, I might've agreed with fact, a few month ago, i might've still done so----until San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, as much an Establishment Liberal Intelligensita Democrat as Kerry, decided to stick his neck out on the gay marrage issue. I know, I know---he was alone in this, the other Demos have for the most part shunned him. But the point was, during his interview, Nader was not much better on the issue than the Democrats----he tried to turtle the issue. By his very own standards, the Dems were D- on gay marrage and Nader was D+. In light of the fact that Nader denounced women's and GLBT folks issues as "gonadal politics" irrealavent to the REAL (read white heterosexual male) Issues, that hardly makes him worthy of risking 4 more years of Dubya Shrub.....

Posted by: pdm on February 24, 2004 06:23 AM

It has been my observation that Ralph Nader has become increasingly mentally unstable in recent years. His appearance on Meet the Press confirms it. Following the 2000 general election, I watched him on CSPAN as he gave a bitter, rambling speech, in which at points, he appeared to be raving. I have no great love for the likes of Enron, Halliburton, ad nauseum , but for Nader corporate America has become an obsession - and not particularly a healthy one at that. Listen to his interviews and speeches and count how many times he uses the words "corporate" and "corporations."
I'm old enough to remember Nader in the 60s, and I tell you he has lost it.

Posted by: Dennis on February 24, 2004 08:22 AM

Chris makes a good point, but undoing the egregious mistake of Nov 2000 must be the first priorty now. And no - Americans aren't much at strategic voting, or else we wouldn't have let Nader be the spoiler the first time. I'm all for political diversity and the right of anyone to run for president, but the sad reality is that a third party candidate has no chance of winning today. Nader will only sap votes from the democratic candidate. Ralph should get of off his idealogical high horse and do what's truly best for his country right now - back out and let a viable candidate defeat Bush!

Posted by: Al Gennari on February 24, 2004 10:43 AM

I have a hard time with all this invective being tossed at Ralph Nader both for his supposed role in Gore's loss in 2000 and his announcement that he would run again this year. I listened to what Ralph said on Meet the Press and I agreed with virtually every word. What did he say that wasn't true? I voted for Ralph in '96 and 2000. I don't know who I'm going to vote for this year but the only candidate running for the Democratic nomination that I'd have no qualms supporting is Dennis Kucinich and he isn't going to be the nominee. The rationales presented here and elsewhere for progressives getting behind the ABB idea sound like a bunch of crap to me, frankly. I wouldn't go quite as far as Ralph in his charcterization of the Democratic party but absent a handful of exceptions, he's not far from the mark. In fact I became so disgusted with their "me too but kindler and gentler" "opposition" to the Republicans that I findly threw in the towel after 30+ years and registered as a Green last year. The rest of you folks can do what you want but what's the point of having an election if it's not to vote for who you want to win? The Democrats have been taking the left (and the Blacks & the Hispanics, and gays, etc., etc.) for granted for going on 20 years. Why shouldn't they continue to do so if you're going to continue to support them despite the fact the don't represent your goals, beliefs or interests? Wake up and smell the coffee folks. Mr. Kerry - who voted for the war, for NAFTA, for GATT, who opposes gay marriage, who was born with a silver spoon up his ass, is married to an heiress, and has been taking special interest money and lobbying for them is NOT an agent of progressive change. He isn't going to change the system - he IS the system. Would he be an improvement over George Bush? Attila the Hun would probably be an improvement over Bush/Cheney - that's a pretty low bar to have to hurdle. Is that the best we can do? Accept whatever the powers that be want to foist off on us because they're "electable"? Since when is it up to the media to tell us who's "electable"? The media were busy coronating Howard Dean before Xmas and he's out of the race. The media had printed the headlines proclaiming Dewey the winner in '48 before the votes were counted. Does anyone seriously believe that Kerry and Edwards' sudden conversion to populism would have occurred if Howard Dean (or Dennis Kucinich) hadn't been in the race? Just how deep do you think their conversion runs?I say let Ralph run and say what he will. It's usually the truth. And that can never hurt. Flame me as you will.

Posted by: Dale on February 24, 2004 01:16 PM

2/3 of Democrats were against the war, yet are voting for Kerry. These people will get what they deserve. People too lazy and stupid to hold their elected officials accountable deserve what they get. They may as well nominate Dashcle. He's REALLY electable.

Posted by: Joseppi on February 24, 2004 02:25 PM


I voted for you.
I did it twice in past ,
but now is not right.

Posted by: John E. on February 25, 2004 12:46 AM

One could argue all day about how genuine any politician is and get nowhere. In the end, they all tend to say what's expedient. But, when everything is averaged in, the democrats are more attentive to social and environmental issues and not as inclined to sell out wholesale to big business. It's the track record that counts. Since the '94 mid-term elections, when the republicans won the majority in the house and senate, they've become positively obnoxious in their arrogance, smugness and underhandedness. They're one step shy of a cult with their incessant narrow-minded dogma. Just try to debate the issues with a republican. If their mindless flag waving jingoism doesn't sell you, then they'll claim you're under the influence of the "liberal media". If that doesn't work, they start to derail Bill Clinton. They'll have you think theirs is the only road to this country's salvation. They hounded and goaded and impeached Clinton for all his supposed sins when Ronny Reagan is lauded as a hero for channeling funds from illegal arms sales to Iran to his pet Contras, and gets not so much as slap on the wrist for allowing Manuel Noriega to use CIA planes to run cocaine into the country as long as he helps spy on the Sandinistas - All while Bush Sr., a former head of the CIA, claims to know nothing about it! Cheney's Kerr McGee scandal gets hardly more than passing coverage. If it had been Clinton's VP, there'd no doubt have been a special prosecutor appointed by the phony, holier-than-thou, witchhunting republican pigs. Clear Channel stands to monopolize the county's media and the Bush administration wants to drill for oil in the arctic wildlife reserves. The fact he has major financial interests in both apparently doesn't seem to matter. He outright lied about WMD's in Iraq and indications now are he intended to invaded Iraq from the beginning of his administration. Laugh if you will, but I firmly believe that at the rate we're going this country is headed towards fascism. The republicans really do think God is on their side (how many democrat religious zealots do you know?)Anyone who disagrees with them is suspect. History can and does repeat itself. WW2 and it's unbeliable horrors happened only some 60 years ago - an eyeblink in history. Thurgood Marshall once said that night never comes all at once. There's always a twilight during which at first you don't realize anything's different, only to find yourself surrounded by darkness. Perhaps I digress a bit, but Bush and his republican plague must be removed, and voting for someone unelectable won't achieve that end! Wake up America! These people are evil!

Posted by: AL Gennari on February 25, 2004 11:24 AM

Before I start let me put in a few - what should be obvious but are worth stating - remarks: everyone reading this pretty much has their head on straight or they wouldn't be here in the first place, so we're all friends here. That said, here goes:
[Rant on]
I've been voting in elections for 35 years and not once in that entire period did it ever occur to me to consider "electability" as a criteria by which I determined who to vote for. Why not? Because in order to do that, I would first have to decide NOT how I wanted to vote, but how I thought other people would vote. And I frankly never cared - and still don't - who other people want to vote for. That's their choice and mine is mine. That's why we HAVE elections - to let everyone vote their conscience and let the vote decide. Progressive candidates are only not "electable" to the extent that people of good conscience who agree with them on the issues nonetheless decide to vote for someone else because they're perceived to be more "electable". Imagine the shockwaves that would have been sent through the political system if only a few more people hadn't taken that path and Matt Gonzalez was now mayor of San Francisco. Al is right - Bush & co. ARE evil. And he's packing the courts with right-wing ideologues who given the chance will eviscerate the Constitution. No question about it. But what have the Democrats done to stop any of this - other than wring their hands and cower in a corner? They voted wholesale to support Bush on the war. The went along with Bush on his tax cuts - millions for the uber-rich and pennies for the workers. They signed on to every "free-trade" agreement put forward that sells out American workers and the environment in favor of higher profits for the corporations - NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, most-favored nation trade status for China. Given the opportunity last year to raise auto fleet fuel standards - reducing our dependence on foreign oil - the Democrats rolled over and voted it down, right along with the Republicans. I doubt there's a single reader of this blog who doesn't understand the plain simple truth that I heard Lawrence Tribe state on tv yesterday: that the issue of gay marriage is an equal rights issue and this nation threw out the "separate but equal" approach 50 years ago with the Brown decision. Separate is NOT equal. Yet I'm expected to vote for candidate (take your pick - Kerry or Edwards)who can't bring himself to simply say that? I think that the people who believe that voting for the Democrats is going to bring about the enactment of ANY of the progressive agenda have got themselves into the same mental box as those people who think that throwing more people in prison is going solve America's drug problem. Or believe in alien visitation or that Elvis is alive or that the holocaust never happened. That is, they believe something that all objective evidence demonstrates simply is not so. The old saying goes "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me." Fool me for 35 years - what's that? No more - I'm done.
[Rant off]

Posted by: Dale on February 25, 2004 01:33 PM

Dear Ralph Nader: Are you trying to help George get reelected? People are saying that the Republicans are paying your expenses so that you can run. Now that is pitiful. I hate to think you are doing this because you are being sponsored by them. I always admired you for your stance for automobile safety. Just because you are now 70 years old, please do not embarras us seniors with this type of action. Use your influence to support the Democrat candidate for President. It is imperative that we get back the White House. You spoiled it for Al Gore. Now don't repeat that debaucle. Think about what you are doing: Put your energy into something that will work. you KNOW you can't win. You've already tried that. This could be a big step for y ou, if you would withdraw your name. You mean well, I know, but face it: you can't win and you are certain to hurt the Democratic cause. STOP! Mary Osborn

Posted by: Mary Osborn on February 27, 2004 03:54 PM

I still haven't found Nader's email address. Anyone have it.

I want to tell Nader to quit whining just because every Democrat thinks he is an egocentric asshole for putting his own self-importance above the welfare of the country.

Posted by: Jake on February 28, 2004 01:45 PM

Fix The Election System, Don't Blame Nader - Detroit Free Press and Oakland Press

The "spoiler" issue is actually a flaw in our election system, and we don't
have to put up with it. We can fix that problem. We are working to do just
that in Ferndale, Michigan through a system called Instant Runoff Voting. It
is used all over the world, is endorsed by John McCain, Howard Dean, and USA
Today, and would make sure there are never spoilers again in American
elections. For more information visit, and

Democrats and Republicans need to stop complaining about third parties
"spoiling" elections unless they are willing to support Instant Runoff
Voting to ensure it never happens again. If they won't support this common
sense reform, then there is really no alternative to third parties but to
continue having their voices heard by running anyways. Imagine if as much
energy was put into fixing the fundamental problem in the election system as
is put towards discouraging and vilifying third party candidates who really
represent the victims of the system enforced by the two major parties

Also See:
Detroit Free Press article in support of IRV due to Nader:
Oakland Press article in support of IRV due to Nader:


Posted by: Howard on March 1, 2004 03:26 AM

Howard is on to something. The fundamental flaw in the current system is winner-take-all. I would favor at-large voting with proportional representation, but am willing to take a hard look at alternatives described at the sites he's indicated. Winner-take-all must be done away with for minority views to have a voice. Under an at-large system with proportional representation, legislative gerrymandering and "safe" seats are out the window. Suddenly the parties have to consider ALL the voters, not just their hard-core base and not just in their "safe" self-constructed districts. Of course, the two major parties would lose their current monopoly so they will never voluntarily agree to such a change.

Posted by: Dale on March 1, 2004 03:08 PM

I agree with Dale. I believe in a strictly poplular election for president. The 3 ring circus of primaries and electoral votes should be done away with. Let's leave match play for golfers! A federal election, separate from state and local candidates should apply. I don't see it happening in my lifetime, though.

Posted by: Al Gennari on March 2, 2004 10:10 AM

I wrote the above note about Instant Runoff Voting, not to suggest it would fix the system by itself, but because of the slate of necessary reforms, it is the most feasible first step and specifically addresses the spoiler issue which is the most immediate symptom that Nader's candidacy is bringing to the forefront. In reality, it is part of a list of necessary reforms, some of which I posted at

Ultimately, the very best site to learn about all of these reforms and what is being done to achieve them is the Center for Voting and Democracy, which Nader actually named during his Meet the Press interview. Go to and send everyone there who complains about Nader's run. Whether or not you agree with his run, you must agree that the silver lining will be if his run educates people as to the fundamental flaws in our election system so that we can take steps to improve it.

In that vein, just last night a measure to enable Instant Runoff Voting passed 72%-28% in Berkeley, CA. See


Posted by: Howard on March 3, 2004 07:04 AM

I wrote the above note about Instant Runoff Voting, not to suggest it would fix the system by itself, but because of the slate of necessary reforms, it is the most feasible first step and specifically addresses the spoiler issue which is the most immediate symptom that Nader's candidacy is bringing to the forefront. In reality, it is part of a list of necessary reforms, some of which I posted at

Ultimately, the very best site to learn about all of these reforms and what is being done to achieve them is the Center for Voting and Democracy, which Nader actually named during his Meet the Press interview. Go to and send everyone there who complains about Nader's run. Whether or not you agree with his run, you must agree that the silver lining will be if his run educates people as to the fundamental flaws in our election system so that we can take steps to improve it.

In that vein, just last night a measure to enable Instant Runoff Voting passed 72%-28% in Berkeley, CA. See


Posted by: Howard on March 3, 2004 07:04 AM

There have been some very thoughtful comments about how poorly the deomocrats have done and how even though Bush is awful, the democrats did not stand up to him and voted with the republicans on all these horrendous issues. All true. But what Al Gennari said with his Thurgood Marshall quote is so true.... this is not the time to vote your "conscience". It's not simply that the demos are not progressive, this is no longer a hold your nose and vote for the lesser evil, this is too acknowledge that evil IS upon us. Bush could destroy the nation, the world. We can no longer afford to have the attitude of let things get worse so we can have a revolution of sorts and have a chance of making them better. Bush, like Hitler, must be stopped. Kerry is no progressive, but if Bush doesn't scare the hell out of you, if seeing Kerry beat Bush doesn't make you giddy with joy and relief, then you don't believe how dangerous a road we are heading with Bush and Co. People who don't realize just how dangerous and evil Bush Company is got their heads in the sand and like the ostrich, can still get their butt shot. DONT THINK THAT THIS CANNOT TURN INTO A FASCIST STATE. DON'T THINK THAT IT CANNOT HAPPEN IN HERE... THINK OF WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO FEAR SPEAKING YOUR MIND, gradual destuction of civil rights, the enviroment, a free press. If you think that however ineffective the demos have been that there is not a vast difference between them and Bush, you are making a deadly mistake.

Posted by: Paul on March 8, 2004 07:11 AM

Right on, Paul! Hitler could have been stopped before 1932 - just as we must stop Bush and Co. this year. But, the Germans didn't see the light and once Adolf gained dictatorial powers and sapped the rights from the people, it was too late. The parallels between then and now are frightening. Bush comes on as a down home, up front, good 'ol boy - when in reality he's the most conniving, repugnant, phony bastard that ever set foot in the White House - far worse than Nixon and far more insidious. He and his ultra right wing messengers of God are on a mission to take this country away from the people and place it in the hands of big business and Billy Graham. I can't believe people can be so blind! Has history taught us nothing? To recap - REPUBLICANS= NAZIS, BUSH=HITLER. Let's stop them now while we still can.

Posted by: Al Gennari on March 16, 2004 11:38 AM

Nadar needs to get lost. He is probably paid by
the Bush bunch.

Posted by: Kathy on May 10, 2004 04:59 AM

I really don't like george w bush. I think he is just trying to destroy our continent i want ralph nader to win the election

Posted by: Kris on September 24, 2004 08:14 AM
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