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Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Comes with a futility belt and karate-chop action!!

I don't know why, but for some reason this little cartoon "borrowed" from Tatsuya Ishida's Sinfest just reminds me of the Nader campaign. Somehow, I just think this is what Old Ralphie is thinking when he runs for President every election.

I mean, can't you just see it in your mind? Nader in his private study with a bottle of warm scotch, sitting on unsold copies of Unsafe at any Speed, muttering over and over to himself,

"I am hardcore. I AM hardcore! I AM hardcore!!"

No? Well, maybe it's just all this peyote I've been eating lately. I'll tell ya, once you get past the thorns in the tongue, it's really quite pleasant. Well, if you can't see that, I doubt you can picture him responding to the Green Signal and, with the aid of his trusty sidekick Peter "Miguel" Camejo, rushing out in a spandex bodysuit to do battle with EVIL. You know, he fights the really EVIL villains that comic book heroes like Batman, and Spiderman, and Colin Powell won't touch. Naderman and Camejo only fight such nefarious villains as the "Corporate American" with his deadly lay-off ray. Then there's the "RepubliCAN" who has the miraculous power to tell everyone else to pull themselves up by their bootstraps just like he can... he just doesn't need to because his father left him a controlling interest in an oil field. Coming out of left-field there's the "Demoncrat," who pretends to be liberal, but really is just a henchman for the ultimate slime in America: "Duopoly," who has two heads, and both of them up to no good! Honestly, without Naderman, where would we be?

Well, for one thing, we'd probably have a better chance of defeating Bush in the coming election. Like many of you, I was horified to learn that Nader was running for president. How? Why? Doesn't he understand that in an electoral system like ours his candidacy is likely to throw the election to the Republicans? What possible explanation can there be for this? My personal bet is Naderman just likes to see his name in print. He's a little like one of those child stars that poses for Playboy fifteen years after they stopped being popular just to get back in the spotlight again. Still, I doubt he'll up and SAY that, and god help us if he ever poses for Playboy, so there must be some other explanation. According to the statement on his website he's running because:

The lack of substantive response from both the DNC and the RNC to important subjects and necessities facing Americans reinforced the need for an alternative choice to the two major parties in the presidential race. The two-party duopoly has demonstrated again that they will not engage in a simple discussion of the issues about the future direction of key policies that will shape the nation. There needs to be a national debate about these matters inside the electoral process to engage better the candidates with the citizenry.

So, basically, Naderman wants to force the Republicans and the Democrats to address his issues by challenging them electorally? Sounds reasonable, I guess, except that since Naderman is a bit left of center (much like Rasputin is a bit dead) he isn't going to pull votes from the Republicans. So, we're getting an "alternative" all right, the alternative to vote for either the Republicans, the Democrats, or the Republicans. That's some pretty fucked up logic there, Ralph.

So what are the issues he's so concerned about? You know, the issues that are significant enough to make it acceptable to throw the election to the Republicans? Well, you can find them here if you're curious. A lot of them are quite reasonable. Of course, a number of them would require amendments to the U.S. constitution. And then there are the suggestions that we tax behaviors we disapprove of more heavily- best be careful with that logic, Naderman, or Bush may be proposing a "Gay Tax" to help reduce the deficit. In short, his list of issues is just a provocative campaign platform, many of which would be almost impossible to address separately, much less as a unit.

But, I guess, there's just no way to make your voice heard in the U.S. unless you're in an election. I know that the vast amount of time the candidates are spending on Naderman's issues has been quite remarkable. Then there's the immense penetration of these issues into the news media since Naderman and Camejo announced their candidacy. Well done and mission accomplished, old bean! You can go back to the Nader-Cave and bask in the satisfaction of a job well done.

Maybe Naderman means well, and some of his issues certaintly deserve discussion, but this approach to the problem does more harm than good. With the events of the past four years, shouldn't we be thinking more about making some sort of improvement, any improvement, over the status quo? Shouldn't we try to be realistic about things? As it stands, with Nader in the election, the democrats may have to "run" as fast as they can just to stay in the same place, and twice as fast to get anywhere. If Nader wants to run the Red Queen's Race, that's fine. It's just a shame we have to run it with him.


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