Conflicted!

Ralph Nader announced that he is again running for president of the United States. Oh, man. So what is a conscientious, idealistic, anti-corporate takeover of America, third party advocate supposed to do? My much delayed (due to an overly-long trip to Michigan) “Why Obama, Part II” must now be completely rethought. You see, the main reason I support Obama is that things happen in the US only when a President can build a broad base of popular support. Think of the accomplishments of JFK and Reagan. Those presidents were able to rally so much popular support that the entrenched powers in Washington were forced to either get on board with their respective agendas or face an electorate who would support someone who did. I still recall watching the 1984 election results and feeling sorry for Mondale and his one state versus all the rest of the US going for Reagan. True, I had no idea what either candidate stood for at the time, but even then I could tell that Reagan was going to get done what he wanted to. Obama represents that kind of sea change–one that can compel others to support his agenda whether they like it or not. So from that perspective, Obama really could change things in Washington. But on the other hand he still represents the two party system and he doesn’t support a single payer healthcare system, which Nader does.

So what do I do? Continue to vote Nader, or maintain my support for Obama? So far, neither candidate has called to elicit the endorsement of The Porter Bureau, but I’m sure their campaign staffs are presently scheduling just such a call. In the interim, I must take some time to consider whether I make a statement, or ride the wave.

On a more positive note, “Falling Slowly” from the amazingly good film, “Once,” won for Best Song at the Oscars tonight. Brilliant film. Go see it/rent it, if you haven’t already.

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3 thoughts on “Conflicted!

  1. Porter, while I know you dig a lot of what Nader stands for, I think you know full well that he has no chance to win, and so a vote for him is merely a protest. It’s wonderful that we can do such a thing in this country, but all signs point to a hotly contested general election. I don’t know where you will be registered to vote come November, but if it’s Michigan, certainly your vote for Obama will mean more to that candidacy than a vote for Nader. I’m quite certain you won’t vote for McCain! 🙂 However, many commentators have stated that Nader’s presence in the race will detract from support and votes for Obama (or Hillary, if, by some miracle she wins the Dem nod).
    By your having a blog, I suspect you are open to opinions on this matter, so I suggest you stay with your Obama support. Sure, Nader has done some good things, but he won’t be prez.

  2. I think you’re right, Tony. If the election doesn’t look like it will be a landslide,then I will vote for Obama (presumably). I think this is going to continue to be a very interesting election year. Fiery McCain versus Dr. Martin Luther Obama will be all kinds of fireworks–unlike the two most boring candidates ever to pretend not to be the same person rerolled, Bush and Kerry.

  3. I think it could be an exciting race. While I do believe that the candidates (I’m referring to Obama and McCain; Hillary is really on the outs) will run a principled campaign. Sure there will be some tough jabs taken on issues, but I don’t see McCain pushing any ad hominem stuff, nor Obama against McCain. At least I hope not. The 527 groups will be a different matter, and, sadly, I think we’ll see some swift-boating going on, probly from both sides’ supporters. Hopefully the candidates can educate the public about where they stand sufficiently to withstand that.

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