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The W - Current Events & Politics - Ralph Nader
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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#1 Posted on
You know I've been pretty impressed with this guy for awhile now. He doesn't seem afraid to tell it how it is. I'm sure that is why he will never get elected, but it's to bad he couldn't muster the 5% of the votes last election to give him a better shot. While there are Republicans and Democrats they both are pretty much the same these days traveling the middle of the road, but Nader seems willing to blaze a new trail.



I didn't realize his past so much though. I was watching a special on whistle blowers hosted by Mike Wallace on the History Channel. What I found interesting was that they did a part on a young Ralph Nader going against, I believe GM but that could be wrong. He was arguing against the saftey of certain cars that were being produced at the time. The car company really hazed the hell out of him trying to get him to back down. He held his ground and in the end top officials of the car company apologized publicly. I really admire the man for going against the grain and saying things that really need to be said...now how many people are listening is a whole different story.





(edited by BigDaddyLoco on 24.1.02 1946)
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WTF13
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Since: 22.1.02

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#2 Posted on
The main problem I have with Nader is that his anti-corporate stance is also an anti-economy, anti-prosperity stance--which ultimately is anti-working person. Most people either work for a big company, or work for a company that relies on large companies. At the very least, they probably have a retirement plan which has stock in large companies. If you aggressively tax and regulate large companies the way Nader seems to want us to, they're going to lose money, and probably cut jobs in an attempt to cut costs. Bad for the economy, bad for the country, and bad for most people who work for a living.



"Worship the Hardys, but you know--eat a salad once in a while."--Stevie Richards.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#3 Posted on
So you're saying your problem with Nader is that he's an economic liberal, and you're an economic conservative. OK.

My problem with the guy is that he's kind of a one trick pony. That's fine if you just want to be a consumer advocate, but if you want to be President you should broaden your horizens a little bit.

Moe



Farooq is the man so hit your knees and start praying!
WTF13
Boerewors








Since: 22.1.02

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#4 Posted on
He really had his heyday during the Seventies. Another thing I didn't get about his candidacy was that it was hard to figure out what his plans were. It just seemed like a loose coalition of the usual social and economic liberal types who considered themselves too "radical" to vote for Gore. My summation of his ideas was really just a guess based on some of what I've heard him say. I don't have any idea what his intentions were. If someone's going to be taken seriously as a candidate, they need to give people a real reason to vote for them other than to protest.



"Worship the Hardys, but you know--eat a salad once in a while."--Stevie Richards.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 4 days
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#5 Posted on
Well Nader had very well developed ideas, theories and platforms, but they were all in a narrow field - consumer protection and corporate economics. Everything else was either winged from the standard lefty position or not really commented on (or a combination of the two). When asked about about abortion for instance, he replied something along the lines of "I'm pro-choice, but it's not really what my campaign is about." Which sure isn't what NARAL or Planned Parenthood wanted to hear. Take that story and apply it to every issue that isn't his area of expertise, and you can see why he never really energized the left.

Lefties generally have one thing they're really REALLY into and think the world revolves around, and kind of just go ahead and toe the party line on the other stuff. Hense they get really upset when another lefty thinks their issue isn't that big a deal (it's paradoxical, I know). So people who are trying to build a lefty coalition kind of have to approach every random policy minutae as a cosmic struggle, in order to appease everybody. Nader didn't do that, hense his really poor showing. That and the fact he ran a bad campaign, but that's another story.

Moe



Farooq is the man so hit your knees and start praying!
WTF13
Boerewors








Since: 22.1.02

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#6 Posted on
Makes me even more happy he didn't do well...the Presidency is totally unsuited for "one-issue candidates." And I feel the same way about the ones on my side of the political fence, like Gary Bauer, and Alan Keyes. It's also why, though I was sympathetic to some of his positions, I didn't vote for Pat Buchanan.



"Worship the Hardys, but you know--eat a salad once in a while."--Stevie Richards.
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#7 Posted on

    Lefties generally have one thing they're really REALLY into and think the world revolves around, and kind of just go ahead and toe the party line on the other stuff. Hense they get really upset when another lefty thinks their issue isn't that big a deal (it's paradoxical, I know). So people who are trying to build a lefty coalition kind of have to approach every random policy minutae as a cosmic struggle, in order to appease everybody. Nader didn't do that, hense his really poor showing. That and the fact he ran a bad campaign, but that's another story.



With all due respect, I think that is a gross misrepresentation of Leftist in the United States.


First off, most people have their issues that they are most interested in focusing on. No one has the time to be up on everything. That's not unique to Leftist.



Secondly, there are plenty of very successful Leftist organizations in this country. Most of them revolve around media - books, radio, print, etc. But there are more. They just aren't as big as Microsoft or NBC, so they aren't going to be buying ads on SmackDown or Friends anytime soon.


Thirdly, Nader was never really given an opportunity to do anything worthwhile in the election. Most of the press to focused on how much he was going to screw things up for Gore. If he had been allowed in the debates, he would have done much better.


Nader was attempting to focus the campaign - he was not a "one campaign" candidate. But he had certain issues that he wanted to see addressed, so when he got air time, that's what he focused on. Consumer advocacy was never a focus of his campaign, but rather campaign finance reform, labour, etc. That's what he was really about.


Oh, and to say that Nader is anti-working person is a bit absurd. But I digress...




(edited by Leroy on 7.2.02 0942)

(edited by Leroy on 7.2.02 0943)
BDC
Chourico








Since: 26.1.02
From: Falls Church, VA

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#8 Posted on

    Originally posted by Leroy
    Thirdly, Nader was never really given an opportunity to do anything worthwhile in the election. Most of the press to focused on how much he was going to screw things up for Gore. If he had been allowed in the debates, he would have done much better.


I heartily disagree. He had his support strictly BECAUSE he was not a part of the debates. Nothing like the two-party "censorship of ideas" conspiracy to rally morons to one's cause.

Let's be realistic. Had Nader participated in the debates, yes he would have had the national platform to spread his message; however, since honest liberalism died at the national level with Jimmy Carter, his message would have died on the vine.

Furthermore, his platform was of no consequence. His real issue was the corrupt two-party system, and he garnered his support on election day BASED UPON the fact that he was not present at the debates. It's hard to rage against the machine when there's no way you can show it's holding you down.

If Nader were at the debates, he would have had to run the rest of his campaign on his ideas, not the oppression of the two-party system; and as I said above, his ideas would have cost him, not helped him.

BDC



"Enjoy every moment, because every moment is your life."
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#9 Posted on
Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm a big lefty myself. But I definitely stand by my analysis of lefty politics.

First off, most people have their issues that they are most interested in focusing on. No one has the time to be up on everything. That's not unique to Leftist.

I never said it's unique to leftists. I think it is unique to activists, whether on the left, right, or off the political spectrum. I commented on lefties because I am one. I've never been involved in right-wing activist politics so I didn't comment on them. Plus this thread was about Nader.

Secondly, there are plenty of very successful Leftist organizations in this country. Most of them revolve around media - books, radio, print, etc. But there are more. They just aren't as big as Microsoft or NBC, so they aren't going to be buying ads on SmackDown or Friends anytime soon.

I absolutely agree with this. I'm proud to be part of several.

Thirdly, Nader was never really given an opportunity to do anything worthwhile in the election. Most of the press to focused on how much he was going to screw things up for Gore. If he had been allowed in the debates, he would have done much better.

This I really disagree with. There seems to be the refrain "if only he had been allowed in the debates he would have gotten 20% of the vote." Right-wingers think the same about Buchanan. Everyone probably thinks the same thing about their favorite candidate. But Nader? Nader is an insipid debater and a very boring personality. Haven't you seen this guy on the Sunday morning talk-shows? There is a very big difference between preaching to the converted and trying to convince middle-America of your policies. I think lefties got so blinded by the fact that there was someone moderately well-known running on a lefty platform that they forgot he was a shitty candidate. If, for instance, Jim Hightower (who actually won some races, is a proven vote-getter, and can appeal to people outside of the lefty activist world) would have been in the debates, maybe that would have been a different story.

I HATE when Democrats complain about Nader spoiling the election. Fuck that. You have to earn every single godamn vote you get in this country. You can't take any of them for granted, or expect people to just give you theirs because you're the front-runner, or good enough, or this thing called a "Democrat," or whatever. You've got to earn your votes, and Gore didn't earn quite enough. And it's his own damn fault.

However, on the same level, I apply that to third-party candidates also. You can't sit around complaining about how you weren't allowed in the debates, or how everyone else has more money, or whatever. You've got to go out to America and earn your votes (and they were only shooting for 5%). And Nader sat in Washington trying to get NBC to interview him instead of doing that. He was a really bad campaigner, and a really bad candidate. His only saving grace was his name. He earned his 2.5% of the vote and that's it. He easily could have gotten more, and even he admits that.

Nader was attempting to focus the campaign - he was not a "one campaign" candidate. But he had certain issues that he wanted to see addressed, so when he got air time, that's what he focused on. Consumer advocacy was never a focus of his campaign, but rather campaign finance reform, labour, etc. That's what he was really about.

I might have been a little harsh here. But the fact remains, Nader alianated people who would have voted for him by not treating their issues as being as important as his own causes.

Moe







Farooq is the man so hit your knees and start praying!
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#10 Posted on
I have to admit - I came in a little defensive - I was kind of expecting to be the only "big lefty" in a forum such as this. My apologies.

I never said it's unique to leftists. I think it is unique to activists, whether on the left, right, or off the political spectrum. I commented on lefties because I am one. I've never been involved in right-wing activist politics so I didn't comment on them. Plus this thread was about Nader.

I had assumed you were generalizing the left from outside. Again, my bad.

This I really disagree with. There seems to be the refrain "if only he had been allowed in the debates he would have gotten 20% of the vote." Right-wingers think the same about Buchanan. Everyone probably thinks the same thing about their favorite candidate. But Nader? Nader is an insipid debater and a very boring personality. Haven't you seen this guy on the Sunday morning talk-shows? There is a very big difference between preaching to the converted and trying to convince middle-America of your policies. I think lefties got so blinded by the fact that there was someone moderately well-known running on a lefty platform that they forgot he was a shitty candidate. If, for instance, Jim Hightower (who actually won some races, is a proven vote-getter, and can appeal to people outside of the lefty activist world) would have been in the debates, maybe that would have been a different story.

Yes, his personality does hurt him in some cases - but he does have his moments. And when he is on, he's on.

But don't you think it is a bit silly that personality is focus. I mean, Bush, Jr. is a walking puchline, and has been from day one. He rarely says anything of substance, and when he does its still vague as to what he actually means. Same with Gore.

Nader, on the other hand, had direct things to say about important issues. So he didn't cover everything, and he wasn't all that dynamic. But I don't think you can say he wasn't to the point.

I think another big myth about Nader was that he was solely a lefttist candidate. I know quite a few people who are way right-wing, who have had enough with party politics, and who voted for Nader. Granted, you could make the case that they were few and far between - I'm not so sure that's true - but I do believe that Nader has respect from people on both sides of the political spectrum.

You are right about Hightower - he is far more personable. And from Texas, no less.

I HATE when Democrats complain about Nader spoiling the election. Fuck that. You have to earn every single godamn vote you get in this country. You can't take any of them for granted, or expect people to just give you theirs because you're the front-runner, or good enough, or this thing called a "Democrat," or whatever. You've got to earn your votes, and Gore didn't earn quite enough. And it's his own damn fault.

I could not agree with you more.

However, on the same level, I apply that to third-party candidates also. You can't sit around complaining about how you weren't allowed in the debates, or how everyone else has more money, or whatever. You've got to go out to America and earn your votes (and they were only shooting for 5%). And Nader sat in Washington trying to get NBC to interview him instead of doing that. He was a really bad campaigner, and a really bad candidate. His only saving grace was his name. He earned his 2.5% of the vote and that's it. He easily could have gotten more, and even he admits that.

You are right, he could have, and should have, done better. But what I think really hurt Nader was how close the polls were. It was the lesser of two evils, and when people began to feel that not voting for a party candidate could legitimately help the other side (whichever side that might be), they gave up on Nader.

I would also disagree about the debates. Buchanan is all over television all year long - and his political agenda is well known - and he largely viewed as a racist and a bigot by any reasonable person who listens to what he says. Nader really only got coverage when the election got close, and his "impact' on Gore was becoming more of an issue. And given the amount of agreeing Gore and Bush did during the debates, I think he could have really taken advantage of the situation.

He had a limited amount of time to talk about the things that needed to be focused on. And NBC, CNN, etc are not going to be very sympathetic to a candidate using "their" airwaves to tell the nation how bad are the media in this country. Most people have had enough (look at the voter turnout), and, as Michael Moore said, if all registered voters in this country would have voted, Nader would have done a hell of a lot better. That's where the untapped potential lies - getting all the disenchanted folks to get political.

I must say, Moe, that I am *very* relieved to have this discussion. I was not expecting to come across another leftist wrestling fan. It almost seems like a contradiction in terms.... but I greatly appreciate your comments.


(edited by Leroy on 7.2.02 1316)
WTF13
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Since: 22.1.02

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#11 Posted on
I think leftists tend to be more into activism in general. The very nature of conservatism--that idea that things are pretty good the way they are, and the only change needed is to bring things back to the way they were when things were even better--seems to prevent much activism except in extreme situations. About the only people on the [traditional, not far] right who have an activist mindset are the pro-life people. I'm not counting the radical far right because their positions are so different from a lot of the conservative positions--almost diametrically opposed in some cases [for instance, a lot of the far right turkeys are cheering on bin Laden right now, or at the very least, blaming U.S.-Israeli ties for the attacks.]

And sorry, allowing me to take home more of my own money, along with bringing up the possibility of reforming Social Security is probably the most pro-worker sentiment I heard from any candidate in 2000. Much better than regulating me out of a job, or curbing corporate profits so my retirement plan goes to crap. BTW, I'm a union member. Union members automaticaly voting leftist third party candidates or even Democrat because of historical support years ago makes about as much sense as all black people voting Republican because it's "the party of Lincoln."

Edit: I think one of the reasons Nader got less attention than Buchanan was because he wasn't on the ballot in as many states--I couldn't have voted for Nader even if I'd wanted to.





(edited by WTF13 on 8.2.02 0840)



"I'm not on some big ego rush. I'm not after the bright lights and the little women."--Stan Hansen.
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#12 Posted on
That was what I was going to bring up. Down here in North Carolina Nader wasn't even on the ballot. I can't believe how many times I heard, "Well, I can't vote for Nader. I guess I'll just have to vote for Bush" I mean, it's not like North Carolina was ever going to go for Nader, but Bush's totals down here would've been lower if he was on the damn ballots. They didn't even count the ballots where people did vote for Nader anyway.


-Jag
BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#13 Posted on

Let's be realistic. Had Nader participated in the debates, yes he would have had the national platform to spread his message; however, since honest liberalism died at the national level with Jimmy Carter, his message would have died on the vine.


I really disagree with this comment. For one he would have forced the other two canidates to do more than respond to questions with the carbon copy answer. Are you saying that this country will not listen to anything other than the middle of the row USA Today formulated answer? A lot of people may not have taken to his views, but it sure would have been refreshing to see someone with a different agenda up there.
I doubt Ralph Nader will ever win an election, but someone has to get the ball rolling for change sooner or later. I think it's wrong that we only have a two party system. The last election the general view seemed to be that people weren't really high on one or the other. Mostly because they were the same. I'm not calling for the system to be torn down, just some fresh views on things would really be nice.


I heartily disagree. He had his support strictly BECAUSE he was not a part of the debates. Nothing like the two-party "censorship of ideas" conspiracy to rally morons to one's cause.


This is just insane. If Ross Perot proved anything it's that money can take you anywhere in politics, even the national debates.

One last thing I'd like to add is I really hate the way the media has turned Liberalism into a bad term. Politicains sling the word at one another like it's an insult. I don't really know how to explain it, but it does bug the hell outta me.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 4 days
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#14 Posted on
since honest liberalism died at the national level with Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter was not a liberal. Just because he was a nice Democrat doesn't make him a liberal.

In some respects honest liberalism is dead (although you never know when stuff will get ressurected, like the death penalty moratorium), and in other ways it's essentially won.

The fact that the media has turned "liberalism" into a dirty word is probably the best evidence that the media isn't liberal.

Unfortunately, with our current electoral system, two parties is really the only fair way. I mean, do you really want five parties and have someone win the Presidency with 23% of the vote? I think we should have more choices, but big BIG changes in the way our governement is structured would have to happen in order for it to be fair.

Moe



Farooq is the man so hit your knees and start praying!
BigDaddyLoco
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02

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#15 Posted on

The fact that the media has turned "liberalism" into a dirty word is probably the best evidence that the media isn't liberal.


I think that's fair to say. You can really see it when there is a *scandal* of somekind. The media loves to cover Democratic fuckups, but always seems to gloss over the conservative's fuckups.
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#16 Posted on

    Originally posted by MoeGates
    Unfortunately, with our current electoral system, two parties is really the only fair way. I mean, do you really want five parties and have someone win the Presidency with 23% of the vote? I think we should have more choices, but big BIG changes in the way our governement is structured would have to happen in order for it to be fair.

    Moe


To me the problem does not lie in the president, so much as the fact that our legislative body only represents 2 parties. I want proportional voting in this country, rather than the current winner take all model. If the president only held say 30% of Congress in his party, I think you'd see a lot more compromise than you see these days, and a far broader range of ideas coming forward from both sides of the spectrum.



There, I feel better now.
BDC
Chourico








Since: 26.1.02
From: Falls Church, VA

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#17 Posted on

    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
    For one he would have forced the other two canidates to do more than respond to questions with the carbon copy answer. Are you saying that this country will not listen to anything other than the middle of the row USA Today formulated answer? A lot of people may not have taken to his views, but it sure would have been refreshing to see someone with a different agenda up there.


I think that a perfectly normal trait is to be unreceptive to comments opposing one's own, which is why people get so excited and make such a big deal about being able to listen to differing viewpoints and drawing a conclusion. Do I think that America would listen to him? Sure.

Would it be refreshing to hear his viewpoint? Maybe. I'm not one to applaud a dissenting voice or an alternative view for its own sake. There's no point to it. So maybe it would have been refreshing, maybe it would have driven me crazy. My point remains, which you didn't actually disagree with, is what you repeated: people wouldn't have taken to his views...which is the point of getting votes to begin with. So I don't believe the debates would have helped him at all.


The last election the general view seemed to be that people weren't really high on one or the other. Mostly because they were the same.


I think, as always, experience has proven people to be stupid. Gore and Bush were and are extremely different. After just one year in office, a laundry list of differences exists between the two of them, starting with the tax cut and go through to the War. If you can tell me that Al Gore would have handled things just like George W. Bush and explain why, I will pledge now to vote for the Green Party candidate in 2004 whomever he/she may be. Hopefully, although I doubt it, people will realize how big a difference there is between Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals. It's huge.


This is just insane. If Ross Perot proved anything it's that money can take you anywhere in politics, even the national debates.


How is what I said insane? Nader was an "outlaw" candidate. That was so much part of his appeal. Now if he were more accepted, i.e. in the debates, could he have attracted more votes from elements of the Democratic Party who were mainly afraid to vote for him because it would be "wasting a vote?" Perhaps, although I doubt it.

If Ross Perot proved anything, its that rich people find ways to spend lots of money, because where did his money take him in politics? The answer is to a footnote in American History. Wow.


One last thing I'd like to add is I really hate the way the media has turned Liberalism into a bad term. Politicains sling the word at one another like it's an insult. I don't really know how to explain it, but it does bug the hell outta me.


Blame the principles of liberalism for making liberalism a bad term, not the media.



"Enjoy every moment, because every moment is your life."
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#18 Posted on
As for where Ross Perot went, he showed that a well-funded campaign, no matter how insane the man running it, can make an impact. 19% of the vote in 1992 went to him, which is a mighty strong amount for an indie candidate, most since TR in 1912.



There, I feel better now.
Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

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#19 Posted on
nader's platform was there for all to see if they wanted to see it. a copy of it is at http://home.earthlink.net/~mumiaaj/text/plats/2000.txt

i think (and this is just my opinion) that there was much more preceived vagueness about what nader stood for than there was actual vagueness. ie: traditional news outlets (broadcast and cable news, radio news and opinion shows, and a handful of print media) indirectly painted him as being vague (through a variety of means, intentional or not) so the mast majority people who get their news from these sources and don't think twice about it accept it as fact. again, this is simply my opinion.

(and i'd like to plug www.commondreams.org as an alternative news source.)

to be fair, the fact that there were two seperate, similarly named "green parties" operating in the united states did not help his campaign. nader ran as part of "the green party of the united states". this gave his detractors the opportunity to use the platform of "greens/green party u.s.a." against him, either maliciously or as an honest mistake. (their platform: http://www.greenparty.org/Platform.html)

nader was also not a "good candidate". this is a problem with american politics, imo. a candidate can be intelligent and well-reasoned, which i feel would make an ideal president, but not get elected because he couldn't get over as a personality.

i voted for nader and it was the first time i voted for president. this was based on his go-around with gm, authoring the freedom of information act, the value system of the greens world wide (http://www.greens.org/values/), my opinion that we need to build a viable third party and the fact that he was neither bush2 nor gore.

the gm story is just amazing to me. he discovered auto makers knew how to make safer cars but didn't, so he wrote a book. gm hit him with a libel suit over the book and nader won. he used his winnings to lobby congress to mandate seat belts. that's just fucking fantastic and i couldn't imagine gore or bush2 doing the same thing.

coupled with the FOIA, nader proved his character to me as someone who had genuine interest in making this country better for every citizen.

this appears to go against the opinion someone posted here about nader's anti-corporate stance. (i feel his stance was more towards corporate responsibility, but that's just a difference in opinion so i'll run with the anti- stance.) the following is an over-simplification and i'm no economist, so if you think these assumptions are wrong or this is a bad example, please speak up.

many people's retirement plans and mutual funds lean heavily on "Big Tobacco". personally, i'm a smoker and i knew cigarettes were addictive when i started, but i detest BT's congressional manipulation. now, if cigarettes were regulated in such a way as to make them less physically addictive, their sales would go down, possibly drastically. rjr-nabisco's profits would go down. they might lay off a number of workers. their stocks wouldn't perform so well, which would affect investors and thereby people's mutual funds, retirement plans and maybe even the dow (or somesuch).

one less company would be intentionally hurting people worldwide, though. there would be less of a drain on the health system. smokers traditionally call in sick to work more often, so there might be a (however slight) productivity increase in other sectors. former smokers would have more disposable income to buy goods or invest in other companies.

the point i'm trying to make here is that "Big Corporations", the economy and the stock market are so diverse and inter-related that a (perceived) negative blow to one company would have a positive impact on other, seemingly unrelated companies. (as opposed to a hit to busch being a boon for another beer company.) we have a self correcting market but the government (i feel) shouldn't be so laissez-faire as to keep our overall economic health dependent upon "bad" corporations and business practices, thinking the private sector will correct itself in this regard.

this is a muddled example and i apologize for that. it also excepts the whole idea of corporate welfare as well as a bunch of stuff i haven't thought of. i've rambled on long enough though. ;)



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I like weiners.
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