Ralph Nader started his day just like any other day Sunday. He woke up to eat a bowl of Toasty Oats, not to be confused with Cheerios, which he considers the evil corporate cereal. Then he headed out for his interview on Meet the Press, walking of course because according to his 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed, driving never means safety.
While walking through Washington, D.C., a place he calls “corporate-occupied territory,” something told Nader he wouldn’t waste another week conducting useless studies; instead he’d waste the next eight months running for president.
That’s right, Ralph Nader did it again. On Sunday, he officially announced on Meet the Press that he wants to be a presidential candidate. Nader’s campaign is promised to be an unsuccessful one just like it was in 1996 and 2000. Democrats are wishing for anybody except President George W. Bush to be the next leader of the United States, but I don’t think Nader is who they had in mind.
Nonetheless, Nader is confident this presidential race will be different. After all, he did receive less than three percent of the national vote in 2000, so he’s set higher standards this year. This time he’s expecting 3.13 percent of the vote.Democrats argue that when Nader ran for office four years ago, he hurt Al Gore’s chances of winning.
More specifically, Democrats say Florida and New Hampshire cost Gore from gaining votes because Nader was on the ballot.
According to CNN.com, in 2000 Nader received 96,837 votes in Florida with a difference of 193 votes after the recount, certification and absentee ballot ruling.
Either way, both parties agree that Nader didn’t have a chance for presidency in 2000, nor does he have a chance this year. Republicans and Democrats know there is no possibility of Nader being elected, but like a bird flying into a glass window, Nader doesn’t realize the inevitable.
But to make things different this time around, Nader is running as an independent, unlike the previous two campaigns when he ran with the Green Party. Nader is calling his race a move against a “two party duopoly.”
He can name his campaign what he wants, but until he goes through the long and expensive process of getting his name on the ballots in all 50 states, his campaign will only exist in his living room.
Just to get on the ballot in Texas, Nader would have to collect at least 66,000 signatures within a 60-day period, not including those who voted in the primary because they cannot sign petitions for an independent. In some more lenient states only 800 signatures are required by the July 26 deadline.
It looks like the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have a better chance at making it to the World Series this year than Nader does at becoming president.
But not to worry, Nader has a plan. During his interview on Meet the Press, he admitted he has no idea on how many ballots he will get his name on, but then told MSNBC on Monday that “We do expect to get all 50 states, but it won’t be easy.”
Nader also defended himself against Democrats, saying that he predicted before November 2000 that he would “not get a substantial number of votes from Democrats.” Well isn’t he a real Nostradamus. But yet he calls his campaign “A liberation movement for the Democrats.” If the Democrats aren’t going to vote for him, then who will? Republicans sure won’t.
Somewhere from the time he graduated magna cum laude in 1956 from Princeton until the late 1960s and early ’70s, Nader began to lose all common sense. He could drive smack into a brick wall and not learn from his failure.
He’s written a handful of poor books in which even the titles are incoherent, such as The Lemon Book; Who’s Poisoning America; Verdicts on Lawyers and The Menace of Atomic Energy.
He’s founded more than a dozen organizations, mostly anti-corporate, with the rest addressing safety among autos, planes, trucks, trains and basically anything that moves faster than five mph.
If only Nader would use one of those safety guides — then he would see the train wreck he’s heading into this November.
Grace Agostin is a senior majoring in mass communications. firstname.lastname@example.org