Confessions of a Former Naderhead
October 5, 2004
By Chris Honeycutt
Okay, I admit it, I voted for Nader in 2000 - but I'm not going
to make that mistake again this year.
"Whoa!" say Nader supporters, "Don't you know that the two parties
are identical? Don't you know that Democrats and Republicans are
To which I can now respond, "Did you actually listen to the first
This year the Democrats and Republicans have managed to put up
two of the most dissimilar candidates in recent memory.
George Bush favors tax cuts for the superrich, the rape of the
natural world and the environment, destroying alliances in the name
of convenience, secrecy, robbing funds from education to pay for
war, and the erosion of civil liberties.
John Kerry cares about the environment, clean air and clean water;
he supports the use of allies to defray the costs of war and to
legitimize the conflict to the rest of the world; he supports education;
and, most importantly, he understands that supporting the troops
involves more than waving flags and wearing flight suits.
He understands that really supporting troops means that
they have proper body armor, proper education for their kids, a
living wage, and good healthcare at home that will care for soldiers'
damaged bodies and damaged minds, soldiers who have been harmed
in that most noble duty, defending the country.
Kerry knows the difference between playing a soldier and being
Any Nader supporters who have made it this far are probably saying
to themselves, "Yeah, but Kerry and Bush get their money from the
I have some terrible news for these supporters. While it is true
that some people donate to both campaigns, Kerry doesn't literally
get money from the same people as Bush - but Nader does.
According to the Guardian, a liberal British newspaper,
Republicans have been funding Ralph Nader's campaign [Republicans
fund Nader as decisive electoral weapon, August 10, 2004].
This fact has two important implications. First, it means that
the high moral ground beneath Nader has been significantly eroded.
Nader has always professed that politicians listen to whomever funds
their campaigns. Under his own logic he is now under the control
of the Republicans.
Second, it implies that the Republicans are more afraid of Kerry
than Nader, that they perceive Kerry as a greater threat. It also
stands to reason that the Republicans are so afraid of Kerry - frightened
enough to fund a rival political party - because Kerry will reverse
the imperialist, pro-superrich measures of the Bush administration.
Nader supporters pride themselves on their idealism, their support
of the environment, peace and the poor. I have one message for Nader
supporters: take another look at John Kerry; I think you'll find
what you're looking for.
Chris Honeycutt is a graduate student in Earth and Environmental
Sciences at the University of Illinois.