One thing: I question the man's "principles" this time around. He's
willing to accept signatures collected on his behalf by the Michigan
Republican party in order to get on the ballot in that state. These
people want him there for one reason: because they know he'll help Bush
win a swing state. Apparently Nader has no problem accepting the help of
people diametrically opposed to his every policy, whose party he
constantly attacks as "corrupt," and who are clearly using him as a pawn
in their political war. Nice.
Your instinct is a good one. Usually, accepting help from an enemy means helping the enemy somehow. But here, in this limited instance, the enemy's goal and his goal are identical. The only negative might come from acknowledging that. But it remains true whether or not he acknowledges it. Why not take the signatures?
I'd only have a problem if "accepting the help" had any negative impact on anything. at all. does it?
Here's another angle: When you're playing devil's advocate, you CAN shake the devil's hand if he does something good.
Another: When you argue with crazy, you get crazy all over your nice clothes. And who's the crazy one here?
Yet another: He's a troll, and they're feeding him, yo?
If he refuses to accept the signatures, that looks like it must be a principled action, because it hurts him. But what is the principle? Spite?
If he refused them, would that not be "childish"?
You could say he should stay out of Michigan's presidential race. But that's an entirely different question, and he's been utterly consistent in his principles there. In fact, his principles are the same this time around as last time. People's attitudes toward those principles have changed, and a normal politician would react to that, but I admire him for his steadfastness.
Nader really has made a huge impact on the system, but from behind the scenes, running a gazillion nonprofit orgs and getting people working on things. 12 hours a day, he sees a problem, he gets some people together to work on it, often with letterhead and an office. I dig that. This presidential stuff is gravy. If I had an opportunity to yank people's chains like he's doing, I'd go for it in a heartbeat, even if it threw the election to the Moonies.
I think the Republicans have been equally disenfranchised by the current administration. Its rhetoric has been on target (even to the point of denying statements shortly after making them), but its actions have opposed what's written in the party platform. If the Democrats were as far off their own base, Kucinich would have been the nominee in a landslide.
cross-posted from another thread
Edit: I don't mean that Kucinich is as far out in some direction as the current administration clearly is. I just mean if the Democrats were skewed analagously, Kucinich would have been the only acceptable choice. My preferences went something like: Nader, Kucinich, Edwards, Dean. I'd never even heard of Kerry. I felt like an ST:TNG character would, if they were to notice the sloppy retroactive continuity that jolted that show so often.