The news is bleak today, unsurprisingly. The economy isn’t getting any better, the Pentagon’s budget has increased by 68% since 2001 , and a proposed two-year wage freeze on civilian federal employee salaries proves once more that President Obama is continuously moving further to the right. He does so even though Limbaugh and the rest of the gang on the right will never give him credit for being such a selectively fiscally concerned, conservative appeasing, gutless president.
Despite the fact that we (Americans) evidently only “elect” right-leaning to extreme right presidents, the country is bitterly divided, and I’m pretty annoyed by the division. Today, I’d like to take this time to send out an idea that isn’t entirely original, but for which elaboration has yet to justify its suggestion.
In 2012, the American people should have the opportunity to vote for Ron Paul for President, with Ralph Nader as his running mate. Both have implicitly opposed this idea in the past, most notably during the 2008 campaign season, but I think it’s time that we see a true bipartisan effort for reform in America, and not just the kind that purports to get the opposition’s vote in either chamber. We need the kind that is explicitly available to voters, through the casting of one’s vote for one position on the ballot.
Of course, Ron Paul is a libertarian conservative, and Ralph Nader a stalwart progressive, making the two ostensibly political polar opposites. So what! Despite clear differences over the role of government, both experienced public leaders agree on some of the most important issues of today: that American foreign policy towards the Middle East is hostile and counter productive, that the Pentagon’s budget is bloated, that the two-party system has rigged electoral politics and is anti-democratic, that American sovereignty is under attack, that the Patriot Act should be repealed , that the national debt is extremely out of control, and that the Federal Reserve should be audited.
Can we not agree that if these major issues were addressed, if our debt was mitigated, if the electoral system was fixed at least to the point of fairness, and if our foreign policy was reversed, our divided country would finally know how to communicate with each other and regain America’s sovereignty for the betterment of America’s future?
Over 40,000 people voted for Ron Paul in the 2008 Presidential Election, despite not being the Republican Party’s nominee, despite earning more than 4/5ths of those votes in as few as 3 states, despite being a disadvantaged write-in candidate in California, and despite the fact that he encouraged his many supporters to cast their votes for third party candidates.
Ralph Nader earned over 738,000 votes in 2008, putting him in third place for the popular vote. The Nader/Gonzalez ticket was listed on the ballot in 45 states, plus Washington, D.C.
Both patriots were shut out by the major media control machine during the 2008 campaign season. You might recall, Ron Paul did exceptionally well in the Republican presidential debates 2007, earning first place in the First-in-the-South Debate, with 32% of a Fox News viewer-based text-vote poll . He even beat the belligerent Rudy Guiliani (received 5%) who, like so many others that followed, criticized Paul’s remarks regarding American foreign policy’s role in 9/11. To top that off, the MSNBC Republican presidential debate also resulted in high marks for Ron Paul, earning first place in “post-debate polls conducted by MSNBC, ABCNews.com, and C-SPAN,” says Jacob Hornberger of the Times Gazette. Following the debates, every major media outlet, from Fox News to MSNBC, either excluded or distorted the movement behind Paul and the approval of his positions and candidacy.
Ralph Nader is all too familiar with political censorship. He tends to term it “political bigotry.” Since 2000, when he first aggressively pursued the presidency of the United States, he’s been shut out from the debates, despite polls showing popular support for his inclusion . Polls aside, shouldn’t we be including all candidates who are mathematically viable to win the election due to their name being on enough state ballots? If our system wasn’t so rigged and actually made sense, Nader would have been included in every presidential debate since 2000.
Let’s not forget, Ron Paul and Ralph Nader are of the same generation. They were in their early twenties when the civil rights movement in the United States got under way. Now in their mid to late seventies, they represent the most rational and tolerant side of their generation, not at all to be confused with racist, bigoted, kooks from the far right.
It is time we set aside our small differences and learn to communicate with those who–we are told by either end of the major media apparatus–are holders of ideals so far from our own. This, I now know, is a lie. All American patriots value American sovereignty. We may disagree on how our sovereignty can be restored or whether or not it’s actually been squandered, but the understanding of its importance is universal. This understanding is one of the most important principals that leaders of America can embrace and evoke. Ron Paul and Ralph Nader are among the few leaders who do so.