Whether you like Ralph Nader or agree with his bid for the presidency, surfing his Web site offers a breath of fresh campaign air.
Nader, who announced his candidacy for president of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />United States Feb. 22, says on the site, www.votenader.org, he is running “to take our democracy back from the corporate interests that dominate both parties.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
A recent New York Times/CBS poll found Nader support at 7 percent.
Nader has spent more than 40 years on civic issues, starting upwards of 100 organizations, writing books and articles, and advocating for political reform.
Nader’s issue list for the 2004 campaign includes health care, electoral reform, corporate crime, taxes and media concentration.
“Once again, Ralph Nader is standing up for all Americans, proposing brighter solutions and futures while decrying the big government erosion of civil liberties, the vast diversion of tax dollars for wasteful military spending, the Iraq quagmire, and the daily abuses and frauds suffered by ordinary Americans at the hands of corrupt corporations and indifferent bureaucracies,” reads a brief article about Nader on the site. “The campaign is seeking participators, to invoke Jefferson’s word, who support his independent campaign for the office of President of the United States.”
Nader ran for president in 2000 under the slogan “Not for Sale,” and some critics accused Nader of ruining Al Gore’s shot at the White House. Nader responds to such criticisms about the 2000 elections–and running as an independent in general–on his site.
In a “frequently asked questions” section about Nader’s role in the 2000 election, Nader responds that “no one is entitled to votes, they must be earned.”
He also takes the Democratic Party to task for failing to reform Washington politics.
One of the site’s thrusts is to get Nader on the ballot in all 50 states–a process requiring the signatures of 1.5 million registered voters. The Nader campaign is still seeking coordinators and volunteers in all states.
Nader’s campaign was trying to raise $30,000 by St. Patrick’s Day–“raise some green,” as the Web site put it. That stands in contrast to the Kerry campaign, which is trying to raise $10 million in 10 days. The Bush campaign has already raised more than $159 million.
The site allows users to donate to the Nader campaign, subscribe to its e-newsletter, volunteer, and receive an autographed copy of Nader’s book, Crashing the Party: Taking on the Corporate Government in an Age of Surrender.
It also contains links to Nader in the news.
The Nader for President Web site doesn’t shove so much information at users that’s it impossible to digest. Rather, the Nader campaign provides nuggets of information on the critical issues as it understands them, and then seeks to build a grass-roots activist movement.
“All the Democratic voters can vote for the Democrats. All the Republican voters for the Republicans,” the site says. “And still there would be 100 million plus nonvoting people to approach for their votes.”
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.
Nader for President is at www.votenader.org.