Tuesday, February 26, 2008

'Dead to Me'

At the beginning of our Administrative Law class, our professor opens the floor for a few minutes for a general discussion of news- related to admin and not. Today, the guy who sits next to me (who's dad actually is a Congressman), asked our professor what he thought about Ralph Nader running for President.

"He's dead to me," our professor said with a completely straight face.

He then explained that he was partially joking, but partially not. In addition to being blamed for spoiling elections, Ralph Nader also moonlights on and off as a professor at my law school. My professor explained that Nader always comes back to the faculty around election time- expecting them to donate time or money to his campaign. Although my professor fully supports third candidates and "different voices" in the debate, he hates how Nader expects his colleagues to line up behind him when he gives little in return when he is not running for President.

I think the general public feels the same way that my professor does. And as my professor pointed out, the national discourse on this election has been going on for months. Even though they did not get nearly as much attention, candidates such as Tancredo, Kucinich, Hunter, and even Gravel all got their messages out. Does Nader really expect to come in now and get a warm reception?

There is no doubt that Ralph Nader has founded many organizations that do very valuable work. However, he just comes off as an ego maniac who just expects people to support him. And whereas normal people can simply disagree on issues, Nader has a condescending tone to those people who do not agree with him absolutely. I think Obama (or his writers) sums it up best:
You know, he had called me and I think reached out to my campaign — my sense is is that Mr. Nader is somebody who, if you don't listen and adopt all of his policies, thinks you're not substantive. He seems to have a pretty high opinion of his own work. Now — and by the way, I have to say that, historically, he is a singular figure in American politics and has done as much as just about anybody on behalf of consumers. So in many ways he is a heroic figure and I don't mean to diminish him. But I do think there is a sense now that if somebody is not hewing to the Ralph Nader agenda, then you must be lacking in some way.
"Dead to me. That is the first time I have been able to use that line in class. This is a very special moment." I love my professors.

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