// you’re reading...

US Politics

America’s Don Quixote!

 With Nader you could leave mid speech, win a New York marathon and still be back in time for the punchline.

For Ralph Nader the time has arrived. Time to accept the inescapable truth that his date with destiny in a political sense, is long past. Unlike Barack Obama, Nader could never comprehend the philosophy of “the fierce urgency of now”. Yet to the annoyance of hordes of Americans and against all conventional wisdom, Nader today announced he will seek the Presidency again. At 74 years of age, it will  be his fifth attempt since 1992. 

Unlike the rest of us, the so called normal people, some individuals in public life seem to thrive on rejection . In some perverse way, it acts as the motivation to fuel their relentless and fruitless quests for who knows what.  What drives them?  Are they seeking raw power, influence in high places, sexual gratification, the roar of the crowd, the need for public genuflection, or is it symtomatic of a diminishing public recognition withdrawal.  Even the psychologists are mystified. But whatever it is, it can’t be healthy. In today’s MSNBC TV interview, Nader appeared to be suffering from delusions of grandeur. In today’s youngspeak, he doesn’t seem to get it.

Republican Ron Paul and Nader make a fascinating duo?  The content, delivery and duration of their speeches would do wonders for insomniacs. With Nader you could leave mid speech, win a New York marathon and still be back in time for the punchline. Perhaps Nader hasn’t noticed.  The Obama train loaded with independents and cross over republicans has already left the station enroute to the White House. The growing exodus of superdelegates from the Clinton camp to Obama, apart from any other factor will spell doom for Nader’s plans right from the start. Nader should have stuck to being a consumer watchdog. That was his forte.

Neither Ralph Nader nor anyone else, has ever faced anything like the Obama movement before. Barack Obama’s time is now. Nader is a name from the past. Once respected for his consumer work he is now openly reviled for his inept and grandstanding political interference. In one moment, he has transitioned from a consumer hero to a political zero. Not a good look for someone who would like to pontificate from behind the desk in the Oval Office. In the 2004 general election, Ralph managed to engender only one percent of the vote.  With his current standing, one could assume he would be lucky to get 1% of 1% this time. Egos, what a pain. Nader is fast becoming a parody of himself. 

Nothing is more pitiful than the sight of an aging political aspirant still seeking his 15 minutes. Nader has never claimed to be sartorial, as his crumpled suits testify.  It is unlikely he will receive donations from clothing designers, however one thing is certain; his speeches would bore the stripes off an attentive zebra.  When faced with the brilliant oratory of Obama, Hillary Clinton complained,” Words don’t count”. Was she referring to one of Nader’s endless dissertations?.  

We need a special type of Rehab for these unfortunate souls. A place for silent reflection where they can rediscover the true meaning of life. Perhaps that’s what America’s fading Don Quixote, Ralph Nader should be advocating, instead of tilting at political windmills, like the delusioned, self appointed old knight from the fictional spanish town of La Mancha.

Mainstream media will use Nader to be sensationalist. With no resources or structure, behind him, he will try to obtain free coverage by making outlandish claims, but it won’t last.  Ralph Nader may be a defacto Republican pretending to be an Independent. But then again he might be a closet Green pretending to be an Independent. He is certainly no Democrat double agent masking as an Independent. A close friend should tell him that consumer advocates lose all credibility when they join the political game.  Nader’s influence is now seriously diminished. When we recall his work and achievements of earlier days, it is really quite sad. 

Many a man suffering from extreme hubris has trodden this path before. In Australia we had a Prime Minister in John Winston Howard who suffered a similar condition and it led to his electoral defeat last November. At 68 he is now learning to play golf. Presently he is as they say, persona non grata!  These are lessons for us all. It is not the lack of intelligence that brings us down; it is the height of arrogance. 


email: john@tellingthoughts.com
website: http://www.tellingthoughts.com


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Hi John:

    You gave me a chuckle straight away with the ‘leave mid speech, win a New York marathon’ line. So true about Nader! He is very full of himself and I have to agree, he’s almost become his own parody. For a third party contestant, is that all we have to offer out there?

    I’m not sure what drives him at this point, other than pure ego, and he’s more than a bit off the wall. He does have some good ideals, but the legit ones are already covered by Obama, or hasn’t he been paying attention? I think he’s a closet plant by the Pubs, as I think he was in the previous attempts, esp the Al Gore one. Hey, they’ll try anything to win.

    Enjoyed the article and the John Howard reference was a good addition. Thanks for your thoughts…

    Posted by Ritz | February 26, 2008, 6:22 pm