Like many progressives, I agree with Nader on the issues. But his run accomplishes none of these goals. Bringing them into the national discussion? If that's what he is concerned about, why didn't he run for the Democratic nomination? It would have garnered a lot of coverage and he could have confronted the leading candidates on stage--something he won't get to do in the general election.
Ralph could crusade as an election reformer--or whatever else he wants to address in the twilight of his life--without a presidential run. His "spoiler" status alienates those of us who are most receptive to his arguments.
The purist "vote your conscience" appeal doesn't wash with me. It's an argument that comfortable liberals engage in so they can defiantly state how they didn't vote for a candidate like Hillary Clinton who has blood on her hands from the Iraq War and are therefore morally pure.
But voting tactically does make sense. Especially in a two party system. The fact is, if a McCain administration takes office life will be worse for the poor, the homeless, the working class, the military, Iraqis, Iranians that he threatens to bomb to hell and everyone in this country who will get to enjoy the 40 year legacy of his Supreme Court appointments.
The .3 % of the vote that Nader received in 2004 should be an indication of his post-2000 clout. I don't imagine him being that big of threat this time around and agree when he says "If the Democrats can't landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form." If the Democrats lose this one, it's for bigger reasons than Ralph.
OK, that was a lot more than I planned to type about Ralph Nader. I'm going to go do something that isn't a waste of time now.