but I am, in fact, happy to see that Mr Nader has declared his candidacy for President of the United States of America, calling for a “Jeffersonian Revolution”
Now, though I sympathize with Mr Nader’s desire to return government to the people, I find his claim of Jeffersonianism to be rather disingenuous. For all that he say of grassroots democracy, ultimately, he appears to be far to reliant on government, particularly at the national level; Jefferson, of course, espoused a healthy skepticism of such consolidation. On the big business and media fronts Nader seems to be possessed of more sincere doubt; he and I though, I imagine, disagree when it comes to viewing big labor through this particular lens. He sees a means to the end of a fairer deal; I, an easily corruptible collection of entities equally opposed to the Small is Beautiful ethos.
Senators Obama and Clinton, perhaps indicative of their fears of how he might affect the November election, have wasted no time criticizing Mr Nader, the latter pulling out the spoiler card, quipping, quite eloquently, “Obviously, it is not helpful to whoever our Democratic nominee is. But, you know, it is a free country.” Rather unwittingly, Obama, attempting to temper his own criticism with an acknowledgement of Nader’s contributions to society, brings to light something that actually worries me about Mr Nader: “[He] is a singular figure in American politics and has done as much as just about anyone for consumers.” I intend not to suggest that I oppose Nader’s harrying corporations on behalf of the common man; rather, I fear that such a history of this particular sort of activism has its roots in a view of mankind solely — or at least primarily — qua consumer. We need a man who, short of confessing to being of the shocking opinion that man is a spiritual being, created in the image of God, at the very least first sees human citizens, zoon politkon. Perhaps I give too little credit to Mr Nader; perhaps I hold too-high expectations for him or for anyone.
Despite my dissent from Naderism on numerous issues, I nevertheless rejoice. I’ve yet to reach the point of desperation at which I suggest that I wish to see Senator McCain in the White House; however, relative to his Democratic counterparts, he is, in my opinion, the man for the job. Though no guarantee of it exists, Mr Nader could play what some might consider to be the spoiler. Daniel Larison, blogger extraordinaire, offers worth-the-while insight hereand here. Policratus and the respondents (including me) to his post at Vox-Nova more clearly express why I welcome his entrance.
Filed under: American Politics |