(This is an article I wrote for a website called HubPages, which I also posted to my NewsVine and Digg.com accounts)
It's now official--Ralph Nader is once again running for President ! He announced his bid on today's "Meet The Press" television show. I'm sure that a lot of Democrats will be upset as they blame him for their loss to George "I'm above the law" Bush. Which is ridiculous. The Democrats lost because they lacked the courage to stand up to the tyrannical administration of Bush/Cheney and allowed them to run roughshod over the Constitution and failed to respond to the outrageous lies spread by the Republicans and their allies against their candidate, John Kerry.
Even after taking back control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Democrats have continued to bow to the will of the President. There is clear evidence of impeachable offenses committed by both the President and Vice-President which the Democrats should be up in arms about. Instead, they took impeachment "off the table". President Clinton was impeached over a silly sexual dalliance that didn't rise anywhere near to the level of being a criminal act. Unlike the numerous violations of the Constitution and war crimes perpetuated by the current administration. This is the real reason why the Democrats lost the last Presidential election. And if they should lose the 2008 election, it won't be because Ralph Nader took a few votes here and there.
Personally, I am not a supportor of Ralph Nader. For the sake of political openness, I will state that I support Ron Paul, who is running for the Republican nomination. And no, I am not a Republican, either. I consider myself to be a Libertarian, and voted for Ron Paul in 1988 when he ran on the Libertarian Party ticket. In this election cycle, I also like Dennis Kucinich, even though there are many issues I would disagree with him on. However, he does oppose the war in Iraq and is strong on protecting the civil liberties of Americans. And I find him to be open and honest in his opinions, as is Ron Paul.
But the point of this article is not to promote any particular candidate. What Americans need in their elections are more choices, more voices being heard, and more solutions to the problems the country faces. Not more of the same old "business as usual" answers that are served up by both the Republican and Democratic politicians time and again.
What I would love to see in this upcoming election is a crowded field of candidates, offering up a wide choice of solutions and opinions. Americans love having a variety of choices in every other area of their lives. Would you be satisfied if you went out to purchase a new pair of shoes, only to find that there were only 2 choices on the shelves? Or just 2 models of cars available at your local dealer? People would be screaming "where are all the other choices?!" if this were to happen. So why should you settle for only 2 choices for the most important job in the country?
So here's my ideal slate of candidates for the election:
1-Barack Obama....(sorry, Hilary, but one Clinton was enough. Think how much better off we'd be now if we had stopped at one Bush.)
2-John McCain....(it's pretty obvious he'll get the nomination, unless some scandal erupts to bring him down.)
3-Ron Paul....(I know he's said he won't run as an independent or 3rd party candidate, but who knows, maybe he'll have a change of heart.)
4-Ralph Nader....(keep running, Ralph, if only to liven things up.)
5-Michael Bloomberg....(he's independent, a good businessman, and the way things are going, we may need a billionaire in the White House just to loan the country a few dollars "to tide us over".)
6-Dennis Kucinich....(I know he's not planning an independent run either, but the Democrats will never give him the nomination--ever! They wouldn't even let him in the debates! So why not go for it, Dennis.
(Click on any of the names to go to their websites. Bloomberg hasn't announced yet, so the site linked to is one set up by his supportors)
I think those six candidates represent a number of different choices that should allow everyone to pick the one closest to their own beliefs and/or political persuasion.
And don't give me that crap about "ooh, we have a 2-party system" or " you can't have that many people on the ballot" or any other such nonsense! Look at this country's history. In the early days, there were NO political parties at all. Later on, many times, 2 or more candidates from the SAME party all ran for the Presidency in the same year! The person with the most votes became President and the runner-up got to be Vice-President. Even if they were from different political parties. Now I like that idea! What better way to keep check on the President than to have a member of the opposing party right there in the White House watching him/her.
And I'd like to see a lot more variety in the Congressional races, as well. Get rid of those entrenched old-timers and get some fresh blood in there! Congress shouldn't be a lifetime job. Get elected, serve a term or two, and let someone else have a crack at it. People teach their children to share and not be greedy. It's about time the members of Congress learned the same lessons. Share the fruits of democracy....let others have a chance to play in the sandbox of Congress! Sure, maybe some of the "new kids" will mess up and make some mistakes on occasion, but that's why they have 435 Representatives and 100 Senators. So it will all balance out in the end!
Oh. and one last thing. Please, please, people, don't vote for a candidate just because you think he/she is going to win. This isn't a horse race--it's an election! Vote for the person who has the best ideas on how to run the country--whatever you think those ideas may be. And don't be fooled by the line "I won't vote for him/her because he/she can't win". I can't tell you the number of times I've voted for candidates that didn't win, but I still felt I had chosen the right person. Because I honestly cast my ballot for the person that reflected my principles. I have, on a couple of occasions, voted for someone other than my preferred choice (because it was obvious they had no chance of winning) but regretted it afterwards. I have since vowed to vote for that candidate that represents my views, even if my vote is the only one they get on election day.