Ralph Nader: Is Obama an Uncle Tom?

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Ralph Nader proves once again that he is nothing more than an immature, attention-seeking bully (something I was acutely aware of when I was in college since I knew people who worked in his political campaign), but now he knowingly portrays himself as a racist as well -- I am so glad that I never fell for his double-speak when he was playing spoiler to the 2000 election, and I wonder what my grad school colleagues think about their support for this racist pig? While it's true that Nader ONCE was a useful consumer advocate, that was when I was still in diapers, and his relevance ended long ago when he sold out to solely feeding his ginormous ego, which was certainly long before the 2000 election [3:24]

Remember: The newscaster that is talking with Nader is on faux news, which is the most conservative organization out there, and even HE was offended by Nader's jackassery. Amazing.

My opinion: Nader is not only irrelevant, but growing senile.

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I was in cololege

Couldn't find it on the map, must be a very small town :o)

Hope your new president does well.

By Chris' Wills (not verified) on 06 Nov 2008 #permalink

it almost seemed like Nader, at the end, realized what he'd done, but by then it was too late.

It would be nice if more conservative hosts would realize that it is possible to do a devastating smack-down of asshats like Nader without resorting to screaming and name calling.

Would it have been better if he suggested he would become a corporate whore?

I think by the end it was clear that Nader didn't get the issue. He thought he was being questioned on the substance of what he said. It wasn't till the very end when he seemed to realize he was being accused of a either (a) poor choice of words or (b) veiled racism or (c) outright blatant racism. He seemed about to launch into a history lesson right there at the last second before being cut off -- I wish I could have heard that. But anyway, (a) only makes sense if Nader does not understand that his view of the meaning and connotations of a word don't matter in situations like this. It's the listener's view and public's view that matters. Because the statement sure sounds like (b) or (c) to me.

Would it have been better if he suggested he would become a corporate whore?

Um, yeah.......

Nader spoiled the election before and I hope this reduces his influence on politics to even greater irrelevancy.

Now I just wonder if this tool will be better remembered as a racist or the man who gave us Bush.

And an aside his supporters ARE just as bad/obnoxious I've found.

Wow - Even after his politics drifted far away from reality, I thought that he at least remained a skillful speaker. But that showed a complete tin ear for language connotation.

The near-universal belief that Nader took votes from Gore is a myth. Obviously, people who voted for Nader would have mostly voted for Gore had Nader not run. But there's a second Nader effect that is far less obvious, yet it dominates:

America has a rather large moderate middle that can potentially vote for either party. In a two-person race, these moderates would perceive Bush as conservative and Gore as liberal. Thus moderates would be conflicted. With no moderate in the race, does such a voter compromise to the right or compromise to the left? So, the moderate vote splits.

Add Nader to mix and an interesting thing happens to the perceptions of moderates. Now Bush is the conservative, Gore is the MODERATE, and Nader is the liberal. Now the moderates go for Gore instead of being split.

This is not speculation - there has been a careful analysis by academics of this comparison effect, and it is surprisingly strong. By making Gore look far more moderate by comparison, Nader won Gore significantly more moderate votes. And it was enough moderate votes to more than make up for the left-wing votes he robbed from Gore. It's counterintuitive, but the net result is that Nader helped Gore.

To Joel @ No.4:

Yes, it would be acceptable to accuse President-to-be Obama of being a corporate whore. To accuse Sen. Hilary Clinton of the same would be inexcusably sexist. However, it would be acceptable to accuse Sen. Hilary Clinton of being an Uncle Tom :)

I think that Ralph Nader's words were cleverly and carefully chosen and even implicitly well-defended. It is no surprise that a Fox News anchorman did not really get it.

The person asking the questions wasn't asking questions.
I read the Nader responses in the "interview" precisely the same as Sara upthread, except that I also read the 'questioning' to be quite calculated - as part of a fairly sophisticated spoiling manoevre run by one of the bigger and more politically active corporations: Fox.

Ralph Nader understands more about corporate involvement in government than anybody. He hasn't abandoned his integrity as a consumer advocate; the subtleties of interaction with a disembodied voice displayed in that interview notwithstanding. That he has put the groundwork in to get the most out of dumbed-down news-as-entertainment/propaganda is only to his credit.

Disclaimer: I'm not in the USA, but like the rest of the world, have been very interested in this election of a president for the USA.

By Nan McIntyre (not verified) on 06 Nov 2008 #permalink