America's Spoiler-in-Chief, Ralph Nader, has decided to toss his frayed hat into the presidential ring yet again. I find Nader to be the political equivalent of that mosquito that annoys the crap out of you in the middle of the night while you're tying to sleep. You try swatting it away, but it just stays there...buzzing around your ear, landing on your nose. You keep swatting until you give up and doze off into REM. Then you wake up in the morning with a big-ass bite on your face. Seven years ago, Nader was the bug, and George W. Bush became the bite. I don't want to wake up November 5th with yet another bite called John McCain.
Many, including this writer, believe Nader is responsible for the colossal mess Bush has left us these past two terms. That the 97,000 votes he siphoned away from Al Gore in Florida was the primary reason Gore lost (Gore lost to Bush by 543 votes); that his campaign achieved the exact opposite of every single principle he allegedly stands for. While the '00 election was indeed a disaster because of Nader, it should be noted that his overall impact in '04 election--.04%/411,000 votes--was virtually non-existent. But what happens this November is anyone's guess.
So what truly drives Nader? I think he's no longer the ideological maverick he once was; no longer the 'everyman' out to save America from corruption and big business. I believe today it's all about ego. I think this man lives in a world of delusion. That somehow there's a "calling" for him by the electorate to speak for them, fight for them, as he used to quite valiantly 30 years ago. Today, Nader is a sad, pathetic character who's putting his own selfish interests before country. And it's a shame that the mainstream media continues to feed this beast. Why on Earth would/should Tim Russert's venerable Meet the Press open the show Sunday with Nader, indulging him with the program's initial twenty minutes? Are there no more important, relevant issues/individuals associated with this election that merit that coveted space? Nader does not belong in the same chair as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Maybe if he was ignored he'd simply go away.
Can you imagine what it'll feel like if November 5th we awaken to learn that Nader's votes resulted in McCain becoming president? Let's just hope he's as politically insignificant as he was four years ago.
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.