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Fahrenheit 911 and the nadir of Nader

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
June 29, 2004


When the ground shakes under governments it is no good their trying to sit still; nature will not allow it! — Prince Clemens von Metternich

I had the dubious honor of participating in the 2004 Green Party National presidential nominating Convention. As to be expected it was an enlightening experience complete with controversy and campaigning. Gathering with the range of Green activists, it was obvious the Green Party represents a diversity of political opinion, and is quickly becoming an alternative to the corporate duopoly running the show.

Green is now the color of change in America.

A delegate to the convention, I represented coastal north San Diego County, as Lagoon Green. The San Diego delegation included Congressional candidate Gary Waayers, currently running to unseat the Duke in the 51st district. The majority of Californian delegates to the convention placed their votes behind the Nader/Camejo ticket. Yet still the convention nominated David Cobb of Texas as the 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate. Pat LaMarche of Maine will be his vice presidential running mate.

Once again California pragmatism was overwhelmed by the ideology of Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas. The Texas delegation passed on the second round as to have the bragging rights of pushing the Cobb/LaMarche ticket over the threshold. My favorite quote of the convention? "The state of Texas proudly cast all of its votes for David Cobb. The next President of the United States of America!"

I chuckled at the irony, got angry, and then left the room.

Like any dysfunctional family, the Green Party is rife with conflicting ideas of how to best get things done. In no mood to attend a unity rally for a sharply divided convention, I opted for a night out in Milwaukee.

The Oriental Theater is a vintage movie house resplendent in art nouveau styling, complete with columns, gargoyles and giant Buddha lining the walls. While waiting for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 to begin we listen to the pipe organist play show tunes before sinking into the stage. The ability to see a historic film in a historic theatre was an experience I would long cherish. And I do believe Fahrenheit 911 is a historic film that is changing history, by documenting how the last four years was brought to us by a republican coup. A coup the Democrats in the senate, this includes Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and John F. Kerry, although able, were unwilling to stop.

Michael Moore once and for all puts to rest the lie Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the 2000 election. The Democratic Party cost Al Gore the 2000 vote. One need only see the first 5 minutes of Fahrenheit 911 to understand Nader had nothing to do with the failure of the Democratic Party to hold the White House. The rest of the film highlights the result of Democratic senators failing to defend democracy.

Shame on you, Barbara Boxer.

So now that the blame Nader crowd has been thoroughly discredited, and the cravenness of the Bush Administration clearly revealed by a gonzo filmmaker. We can move forward in confronting the crisis rocking the foundations of the American myth that holds truth and justice to be sacrosanct above all else, that crisis being the administration of George W. Bush.

The United States of America needs Ralph Nader to be a part of the process, just as the world needed Sojourner Truth, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Could Ralph be President? Yes. Should Ralph be President? Yes. Will Ralph be President? Probably not, but that is no reason to shut him out of the process, when it is obvious he offers a clear alternative to the corporate duopoly that now encompasses the Democratic and Republican parties.

For it to work a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" requires people. November 2004 is an opportunity for citizens, of all political persuasions, to take back the government. Ralph Nader is such a citizen.

I know hundreds of Republicans who are strongly opposed to another 4 years of the Bush jihad. If John Kerry is to be the next President, how can he not benefit from he and Ralph Nader double teaming George W. Bush on national television. Beamed around the world, for all to see?

If Californians want clean air and water, they will work to remove George W. Bush from office. Allowing Ralph Nader in the Presidential debates is part of that process.


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