The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's editorial message to Ralph Nader is confused and unprincipled (Nader's candidacy must do no harm, Feb. 23). Even those of us who may not be Nader fans can hardly follow the logic that the United States' liberal elite now uses to suppress Nader's exercise of his basic political rights.
Every four years, the presidential ballot includes the names of several third-party candidates who represent the hopes and dreams of those Americans whose concerns will never be addressed by our primitive winner-take-all version of payola politics.
Why on Earth has Nader, only one among many third-party candidates, become the focus of such venomous commentaries? Perhaps we can get a clue from a germ of truth that somehow escaped deletion by the P-I's scolding Editorial Board.
In one telling phrase, the P-I let it slip that, "Nader already proved his charges about the state of our democracy."
What is the "state of our democracy"? Nader's charges, of course, are that the United States' well-oiled political machinery consistently runs in reverse. Instead of measuring and then implementing the will of the people, this machine manufactures consent by substituting ignorance and disinformation for education and enlightenment.
At present, the will of the American people is pretty clear. The vast majority of Americans do not want any significant changes whatsoever. Why should they? They are almost totally ignorant of the problems facing them, of the problems created by the United States' disastrous policy elite. The half-dozen media conglomerates that own the windows through which most Americans view their world have done their job too well.
These media windows present a reassuring view of a make-believe world where U.S. foreign policy of domination and conquest is always intended to deliver freedom and democracy to our bombing targets. According to the script, this policy fails only when our propagandists don't "get our message out" in sufficient quantities to manufacture consent among the conquered Iraqis, Afghans and other recipients of Daisy Cutter benevolence.
Through their media windows, Americans can see that the most serious threats to our happy future is not the orchestrated bankruptcy of our republic; not the management of our economy and the systematic looting of our treasury by powerful political donor corporations; not the impending failure of our unprecedented experiment in worldwide climate manipulation, a threat that has prompted our Pentagon to draw up contingency plans for insulating America from a world in chaos by the year 2020 ("Climate Collapse," Fortune Magazine, Jan. 26); not the looting of natural resources that has left vast areas of our common heritage trashed and poisoned while rapidly rising energy prices try in vain to warn us that we have squandered Mother Nature's one-time gift of the buried treasure that lifted millions of earthlings from pre-industrial mud and manure into gleaming towers of glass and steel; and not the dismantling of our carefully crafted U.S. Constitution by cynical ruling families that pretend to protect us from Saddam, Noriega, the Taliban, al-Qaida and all the other monsters they have created with our tax dollars.
No, the United States' narrow media window shows us a world where the greatest threat to our future happiness comes from gays attempting to formalize long-term stable relationships, from talentless entertainers who substitute crotch-grabbing titillation for creativity and from kiss-and-tell political interns.
Oh, if only these were truly the most pressing problems facing us. No wonder most Americans are content to choose between Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee for president.
How can Nader's candidacy possibly inflict serious "harm" upon the cadaver of such a dead democracy? Let's give him a platform and let him speak. We might learn something. We might learn that, in the absence of an educated and informed electorate, there can be no 2004 "election" worthy of the term.
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