From Peter Camejo, VP candidate for Ralph Nader in 2004
Never in the history of our nation has there been such a massive campaign to try and prevent ballot access by an individual running for Presidential office so that those who agreed with him could actually vote for him.
True enough. My major complaint with the Nader campaign was that it focused almost entirely on attacking the Democrats, which was a tactical blunder, to put in mildly. However, the Dems absolutely did whatever they could to keep Nader off the ballot, and they were amply aided and abetted by hordes of pretend progressives.
The anti-Nader campaign was a totalitarian effort against free elections aimed at the peopleâ€™s right to choose and specifically aimed at those who will not surrender their commitment to democracy. Not a single elected Democrat in the United States spoke out against their partyâ€™s campaign not to allow the voters to choose. Not one. This alone shows the utter political and moral bankruptcy of that Party.
The Nation, the Progressive, Mother Jones, MoveOn.org, all the leaders of the Progressive Democrats of America not only did not oppose the campaign against democracy but in most cases participated and promoted it.
A strong third party will only appear when people work towards creating it. Instead, too many shrieked that such a party could elect George Bush, thus we are forced, forced I tell you, to support John Kerry, the mini-Me from the Democrats. In retrospect, does anyone still think that was a smart, savvy political move? Did supporting the nonentity that Kerry is help build a progressive movement? No. Quite the contrary, it damaged it.
I can think of only one similar historical event. The early abolitionist movement believed slavery could only be ended if the slave owners could be convinced to free their slaves. Like today they believed you had to accept the political system, you could not go outside the framework and challenge the two pro-slavery parties. You could only lobby, petition, beg but not challenge directly who should rule.
Then in 1840 James G. Birney ran for president on behalf of a newly formed party, the abolitionist Liberty Party. Many of the abolitionists, like progressives today, opposed Birneyâ€™s daring to run. It was not realistic. But in fact Birneyâ€™s campaign was the opening shot of what was to change America forever and lead to the collapse of the political framework that had allowed slavery to remain unchallenged.
Eloquently put, indeed.