American political duopoly (part 3 of 3)

Not yet spring and we are starting to talk of the upcoming “photo-finish” election where a quarter of us will determine everyone’s future in this nation. Back to tweedledum and tweedledee politics… ye old faithful!

Political gurus, establishment media… all are telling us that the nation is divided, split in half. But facts tell us such is not the case. Only slightly more than half of Americans, those who vote, are split down the middle. The other “almost-half,” who don’t vote- for whatever reasons, is waiting in the wings for a voice of leadership that will give them credible political hope. The country is divided, yes, but definitely not split down the middle.

Enter Ralph Nader. Please do!

Nader is not a self-appointed moralist a la Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson or any of the other spiritual marauders. Yet, his involvement all these years in public interest causes has evidenced his sizeable contribution to both democracy and morality in America; a contribution that pales, in my mind, that of any other single individual in the history of this nation. A Mother Theresa, some might argue, but in a different realm.

It stands to reason that this great personal involvement, this total immersion, and for such a long period of time, would gain for him a host of enemies, critics all, ready to magnify his human frailties and minimize any virtues or talent.

Americans’ willingness to immolate their true leaders can circumvent almost any situation… rationalize any latter-day crucifixion. American media have always found it easy to “de-charismatize” those who did not suit their goals, or those of their owners’. Throughout the years, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic have led the way in portraying Nader as a villain. One would expect nothing less.

Why welcome Nader to the political arena? Because there is no one else so uniquely qualified to become the Pied Piper for the disenfranchised in America . The Democratic Party may have in its ranks some principled individuals ready, willing and able to help in the transformation of the party, but none are ready (or allowed) to solo, not yet. The traditionalists in the party would have them shot on sight… you need only remember what just happened to Howard Dean.

So if the Democratic Party is to change, to become the true progressive center in American politics, that change needs to come from without… not from within.

Right now only about 60% of Americans get to decide the fate of all 100% of us… and of those 60%, perhaps only half reap the social and economic rewards while 70% of the people exercise their freedom to complain in an echoless chamber of despair… in a nation soundproofed by a duopoly that only reacts to the needs of their supporting special interests.

If Nader can bring just one-quarter of the unregistered citizenry to vote, to have their say, American politics would be forever changed. A meaningful political duopoly would almost immediately emerge. If Nader could gather a following of 15-20 million new voters, and deliver it in late October to the Democratic candidate, Republican neo-conservatism (neo-fascism is a term more in vogue overseas for the ultras in the Bush administration) would be pronounced dead and buried after the resulting landslide. But Nader must deliver the vote with no strings attached, in a gesture of goodwill.

Some Americans continue to feel that our two-party system, as it stands, has served us well. There is no need to fix something which ain’t broken, they say. Others feel that there are weaknesses in our political duopoly which require a tune-up. But those clamoring for junking the old jalopy seem to be growing in number, and maybe not even an overhaul can keep these people from taking this vehicle off the road.

Is Nader the mechanic needed to fix this beat-up jalopy? Is the Democratic Party ready for that overhaul? Or, will we be better off purchasing a brand new vehicle, a third party, before we self-destruct and become a third-world nation?