Nader's candidacy gets some cheers, but more groans
Many see it as folly for him to enter the presidential race one more time.
(Page 2 of 2)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Indeed, Nader's run in 2000 ended up costing him votes four years later. David, a real estate investor in Portland, Ore., who asked to withhold his last name for personal reasons, says he believed in Nader and his work as a consumer rights activist. But that changed after 2000. Now, David blames him for ushering in "one of the worst eras" in American history.
He even wonders if Nader might have struck a secret deal with the Republicans. "A smart man wouldn't have done what he did, and I think Ralph Nader is a very smart man," says David, a lifelong Republican who strongly disapproves of the Bush presidency.
But many of Nader's supporters are remaining loyal. Hunt, for one, still believes that the mainstream political parties are failing to offer any real choice – despite their differing views on the war in Iraq, taxes, the economy, and healthcare.
"It doesn't matter to me which party gets in. I don't see the Democrats as a better answer to the Republicans," he says.
"Twenty-four percent of the people are satisfied with the state of the country, according to Gallup. That's about the lowest ranking ever. Sixty-one percent think both major parties are failing," he said. "You have to ask yourself as a citizen, Should we elaborate on the issues that the two [parties] are not elaborating [on]?"
But despite Nader's effectiveness early on in his career as a consumer advocate, he hasn't fared well at the ballot box, political analysts note. And that's prompted many to ask why he's running again.
• Tom A. Peter contributed to this report.