Good lord has Ralph Nader become an annoying jack-ass... and I say that as someone who supported him in 1996 and 2000 and who has long admired his work on behalf of consumer rights and democratic reform.
Check this out: Here he is making a complete fool of himself on election night, asking whether Obama will be "an Uncle Tom" for corporate interests at the very moment our nation elected its first black president. What a putz. Hell, even Shep Smith of Faux News understands how lame-ass Nader's comments were...
Tim Goodman, over at The San Francisco Chronicle website, skewers Nader's performance on election night. In part, he writes, Nader is "A character without a filter between his head and his mouth and the willingness to say just about anything while being completely oblivious to the fallout." Goodman continues, "As to Nader supporters parsing what he said and what he meant with the 'Uncle Tom' comment, let's not waste a lot of time and ranting comments on whether that's an offensive term or not. Why not field test it yourself? Go to a bar (around midnight, shall we say?) filled only with African Americans. Use the term 'Uncle Tom' any way you'd like and see how that works out for you." Finally, he reminds us, too, that this is not the first dumb racial thing Nader has said about Obama. Recall that earlier in the campaign he accused Obama of "talking white." Again, what a dumb-ass.
No wonder most progressive/lefties abandoned Nader after 2000. His campaign had no meaningful grassroots support this year and achieved only .5% of the vote. Because Nader's presidential runs are now about him, personally, and not attached to a viable third party, they play no role in building alternative progressive institutions, let alone a "movement." Sad.
Moreover, any viable progressive/left movement in the U.S. must be multi-racial. Do you think the guy in the above video could possibly form or lead such a multi-racial movement? Of course not.
It is sad to see Nader tarnish his legacy these last few years... but that is what happens when you allow yourself to confuse your own ego with "the movement."
Ralph, your electoral career has now officially ended...