Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman offers a mea culpa for his previous Nader-bashing and some great compliments for the man. Read the full thing here.
For the last decade, Mr. Nader has been portrayed as a pill by the popular press — a humorless, Quixotic figure doomed to eternal political isolation thanks to his uncompromising devotion to principle.
Nation columnist Eric Alterman and filmmaker Michael Moore, a former supporter, have slapped Mr. Nader around for repeatedly playing “spoiler” and risking a repeat of 2000. Glancing over back columns, I’m ashamed to say I did my share of Nader-bashing during the 2004 presidential election, too.
In an Oct. 15, 2004, column, I applauded a Commonwealth Court judge’s decision to knock Mr. Nader off the Pennsylvania ballot.
While conceding that Ralph Nader was the candidate who truly reflected my values on the issues, the headline of my Feb. 24, 2004, column lacked any sense of nuance: “Principled vote for Nader isn’t what this nation needs.”
In retrospect, it was easier to scapegoat Mr. Nader than to question the values of a so-called progressive political party that would nominate candidates as beholden to corporate interests as the incumbent we were desperately trying to unseat.
Mr. Nader says without equivocation what millions of people believe in their hearts but are afraid to vote for when the polls open. Even folks who don’t like him acknowledge his honesty and concede the value of his critique of our thoroughly corrupt political process. It is easier to fault him for occasional lapses in decorum and political correctness than his political positions, which are solid and irrefutable.