Ralph Nader is launching a third-party campaign for president. The consumer advocate made the announcement Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." He says most Americans are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties, and that none of the presidential contenders are addressing ways to stem corporate crime and Pentagon waste and promote labor rights.
There is sure to be much gnashing of teeth over this decision. Still, there is a lot of truth in the third sentence of the above paragraph. The only problem may be that his list of what the presidential contenders are not addressing adequately is far too short, but perhaps he simply has embraced the rhetorical power of keeping things in threes. Of course it probably would have been more accurate for him to say "none of the remaining presidential contenders." The Democrats had almost an embarrassment of riches in contenders who wanted to confront the most painful issues of substance, but they have now all been eliminated from the race. All that remains in both parties is familiar rhetoric that does little more than cover over a status quo of benign neglect. This, of course, is exactly what that not-so-mythical "American ruling class" wants. The only threat they fear is the threat to business-as-usual; and, now that they have filtered that threat out of the coming electoral process, they can sit back and let the chips fall where they may. The ruling class will continue to rule.