It never fails.
Mention the documented fact that Nader wanted Bush to win in 2000 for the same reason that the German Communists wanted Hitler to win in 1933-34 — because they both thought that getting an unapologetic Fascist in control would soon cause such untold suffering that the masses would run into the arms of the far left and then set about building the workers’ paradise — and people start accusing you of “slander” and such against Saint Ralph.
For the record:
– On the German Communists’ backing of Hitler, here’s this –
1929 – Ruth Fisher Loses Leadership Position in German Communist Party
Ruth Fischer lost her struggle to keep the German Communist Party from becoming totally subservient to Joseph Stalin. The Communists went on to aid Hitler and the Nazis in their efforts to destroy the Weimar Republic. The Communist Party leadership believed that Hitler could not possibly be successful in ruling Germany and that they would be the beneficiaries of his failure. Their slogan became “Nach Hitler Uns” (After Hitler Us).
It didn’t work in Germany in 1933-34, didn’t work in America in 2000, won’t work in America in 2012. As I have said before, we were very, very lucky in 1932 — for one thing, the GOP hadn’t yet figured out the Southern Strategy, or met Eddie Bernays (much less used him to his full potential), or met Rupert Murdoch, so they didn’t control the terms of debate the way they increasingly have since 1980. (Look up William Simon and the Olin Foundation to see how that was accomplished.)
– On Nader’s wanting Bush to win:
From “Ralph the Leninist”, Slate, October 31, 2000:
This depraved indifference to Republican rule has made Nader’s old liberal friends even more furious. A bunch of intellectuals organized by Sean Wilentz and Todd Gitlin are circulating a much nastier open letter, denouncing Nader’s “wrecking-ball campaign–one that betrays the very liberal and progressive values it claims to uphold.” But really, the question shouldn’t be the one liberals seem to be asking about why Nader is doing what he’s doing. The question should be why anyone is surprised. For some time now, Nader has made it perfectly clear that his campaign isn’t about trying to pull the Democrats back to the left. Rather, his strategy is the Leninist one of “heightening the contradictions.” It’s not just that Nader is willing to take a chance of being personally responsible for electing Bush. It’s that he’s actively trying to elect Bush because he thinks that social conditions in American need to get worse before they can better.
Nader often makes this “the worse, the better” point on the stump in relation to Republicans and the environment. He says that Reagan-era Interior Secretary James Watt was useful because he was a “provocateur” for change, noting that Watt spurred a massive boost in the Sierra Club’s membership. More recently, Nader applied the same logic to Bush himself. Here’s the Los Angeles Times‘ account of a speech Nader gave at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., last week: “After lambasting Gore as part of a do-nothing Clinton administration, Nader said, ‘If it were a choice between a provocateur and an anesthetizer, I’d rather have a provocateur. It would mobilize us.’ “
Lest this remark be considered an aberration, Nader has said similar things before. “When [the Democrats] lose, they say it’s because they are not appealing to the Republican voters,” Nader told an audience in Madison, Wis., a few months ago, according to a story in The Nation. “We want them to say they lost because a progressive movement took away votes.” That might make it sound like Nader’s goal is to defeat Gore in order to shift the Democratic Party to the left. But in a more recent interview with David Moberg in the socialist paper In These Times, Nader made it clear that his real mission is to destroy and then replace the Democratic Party altogether. According to Moberg, Nader talked “about leading the Greens into a ‘death struggle’ with the Democratic Party to determine which will be the majority party.” Nader further and shockingly explained that he hopes in the future to run Green Party candidates around the country, including against such progressive Democrats as Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, Sen. Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, and Rep. Henry Waxman of California. “I hate to use military analogies,” Nader said, “but this is war on the two parties.”
From Outside magazine, August 2000:
If California tips Green enough, Bush could win the state and the whole damn election. Which, Nader confided to Outside in June, wouldn’t be so bad. When asked if someone put a gun to his head and told him to vote for either Gore or Bush, which he would choose, Nader answered without hesitation: “Bush.” Not that he actually thinks the man he calls “Bush Inc.” deserves to be elected: “He’ll do whatever industry wants done.” [But] The rumpled crusader clearly prefers to sink his righteous teeth into Al Gore, … [and] concludes with the sotto voce realpolitik of a ward heeler: “If you want the parties to diverge from one another, have Bush win.”
Res ipsa loquitor.