Ralph Nader was on The Daily Show last night, explaining his appeal to disaffected conservatives. He said much the same thing, at greater length, in an American Conservative interview last month. There's a little something here for everyone, even me. My favorite bits:
We are presently defending prosperous nations like Japan, Germany, and England, who are perfectly capable of defending themselves against nonexistent enemies….
Conservatives are furious with the Bush regime because of the fantastic deficits as far as the eye can see. That was a betrayal of Bush?s positions, and it was a reversal of what Bush found when he came to Washington.
Conservatives are very upset about their tax dollars going to corporate welfare kings because that undermines market competition and is a wasted use of their taxes….
Conservatives are also upset about the Patriot Act, which they view as big government, privacy-invading, snooping, and excessive surveillance. They are not inaccurate in that respect….
They don?t like ?Leave No Child Behind? because it is a stupidly conceived federal regulation of local school systems through misguided and very fraudulent multiple-choice testing impositions.
If you're determined to feel warmly toward Nader, though, you have to overlook a few things, such as his opposition to free trade and his railing against "giant multinational corporations." I'd like to believe him when he says he's defending capitalism against corruption by an alliance of big business and big government, but it's clear that he's also upset about the fact that companies respond to consumer demand by providing products and services (tobacco, alcohol, junk food, gambling, action movies) of which he does not approve. His hopes for an alliance between moralistic conservatives and puritanical lefties on cultural issues are enough to make me long for politicians without principles. Fortunately, we've got plenty of those.
[Thanks to Scott Chamberlain for the link.]