To the Daily:
Ignore Nader the election spoiler for Democrats
In her column Friday, Kate Truesdell wrote that Ralph Nader’s announcement that he is, once again, launching a quixotic bid for the White House made her “heart leap” (How Nader crushed my dreams, 03/07/2008). I hope few will be swayed by her argument.
Although Truesdell doesn’t take them seriously, the allegations by “left-leaners” that Nader helped take votes from Al Gore are merited. Without Nader, our nation would never have been subject to eight years of George Bush’s destructive leadership and everything that has come with it: a war of choice in Iraq, a loss of international prestige, an erosion of our constitutional liberties at home and a gaping deficit financing tax cuts for people who don’t need them.
Just consider what happened in Florida, which could have given Gore the White House. Bush won Florida by just 537 votes., while Nader took 97,421 votes. Advocates for fringe candidates often argue that they attract voters who would otherwise be too disenchanted to vote. While this is surely true for many of Nader’s supporters, it is equally certain that at least .6 percent of them would have found their way to the polls if Nader had not been on the ballot. These few votes would have been enough to put Gore over the top.
Truesdell encouraged her readers to check out the Green Party’s ten-point platform. I did. When I could understand the jumble of non-specific platitudes, I read ideas similar to Gore’s. Among many goals, the platform calls for “equal opportunity,” “global responsibility” and “economic justice,” including a “living wage.” Because of Nader, Americans have received the opposite: increased inequality, a loss of global respect and continual opposition to an increased minimum wage.
Blame fans in wheelchairs for lower stadium capacity
In response to the settlement the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America reached with the University regarding Michigan Stadium’s wheelchair accessibility: Nice work guys, your wish finally came true. You have fought hard to ensure that you are able to see Michigan football in person. It is very important that you guys be able to view the game – important enough that the Big House will lose 1,300 seats and potentially the title of “largest stadium in college football.”
Since you guys are willing to sacrifice Michigan Stadium tradition in order to see games, you must be fanatical about Michigan football. And, because you felt your rights to view a game were violated, you stuck up for yourselves. I commend you for making sure everyone has an equal chance to see a Michigan game.
Here is what I ask of all people who will be helped by this agreement: I expect all people in wheelchairs to work extra hard to make up for the loss in seating. I expect to be deafened by the roar on third downs coming from wheelchair sections. I expect to see every wheelchair decked out in maize and blue. I expect that wheelchair sections have their own original cheers.
Because people in wheelchairs are going to be accommodated by the Michigan community, it should not be too much to ask that these people return the favor.