Primary Concern

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I was hoping for a distraction from the craziness of Ohio having such a hotly-contested Democratic primary, but this wasn’t what I had in mind. Believe me, the last thing I needed after coming home from the hospital after Dad died was to walk by our mailbox and see a full-page flyer from Clinton’s campaign sticking out of it. I had thought that the Republican and Democratic primaries were the only things on the ballot today, but there were a couple of funding issues on the ballot here, including funding for our firefighters. The firefighters already had my vote for life, especially after the house fire, but I saw them do everything they could to save Dad in our living room and they have my eternal appreciation for that as well. I was probably the only person at that precinct to come in as a declared Green (or at least as close to one as I can get given how Ohio’s laws screw over third parties), but I’ll get my chance to vote in the Green primary next month. I’d originally planned to go to the statewide convention in April to vote, but right now I don’t want to make any plans like that until the situation here at home gets a lot more settled.

It would figure that immediately after Dad’s death I’d get Darren McCarty back on the Red Wings, a snow day, and Ralph Nader in the presidential race. However, as much as I appreciate Nader running, I don’t agree with his strategy of running independently and trying to run a campaign "alongside" the eventual Green Party nominee to get progressive issues out there. I think it does help to have more voices talking about the issues that aren’t being talked about by the major party candidates, but it’s possible to do that without having two progressive candidates out there. I don’t think Nader and David Cobb running separate candidacies four years ago was a good thing for either progressives as a whole or the Green Party in particular, given how it split an already small vote and cost the Green Party several ballot lines it won with Nader’s 2000 candidacy. Particularly if Clinton manages to win the Democratic nomination through superdelegates, there is a tremendous opportunity for the Green Party to make huge inroads in this next election and make the five percent popular threshold to qualify for federal funds in 2012. Nader running as an independent — particularly with Matt Gonzales as his vice-presidential candidate (one of the biggest stars within the Green Party) — doesn’t strike me as the best strategy for this year.

As for my plans, I’m going to continue to push for Nader to get the Green Party nomination whether or not he wants it. He already has a huge delegate count, and I think he may actually win the nomination even if he isn’t campaigning for it. (If he does win the nomination, I highly doubt he’d turn it down.) If he doesn’t get the nomination then Cynthia McKinney will likely get it, and as much as I want to vote for the Green Party candidate no matter what, there’s no way I can vote for McKinney over Nader. I guess I’m stuck with Nader now no matter what, and the moment he has volunteer opportunities posted on his Website that don’t involve actually talking with other people, I’ll probably volunteer to do something for him. At least that should give me another outlet for all the emotions I’ve been feeling since Dad’s death.

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