Ralph Nader now views Democrats as the best defense against the GOP’s 'fascist drive'

Ralph Nader now views Democrats as the best defense against the GOP’s 'fascist drive'
Ralph Nader in 2007 (Wikimedia Commons)

In the past, progressive activist, attorney and author Ralph Nader wasn’t shy about attacking Democrats from the left. Nader, now 88, often endorsed Green Party candidates, and he argued that the centrist Clintonian wing of the Democratic Party had moved too far away from the politics of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

The Democratic Party, as Nader saw it, had made way too many compromises to Corporate America and become GOP-lite. But these days, Nader is encouraging Americans to vote Democratic, arguing that Democrats, flaws and all, are the only thing standing between the United States and “fascism.”

In an October 6 column, Washington Post opinion writer Dana Milbank explains, “For first time in his 88 years, Ralph Nader is campaigning for the Democrats, not against them…. It’s not that Nader suddenly likes Democrats. It’s that Democrats are the only thing standing in the way of an authoritarian takeover of the United States — and this is no time to be carping over trifles.”

READ MORE:War is the end of politics: Why the right's weaponization of immigration is homegrown fascism

Among liberals and progressives, there are two very different views of Nader. Some liberals and progressives view Nader as the “spoiler” candidate who took votes away from Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore in 2000 and put President George W. Bush in the White House. According to that school of thought, Bush never would have had a chance to nominate Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court if Bader hadn’t caused Gore to lose the 2000 election.

But another liberal/progressive school of thought argues that if Gore had been a better candidate, he would have defeated Bush in more swing states and gone to the White House in January 2001. Blaming Nader for Gore’s loss, according to that school of thought, is horribly misguided and overlooks the flaws of Gore’s 2000 campaign.

Whatever one’s thoughts about Nader and the 2000 election, Nader isn’t shy about encouraging Americans to vote Democrat in 2022.

During an early October interview, Nader told Milbank, “What’s different now is in 2000, there wasn’t a fascist drive coming over the horizon. Right now, we’re dealing with the greatest menace to a modest democratic society since the Civil War.”

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Nader and New York City Democrat Mark Green, according to Milbank, have formed an organization called Winning America — and their primary goal is defeating Republicans.

Green told Milbank, “Ralph once said he’d be a Democrat when the Martians invade. They invaded, and they’re here — and they’re a few inches away from engaging in a fascist takeover of our few-century democracy.”

In their Winning America manifesto, Nader and Green slam today’s Republican Party as “the worst GOP in history — serially corrupt, violence-prone, anti-labor as well as compulsively dishonest and authoritarian.”

The activists write, “Unless Democratic nominees tell a story about what 2023 and 2025 would look like if reactionary Republicans return to power — ending Obamacare, urging higher taxes on 75 million people, corporatizing Social Security and Medicare, shredding the social safety net/regulatory protections, jailing girls after abortions, overturning Marriage Equality, spurring more MAGA mobs threatening officials under, again, an outlaw president — the minority party will try to coast to victories by simply blaming (President Joe) Biden, blackness and wokeness, whatever that means.”

Nader told Milbank, “After 2000, my Democratic friends said, ‘Ralph, look, why don’t you work with the party?’…. OK, so we’re now working with the party.”

READ MORE: President Joe Biden's 'semi-fascism' remark was no gaffe

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