March 6, 2004

What Makes Ralph Run?

Bob Woodward : Nader's come in from the cold. Supposedly he's got a laywer with $25,000 in a brown paper bag.

Deep Throat : Follow the money.

Bob Woodward : What do you mean? Where?

Deep Throat : Oh, I can't tell you that.

Bob Woodward : But you could tell me that.

Deep Throat : No, I have to do this my way. You tell me what you know, and I'll confirm. I'll keep you in the right direction if I can, but that's all. Just... follow the money.

"There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship toward 'a new birth of freedom.'" — Ralph Nader, being more than usually incomprehensible. Say that six times swiftly and see if you can discover what it means.

Seems to me people are too quick to take Ralph Nader at his word -- that he is running for President from an idealistic motive to make the America safe from corporations. His other assertion is that he is in the race to keep real democracy alive.

People have called him a fool, a spoiler, a saboteur... all these things are correct but they do not explain the Ralph campaign.

The actual explanation is, as always, the simplest one: Ralph has to run because Ralph needs the money.

Yes, he needs the money. He always needs money. He needs money because, in very real terms, Ralph does not have a job, he only has organizations. Indeed, Ralph has never held a real job in living memory. He starts organizations and then convinces the credulous to fund them. He also starts scams such as the PIRG and requires people to fund them.

He might prate about this or that citizen or this or that outrage by the corporate state, but he has little to zero experience of either ordinary citizens or the corporate world. Instead, he has spent his life in the deeps of policywonkiness in Washington. In a real sense, Ralph is the uber-wonk.

But even uber-wonks have to eat and, as such, Ralph depends on two streams of revenue for his tofu -- the donation stream and speaking fees.

To keep these two streams flowing a wonk has to be visible -- visible to the donors and visible to the people at colleges and universities who book speakers.

After many decades at the Washington non-profit trough, Ralph has built up a sizable organization and a sizable organization needs a sizable cash-flow. That flow must be always increasing and a proven way of keeping the cash flowing is for the figurehead to run for President.

What’s a Presidential Run worth to Ralph over the next four years? Easily in the millions. As Deep Throat knew: “Follow the Money”

Posted by Vanderleun at March 6, 2004 9:00 AM | TrackBack
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