Steve Skrovan writes:
Just read your blog on Huffington about Ralph Nader. As one who has studied Nader for the past five years, I found it to be [praise omitted]. I directed along with my partner, Henriette Mantel, a documentary on Nader’s life entitled “An Unreasonable Man,” and since I suspect now you will be receiving the same shit that we have been dealing with all this time, it might be worth a look-see.
We were in the documentary competition at Sundance in ’06, made the Oscar shortlist this year, had a theatrical release this past spring and had a two-disc DVD released last month. In addition to the film, the DVD has a number of featurettes on such topics as “The Role of Third Parties,” “Corporate Power in America,” “Why the Right is Better Organized than the Left,” “What Happened to the Democratic Party?” “Ralph on the Iraq War,” “What Kind Of President Would Nader Be?” and a psychological profile of Nader entitled “Profile Of A Charismatic Leader.” Our website is anunreasonableman.com. There you will find links to many of our reviews.
We’d be curious to know what you think.
Here’s what I think. I haven’t seen the flick (yet). The reviews are remarkable. But the best, by far, is Chris Hedges’ review at truthdig.
It was an incompetent, corporatized Democratic Party, along with the orchestrated fraud by the Republican Party, that threw the 2000 election to Bush, not Ralph Nader. Nader received only 2.7 percent of the vote in 2000 and got less than one-half of 1 percent in 2004. All of the third-party candidates who ran in 2000 in Florida — there were about half a dozen of them — got more votes than the 537-vote difference between Bush and Gore. Why not go after the other third-party candidates? And what about the 10 million Democrats who voted in 2000 for Bush? What about Gore, whose campaign was so timid and empty — he never mentioned global warming — that he could not carry his home state of Tennessee? And what about the 2004 cartoon-like candidate, John Kerry, who got up like a Boy Scout and told us he was reporting for duty and would bring us “victory” in Iraq?
Hedges also comments about the unwise choice of voting for “the least worst” — a choice I myself made in 2000 and 2004 — and the anger on the left about Nader’s so-called betrayal:
There is a fascinating rage — and rage is the right word — expressed by many on the left in this fine film about Nader. Todd Gitlin, Eric Alterman and Michael Moore, along with a host of former Nader’s Raiders, spit out venomous insults toward Nader, a man they profess to have once admired, the most common charge being that Nader is a victim of his oversized ego.
This anger is the anger of the betrayed. But they were not betrayed by Nader. They betrayed themselves. They allowed themselves to buy into the facile argument of “the least worse” and ignore the deeper, subterranean assault on our democracy that Nader has always addressed.
Cliff Doerksen, in his review in Time Out / Chicago, also makes an excellent point:
“[I]t’s quite absurd to exclude a third-party candidate from the choreographed pillow fight laughably called the presidential debates on the grounds that he’s too insignificant to be a factor, then later single him out as the factor responsible for handing the White House to the most incompetent and ill-intended administration in history.”
PS: Henriette Mantel writes:
Jan, Can’t wait for you to see the movie!! If you get too beat up by angry dems, just let us know. We are really good at fighting them off now. Once again, [praise omitted]. Such a nice break from all the (mostly uninformed) Naderhaters on Huffington.