“The Left Has Nowhere to Go” by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
January 3, 2011

Ralph Nader after the speech - Green Lecture

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Ralph Nader in a CNN poll a few days before the 2008 presidential election had an estimated 3 percent of the electorate, or about 4 million people, behind his candidacy. But once the votes were counted, his support dwindled to a little over 700,000. Nader believes that many of his supporters entered the polling booth and could not bring themselves to challenge the Democrats and Barack Obama. I suspect Nader is right. And this retreat is another example of the lack of nerve we must overcome if we are going to battle back against the corporate state. A vote for Nader or Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2008 was an act of defiance. A vote for Obama and the Democrats was an act of submission. We cannot afford to be submissive anymore.

“The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. “The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.”


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2011 Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Death of the Liberal Class, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).


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23 thoughts on ““The Left Has Nowhere to Go” by Chris Hedges

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  3. If we would work for the voting method called
    the strength of our numbers would be more visible.
    Nader’s votes wouldn’t have dwindled.

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  12. When is Nader going to commit to a party any party? Every election cycle he’s in then he’s out until the next cycle.

    Why can’t Nader and Hedges make the final break from their nostalgia of defiance into a commitment for a party like the Green Party …

    Nader is perfect example of why the left has no place to go … There’s no long term commitment or strategy by the leaders of the left …

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  14. I am also reminded of a scam before the 2010 elections that urged people to not vote as a protest against the choices on the ballot. This would have been a windfall for the Tea Party candidates. Ever notice how many Tea Party registered voters stay at home on election day?

  15. The left should not ‘cut their noses off to spite their faces’, no matter how frustrating it gets. We need to pick up some tricks from the Tea Party, but do it our way. Please note, the Tea Party did not create a third party, because they know they cannot win that way. Instead, their strategy is a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. We need to do the same with the Democratic Party, but this is important — we must pick up centrists of all political labels. The party who does, wins. The Tea Party knows this already. The Tea Party also focuses on local, state, House, and Senate races, not just presidential campaigns. The left should realize by now that a president cannot make sweeping changes without state government, House, and Senate support. We need to run some independent candidates, but know when to support the Democratic candidates. Our objective is to keep the far right out of power. We do not want to make the same mistake that the Tea Party made in several of the 2010 Senate races by running people destined to lose.

  16. Of COURSE we have a way to go! On this same homepage, Alan Grayson is Still SWINGING!! Just(ly) organize around him with a NEW Party, the REAL DEAL and defeat of BOTH the lying DEM RENEGER & his miserepubilkan Collubricators!!!

  17. We are continuing to make the same mistakes. It doesn’t matter who you elect into office as long as the K Street lobbyists are allowed to bribe our representatives into passing laws that mostly benefit the upper 1% plutocracy and their multinational corporations.

    Voting on Election Day is just the beginning of our civic duties! We need to take responsibility for the actions of our employees in our federal, state and local governments. After all, WE THE PEOPLE are the true sovereignty, not our employees who only represent us.

  18. Best article I’ve seen in a long time!

    Folks, there’s a class war on, and if you vote for either of the two corporatist parties, YOU ARE CUTTING YOUR OWN THROAT!

    Even 5% of the vote for the Green Party would send a dramatic message to the corporate Democrats, who need to be smacked with a 2×4 to get their attention.

  19. Same here in the UK! Some on the left are even calling for a ‘renewed’ Labour Party, as if a century of Labour complicity in the crimes of Empire never happened!

    When we disabuse ourselves of the idea that somehow capitalism can be ‘reformed’?


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