Not Nader: Don't waste your vote
Ralph Nader Is A Big Fat Mogul Resources
Stanley Bing
February 26, 2008
Reprinted from with permission of the author.

A lot of Democrats are running around wondering why in the world, after succeeding in doing nothing but putting George W. Bush into the White House, Ralph Nader is running for president again. I admit that when I saw the news I nearly dislocated my jaw. He can't hope to win. The progressive agenda he ostensibly espouses can only be hurt by his efforts, which will surely attract the disaffected and discombobulated solely from the blue team.

As Dr. Phil would say with bald incredulity: What could the man be thinkin'?

The answer is, he's not thinkin'. After years of personal mutation and negative growth, much of it spent inhaling his own fumes, Nader has finally morphed into the final form known to all business people: he has become a big fat mogul.

Here are just a few of the mogulesque attributes demonstrated by this addled septuagenarian:

It's all about him: Not about the issues anymore. Maybe once it was. Not now. Now it's about being out there where the cameras are, for even a few minutes defining the story and being at the center of the debate.

Apres him, the deluge: So what if it distorts and screws up Rome? In the mogul mind, the City is better off burning with him in the mix than chugging along without him.

Doesn't listen to advice: I guarantee you there are people saying to him, "Ralph, come on, man. There's a real choice now for once. You don't need to do this." To which I'm sure he said, "Nuts."

Surrounds himself only with Yes-people: One step after "Nuts" is "Can you get Bob in here?" Bob's the guy who tells Ralph is a great idea for him to run. I'll bet he's in the room now while the other guys who had the bad taste to tell Ralph things he didn't want to hear are mysteriously gone.

Denial of current physical status: There are no old moguls. There are only moguls in the prime of life and dead moguls. Nader is in his mid-70s now. Granted, that's not much older than the Republican candidate, but that's beside the point. I mean, I think it is...

Truculence is his middle name: There are also many, many people who once were fans of Ralph Nader who are likely to be peeved by this move. But moguls don't care if people are mad at them. They like it. They eat other people's displeasure like oat bran. It's proof they still matter. If they don't have a bunch of people aggravated at any one time, in fact, they get nervous.

Moguls are like moths, the kind of big, creepy ones that are the size of a cocker spaniel. They start out in one form, but once their transformation into their final iteration takes place, there's no going back. In Ralph Nader's case, there may have been a time when the process could have been truncated by a longstanding deal as a pundit somewhere like PBS. Sadly, that offer never came and this particular pupa was left in the cold dark cellar of popular culture to gestate and become this thing we now have flapping its wings around the genuine light of our newly-energized political process.

Isn't there something we all can do to make it go away?

Stanley Bing is a columnist for FORTUNE Magazine and may also be read on a daily basis at  


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