To staff, volunteers, supporters, donors, and voters
Authoritative public sentiments have always been there, have they not? From the Declaration of Independence's majestic prose to the preamble of our Constitution which begins with "We the People of the United States ..." to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address "toward a new birth of freedom ... for a government of the people, by the people and for the people" to the last words of the pledge of allegiance -- "with liberty and justice for all."
Sentiments remain mere words; heralding hopes, wishes and poignant nods. Unless they are grounded in reality, behavior, respect, attitude, and renewal, they become the words of controlling processes, pacifying the resigned, fortifying the concentrators of abusive power, and ever manipulating the trusting populace by the latest politicians climbing up the electoral hills.
The Nader/Gonzalez independent ticket set standards for presidential campaigns that were authentic, honest, factual, far-seeing, and committed to a deliberate, deep democracy that creates high expectations and dedicated actions from the people themselves. Democracy is revered all over the world because it brings the best out of people. But the people have to want it, to work for it, and to use it daily in its many splendid varieties.
Elections are a temptation for abstraction, soaring rhetoric without roots in the daily experience of those who are impoverished, ailing, defrauded, and indebted. The vast majority of citizens are marginalized and excluded from the freedom to participate in power -- to paraphrase Marcus Cicero.
Our campaign started with the realities of our country on the ground where the people live, work, and raise their families. Politics must never be an abstraction. For if allowed to be such, it will be a mirage that stokes the hopeful emotions while detaching people from a critical recognition that they and only they -- individually and organized -- can make their representatives truly their representatives, dutifully producing more leaders. Leaders who cannot betray the trust of the people, and that of their children and grandchildren, know from whence they came.
It is with these thoughts that all of us at the Nader/Gonzalez campaign headquarters tender our gratitude to all who stood with us. We thank your enlightened self-interest, your awareness of the necessity for enlightened communities from the neighborhoods and workplaces all the way to our national government. We must make this government a tribune of peace, justice and freedom throughout this tormented world of ours.
While I was campaigning in Syracuse, New York this October in a city beset with hard times, a middle-aged blue-collar worker with calloused hands approached me after our discussion and said, "I'm voting for myself, which is why I'm voting for you." I took that declaration as a serious trusteeship and later on the campaign trail turned it into a basic question: "Isn't it about time that we all voted for ourselves?" Isn't it about time that we planned our futures rather than ceding that essential function of citizenship to giant rootless corporations?
What follows is a summary of what we achieved together through the Presidential campaign of 2008, despite being obstructed by the Democrats' and Republicans' ballot access hurdles and traps, despite being excluded from speaking to tens of millions of Americans through the Presidential debates (polls repeatedly showed the people wanted us -- by name -- included), and despite being willfully ignored by the national television and national newspaper/magazine media. These achievements represent persistence, stamina, and the willpower to penetrate this political bigotry so as to give choice to those voters who knew we were running.
We believe history will treat the Nader/Gonzalez initiative kindly in part because its reading of the necessities of the American people was accurate as was its condemnation of the concentrated powers that have for so long denied them livelihoods of decency, security and voice.
We thank you who made all this possible. Looking forward, we thank all who will make the campaign's legacy proliferate through all seasons at all times wherever human beings seek the fulfillment of their human possibilities.
Moving a Progressive Agenda Forward in the Electoral Arena.
Nurturing anew the survival seeds and sprouts for a functioning democracy, so that someday the fruits of this campaign will be traced back to the political pioneers of 2008 who carried forward the torch of conscience and justice high across the land.
Civil Liberties for Independent and Third Party Candidates
Working to break down unfair ballot access laws that shred the rights of minor party candidates to run for office.
Bringing in New People to the Political Process
Documenting the Multi-faceted Oppressiveness of the Two-Party Controlled Dictatorship of Our Country
The exclusion from the debates and the media blackout helped deflate the myth of a competitive electoral democracy. Exposing myths is the first step toward reforms.
The Nader/Gonzalez campaign helped show the rest of the world that there are voices inside the Presidential campaign who speak vigorously to the United States becoming a humanitarian superpower that knows how to wage peace, advance justice and enhance the security of all peoples, as envisioned by the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Ballot Access & Voting Success