Opinion

Ralph Nader’s candidacy is redefining politics

It wasn’t a typical conversation with a typical candidate. In Ralph Nader’s address to UM students, he didn’t make us feel good about ourselves or fill us with empty promises, but instead provided ugly statistics and said that our generation is “silly” in terms of our priorities and what influences us.

He didn’t receive applause and cheers. It was a time for students to digest their abundance of opinions but lack of political action.

His goal was to provoke, to anger and to stir a plan for action among students that want to see any real change in this country, not just another changed name for who resides in the White House.

He couldn’t have been more honest. The Democratic and Republican parties have grown further away from actually putting their ideologies into action. Political parties have been sadly reduced to beliefs instead of action. Proposed bills go unwritten; they are frozen by Congress, and they sometimes end up in such a chopped up state that it would have been better to abandon the issue altogether.

Every election year the same issues have come up: healthcare, social security and retirement, affordable housing, education, etc., but what major changes have really been made in the last two administrations for the betterment the people? We have gotten so caught up in discussing and complaining about the issues that nothing ever really gets accomplished.

Instead of calling upon more disconnected politicians, Nader calls us to become leaders. In order to see the fruits of real change, we need to demand more than just renewed empty promises; we need to start staging our fight. Our country wasn’t born as a result of an impersonal, passive population, but a passionate, aggressive, active population.

Nader even quoted a Chinese proverb that states, “To say and not to do is not to say.” Simply voting is just getting by in the political process and it takes a ridiculous about of time and energy just to get people to do that. It is what happens after the candidate is elected that ultimately matters.

Nader runs for the presidency with no intention of actually winning, but to get something bigger accomplished: To open the doors to those who have been abandoned by their parties that have resorted to incompetent candidates who lack the fervor for real change because they are too busy trying to please the both sides.

But I forgot. Americans have it “good.” As long as there isn’t widespread famine, suicide bombers or too much disease, we don’t have too much to worry about. Our lives are so much better than those of others. Nader said the American people could have everything they want, but don’t vote for anything they want. Well, I guess that not using our power is power in itself.

Marquita Bell can be contacted at m.bell@umiami.edu.

October 8, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.