A third party alternative.
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader brought his long shot campaign to UMass this morning by giving a speech at Stockbridge Hall.
The speech was well attended, despite the fact that the Hampshire Gazette mistakenly reported that Nader was appearing at four in the afternoon instead of the real time of eleven in the morning. Actually it didn't start at eleven either, as Nader was late.
Outside the auditorium tables were set up selling Nader related products.
Nearby, socialists were peddling their papers.
Inside I met my co-worker Helen, who works as a language interpreter for the Amherst Survival Center.
Helen bought a t-shirt for twenty dollars.
The speech itself was better than I expected. Nader is a dry speaker, but he comes across as very sincere. Especially well received was his bitter denunciation of the recent Wall Street bailout. It was vintage Nader doing what he does best, defending the public from greedy special interests. If he abandoned the rest of his far left platform, and ran solely as the anti-bailout candidate he might have a chance!
Congressman John Olver must have had his ears ringing this morning, as Nader attacked him by name for his pro-bailout vote, urging those present to hold him accountable. After all, what is the difference between Olver and an irresponsible fatcat if both are for a government handout?
A common theme was that a protest vote for Nader is not irresponsible in Massachusetts where an Obama victory is all but guaranteed. It was suggested that it would be a good way to send a message of displeasure if Nader was to receive a significant percentage of the Massachusetts vote.
Here is a video of Nader talking about the three kinds of voters:
Not everyone on campus this morning was a Nader supporter:
Dig this cool BelAir cruisin' thru downtown Northampton.
Finally, here's the Amherst experimental avant-garde pop group ZEBU! makin' it in the bigtime in New York City last month.