Pilkerton's Prognostications

This blog contains some of my past articles for the school newspaper and other musings I feel like posting. Beware liberals!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thinking of Ralphie


When did it happen? Four years ago I had a soft spot for this local hero. This Guru of consumer awareness seemed to have great ideas and was willing to suffer for the sins of all men and women. This man WAS Ralph Nader. I recall being in good spirits when the conversation turned to Ralph Nader a few nights ago while supping with friends. Then it dawned on me; this is not the same Ralph Nader that roams in the political landscape today.
Today's Ralph Nader is wild-eyed and disheveled, ranting, and raving like some environmentally friendly crack head, jabbering on about the ills of society. This man is no longer the portrait of hope he once was, selling peace to his followers (secret or outspoken, it didn't matter) like Jesus, his serenity and messages of hope and truth was a breath of fresh air to us all, no matter how jaded we had become during the Clinton administration.
Something happened to Ralph in the past four years, friends, and I don't know what. Perhaps it was the achievement of higher safety standards on modern automobiles; perhaps he took Wynona LaDuke's precipitous fall from the public eye particularly hard. The simple fact is that this, the same man who touched our lives with "Unsafe at Any Speed" is no longer the protective big brother of America.
I think back to the last speech I saw Ralph give. Falling in to a sullen and melancholy mood as I write this, I recall Ralph and his crew of politically conscious misfits crowded in the lounge of a Motel 6 somewhere along the Corn Belt, spreading their word as if they were afraid to bring their message to the masses. Mr. Nader now talks without really looking at anyone, those eyes, one open, one squinting, nay, one recoiling at the horrors of this world that Saint Ralph was put here to protect.
Four years ago everything was different. Ralph Nader was a real factor in the election. The Greens had made a name for themselves and had landed spots on all the Sunday morning political programs and even made some noise in the more liberal states in the country. With this media attention Ralph was at his finest. Nader made sense to us, his unwavering honesty about the political process, his soothing smile, and a first-rate supporting cast was his ticket to electoral history. What made Ralph such a force in American politics was the fact that Ralph cared.
This election season we don't have that benevolent figure with us anymore. This man has been shamed by his biggest supporters for running again for the highest office in the land. His former cheerleaders have all gone Democrat on him and left him alone on an island with only a handful of overzealous freaks and pathetically eager college blowhards to prod him on. They parade poor Ralph up on to the stage at the local Elks club, a shell of the man he used to be; there he delivers a speech he wrote four years ago for an interview with Tim Russert. For a moment he looks in to the camera with his serious eye and I get chills up my spine. I remember that this man was once great and now he is the mouthpiece for those whose ideology has died because they fell victim to reality.
So for the rest of that night I think of what could have been. I think of Ralph Nader, I even think of old Ralph Nader, the father we never knew. I know there will be a spot for him in heaven (on a well padded and safely constructed cloud).God Bless you, Ralph Nader, and may you and the ideas you so valiantly lived for rest in peace. I think of Ralph Nader, I think of Ralph Nader.


Post a Comment

<< Home