Ralph Nader and I go way back. Well, anyway, my one-sided relationship with him does. Like long-term relationships generally, they can fall apart hideously. When that happens, I at least try to be the one who took the high ground.
The year was 1990. I was an idealistic youth who was two-fisting progressivism: in one had was "Animal Liberation" by Peter Singer. In the other was seeing Ralph Nader speak at a local community college I was attending. The subject was factory farming; it was disgusting and funny and persuasive. And it was that day that led me to become a vegetarian. Ralph will always have a special place in my heart, as does Peter Singer (though I have grown wary of his ethical reasoning).
That was then. This is now. I have repressed the memory of Ralph Nader making a ridiculous spectacle of himself during the 2000/2004 presidential elections. This article reminded me of it, as well as this post by Eric Alterman. I unofficially divorced myself of my infatuation with Ralph in 2000. Now the repressed anger has come back, as white-hot as ever. Oh, how the mighty have fallen so far...
I am still a vegetarian. Not a saintly one, but I never claimed to be a saint.
Buy why did you change, Ralph?