Mainstream Environmentalists Decry Nader’s Presidential Bid

Grist Magazine reports that most mainstream environmentalists are opposed to the recently announced presidential bid by Ralph Nader, citing his spoiler role in the 2000 election as well as the overwhelming priority of unseating George W. Bush in 2004.

According to Sierra Club President Larry Fahn, “The fact is, Nader's argument that the Democratic and Republican candidates are Tweedledee and Tweedledum doesn't hold water anymore. We have spent three years educating our members about how the Bush administration has been systematically dismantling decades of environmental policy, and now Nader could systematically dismantle our efforts.”

Meanwhile, Defenders of Wildlife president Rodger Schlickeisen fears that Nader’s 2004 run will taint public perception regarding the desires of the environmental community at large. “Like it or not, Nader is associated with 'green,' and I'm afraid that when he runs this monumentally irresponsible campaign, America could misconstrue it as a radical, reactionary, irresponsible move supported by environmental activists.”

While Nader plans to run as an independent in 2004, his former cohorts at the Green Party would welcome him back to their ticket despite other environmentalists" opposition. Nader’s 2000 campaign netted more delegates than the Green Party has ever won in a presidential election. If Nader remains an independent, he will have to get ballot access in all 50 states as an independent, a potentially daunting and expensive task.