Sunday, September 05, 2004

Haven't Heard Enough

What's the most difficult task that confronts leftists in the United States? To get Americans to realize that they exist.

Take, for instance, Ralph Nader, probably the best known American leftist alive.

Search Lexis-Nexis with the term "Ralph Nader" in the headlines or lead paragraphs of articles in "major papers," and you'll get 403 articles in 2001, 347 in 2002, 258 in 2003. Broaden the parameters from the headlines or lead paragraphs to full texts, and you'll get even more: 957 articles in 2001, 873 in 2002, and 667 in 2003. No leftist, not even Michael Moore or Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn, compares to Ralph Nader's ability to draw audiences and generate media coverage (even in the years when he is not running for any political office).

And yet, when asked whether their opinions of Ralph Nader were "favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or [they hadn't] . . . heard enough about him," 33% of respondents replied "Haven't Heard Enough" on March 17, 2004; 37% on April 21, 2004; 29% on May 27, 2004; and 34% on June 24, 2004 ("Bush, Kerry in Dead Heat in Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Nader Holds the Key to Keystone State," June 24, 2004). Each time, "Haven't Heard Enough" was the biggest category.

1 comment:

Alan Gregory Wonderwheel said...

"Ralph Nader" comes in second to "Michael Moore" on a Google search, followed by third place "Noam Chomsky" and fourth place "Howard Zinn" for those four lefties.

But it is true that "the left" has a hard time getting people to know we exist. Why?

Well, for one thing the Confederate Conservatives call the moderate Republicans "liberals" and Kerry a "far leftist" so real leftists are off their radar screen of consciousness altogether.

Also the mass corporate media refuse to acknowledge the existence of the left. Even NPR programs like "Talk of the Nation" routinely presents only talking heads from the "right" and "center" and call that reporting from both sides. For example, today when Neil Conan sought a comment on the situation in the Ukraine he went to a man from the Hoover Institute. That is what the Confederate Conservative call the "biased liberal media."

"Follow the money" is the answer to most political conundrums and also answers the question why the "left" is so unknown. There just aren't any leftists of great wealth.

One might want to count Michael Moore who has received a recent windfall from his movie "Farhenheit 911" but even the millions he has received doesn't rate as "great" wealth when compared to the likes of the big fish. And his wealth is recent and only one person compared to the old wealth of the ruling class.