Just pretend he isn't there - Ed Brock

I have now officially lost all respect for Ralph Nader.

Yeah, yeah, he's done a lot of good for people. That's why I voted for him last time.

I'll never forgive myself for that, but I won't be fooled again.

Who sang that. No, I meant The Who sang that. I think I'm going to be humming that song in my sleep over the next months before November.

On election day I might have to staple the lyrics to my forehead.

As far as I'm concerned, from this moment on there is no Ralph Nader. He is dead to me.

OK, he made the world, or at least our little corner of it, a safer place to shop. He also had a hand in the creation of a few under-appreciated little agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

None of that matters right now. Right now we have to stay focused.

We have to right the wrong we wrought four years ago, me and all the rest of you who voted for him last time.

Sure, sure, we thought we were safe. Nobody liked Al Gore but he was better than Bush, but since it seemed like Gore had him whupped we thought we were safe to vote in defiance of the pointless two-party system.

We made that fun little, "it's all messed up so I'll just push that button" kind of vote. My left shin is well bruised from all the times I've kicked myself for that mistake.

So, just say no to Nader. Pretend he isn't there. And I'll believe we've got Osama bin Laden when we've actually got Osama bin Laden.

But then again that could happen between the time I finish this column and its publication, so forgive me if I'm behind the headlines.

How sad to think this is going to be such a close election that Nader might once again suck in just enough first-time, just-starting-college voters to cost the Democrats (read Kerry) the election. So I'm urging you all to stay the course, join the pointless system and vote Democrat. That's assuming you don't want another four Bush years, and if you do want that why the heck are you reading my column?

And why are we all so worried about the possible capture of Osama bin Laden before the election? Does that really signify anything?

Sure, it'll be a good thing, but it won't mean the end of terrorism and it certainly doesn't wipe away all the sins of the current administration. It will be an opportunity for the Republicans to once again pretend that George W. Bush is the only man who could have found the world's most recognizable terrorist.

As if Bush has been on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan leading the hunt. And it's all academic, anyway, since we haven't caught the guy yet.

Just remember, many a slip betwixt cup and lip and all that.

So stay strong, fellow Independents. This time we can't afford to take anything for granted.

This time we must make our votes count.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.