Ever since Nader announced his exploratory committee people have been whining. They've been making unsubstantiated claims about his ego, financing by the Republican party and calling him all sorts of names. I was happy to see many supporters with comments responding to those against Nader but many people are spouting the same responses that land on deaf ears. To reach more people there need to be many different arguments so I thought I would share some. ...
About Nader as a spoiler
Nader was a spoiler
So was George W. Bush, Pat Buchanan, Howard Phillips, Denny Lane, Harry Browne, John Hagelin, Earl Dodge, David McReynolds, James Harris, Monica Moorehead and all the Independent and write in candidates* The difference was that Ralph Nader got 2,883,105 votes as opposed to Pat Buchanan's 449,895. Buchanan, by the way, admits many people probably accidentally voted for him in Florida due to the style of ballots.**
Nader was not a spoiler
By saying Gore was spoiled by Nader's presence in the race assumes that people who voted for Nader would have voted for Gore. It also assumes that they would have voted in the election at all.
Every candidate needs to earn their votes. If Gore didn't earn them and Nader did then it went as the voters felt best.
Gore spoiled it for Nader
If you believe people who voted for Nader would have voted for Gore, than it stands to reason that people who voted for Gore would have voted for Nader. People argue that if Nader really believed in what he said he believes in ( I'll humor them, even if they weren't listening ) then he would have gracefully dropped out and let Gore win. I rarely hear people saying that if Al Gore believed so strongly in what he believed in, like not letting a George W. Bush be president, he would have dropped out and told all his supporters to vote for Ralph Nader, because nothing in Nader's history( except Democrats vain hopes ) says he would quit.
About Wasting your vote
“a vote for Ralph Nader is a wasted vote”
You waste your vote when you vote for the major party's mainstream candidates
-Candidates who can count on your unquestioning vote aren't very likely to do much to earn it.
-You vote is your statement to the politicians about the direction you want the country to go in. Do you want it to be a statement of your values or a statement of your ability to follow blindly. Where does following blindly get us?
People have lost their faith in the power of their own vote
- I grew up learning about the importance of voting in elections. It is important to vote, not for the winner, but for who you want to win. Who you want to be President is more important while you are in the voting booth than the person who is higher in the polls. Nearly 50% of the voting-age population do not vote, even in presidential elections***, and that is such a waste. If someone could get half of those people inspired, it would be revolutionary.
People are jealous that other people had the courage to vote for Nader
- Perhaps some people are just jealous that over 2.8 million people had the guts to vote for Ralph Nader( not to mention other non-major candidates ) and they didn't. Deep down they feel this somehow invalidates their political stubborness and right or wrong people hate being invalidated. This psychology is a stretch but it might fit some people.
The Spoiler Issue is a Smokescreen
There are 2 ways that Democrats( as a party ) could have responded
- The way the party did, which was to lay blame on Ralph Nader and thereby relieving themselves of any responsibility for losing the election.
- They could have seen that there is a large part of the population that would like a more progressive candidate. While many constituents are realizing this for themselves the party has shown( in 2004 and now in 2008 ) that they are not listening.
The Democrats are not Republican's - So What!
- This is the vote for the lesser evil argument. Voter's shouldn't be voting for someone because of who they aren't, they should be voting for someone because of who they are. One could state that Ralph Nader isn't George W. Bush, so you should vote for him.