Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Why I have a hard time taking Nader seriously

I had the misfortune of hearing Ralph Nader speak about our corrupt two party system this weekend and it brought home, once again, why I have learned to hate Ralph Nader.

I don't deny all the good Nader has done as a consumer advocate. And while it's easy to blame him for the 2000 election (if Nader hadn't been on the ballot all those votes would gone to Gore!) but I am skeptical; most of Green Party supporter I have met either vote Democratic in the general or refuse to vote for either major party. My guess is that most 2000 Nader votes would have stayed home rather than vote for Gore.

The point of winning elections is to control the levers of Government so you can effect change you support or prevent change you don't like. Unless you can offer a viable alternative party that can win enough elections to create an influential voting bloc and be a real, viable election threat to major party candidates then denying Democrats electoral victory only ensures more conservative outcomes.

Nader isn't doing either. Instead, he's running around trying to deny presidential votes to Democratic candidates, complaining that Democrats are overly influenced by business while admitting that they are better than Republicans who are indistinguishable from business. He's supporting Green candidates in areas where the Democrats are actually liberal while doing nothing to build a national party or recruit candidates for the less glorious elected offices like the House or State Government. In other words, he talks a good game and invests a lot of time. But not in a way that actually will drive change.

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