Originally posted by Peter The HegemonNot independent of the party's actions, but *because* of the party's actions. I vote Democrat because they've done more for gay rights, reproductive freedom, separation of church and state, the environment, and economic fairness, among other things, than the Republicans. They are far from perfect, but they're easily the better of the two. If that changes, so will my vote. But it happens that there's little chance of that changing any time soon.
So all it takes to earn your vote is being the second-worst party as opposed to the worst?
The Democrats have also approved and funded the Iraq occupation while campaigning as the party opposed to occupying Iraq.
They've *overwhelmingly* approved the PATRIOT Act and other legislation like it, granting the government wide, poorly defined powers to spy on U.S. citizens. They did this while campaigning as the party of civil liberties.
They're not likely to change the fact that the U.S. - which now is responsible for more than half of the world's military spending - spends less than one-fifth as much federally on education as it does its armed forces. But they insinuate that they are anti-war at every chance, even though can't come right out and say it.
They're not standing up against the overly aggressive, often-criminal police forces nationwide that seem to be in the news weekly for unnecessarily Tasering someone to death.
They aren't talking about the ridiculous way this country treats drug offenders - and the obscenely overcrowded prisons that result.
But yeah, they don't do everything "in the name of god," so I guess they're good or something.
And the fact remains that either the Democrats or the Republicans will win the election. The ways to change that, again, don't involve running a third-party candidate with no chance to win. Doing that won't change the party's positions, either.
"I won't vote for a third-party candidate because they have no chance of winning. Third-party candidates have no chance of winning because I won't vote for them."
And again, how does winning correspond to being a good candidate? John Kerry wasn't good enough to win the presidency in 2004, so I guess in hindsight the Democrats would have been better off not nominating anybody?
I know very well what Nader has accomplished, but none of that had much to do with the supposed goal of creating a viable third party.
I may be wrong about this, but I don't think Nader has ever stated that as his goal. The third-party affiliations he's had have been endorsements from parties like the Greens that decided they'd rather go that route than nominate their own candidates. The "falling out" in 2004 was really just the Green Party deciding to nominate someone internally that time around.
Nader's goal has always been to give a voice to people who are serious about protecting the rights of the individual against the two major parties concerned with only protecting their corporate backers.
I'm certainly not saying he's a bad guy, only that he shouldn't be running for President.
Because when it comes to running a country, more than two voices couldn't possibly be better than only two voices.
As for the exit polls, your numbers seem to suggest that if he wasn't on the ballot, Gore would have won but needed a recount. I don't think the Supreme Court would have been so brazen as to change the outcome of a recount.
You miss the point. For one thing, in the answer I quoted, he cites exit polls from New Hampshire saying more would-be Republicans voted for Nader than would-be Democrats. There's no telling if the national numbers would have corresponded to Florida.
Also, and much more importantly, Gore had to adapt his message to incorporate the populist ideals Nader was drawing voters with. But go on thinking Nader has no impact.
I had someone in a different forum tell me that the good things Ralph Nader says simply sound like he is mimicking Barrack Obama. I got a good laugh. Ralph Nader was Barrack Obama - and then some - before anyone knew who Barrack Obama was.
I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself at this point. I'll shut up now.
I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself at this point. I'll shut up now.
I'm probably going on a bit much, too, so I'll try to be brief:
Yes, being the second-worst party is enough to get my vote when there are only two choices. Not that I agree that they are merely second-worse, but, nonetheless, when there's a presidential election, there are only two real choices.
Your argument appears to boil down to: Republicans do terrible things, but Democrats aren't doing a good enough job of fighting them, so I'd rather punish the Democrats than put them into power and actually stop the Republicans from doing terrible things.
And if you're right that Gore had to alter his message because of Nader, then Nader made things worse, didn't he? Nader did a lot more for his issues when he was an advocate than he did running for president.
At the risk of stepping into this circular argument, I think this argument boils down to intention. I don't believe Nader's primary intention is to build a third party. If that was the intention, Congress and the grass roots theory is probably a more viable option. I think Naders intention is to move the debate. By highlighting issues he thinks both parties are too far right on, or to far in sync on to a address in a two party campaign he hopes to move the agenda as a whole closer to the issues he feels stroingly about. While this moving of the debate is seen by many to fill the oppositional role the Democrats should have been filling more effectively over the last 8 years it is by no means a stratergy aimed only at the democrats.
In terms of voters (assuming a support for Naders policies), we must examine our own intentions; are we voting to see our views represented and hopefully drag a reluctant Democratic party closer to those views or are we voting to ensure that a flawed Democratic party wins an election over a (assumed) less preffered Republican party. Both options are valid, and the decision is one of balncing idealism and pragmatism. Will the moving of the debate effect the Democratic more before or after the election? Will the result effect that? How much you we willing to bear of sub standard Democrat or Republican parties before you lose hope?
Eother way the fact that this discussion is taking place seems to imply that Nader is achieving his intention.
Just a few thought from the other side of the world (where we have prefferential voting and ineffective third parties)
My old town! I'm going to have to look up how true that story is. There's a pretty big Hmong population in Madison, and I know they have bi-lingual programs for them. I'd be more inclined to believe the story if this kid had been put there.