Today, Ralph Nader will announce his candidacy for the presidency in the 2004 election, saying, as he did in 2000, that the Democrats and the Republicans are not very different. (A backlash has already begun.)
Really? Look at the positions of the two leading Democratic candidates for president, Kerry and Edwards, available via the Washington Post or on the “issues” pages at the Kerry and Edwards homepages. Compare to the information found on the Bush 2004 website .
Does Nader actually believe that there will be little change in the direction the nation, and the world, takes if Kerry or Edwards unseats Bush?
It’s time to state the obvious. Nader will not win. The best he can do is take votes away from the Democratic candidate and possibly ensure another Bush victory. No one who is planning on voting for Bush is going to be drawn away by a Nader candidacy; look at where he stands on the issues.
This election is not about the “duopoly” of the two-party system. The presidential election is the worst place to take that issue on. Put a third-party candidate in the White House, where s/he will have no party allies in the legislative branch and will be destined to fail, and you will convince the vast majority of Americans that a third party is the last thing this country needs.
You will cement the two-party system, rather than undermine it.
Rather than start with a third-party president, work to put third-party candidates on your city council, in the mayor’s office, in the state legislature, in the governor’s office, in the U.S. Senate, and in the U.S. House of Representatives. Develop a track record of success at making a difference. With that kind of record, a third (or fourth or fifth) party is likely to build the kind of momentum and ethos to be taken seriously and to be effective.
So, Ralph Nader is running for President, and I haven’t sorted out my mixed feelings about this yet (so take this as the thinking out loud that it is). The good Democratic response is to curse him and cry out
Now, If He Were From Arkansas…
It’s probably no secret to most of my readers that I will be very happy if the voters send George Bush back to his Crawford, Texas, ranch this November. I don’t remember ever feeling such strong opposition to a presidential…
In case it’s not obvious from the above, let me be clear that I do not oppose Nader’s stance on the issues, and I do not oppose the development of new political parties.
However, I chafe at the idea that if Gore and Lieberman had won, things would not have turned out much differently than they have under Bush and Cheney. And I don’t think you had to be a prophet in 2000 to be able to predict that.
For what it’s worth, Bob Mould says
In addition to the trackbacks listed above, other bloggers I read who are weighing in include Randy Rathbun, Chun the Unavoidable, and Michael BÈrubÈ.
Yes, I am going to keep commenting on my own blog, thank you very much.
A new post from Michael BÈrubÈ, who points to this post from MaxSpeak.
Jenny Miller writes, “The Current Duty of the Left is to unseat the evil one. Nader will be largely ignored after a few days” and points to commentary from the Bears Will Attack campaign blog.
Howard Dean weighs in.
Via Bob Mould: a Flash animation called “Ralph Don’t Run”
In cleaning up some duplicate trackbacks, I accidentally deleted the one that came from this entry by Chuck.
There’s also an entry at Crooked Timber by Harry Brighouse with (at the time of my posting this) 49 comments and 5 trackbacks.
I think someone named George is spamming your posts.