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.