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February 24, 2004

Two Possible Reasons To Be Glad Nader's On the Scene Again

I kinda wanted to vote for Nader in 2000, but did not, and I certainly won't do it this time. However, there are two ways that his campaign—if he can keep enough news coverage on what he's saying—might be good for those voting to the left.

  1. Draws out more daring stands from candidates. Like Dean, who seemed to transform the other contenders, Nader might have a similar effect. I think it was someone on Kerry's campaign who said they want to appeal to those who would vote or voted for Nader.

  2. Makes the Democratic nominee sound more mainstream. By sounding far-out, Ralph makes the Democratic nominee sound less revolutionary by comparison. Maybe a voter wasn't sure about the Democrat, but now, he sounds so normal! Or maybe the voter likes some of what Nader is saying and votes for the less frightening alternative.

On the other hand, it could all end in tears, and I'll need to open my chain of weight training salons in Canada and Europe ASAP. (Note to Ralph: Please be sure to drop out before the end and deflect any alleged votes apparently headed your way to the Democratic contender.)

Posted by Gary at February 24, 2004 11:44 AM | TrackBack
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Comments

The only way I could see Nader's contention for the presidency being beneficial is if he pulled out a week before the election, and said "Please! Don't vote for me!".

But if he plans to do that, why the hell is he running in the first place?

Posted by: david on February 24, 2004 07:00 PM

John Nichols of The Nation has a more thorough—it's his day job, after all—look at the implications of Nader's campaign. An interesting bit near the bottom: "Judge Roy Moore, the Alabama jurist whose fight to display the Ten Commandments on state property drew national attention last year" could wind up as a candidate, drawing off some of Bush's political base.

Posted by: Gary on February 25, 2004 12:53 AM

drawing off some of Bush's political base

many believe this actually why bush came out in favor of a gay marriage amendment. he's afraid of an independent conservative candidate, so he's running to the right.

Posted by: jason on February 25, 2004 11:33 AM

bush ... he's afraid of an independent conservative candidate

Interesting point -- I hadn't thought about that before. Are there any anti-Naders on the horizon?

And should the anti-Nader meet Nader, would they mutually annihilate? :)

Posted by: david on February 25, 2004 01:07 PM

On the topic of independent conservatives... I've said it once, and I'll say it again. If Barry Goldwater were alive I'd vote for him in a second! He died pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, and pro-balanced-budget--and he'd have Osama bin Laden by the toenails in two weeks, easy. And to think that in 1964 Americans thought he was to the right of Atilla the Hun.

Posted by: jay on February 25, 2004 05:16 PM

the problem is that goldwater only developed those moderate social positions long after he left public office.

some info from the '64 republican national convention, the year goldwater was the nominee...

"A platform amendment denouncing the efforts of the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Communist Party to infiltrate the Republican Party is rejected by an estimated 2-1 margin. New York Gov.Nelson Rockefeller is booed while speaking out in favor of the amendment. He argues that a "radical, high-financed, disciplined minority...wholly alien to the middle course" is attempting to take over the Republican Party. By an 897-409 margin, the convention later rejects a civil rights amendment offered by Pennsylvania Sen. Hugh Scott that calls for voting guarantees in both state and federal elections."

Posted by: jason on February 26, 2004 11:48 AM

OK, OK, but cut me some slack--the only way I can tolerate the Repubs at all is to create a happy fiction of a party that used to be sane (if crotchety). For the record, I'd vote for Nelson Rockefeller too.

Posted by: jay on February 27, 2004 09:33 AM
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