This is my first post, so I don’t know if anyone will read it, and it’s mostly my opinion with some rudimentary research put into it, so there certainly may be errors, so please feel free to correct me, but I just read through another site with more pounding of the Nader supporters and had to get my feelings out. I’m sorry for the lack of links backing up many of my assertions, but hopefully if/as I continue, I’ll get better with that. Here goes…
Reasons besides, and possibly more important than, Nader that Gore lost in 2000:
1) Gore – During the whole blow-job-gate debacle, about the only people that thought the consensual, if unfaithful, relations between the president and an an intern was important were the media and the people who already believed Clinton killed Vince Foster. Despite this fact, Gore distanced himself from Clinton during the whole 2000 campaign, sidelining the best campaigner he had available.
2) Fox News – Most networks were calling Florida for Gore or were still saying undecided until all of a sudden Fox called it for Bush and every other network got confused and followed their lead.
3) Gore Again – The fact that Gore won Florida is pretty well settled. It’s why the Republicans were so adamant about stopping a recount; they know they would have lost if it had been completed. Gore didn’t have the heart or the guts to sufficiently fight back, which ended up pushing the decision to…
4) The Supreme Court – Who committed the most open and outrageous crime in the history of this country by taking the election out of the hands of the voters, and even the undemocratic electoral college, and put it into the hands of 5 politically and ideologically motivated Supreme Court justices.
(There are other reasons I’m sure, possibly even more important, but these are what came to mind while I was thinking about and composing this post.)
The few votes Nader received, had they gone to Gore, may have swung the numbers too far in Gore’s favor to be contested, but it does not change the fact that Gore still won the popular vote over Bush, and had Gore had the fortitude to carry on the fight, he may have even been able to keep the decision out of the hands of the Supreme Court. Even had he still lost, a harder fight may have kept the facts more freshly in people’s minds and turned the tide in 2004, with more people realizing the invalidity of the first 4 years of the Bush presidency.
Beyond that, remember that Gore in 2000 was not the Gore of today. He had Joe “Droopy Dog Cheney” Lieberman as his VP, and I don’t believe Lieberman would have been less war-happy. (We may not have gone into Iraq, but we’ll never know.) Gore would also have most likely been more of a continuation of the Clinton presidency, which, while not Bush-level awful, was still responsible for the repeal of Glass-Steagall (which many economists cite as being one of the key factors allowing for the economic meltdown of 2008) and the North American Free Trade Agreement. He may have favored slightly higher taxes, but he was still a major proponent of big business.
The reason the Nader canard is still believed is because it is in the interests of the DLCentrists to keep the left in line. It serves them to discourage people from voting for an actual liberal candidate for president. If all the liberals who were fed up with the Republican-lite candidates running as Democrats actually voted for a candidate they believed in, rather than voted in fear of allowing a Republican to win, we may allow a Republican into the White House for a term, but how do you think the Democrats would respond to seeing 5, 10, maybe even as high as 20% of voters voting a third party to their left? How could they continue to ignore that? Perot got 18.9% of the popular vote in 1992. Imagine the momentum he could have carried forward if he wasn’t slightly… off?
How many people do you know who said they would vote Green except they were afraid it would be a throw-away vote? Per the FEC website:
“Minor party candidates and new party candidates may become eligible for partial public funding of their general election campaigns. (A minor party candidate is the nominee of a party whose candidate received between 5 and 25 percent of the total popular vote in the preceding Presidential election. A new party candidate is the nominee of a party that is neither a major party nor a minor party.) The amount of public funding to which a minor party candidate is entitled is based on the ratio of the party’s popular vote in the preceding Presidential election to the average popular vote of the two major party candidates in that election. A new party candidate receives partial public funding after the election if he/she receives 5 percent or more of the vote. The entitlement is based on the ratio of the new party candidate’s popular vote in the current election to the average popular vote of the two major party candidates in the election.”
If a Green, or other suitable party, candidate got just 5% of the vote, think of the steamroll that could be set in motion? (Again, Perot damaged the Reform Party by making it his own vanity party, which blew most any momentum they had.) That’s the only way we’re going to break the two-party deadlock we live with now. The Democrats and Republicans may disagree (on the surface and in public) on many things, but making it impossible for third parties to get a foothold is something they agree on. And it’s not going to get any easier the longer we abide by their duopoly.
Maybe I’m too much of an idealist, like the kitten in “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” (though I’m not a kitten anymore, almost 40), but I’d rather go down an idealist that can look myself in the mirror than allow myself to be handcuffed and dictated to as to who I can “responsibly” vote for without being called a traitor to the cause, when the candidate I voted for in the last election has betrayed any values I stand for. Sorry, no more turd sandwiches for me.