Nader ran as an independent candidate in each of the past three presidential elections. To what effect? He denies his candidacy meant anything to any outcome. But how many Republican votes could he naturally attract? And by how many votes did Gore lose Florida in 2000?
Consider: Nader received 97,421 votes; Gore lost by only 537 votes, where the Supreme Court stopped the vote count.
It is a virtual certainty that Nader put Bush in the White House. Otherwise, 96,887 of those voting for Nader had to have preferred Bush over Gore. Preposterous. Five other candidates and write-ins combined for only 40,586 votes.
Does Nader really think 48,447 of those voting for him would have voted for Bush if he had not been on the ballot? Come on. Republicans do not vote anything like 50:50 against corporate interests.
Giving Nader his due, he may be grinding his anti-corporate axe. He blasted both Obama and Clinton for not coming clean on harm done by corporations or for being a corporate toady. To be sure it is sad that Nader's pet issues have low profiles these days. But it is even sadder that he dares to risk once again tipping an election away from the voting majority. We can only hope that Obama will be strong enough to overcome this minor challenge. We fear Clinton is too much establishment to have the much-needed "break-out" effect. Having said that, Senator Clinton is significantly better than Bush could ever be. She has a modicum of empathy. Her experience counts and she is less polarizing as well. Finally, Senator Clinton will maintain a cleaner separation of church and state.
Having said all that, we can say we admire Ralph Nader for his strong and effective stand against corporate abuse. He has accomplished a great deal. Our lives are safer and better because of him. We wonder what got into him to make this ill-considered run for the impossible. Leverage? Perhaps. But why the risk? We think he would gain a lot more through private meetings with the winners in Congress and the White House while he still has the national credibility to do so.
Posted by RoadToPeace on Monday, February 25, 2008.