Nader Go Home?! by pendragon David Whelan Nothing like a bit of drama to spice up an election that had otherwise promised to be a rather dreary match up of politically ambiguous characters. There’s no getting away from Kerry’s legacy in the Senate – and all of the questions it raises about his ability to stick to any particular policy – nor can one ignore Bush’s stupidity and inability to lead. So Ralph Nader’s re-entry into presidential politics as the Republicans are about to start up their ad machine.
What I find amusing is the hand-wringing by the Democrats at the spectre of the Bush-Gore debacle. Talking heads speechify about how Nader’s candidacy in 2000 lost the election for Gore, as though Gore was somehow holding a decisive lead until Nader came into the race.
Democrats need to be honest about their candidate. While there is nothing to like about Bush, Nader is a viable alternative to anyone the Democrats have yet brought out and Americans should be able to vote for whomever they think will be the best leader. If the Democrats cannot put up a candidate solid enough to win by more than 600 votes, then they have far greater problems than Nader’s candidacy.
Nader’s likely to have a minimal effect this year, and the only negative is likely to be the Democratic candidate’s voting bloc. So the Democrat’s need to be that much stronger. I like the idea of a Kerry – Edwards ticket (or even an Edwards – Kerry ticket, frankly, since I think Edwards has less of the seasoning but more of the spirit that is necessary for a president) but the Democrats will have a tough battle no matter who is nominated. If they can’t fend off the third party candidates – whether its Nader or the Greens – then they should reach into their party faithful and find better alternatives for the future.
And the rest of us will suffer another four years of bad government in penance for their failure.