Re: nader traitors

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From: Matt Jensen (
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 15:41:52 PST

On Tue, 21 Nov 2000, Tom Whore wrote:

> Instead of calling Nader a spoiler why dont you just admit the blind cold
> fact that both your candidates couldnt drum up a majority of the elecorate
> without resorting to legal voddo.

They're not "my" candidates. I didn't say whom I voted for, and it's not
relevant to my argument at all.
> Instead of looking to lay blame on a third party ...

I blame/credit Gore (& team) for Gore's loss; he ran a weak campaign.
But I also blame/credit Nader for Gore's loss, because that was his
explicitly-stated strategy at the end. He essentially said "I'm going to
spoil Gore's slim chances in order to galvanize people with a Bush term."
It's not a "spoiler" in the sense you seem to mean it, which would be
Perot thinking he had a chance to win in '92, when really he had no chance
and was sucking votes from Bush Sr. At one point Perot had a shot at
actually winning, so I don't consider him a "true" spoiler. But Nader was
a true, explicit, proud-of-it spoiler.

And I didn't say Nader was "wrong" to do it. I just made two points:
1. I don't think the "Gandhi would have approved" argument works.
2. If the goal was to build support for the Greens, it may have backfired.

Unless you believe the Greens will one day get the White House, the House
of Representatives, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, you
need to engage in politics to get political work done. Politics, the art
of the possible, involves compromise.

Stop thinking of political compromise as knuckling under to evil, and
start thinking of it as learning to get along better with your spouse.
If you're not willing to do this, offer a scenario in which your approach
actually gets you up to 20% of the vote (Perot's record). And please note
that I'm talking about your tactics, not your political positions. If
Nader got 20% in '92, and Perot got 2% this year, I would have the same
questions for Perot supporters.


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