23 February 2004
The song remains the same
One of the more curious arguments coming out of the Democratic side of the aisle lately runs something like this: "If you vote for Ralph Nader, you're really voting for George W. Bush."
The premise, one supposes, is that in states where Nader has measurable strength, he may draw away enough disaffected Democrats who can't bear to vote for Al Gore and Dubya will collect those electoral votes in the end. A vote for Nader, therefore, must be a vote wasted. The usual Friends of Al will actually say so, in so many words.
The proper response to this, I submit, is "So?" How is it Ralph Nader's fault if Al Gore can't hold on to his traditional Democratic base? Isn't it entirely possible that some people might actually want to vote for Nader? Where does Al Gore get off thinking he has the right to claim all the votes of registered Democrats and that includes mine, dammit as his own?
Nader has the right to do whatever he damn well pleases. Any vote [that] Nader gets will be one that he earned. Simple as that. The presumptious attitude that all votes "belong" to either the (R) or the (D) is ridiculous. Any vote that a person willfully cast for another candidate other than them is "Stolen"? Give me a break.
Plus ça change, and all that.