The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 February 2004

The song remains the same

Me, September 2000:

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?

Bruce, today:

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.

Posted at 8:23 PM to Political Science Fiction


All true -- but watch for massive shifts of opinion on the subject should the Democratic presidential nominee lose some critical states by less than Nader's vote totals in those states.

Expect thou not consistency from the partisan mind.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 4:24 PM on 24 February 2004

I suspect the Democratic spin kitchen is already whipping up a batch of excuses, but we shall see.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:13 PM on 24 February 2004