dirty rag

Election 2000 - Spoiler Nader Hurts Liberal Cause - Matt Toledo

As a high school student in Missouri, I was a member of Ralph Nader's Public Information Resource Group (MoPIRG). For three years I canvassed houses in downtown St. Louis asking for support on environmental and social issues that Ralph Nader and myself both agreed on. I was even cited for protesting in front of a Monsanto chemical plant that was dumping chemicals in the Mississippi River. However, I firmly believe that everything he and I have fought for over the years has been put in serious jeopardy by his irresponsible bid for the presidency.

Watching the elections, NBC stated that 40% of those voting for Nader would have never voted if Nader wasn't running. However, 50% of those voting for Nader voted Democrat in the last election. Just as Ross Perot acted as a spoiler that allowed Clinton to gain office in 1992 without a majority of the country behind him, Nader has allowed Bush to squeak into the office in one of the tightest races in history. In a race where every vote counts, Democratic defectors have handed the republicans the presidency, the house, the senate, and very soon, the supreme court of the United States.

"...Nader's attempt at the white house was a huge mistake."

It has always been my opinion (unpopular as it might be) that Ralph Nader's attempt at the white house was a huge mistake. Every social, environmental and political issue that Ralph Nader was trying to help has now been set back. Campaign Finance, The Equal Rights Amendment, Housing... all now lost causes for the next 2 years at least. Big business will no-doubt get bigger under Bush's Republican Government than it would have under Gore's Democratic one. The environment will be trounced upon for corporate profit and Federal Programs which he helped to found will be cast aside by Republican budget reformers who will choke them by cutting funding. Affirmative action will be damaged and Roe vs. Wade will more than likely be overturned... All thanks to Bush's slim victories in states that would have gone to Gore if Nader was not running.

When Ralph Nader was working outside of the system as an activist, he made substantial and significant changes to our political system. He should have stayed outside of the system, or at the very least, he should have run for a much more attainable senate or house seat in the Congress. As a senator for Oregon or Washington, he could have make changes "from the inside."

Although Nader supporters claim that he will do even better in 2004 election, I seriously doubt that. Just as Ross Perot was totally abandoned by conservatives in the 1996 election, Democrat defectors to the Green Party will come running back. The Democratic party, anxious to get back defectors, will amend some of it's views and the Green Party will become just another fringe party.

In the years following Ross Perot's 1992 campaign, Perot became a political leper, an invisible man. Republicans and Democrats alike shunned him and his theories. Any supporters he may have had in the government severed their ties and his dream of a "flat tax" for all have been dashed for good. Instead of becoming more of a voice in politics, Perot lost all his influence. In 1996, Ross Perot's share of the votes shrank by over 50%. I seriously doubt that any Ross Perot supporter will see a "flat tax" system put in place in the Federal Government while they are alive.

I predict the same for Nader. Liberal and Moderate Democrats that were burned in this election will decide to embrace the Democratic party again. They would much rather try to change the Democratic Party and the Government from within than remain an un-represented outsider, unable to cast a vote in congress, and unable veto a bill from the White House. They would rather like to have a wishy-washy liberal like Gore in the White House, than no Liberal at all.

Nader claimed that the country was ready for a third party. It obviously was not. He did not get the 5% he needed to get federal funding in the next election (he got only 4.95% of the popular vote as of 11/8/2k at 10:37 AM). The only thing he managed to do was hand the white house to the first solid, unchecked republican government since the 40's. On his site, Nader claims that a vote for Gore equals a vote for Bush. Well then, what did a vote for Nader equal?