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Nader, third parties, and the election

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I have fewer misgivings about Kerry than either Scott or Dave. Although I supported Clark at one point (and still support him for VP), I’ve always thought that Kerry would make the finest president of the lot of Democratic primary candidates.

Discussing Nader isn’t just about recriminations from four years ago. Certainly, I think that anyone who made the mistake of voting for Nader in 2000 should accept that they helped drive the country to the right, helped forge a pointlessly aggressive foreign policy, and helped put lobbyists in charge of environmental policy. What’s more important is that we don’t let it happen again.

I don’t expect Nader to take the four or five points that he has been polling. He should take a lot less than that. What shocks me is that people can consider voting for Nader even when the consequences are clear. There’s a difference between Republicans and Democrats on this, and I don’t know why. While I’d like to think that the Roy Moore or the Libertarian Party will take votes from Bush, I don’t expect that it’ll have much of an impact. Right Republicans are no less “ideologically pure” than left Democrats, but they seem to have a better grasp of practical consenquences. Perhaps the left is simply too fragmented, and too distant from power, to take practical considerations seriously.

 

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