The following is an open letter I wrote to Mr. Ralph Nader concerning his inconceivable attempt to disrupt the 2008 Presidential elections by adding his name to the list of candidates.
First let me say that I admire many of the things that Ralph Nader has accomplished and is attempting to accomplish, BUT (and do not quote the preceding out of context) I hold Mr. Nader largely responsible for Mr. Bush winning the election against Mr. Gore.
We all know that people who are fed up with the politics-as-usual Republicans are looking for alternatives. Most of those want their votes to count for something, so they tend to vote for a Democrat alternative. Others feel that their individual vote doesn’t matter, but believe that a small, but vocal majority voting for a hopeless cause that says the right things (i.e., Mr. Nader) just might make some politicians in Washington pay attention to important matters.
The problem in 2004, and I’m afraid may be repeated in 2008 if Mr. Nader continues to run for President, is that all those “throw away votes” actually stole votes from the Democrats, allowing Mr. Bush to squeak into office.
History is on the verge of repeating itself. Mr. McCain is a fairly strong contender to either of the Democrat front runners. This year’s elections have been focused more than usual on important issues, and the line between the two parties is pretty clear. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton stand clearly on one side of the issues, and Mr. McCain on the other.
Republicans who are unhappy with Mr. McCain’s extreme views are looking for an alternative, and are considering crossing party lines to vote Democrat this year (something many find very distasteful, I’m sure). Likewise, a number of Democrats are not 100% happy with their front runners’ positions, either.
If Mr. Nader continues his folly into this arena, he muddies the waters by adding another alternative–not a viable one, but one of conscience. Mr. Nader becomes a “protest vote” against both parties.
If Mr. Nader managed to steal voters equally from both parties, then there probably would not be much damage done. However, Mr. Nader’s views and causes are more likely to attract Democrat voters than Republicans, thus causing more Democrats to throw away their votes on Mr. Nader than Republicans. Also, Republicans who might have voted Democrat will consider voting for Nader, thus depriving the Democrats of useful cross-party votes.
Potentially even more important than Democrat and Republican votes are those of Independent voters. Independents are more likely to consider a candidate outside of the two major parties simply due to the fact that they are likewise outside the parties. Mr. Nader would be a very appealing alternative to Independents, just as he was in 2004.
The problem is that Independents are more heavily attracted to Mr. Obama and somewhat so to Mrs. Clinton–certainly more so than to Mr. McCain. If Mr. Nader remains in the race and convinces the Independent voters to vote for an independent candidate instead of with a mainstream party… well, we only have to look at the 2004 election results to know that Mr. McCain will be our next President.
I’m sure that Mr. Nader would agree that the last thing this country needs right now is yet another four years of a Totalitarian Republican Regime piled on top of the past eight dismal years of U.S. Government failures. However, if Mr. Nader continues his ultimately pointless pursuit of the Presidency, then he will be helping the Republicans to retain their control and drive this country farther away from Mr. Nader’s stated goals.
Mr. Nader in all good conscience cannot continue his quest for President if he truly cares to see this country in better shape tomorrow than it is today. If he continues, then he is only serving as a pro-Republican election tool, and I will lose nearly all respect that I hold for Mr. Nader.
If you agree that Mr. Nader should resign from the race, please call or write to him and tell him!
Nader 2008 for President
P.O. Box 34103
Washington, D.C. 20043
(202) 441 5727