Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dammit, Ralph Nader

I hear that Nader's decided to run for president again.

Remember, folks, a vote for Nader is a vote for McCain. I'm sorry it works out that way, but it really does.

I have great compassion for any resistance to the two-party trap (particularly the alternating Bush - Clinton - Bush - Clinton dynasties... ugh!) I am highly principled to the point of Quixotic behavior in daily life. I have lost friends, left groups I enjoyed, and taken the hard road through life in other ways in order to speak the truth and stand by my notions of virtue. But I ask you to remember that there is a time to stand on principle, and a time to be shrewd.

Fool me once... won't get fooled again.


Robert Link said...

From Balkinization: My guess is that there is very little chance that Nader will decide the outcome of the 2008 election; he will probably have very small numbers, as he did in 2004. Third parties who do not quickly displace one of the two major parties (as the Republicans displaced the Whigs in the 1850s) tend not to wear well on repeated attempts.

Rather, if Nader has any significance in this election, it will be to push certain issues on the table, and force the candidates to address them. To do that, he would have to be a much more significant presence than he is likely to be. Nader is quite interested in pushing the corruption issue-- and the connections between corporate lobbying and Washington politics-- but public interest in that issue is by now overdetermined.

That's just an excerpt; you might enjoy the full piece and commentary.

Generally, I'm just bored with the guy, and unless he think he can help the Dems win he's a schmuck. Like it or not, a two-party system is what we have, with this one small window to avoid a GOP hegemony creating an effective single-party state.

Ducks said...

Thank you, Robert -- both for the much needed perspective and for the great snippet. I am quick to rile these days.

I think your last paragraph is flawless. I think that movement away from a two-party system would have to be somewhat more dramatic than this kind of emergence, sadly.

I've also seen bajillion-party systems in action and they seem to work, relative to the two-party version, with somewhat predictable pros and cons.

I have to confess to very little U.S. History in my education... why is ours so rigidly two?

Robert Link said...

Money, honey, is the first answer that comes to mind. But I reckon I'd need a decent PoliSci primer to give a better answer.