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June 23, 2004
Stop Picking On Ralph?

This whole "bashing Ralph Nader" thing is getting weird. I heard a report about that meeting on NPR last night. They said people were shouting at Nader to stay out of the race.

I don't want a Republican victory in November, but this is a free country, you know. Nader can run for president if he wants to.

People choose their candidates in the polling booth. If they don't choose Kerry, then he just didn't get the job done of convincing them. I don't want to see that happen but that's how the system works.

I mean, yeah, Ralph's delusional, pretending he's going to "split" the Republican vote (if he really believes that) but that doesn't matter. He's entitled to run. (Well, as far as that goes, I guess there's nothing illegal about people shouting at him because they don't want him to run, but it seems a bit obnoxious. If you want people to vote for someone else, get out there and advertise and support the someone else.)

I'm thinking maybe he's been fooled into thinking he has real votes on the Right. I mean, since prominent Republicans have donated to his campaign, he may be fantasizing that they'd actually vote for him and refusing to admit that they're just funding him to make sure he keeps hanging around "spoiling" elections by splitting the votes on the Left.

Let me point out that while such behavior isn't illegal or anything, doing things solely to muddy the electoral process is just wrong. It's unethical and immoral. Underhanded and two-faced. It's just a sneakier way of running a negative campaign.

I think that honest politics is about running on the issues and a candidate's position on them, not just about winning at all costs. Deciding to give financial support to someone just because you think they will siphon votes away from your opponent (or your candidate's opponent) is a long way from showing support for your own beliefs.

And no matter how you pretend otherwise, dirty tricks are dirty tricks. When you're trying to decide who stoops the lowest in "playing politics with the issues," remember this kind of thing.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:31 PM


Not to interfer with the worldview of others, but the problem with the ballot in Florida in 2000 was that there were over a dozen people running for President. That's why the ballot was so difficult, all of them had to crammed on the same page, or Hollerith card in the case of a couple of counties.

There will be a dozen people on the ballot this year, not just Bush, Kerry, and Nader.

Posted by: Bryan at June 23, 2004 06:38 PM

That's true, of course. And in a close race, half a dozen "minor" candates who collectively pull 2% or 3% of one party's votes away from the "main" candidate can swing an election.

Posted by: Anne at June 24, 2004 11:17 AM