Friday, May 27, 2022 |
Share this story
• Debunking the old Nader spoiler myth
Debunking the old Nader spoiler myth
By CLAIRE MORTIMER
It’s incredible to me that anyone at this late date still promulgates the tired, old myth of Nader as spoiler in the 2000 presidential elections. It is even more preposterous to claim that Nader is Bush’s greatest ally. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
A close examination of the facts of the 2000 presidential race leads to a very different conclusion:
1. Eleven percent of Democrats voted for Bush, while only 2 percent voted for Nader, which means about 5 million Democrats defected to Bush, while only about 800,000 went to Nader. (So who handed the election to Bush?)
2. According to Al From, chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, “The assertion that Nader’s marginal vote hurt Gore is not borne out by polling data. When asked how they would have voted in a two-way race, Bush actually won by a point … better than he did with Nader in the race.”
3. Gore not only failed to beat Bush in the debates and to win his own state, but also failed to call for a statewide recount of Florida ballots, which he would have won.
4. Gore failed to support the Congressional Black Caucus’ motion not to seat the Florida electors, which, as senators, either he or Lieberman could have seconded.
5. Bush became President when a biased US Supreme Court allowed election manipulation by Florida Republicans.
6. When the Black Caucus challenged Bush’s election victory in January 2001, not one Senator stood up in support of an investigation of the Florida vote disaster, which was a disgrace to our democracy.
7. According to exit polls, Nader’s support came from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and, of course, Greens. Many would not have voted for Gore if Nader had not run, preferring to stay at home rather than vote for someone who does not truly represent their views. Neither Nader nor any Green political candidate has the power to “steal” votes from Democratic candidates, because no candidate owns anyone’s vote.
The fact is that nothing in our Constitution limits us to a two-party system. Democracy means every voice is heard via free participation in the party of your choice. Given that only 39 percent of registered voters cast ballots in our last Presidential election -only about 25 percent of those eligible to vote – our democracy sorely needs the civic liveliness being brought by the Green Party.
If the Democrats and Republicans – so eager to bring liberation to Iraq – wished to liberate democracy here, they would have been outraged when 90,000 legitimate voters in Florida were disenfranchised in 2000. They were in a position to do something about it, but they did not. The Green Party challenges the Republicans and the Democrats to ensure clean and fair elections in 2004 with close public scrutiny in order to defend the principle of “one person, one vote”. Let us not repeat the real “spoiler” of 2000: the theft of our democracy.
Claire Mortimer of Kilauea is State Co-Chair of the GreenParty of Hawaii and chair of the Green Party of Kauai
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.