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Swing-State Nader Voter Survey Results

 

Why would swing state voters vote Nader? I posted a series of 11 questions, and took responses from October 12 to October 27. My aim was to listen to Nader voters in what the voters considered to be swing states. This is not a scientific survey-I wanted to hear what they had to say, not measure how many thought what. Think of it as reality TV meets polling.

I also wanted to give these swing state voters a voice. As one wrote, “As a Nader voter, I am not used to being asked my opinion — in fact, I’m used to being screamed at and lectured … and the howls and cries of wounded Democrats tends to drown out my voice at any rate.”

Finally, I wanted to challenge those who think voting Nader in a swing state is a bad idea. You can disagree with some or all of the reasoning. Maybe you disagree with some who say it has to get worse before it gets better. (I sure hope they are wrong!) Maybe you think the difference between Bush and Kerry is far greater than those quoted below. Fine. The question is, what do you do about it? You can ignore them, belittle them, attack their candidate, attempt to instill fear, try and block the access of their candidate(s) on the ballot.

I suggest a more pragmatic view that I have mentioned elsewhere: as the Democrats relentlessly abandon their base, an increasing number of voters may look elsewhere. Most of the respondents said they wouldn’t vote Kerry regardless of whether voting Nader was on the list. One respondent, for example, said there were 12 candidates for president in their state, and they ranked Kerry 11th and Bush 12th. . That tells me they want an alternative. It’s axiomatic that political groups will attempt to fill the space the Democrats have abandoned. You can either join them, or try and pull the Democrats toward the constituency they once claimed to represent. Either choice strikes me as a more rational response than personalizing the issue by attacking Nader or his candidacy.

I received 132 valid responses and about 20 that didn’t qualify (weren’t voting Nader, weren’t in what they considered swing states, etc.)

Answers came from

Arizona 1
Arkansas 1
California 1
Colorado 6
Florida 8
Illinois 1
Iowa 2
Maine 3
Michigan 11
Minnesota 11
Missouri 1
Nevada 2
New Jersey 2
New Mexico 5
Ohio 14
Oregon 24
Pennsylvania 13
Tenn 1
Washington 11
West Virginia 1
Wisconsin 13

Since I let the respondents judge whether they were in swing states, they may not be from what others consider swing states. I counted as valid several responses that planned to vote Cobb or another candidate because the issue they face is the same: why vote for someone other than Kerry when that vote could cost Kerry the election?

I selected responses based not on whether I agreed with them but whether they interested me. These answers don’t represent my views. Those quoted for an answer to one question were rarely quoted again for other questions.

Some questions have more answers selected than others. I tried to get varied and interesting answers, and a few questions received mostly repetitive answers. For example, the second question about whether you would vote Kerry if Nader wasn’t in the race drew a nearly uniform “no” with a few maybes and a yes or two. So not many are quoted on question 2. Similarly on 6 and 8, about how the Democrats and progressives trying to remove Nader from the ballot or convince you not to vote nader, most respondents said the efforts enraged them and made them more determined to vote Nader. So again, the uniformity of response made me quote fewer respondents.

The symbol ### separates different people’s answers to each question.

Below is the list of questions followed by selected responses

1. Do you live in a swing state? Which one?

2. Are you still planning to vote Nader? Why?

3. If Nader wasn’t running, would you vote for Kerry? Explain.

4. Assuming you plan to vote Nader, do you think your vote could help tip the election to Bush by taking a vote from Kerry?

5. Are you aware of the costs of another Bush presidency? If yes, what accounts for your determination to vote Nader?

6. Various organizations opposed to Nader’s run have been running ads and broadcasting petitions to convince people such as yourself to vote for Kerry. What impact, if any, have these efforts had on your thinking?

7. Is there something those groups could tell you that would sway your vote?

8. How have the efforts to keep Nader off the ballot affected your decision?

9. Some of Nader’s allies from 2000 have said his candidacy this year is a strategic mistake. Do you agree? Explain.

10. Let’s suppose that you and others vote Nader in a swing state, Kerry loses that state which he would have won if the Nader voters had backed him and that loss costs Kerry the election. What is your thinking about this outcome?

11. Any other relevant thoughts?

Many thanks to all who responded.

Before going through the selections I thought I would offer one response in its entirety, one I particularly liked, to give you a sense of how it is to read them in their as a whole. Robin Hering agreed to be identified by name.

1. Do you live in a swing state? Which one?

– Yes

– Colorado

 

2. Are you still planning to vote Nader? Why?

– I trust Ralph Nader

– His positions align perfectly with mine

– People around the world can trust him

3. If Nader wasn’t running, would you vote for Kerry? Explain.

– Yes

– No other reasonable options

4. Assuming you plan to vote Nader, do you think your vote could help tip the election to Bush by taking a vote from Kerry?

– Yes

The voters I work to influence live in rural, northeastern Colorado. The demographic there consists of traditional Republicans, disenfranchised citizens, Alex Jones fans, 1st amendment types, and depressed and exploited Hispanic citizens. I can get “Republican” votes for Nader.

We have Resolution 36 on our ballot this year ­ electoral votes proportional to candidate votes – which stems the troublesome Winner Take All results.

If elections were clean, we could have an altogether different discussion.

5. Are you aware of the costs of another Bush presidency? If yes, what accounts for your determination to vote Nader?

If President Bush wins:

Worst case: We see a repeat of all the dynamics that enabled the rise of the Third Reich.

Best case: We find out sooner whether Americans can weather and overcome the storm of assaults on our constitutional republic. Citizens will have to decide if their Constitution means anything and whether they’re willing to defend it.

I believe criminal behavior should be tried through due process of law, not popularity contests.

I’m willing to take the chance on our system of law and Americans who’s allegiance is to our Constitution.

6. Various organizations opposed to Nader’s run have been running ads and broadcasting petitions to convince people such as yourself to vote for Kerry. What impact, if any, have these efforts had on your thinking?

My vote for Ralph Nader will now be in part a vindication vote.

 

7. Is there something those groups could tell you that would sway your vote?

That John Kerry and Ralph Nader have secretly been collaborating for years to create a better country and that I only have to refer to VoteNader.org to see Ralph’s request of me to vote for John Kerry.

 

8. How have the efforts to keep Nader off the ballot affected your decision?

Convinced me once and for all that there is no hope whatsoever in supporting the Democrats. Their behavior reveals their corruption and subscription to the idea that we can lower our standards instead of taking the high road.

I’m going to join Ralph Nader’s new party, if he initiates one.

 

9. Some of Nader’s allies from 2000 have said his candidacy this year is a strategic mistake. Do you agree? Explain.

Ralph Nader’s candidacy is strategically brilliant. The process is broken, and changing presidents won’t repair it. I’ll send my 10/12/04 letter to Counterpunch.org, “Nader “Personality Cult” – What About the Rest of Us?” which supports this, in a separate note.

10. Let’s suppose that you and others vote Nader in a swing state, Kerry loses that state which he would have won if the Nader voters had backed him and that loss costs Kerry the election. What is your thinking about this outcome?

Please see my response to Question 5.

11. Any other relevant thoughts?

I believe that the establishment, including his father’s people, has already taken measures to remove President Bush from the stage. I could elaborate on all my observations of the dynamics, but the best was James Baker’s orchestration of the failed first debate.

I’ve already decided to resign from my 26-year career at a Fortune 500 company and

– Organize volunteer networks to support the ACLU and other peace and justice attroneys on civil rights; support NLG and others to go after our war criminals, and take some law classes.

– Dedicate myself to cleaning House and Senate at mid-terms.

We need a conference of key players right after elections to decide if we should take over the Democratic Party, or form a new third citizens’ party, or if third parties should coalesce temporarily to overcome the corporate parties. That needs to be decided immediately so we don’t fracture further and so we can develop a strategy that will work.

Here’s the letter Robin sent:

I thought I might offer a word or two in response to something I heard recently about Nader supporters as a personality cult.

Well, here’s me. Mom, twenty-six-year career at a Fortune 500 company, reasonable salary, project and program management experience, work in a global community with co-workers in countries around the world.

I’ve done years and years of community service work, always wondering why things weren’t getting any better, never understanding that there was an illegitimate root cause of the suffering of fellow citizens, and people around the world.

I’ve been content in an affluent community, under-informed by the mainstream press. But my family has grown, and I have time to inform myself, to read and research. I know my country is in trouble, and it’s not because of terrorists. I don’t understand everything St. Clair, Bates, Goff, Vidal, Cockburn, et. al., are saying, but I trust them and I’m getting it.

My grocer, a hard-working small businessman, came to me just days ago, said he’d registered to vote and would vote for Ralph Nader. To my recent house party for Nader came a Republican independent CPA. Americans like me are everywhere.

I’m stumbling through this election cycle naïve and inexperienced, but I’ve got my eye on the goal regardless.

I support Ralph Nader because he has an allegiance is to justice, peace, liberty and the law; he’s been more effective with Congress on behalf of the people than any president, without benefit of office; he has the only reasonable approach to reducing global chaos and he’s the only candidate the world can trust. I want to have a nice country, and I want our Constitution respected by Congress.

I understand all the rationale behind supporting John Kerry, a relatively decent man. But I know there’s no chance of getting closer to my goals by supporting him. There exists the real possibility that during a Kerry administration the country will go back to their dogmatic slumber.

Supporting Ralph Nader and being vocal about it gives me an opportunity to remind citizens that presidents don’t get very far without the support of Congress, that Congress has enabled the “Bush” agenda instead of leveraging their power and counterbalancing the power of the executive branch; that citizen’s grievances really ought to be with our Congress; that members of Congress are entrenched in empire and that a good citizen’s true goals ought to be replacing them, not necessarily the president. Everyone has their eye on the razzle-dazzle candidates for the presidency while Congress picks their pockets and ruins our county. I take on California Recall-deluded citizens at every opportunity.

Supporting Ralph Nader, I have the opportunity to remind all citizens that they can vote for the Red Team or for the Blue Team, but it’s all friendly team owners at the top.

Supporting Ralph Nader I have an opportunity to let citizens know that their “he can’t win” attitude is disappointing; that their attitude stems from years and years of “we can’t” which un-American and shameful.

Finally, on some occasions, and running the risk of being accused of being a conspiracy theorist, I suggest that John Kerry was selected for us by the establishment in Washington with the assistance of the corporate press, that they’ll undercut President Bush in October, and that it looks like even his father’s people are working toward that end. The empire giveth and the empire taketh away. There is plenty of evidence for that.

This is the best year for Ralph Nader to run for president. What a shame all the peace and justice people are letting this opportunity slip through their fingers.

Thank you for all your hard work. Counterpunch is a beacon of light.

Robin Hering
Niwot, CO

p.s. My parents – dad a retired Army officer – support me. Mom used to talk about the admirable and ardent Ralph Nader when we were kids.

Onto the selected responses to the questions.

1. Do you live in a swing state? Which one?

See above

2. Are you still planning to vote Nader? Why?

Yes. Why? I don’t want blood on my hands — the blood of innocent Iraqis, Palestinians and American soldiers. I refuse to vote for a candidate who is pro-war, who wants to add troops and continue the murder and occupation of innocent civilians.
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Yes. Because Kerry supports the Bush agenda, US imperialism and is a tool of corporate interests. It’s the power of social movements that enacts change, not electing a politician (especially not such a thoroughly corrupted one as Kerry).
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Yes. Removal of US corporate and military presence from Iraq, single payer health care, support of Palestinian rights, reducing military budget, backing of alternative energy.
###
I am undecided. He is not on the ballot here, so he’d be a write in vote. Historically, third parties have made a huge difference in bringing up issues such as women’s rights, slavery, workers rights, etc. I think we desperately need a viable third party, or we’ll just have more of the same. There is not much difference between Bush and Kerry.
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Yes. Several reasons. (1) The number one issue is the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq and what it represents as a foreign policy. Kerry supports this “war” and for the most part, the policy upon which it is based. (2) Kerry supports the concept of the “War on Terrorism”, which has resulted in not only us being less safe but the most hated government on the planet. (3) Kerry supports all the international “trade” agreements which collectively are more anti-worker and anti-environment than any of the horrible Bush agenda items Democrats insist we should be worried about. (4) Democrats sat idly by, if not actively supported the stolen election of 2000, all the while wailing about how Nader cost Gore the Presidency; they joined Republicans across the country in modifying or ignoring state laws that would have prevented Bush from being on the ballot because of the late RNC; meanwhile, they waste time, energy and resources, which could have been spent organizing and recruiting voters, on blatantly undemocratic efforts to keep Nader off the ballot. (5) Kucinich proves beyond any doubt that the Democratic Party is lost and cannot be fixed from within. I could really go on and on. What’s the point?
###
Yes (write in) first he is the only anti-war candidate who is running a campaign in all 50 states. He is the person who got me involved in politics, before 2000 I couldn’t even name my reps. I know Nader is pulling others into the political spectrum.
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Yes. For more than 40 years I was a sleepwalking Democrat, except 1972 when I voted for Gus Hall. Being from South Dakota, I knew George McGovern was no friend of the people. Then a couple years ago I discovered Dennis Kucinich. I worked very hard (upwards of 1000 hours) in his campaign. I now feel his campaign was a ploy to keep progressives in the DP. There is only one person left for me to truly support ­ Ralph Nader. I am proud to say both of my adult sons came to that realization in 2000. I still wore the D and voted for Al Gore.
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i am green up to my elbows (though I believe that cobb has essentially made the greens inconsequential and has not pushed issues out there that represent me and my values and he and others have hijacked the party for democrat’s benefit). When Nader speaks he promotes the living wage, and importantly people educating themselves so that they can truly self govern; these are some of the values I share and respect. During a talk this spring in Oregon, he said in response to a question, (and I paraphrase) “and let me say something about patriotism. My (his) mother taught (him) ‘if you love your country, work to make it more loveable.'” This is why he might get my vote. Bush and Kerry both represent the ruling class, in my mind, they promote the idea that corporate America and the rich, businesses, and capitalist greedy folk should make decisions and “lead.” they in my generalized opinion, lead in a way that does not respect the world’s, or our own humanity as Americans. for example, by bush telling us to “shop” to show patriotism; Kerry promising to “squash the terrorists” and be tougher on n Korea, Syria, Palestine and Iran than bush. neither man really addressing the abject poverty, spiritual poverty and lack of basic safety for all in America eg. shelter, food clean air, water, free speech. I am angry about “evils” too but I recognize and admit the complexities of facing problems like terrorism that we have helped create with our selfish greed.
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3. If Nader wasn’t running, would you vote for Kerry? Explain.

Tough choice! Kerry has just been dubbed the Newest neocon. How much worse would he be without Nader’s pressure?
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Kerry’s position on Israel/Palestine is as bad as Bush’s. He voted for the Iraq war (both my senators, Levin and Stabenow, were decent enough to vote against the resolution). He voted for the Patriot Act and NAFTA. He will do nothing to change the direction of America’s policies other than make them more palatable to would-be allies and those elites that don’t care for the style of the insolent rube presently in office.
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No. I can not support Kerry’s vow to continue the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
###
No. Kerry is not good enough. Bush is horrible, and Kerry is better than Bush, but Kerry is not good enough. Kerry is horrible, too. In fact, I can no longer “spill over” for Democrats. They are a failed party, incapable of progressive (or even left-leaning) leadership, and no longer effective (if they ever were) at holding off the agenda of the Republicans. (Remember the Nader-less elections of 2002?)
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I am also extremely disappointed in the Democratic party’s militant campaign to keep Nader off the ballot (especially in Oregon, where local Democratic party actively encouraged registered Democrats to attend Nader’s nominating convention and not sign the petition to get Nader on the ballot – and then Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury invalidated just enough signatures from a final attempt at getting Nader on the ballot after those signatures were already validated by County elections officers). Sorry for this rambling second answer, but it alone is enough for me to not vote for the Democratic Party candidates for some time.
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I would NOT vote for Kerry, he will be a killer, just like Clinton or any other US president. In favor of capitalist interests over the people they are supposed to represent. I refuse to be counted on the side of someone whose morals are that far off.
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No. My 2nd choice is Michael Badnarik. Kerry is my 11th choice, Bush my 12th (there are 12 candidates on the ballot or certified write-ins in Ohio). After Democratic efforts to keep Nader off the ballot in many states, I have decided to vote for minor parties exclusively unless there are only 2 candidates on the ballot. Furthermore, I cannot send a protest to the Democrats if I vote for their candidate. The only way I can show my discontent is by voting for someone else.
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LIKE I’D VOTE TO BE IMMOLATED.
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Absolutely! For me, voting for Nader is not about philosophical purity, making a statement of protest or salving my conscience (although it’s true that I couldn’t live with myself if I voted for Kerry). If I were going to vote for the candidate who best represented my positions on the issues, it would be one of the smaller socialist candidates, not Nader. For me, voting for Nader is first and foremost about STRATEGY.

Voting for Nader is not just a symbolic gesture, it is a concrete exercise of political power–in this case, the power to withhold my vote, which is the only real power the electoral system gives us lowly citizens. Using this power is the only way I can impose real consequences on the lily-livered, Republican-wannabe jackass-party guys who have sold me down the river far, far too many times. And as anybody who has ever dealt with an alcoholic or parented a toddler knows, the only way to get someone’s negative behavior to change is to make sure they experience negative consequences for it. Not “punishment,” but the natural consequence that the misbehaver has brought upon him or herself, as the Democrats will have brought it upon themselves if they lose this election.

I have heard lots of arguments for voting against Bush (no argument there–I don’t plan to vote for Bush!) but I have not yet heard anybody make the case for why voting for Kerry makes sense strategically. “Anybody but Bush” is not a strategy, it is an abject and complete surrender, an unmistakable message to the Democratic party that there are now no limits to the amount of abuse we will accept from them. The idea that we should unite to elect Kerry now, and hold him accountable once he’s in office–this is not a strategy either, but a ridiculous and dangerous fantasy. I say this as a veteran of 8 years and 3 jail terms protesting Clinton, during which time he did not once listen to us, ever.

Strategic withholding of one’s vote can work with any third-party candidate, but Nader’s candidacy promises to have the most impact. Sad to say, he continues to be the only political figure who has both nation-wide name recognition AND an unimpeachable reputation for personal integrity, not to mention almost a half century of real public policy experience. Plus he scares the liberals to death, which means he must be doing something right. Michael Moore didn’t get down on his knees to beg Roger Calero of the Socialist Workers’ Party not to run.
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Probably. I was not impressed by any of the other third party candidates. I think the Greens were foolish not to support Nader. It is more important to vote for the best person you can find to lead the free world then it is to build a party.

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4. Assuming you plan to vote Nader, do you think your vote could help tip the election to Bush by taking a vote from Kerry?

I really do not care if my vote swings on way or the other because to me, they are one and same when it comes to foreign policy issues. There are enough registered Democrats voting for Bush(7.7 million in 2000) that voting for the person that reflects everything I want in a candidate is okay.
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No. Despite what the polls say, I think Florida should be easily won by Kerry as long as the ballots are reasonably counted this time.
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I wish this were true. I think the best we can hope for is to make the Democrats lose because they have moved to the right. Although I think life will get slightly better in this country under Kerry, it will not get enough better to make it worth supporting him. I hope he loses.
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Yes, and that’s fine by me. Bush has evil plans and the means to accomplish them; Kerry has no plan and is a ghost of a candidate who will say anything at any time, I trust him LESS than Bush.

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Perhaps. But I could care less. Frankly, Kerry and the Democrats deserve to never win another election; the only honorable thing left for Democrats to do, I think, is to resign en masse and put the finishing touches on this country’s historic slide into single party dictatorship. After all, weren’t the Cold Warriors fueled by their underlying jealously of the power totalitarian regimes were able to wield over their subject peoples? The last 4 years have proven to me that the Democratic Party is dead and serves no useful purpose other than to preserve the illusion that the United States is a democratic country.
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Don’t really care. Kerry has campaigned as a Regan era Republican. I understand the dangers of a Bush presidency, but Kerry hasn’t really offered an alternative. NAFTA went through on Clintons watch, Kosovo, Sudan, etc… And Kerry is backing away from the “liberal” Clinton and regressing us to Reagan?? Bush would be worse in the short term, but as Rummy would say, “Freedom is messy”. Bush would further distance our allies, will probably end up creating an alliance between Russia and China as a counterweight to US Hegemony, and through his rough “hard Imperialism”, grind the empire to a halt. All the while governing a populace that is growing more and more critical of their government.

We don’t have 100% participation, so it’s a little naive to think that not voting for Nader would make me vote for Kerry. Much like 1996, I might just stay home, completely uninspired by any of the candidates. The voters who will lose the election for Kerry are the ones that don’t get off their sofas. By making this an election about Foreign Policy instead of domestic policy, Kerry might find out that the Ghettoes don’t poll well for him this time. Of course, a promise to keep your chocolate son out of Iraq might have helped him there…. Bottom line, Kerry needs to get his voters out there, not try to steal other candidate’s voters.
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This is the self-fulfilling prophecy that I plan to break. Too many people agree with Nader’s sentiments but refuse to vote for him out of fear of Bush. They think, “I’m not going to vote for him because he can’t win.” Well, yeah, he can’t win if everybody thinks that way. That’s why I am very public about my vote for Nader. Even if he tipped the election to Bush, if he got merely 10% of the vote (which he was polling at before the likes of The Nader Factor polluted the internet and TV), both parties would have to respond to a growing demand for fundamental reform.
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Possibly. WI went to Gore in 2000 by 6,000 votes. I’ll watch the polls for my state closely before Election Day and if it’s VERY close, I might POSSIBLY vote for Kerry. Even then it would be difficult.
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That is my goal. Why else would I vote for Nader if not to influence the elections? The assumption behind your question is that Kerry is better than Bush. To the 1 million black men in jail today, there is no difference. To the impoverished, there is no difference (they suffer regardless of what party is in the White House). To the 11-37 thousand dead Iraqi civilians, there will be no difference.
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I reject the question’s false premise — that my vote somehow belongs to Kerry, or any other candidate. My vote is MY vote ­ not Kerry’s, not Bush’s, not Nader’s or anyone else’s

As a five-year-old in 1952, I watched part of the Democratic Convention on television with my mother, a lifelong Democrat. She described the Dems as being for the little guy, the working man; and the GOP as being for big business and the rich. At that age it seemed to me that the rich had power and privilege, and didn’t need any help from government (which I also saw as powerful), so a sense of fairness favored the Dems.

Even in 1952, my mother was wrong. The Dems had nominated a supporter of Truman’s Korean War (with the suffering and dying being done primarily by “the little guy”, like all wars), of Truman’s National Security State, the most big-business-friendly of leading Dems; intent on compromise with the Dems’ Dixiecrat wing but not the people-and-peace-friendly Henry Wallace wing. The only time the Dem nominee has been slightly to the left of the pro-corporate, military-industrial-complex elite was 1972 (the only time I have voted for a Democrat for President).

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Using our power as potential spoilers is a strategy that WORKS! We know it works, because the right wing uses it to great effect. The religious right, in particular, is not afraid to torpedo any conservative politician who doesn’t toe the line on their pet issues (abortion, guns, prayer in schools, etc.) allowing this constituency to exercise power greatly out of proportion to their actual numbers. Do you think George W. Bush really gives a rat’s ass about abortion or gay marriage, or anything except making money for his corporate buddies? No, but he feels the need to placate the religious right on these issues. Why? Because they’ve made it a non-negotiable condition of their support. Meanwhile, we give our support away for free, settling for empty promises and the shaft every time. As they say in AA, you keep doing what you always did, you’ll keep getting what you always got.

Then we don’t even have the good sense to be mad at our sell-out politicians who put us in this position, but we take it out on our fellow sheep who won’t go quite so meekly to the slaughter. Of the many bad effects of the stolen election of 2000, one of the worst (which has gone unremarked by any published commentator, as far as I can tell) was the way the massive electoral fraud worked to obscure the actual effect of the Nader candidacy on Gore. We on the left have spent the last four years having a pointless argument amongst ourselves about whether Nader REALLY cost Gore the election. No he didn’t, all on his own, unambiguously cost Gore the election. But by God I wish he had! The last four years would have been really different.
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5. Are you aware of the costs of another Bush presidency? If yes, what accounts for your determination to vote Nader?

Yes. The attacks on the working class have been a bi-partisan agenda for many decades. We can’t put off the fight for change because once we do it is put off forever. Every four years we are told the other guy is worse, yet conditions keep getting worse. They will never get better until we reject the trap of lesser-evilism and reclaim the power of independent grassroots movements.
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Of course I know. I don’t think many people understand that HALF of the (voting) USA likes Bush. HALF. That’s a lot. Maybe this country isn’t going in the direction that most leftists think it is, and they would like to blame progressives who stand up for what they believe rather than perhaps that America really does want to outlaw abortion and strike pre-emptively, and fight a global war on terror.
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The costs of another Bush presidency wont be as bad if the Democrats in Congress actually had a backbone and stood up for something. I blame them, not Bush, for all the things that went wrong in the past four years. Bush only proposed and signed the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, War in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the Democrats think it is such a problem now, it doesn’t fit because they(Daschle, Edwards, Kerry, . . .) have made Bush who he is today.
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The costs of a Kerry presidency are no less. He will merely prolong the decline of the empire. Bush has accelerated it, the one positive thing that has resulted from his horrific policies.
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I am certainly aware of the costs. A good deal of the problem with Bush is the ineptitude of the “opposition.” The Ds sat on their asses for almost four years and now they expect the voters to jump up and notice them because they say they have a plan. I don’t want to join the delusional crowd that feels that as soon as Kerry is in the oval office, things will immediately change for the better. He’s going to be a hindrance to peace, if elected, based on his campaign rhetoric and promises to win the war(s).
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Yes. Kerry and Bush are two heads of the same coin of American imperialism. Imperialism is the single greatest evil in this country today, and all of our other problems are directly related to it. Thus, as a disciple of American imperialism, Kerry isn’t really capable of carrying out any of the programs in which he actually differs from Bush.
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I believe that the costs of a Kerry presidency might be as bad or worse than another Bush presidency.
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The difference, in costs, between Bush and Kerry is “How much is my monthly payment?”
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I don’t see any significant way where Kerry would be an improvement. I also see ways in which he may be more dangerous than Bush. If he really learned something from his Vietnam experience, I would think the first lesson would be not to create TV commercials promising to kill people. That commercial almost makes him sound a little unbalanced.

The second lesson would be not to promise you have an undisclosed plan to end the war. Because the French and Germans have said under no circumstances will they go to Iraq, that leaves the next most likely candidate for the “international burden,” as Kerry puts it, to be the Russians. Sounds like a very bad idea. See Chechnya.
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No. I think a Kerry presidency would be very similar to Bush’s current cocked-up efforts.
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I am aware. Are Kerry liberals aware of the cost of sanctioning the friendlier face of American Imperialism? Bush is hated now in the Middle East. Kerry’s approach is not one wit different, but plenty of liberals have sown illusions that Kerry feels the pain of the ordinary Arab under occupation. These illusions will be shattered and along with them any goodwill that allegedly comes from ousting Bush. On an issue like healthcare, the costs of Kerry’s ideas would guarantee the system stays in private hands, where insurance companies have jacked up premiums and profits while 45 million go without consistent health care. Is that a cost Kerry voters have thought about? I doubt it since Nader can’t debate with Kerry and Bush and expose how similar their positions are.
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Aside from the judicial appointment boogeyman..a largely unknowable phenomenon in the first place..it seems that the “costs” of another Bush presidency that are predictable, are largely things that would remain the same or extremely similar under Kerry, or things that could only be carried out with massive Democratic complicity.

In that context it seems a vote for Nader is hardly an “expensive price” to pay.
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KERRY IS PRO-WAR AND PRO-PATRIOT ACT. DEMOS COULD HAVE DONE A HELL OF A LOT MORE TO MAKE IT HARD ON BUSH. THEY PASSED. THE COUNTRY IS NOW IN FULL EMPIRE MODE. THE DEMOS NEVER DID ANYTHING TO CORRECT THE VOTING FRAUD ISSUES, NO SENATOR WOULD CONTEST THE LAST ELECTION AND SUPPORT THE HOUSE MEMBERS. THE DEMOS DONT REALLY EXIST ANYMORE.
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The Democrats and their enablers always scream that the sky is falling come election-time and then spend the rest of the cycle collaborating with the Republicans on issue after issue. Their “sky’s falling” declaration are little more than political theatre. The Democrats have no intention of opposing 99% of Republican initiatives, but would like the ill-informed to believe otherwise. I support Ralph on the positions for which he stands. I don’t support Kerry on the positions on which he stands (or, largely, doesn’t stand).
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Bush isn’t Hitler. A Bush victory might not be ALL bad. There’s a chance Bush could be impeached in a 2nd term, leading to reforms in executive power, voting procedures. Bush could be gun-shy on further wars where Kerry might feel the need to be a tough guy (remember Clinton bombed Iraq almost the moment he was inaugurated).
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Yet another ignorant question. Do you think it really matters which rich white man wins this election? As a person with Native American (Apache and Tewa) blood I know that my ancestors were murdered and driven from their land no matter the political affiliation of the man in the White House. The weak and disenfranchised in this country have been oppressed with equal vigor by the administrations of Republican and Democratic Presidents. I am aware that we are doomed if we maintain the aggressive and racist American foreign policy that has existed since the start of WWII, but I find the proposition that John Kerry would change anything laughable. George W. Bush is not doing anything new. He is doing what American Presidents have always done, attack the weak whether by foreign war or social oppression for the benefit of the wealthy class. The system that creates leaders like Bush is the problem and it won’t change under John Kerry because he is part of the system too.

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Four more years of Bush. What does that mean? First, look at the circumstances he will face in office. Open rebellion in Iraq that he has not hope of quelling. America is strategically unable to exploit the Iraq bridgehead, and would face strident international opposition to further conquests from every country except Australia. On the other hand the neocons and Bush’s own ego will not accept a retreat from Iraq. So he has no option – he’s got four years down in the hole, and every day of it will be more damaging to Republicans as the lies pile up to a completely unmanageable level. Bush and Cheney will be impeached mid-term.

This scenario is almost identical if Kerry wins office. He will be required to pursue the war in Iraq by corporate America, the Zion lobby and his own “tough talk” on the campaign trail (unless he does another back flip!). True, he may be slightly more recalcitrant to open new fronts in Iran or Syria. However he will be able to continue the occupation of Iraq without risk of impeachment, and look good doing it, because he is able to deny responsibility for the invasion despite his routine self-abasement as a congressman. So he’ll be stuck in a slightly shallower hole – along with the rest of America, along with those Army conscripts – for eight years!! Iraqis and arguably Palestinians may well regard this as the worse-case scenario.

Either way, Nader’s power grows stronger as the major parties wane, and someday I’ll be able to say to my son, “I was a part of the movement that stopped all that horseshit!”
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Let’s see the costs…to prove I’m aware of them…Supreme Court appointments (which the President does not have the last word on), the destruction of our environment quickly and violently vs. a little less quickly and more quietly, stem cell research, Cheney…I’m probably forgetting a couple, but those are the ones the Dems keep throwing at me. But what are the costs of no opposition to Kerry? Kerry is free to move further right, there’s no voice against the Iraq quagmire, no voice against corporate crime and corruption of Washington, no criticism of No Child Left Behind except that it needs more funding, more troops in Iraq, a potential draft (Democrats sponsored the bill and Kerry won’t come out and say he’d never support it, unlike Bush), no voice for the 39 million working poor, no voice for the 18,000+ Americans who die from a lack of health care coverage, no voice for worker rights to organize and worker safety, no voice for electoral reform, and no voice for campaign finance reform — to mention the first few issues that pop into my head.

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All that Bush bad happened over the LIVE bodies of Democrats — such as Kerry the PATRIOT Act, etc.). Bush should be impeached. Nader calls for it. Dems silent.
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there is no difference between Bush and Kerry. What have we lost by Kerry not being president? He voted for Bush’s war. He voted for Bush’s Patriot Act. Kerry’s voting record clearly supports Bush and clearly supports a government that is investing more time, energy, and money into the interests of corporations instead of American citizens.

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I am. My determination to vote Nader is two-fold. The first being that I am admittedly stubborn in my politics (much like Nader) and refuse to compromise on many of my positions. The second being that the Democrats have been complicit in many of the atrocities committed by the Bush administration (for example, the Patriot Act and the Iraqi War). Senators can filibuster any bill so long as 60 senators do not wish to invoke the cloture rule to stop debate. I’ve not seen too many filibusters by Democratic senators the past 4 years.
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Actually I’m more concerned with the cost of a Kerry victory. We’ve all seen the ABB crowd roll over and support Kerry even while saying they are against the war. Well, the day after the election of Kerry, most of the ABB folks are going to go into hibernation and despite their rhetoric, are not to going to challenge him about the war or much of anything else. We’ve seen this behavior before, when Clinton won the presidency and sold out the progressives with an imperialist war in Yugoslavia, so-called “welfare reform” that destroyed what remained of the safety net for the poor and his support for NAFTA. In some respects the NAFTA sellout was the worse since it went against not only progressives, but even the more conservative Dem supporters — labor unions. Clinton knew, just as Kerry will know, that unless the progressives are going to support a third Party, and by definition, ABB’s wont do that, they simply have nowhere to go and are locked into supporting him and the Dem/DLC agenda. Period. Why should Kerry listen after the election when he didn’t listen before the election.
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Yes, Bush is the worst president we have ever had, but Kerry is just Republican light. He does not represent change.

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Yes. Bush is a bad president, but the badness of his presidency has been exaggerated vis-à-vis other presidencies. Clinton started a war against Serbs without any conceivable threat to the American people, without UN approval, and without the congressional declaration required by the Constitution. Anglo-American imperialism took the lives of many innocent people in the Balkans in the 1990s with the support of the Democratic Party. The Bosnia and Kosovo wars were justified by the demonization of Milosovich, as if U.S. foreign policy is actually determined by things like concern for human life or human rights. The propaganda about Milosovich echoed and foreshadowed the same verbal attack on Hussein. Of course, Milosovich was a thug, but he and the Serbs did not have a monopoly on atrocities during the Balkan civil war (as Clinton, Gore, Albright, and Kerry well knew). Instead of acknowledging this, and allowing the Europeans to continue working on a brokered peace, the Democrats poured gasoline on the fire and killed more innocent people. The Patriot Act is an updating of the Anti-Terrorism Act created by Clinton in 1996. CAFTA proposed by Bush builds upon NAFTA pushed by Clinton. Kerry supported war against Iraq as early as 1998, when many congressional Democrats were agitating for bloodshed.

I think war against Iran is more likely under Kerry than Bush. Just listen to what Kerry, Edwards, and the Democratic platform are saying about Iran. This would be a perfect opportunity for John “Reporting for Duty” Kerry to prove how macho he is, expand the American empire, please the Israeli government, and help out U.S.-based oil companies. In the second debate, Kerry was specifically asked how he would handle Iran if they don’t stop working on their reputed nuclear program. In typical fashion, he gave a mealy-mouthed answer but ended up saying, “If we have to get tough with Iran, believe me, we will get tough.” If you support war with Iraq, vote for Kerry because he’s the most likely candidate to give you what you want. (If he does, maybe some of the neoconservatives will return to their Democratic home and join the DLC hawks who have long loved Kerry and Edwards.) I don’t see any improvement if Bush’s policies are handed off to Kerry for his smoother style of administration. It might make Barbra Streisand or Jacques Chirac feel better, but it won’t help the rest of the world. A vote for Kerry is truly a vote for Bush’s policies. It’s illogical, delusional, and immature to think otherwise.
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My determination to support Nader is more a determination to make a “clean break” from the Democratic party. I fully believe it is a dead-end for social movements to attach themselves to the Dems. We will be sold out again and again every four years if we tie our fate to whichever “lesser-evil” is nominated. I also firmly believe that there is no way for any third-party candidate to become successful without having to respond to the “spoiler” label. This is an inevitable label that will be used to intimidate supporters of independent politics.
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We need to raise our sights and seek a higher ideal of what it means to be a citizen and what it means to lead. If my standing up for these values means that Bush will become President, then so be it. That only means that we in America are in need of a lesson in responsible citizenship. I think Bush will teach us that. He inspired me to stop trying to grow my business and to put my attention instead on being a citizen first. I have children and grandchildren who I love. We need to do what’s important first.
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I am well aware of how much Bush would be free to do if he wins this election. But, my reasons for supporting Nader are two-fold. First, Kerry supports Bush-style regressive neo-conservativism. PATRIOT Act, No Child left Behind, imperialism, gay-marriage, etc. Not to mention that Kerry’s plan for “ending outsourcing of US jobs” will not work and is just a glorified tax-break to huge companies that have already decided to keep jobs here. Further, democracy only works when we vote for what we truly believe in. “Strategic voting” and the lesser-of-two-evils politics have no place in a successful democratic society. I am a Minnesota Vikings fan. We have never won a superbowl, and we won’t this year, but they are my home team. I love them, and I am cheering for them whether or not they can win. I refuse to cheer for the Patriots or the Eagles. Go Vikings! Go Nader!
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I view Kerry as NEARLY as costly–not totally, but NEARLY.
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I find it very ironic that the current ABB crowd accuses ME of not fully appreciating the costs of another Bush presidency. Where were all these people over the last four years when I was out in the streets getting tear gassed? In January 2002, not 4 months after the 9/11 attacks, I was one of the organizers of a protest against a visit by the Commander in Thief to my hometown of Portland. An ABBer I work with attended the same event–except that he had a ticket to Bush’s speech, sat in the audience, and politely applauded to show his support for Bush’s “war on terrorism.” He told me afterwards that there were a few points where he withheld his applause to make a point. Yeah, some point! Three years later, he now thinks voting for Kerry is a good way to make his point.

There is a fundamental incoherence in the ABB mindset, which is the proverbial elephant in the living room that nobody wants to talk about during this election. On the one hand, we’re supposed to believe that George W. Bush is the Worst President Ever, qualitatively and quantitatively worse than anybody who has gone before, and single-handedly responsible for everything from global warming to the heartbreak of psoriasis. On the other hand, we’re supposed to accept that it’s OK for the Democrats to have supported 90% of the Bush agenda over the past four years. Now, which is it going to be, guys?! If Bush is as bad as the Democrats say, it should be absolutely unacceptable for ANY politician to have supported him or voted with him, EVER. Bush collaborators should be ostracized from public life like the plague carriers that they are. On the other hand, if most of his agenda is something the Democrats are comfortable supporting, then perhaps they should go ahead and admit that the sky won’t fall if we have another four years of him.

The Kerry campaign tries to take advantage of this incoherence by playing both sides of the issue. When they aren’t lying about his record, or engaging in ridiculous hair-splitting, Kerry’s supporters frame his support for most of the Bush agenda as a GOOD thing. He’s “moderate.” He’s “electable.” He can appeal to those quasi-mythical “swing voters.” At the same time, I’m supposed to believe that not voting for Kerry is tantamount to heresy, because Bush is poised to become the next Hitler. Well, which is it?!

A realistic appraisal of the consequences of another Bush term starts with an accurate understanding of the last four years. The last four years have been VERY frightening, no question about that. But these frightening developments have all been logical developments of late-stage imperial capitalism, and have all followed on very specific foundations laid during the Clinton years, with welfare reform, NAFTA, his 1996 “anti-terrorism act,” etc. (Not to mention Clinton’s Iraq policy, which killed 6,000 innocent people per month for 8 straight years.) Bush is not a historical aberration, nor is he a mad emperor. He did not, and could not have, accomplished any of his nefarious deeds without a huge degree of Democratic collaboration. If we want to defeat Bush’s AGENDA, it will not suffice to replace him with another carbon-based life form who supports that agenda. We need to hold the Democrats accountable.

Should the progressive vote for Nader indeed prove to be the decisive factor in this election (very unlikely to happen, but I can dream) the next four years might see some significant brakes being put on the Bush agenda. Democrats in Congress would see the writing on the wall, and realize that from now on, being a real opposition party will be a condition of keeping their jobs. Bush’s next war resolution won’t sail through nearly so easily. His next violation of our civil rights won’t pass nearly-unanimously. His next grossly inflated military budget won’t be rubber-stamped.

Compare this with the likely scenario if Kerry wins, with no more of a mandate from us than to be a “better” version of Bush. The former scenario might actually be preferable.
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6. Various organizations opposed to Nader’s run have been running ads and broadcasting petitions to convince people such as yourself to vote for Kerry. What impact, if any, have these efforts had on your thinking?

[Not quoted here, many said they had not seen them.]
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They’ve only made me more determined to vote Nader. Why don’t they spend all this time and effort to win over some of the 50% of Americans who don’t even think voting is important? The answer is because Kerry and the democrats are incapable of putting forward an agenda that a true majority of Americans can get behind.

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They are offensive. If they were trying to convince me that Kerry’s stand on the issues is better than Nader’s, I would disagree with their position, but an honest debate about the issues would be good. Instead they are arguing against the inclusion of candidate who better reflects their own views. If they all gathered together and put their efforts into seriously campaigning for Nader and against Kerry/Bush we’d have the start of a progressive movement in this country. We might not win this election, but until we line up behind what we believe in and start fighting for it we will lose every time.
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I’ve considered their arguments but find them, for the most part, to be half hearted. They seem to be grasping at straws because they see how weak the Democratic Party’s chosen standard bearer is on most issues that matter to people on the left. They never challenge Nader’s positions, they just challenge Nader on a personal level – he’s egotistical, he takes money from (gasp!) Republicans. It is hard to find someone who is enthusiastic for Kerry. I’m not sure even his wife is solidly in his corner. Bush on the other hand has rabid support from people who actually seem to respect and love the guy.
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I stopped subscribing to The Nation. They say Bush will be much worse for the poor and the war victims, but looking at Clinton’s record, I find it hard to agree.

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They have forced me to give up on the so-called progressive leadership in
this country. There are anti-war groups beating the drums for Kerry and against Nader. There are gay groups, working hard to elect someone who will not give them their rights. Etc. They have taught me that fear is more powerful than reason. I have learned that Nader’s cause is, in fact, more important than I thought in 2000. The system is broken, and it is corrupting everyone in sight.
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Coming from a Democrat state [WV)] in which Republican governors have twice in the last 20 years seen their increases in AFDC/TANF rolled back by subsequent “Democratic” governors, I cast a cynical eye on these offerings. Anyone living in southern or border states should be a little leery of the Democrats being cast as the progressive alternative. Don’t forget that Jimmy Carter endorsed George Wallace over Hubert Humphrey in 1968, and George Wallace won less than 50 percent of the Georgia vote, making the “tactical necessity” argument a little lame. BTW, this Democratic Grinch governor in WV also reduced the per needy child annual clothing allowance from $150 to $100, again rolling back the increase of the previous Republican administration.
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When so-called progressive groups disparage Nader’s run, well, I just shake my head and wonder what THEY are thinking! I can understand (even if I don’t agree with) those who encourage voters in “swing” states to consider holding their noses and voting for Kerry. However, I’ve yet to see one anti-Nader letter/ad that has actively encouraged progressives to vote for Nader in the “safe” states in order to send the strongest possible progressive message. As far as I’m concerned, any progressive who does NOT vote for Nader or Cobb in a “safe” state should be ashamed of him/herself.

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Just as in 2000, the Democrats drag out the “Chicken Little” strategy which is designed to, one more time, cow left-leaning voters to vote for another Republican-Lite DLC-Democrat. It is not possible to be cynical enough about the motives of the Democratic Party in this area. As for left-leaning people, I would hope that the Pied-Piper spectacle of Dennis Kucinich would have taught them not to put any trust in the Democratic Party. The Democrats don’t support the issues that I believe in. Ralph Nader does. Hence my vote for Nader.
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These efforts, here in Oregon in particular, were decisive in turning me from an “anybody but Bush” voter, into an unshakable Nader write-in voter. The execrable machinations of the Democratic Party to deny Nader ballot access have convinced me beyond doubt that neither they, nor their candidate, are deserving of my support.
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I might have to vote for Kerry. More because I really do not want another 4 years of Bush.

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The Chomsky et al appeal surprised me the most, especially since it runs counter to what he has written for so long.
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A man came to my door asking my opinions on the election and when I told him I had planned to vote for Nader before he was removed from the ballot and that I will now most likely vote for Cobb he immediately launched into a lecture on how that was more harm than good. He said liberals had to band together to elect Kerry then “hold his feet to the fire” when he got into office. I asked him why I should trust a candidate to listen to my views once he is in power when his party had already silenced my voice in the election by having my candidate removed from the ballot. He didn’t have an answer.
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Hm…I have not seen any of the ads, but I did inadvertently end up on some listserves of “progressive democrats” working from within the party. Generally, these people make me want to vote for Nader even more. Three reasons for this. One, they are usually the ones who are trying to silence Nader and using dirty politics to do it. Two, I am very turned off by people whose strategy is to convince me how bad the opposition is instead of how worthy their candidate is. (Anybody but Bush does not motivate me.) Third, I think they are very deluded. As soon as the election is over, they will likely loose momentum and the democratic party will continue to ignore them and their issues. Nader is right that if you have no breaking point then the democrats have no reason to care about you or your issues.

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7. Is there something those groups could tell you that would sway your vote?

Sure, they could tell me that Kerry is going to pull troops and corporations out of Iraq, that he is going to lower the defense budget significantly, he’s going to look at the effect of America’s foreign policy on why “terrorists hate our freedom” and may even acknowledge the need for a higher minimum wage, universal health care, that Palestinians are not terrorists………ETC!
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Not really – except possibly for my wife who has joined the ABB crowd after voting for Nader the past two elections. Marital pressures are growing!
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They could negotiate with Nader; perhaps offer him Attorney General in a Kerry administration.
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They could show me proof that Kerry will pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately and that he will end our support for Israel.

Or maybe they could prove to me that he will fight to reinstate the Bill of Rights
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Yes : We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
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8. How have the efforts to keep Nader off the ballot affected your decision?

I live in Oregon, a “swing-state” with a whopping 7 electoral votes.
Although I know that Nader is the best man in the race (again), I started-out this election cycle in an “anybody but Bush” frame of mind. As a non-affiliated (i.e., independent) voter, I thought I’d vote for Lucifer if the Dems nominated him. But, after suffering through the same old mind-numbing fiasco of the primaries, I came back around to the conclusion that, if Nader managed to get himself on the Oregon ballot, then I’d have to give him my vote…otherwise, I’d hold my nose and vote for Kerry (i.e., Business-as-usual). Then came all of the dirty-Dem tricks to deny Nader ballot access in Oregon. It has simply pissed-me off to the point that now, I swear that I would write-in Nader if I knew that Oregon was going to swing by a single vote! Given the disgusting state of American politics, my personal integrity is all that I have left, and, by God, I’m going to keep it! In the immortal words of our exalted commander-in-chief, “Bring ’em on!”
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They’ve made me more resolute. It should be painfully obvious that the democrats are not the least bit interested in democracy. They’re suppressing another candidate’s campaign. They’re stifling dissent at their own convention. They’re attacking people holding true to the progressive principles which the democrats *claim* to hold. They’re using fear of Bush to manipulate people just as Bush is using fear of terror.
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Any shred of respect that I may have had left for the DEms is gone, and I will never vote Democrat again and I hope their party goes down. They say that they are moving the political atmosphere back to one where 3rd parties would be welcome – that’s a big load of bullshit.
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They convinced me he had the prominence to be an effective protest candidate.
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My vote is mine to cast for whomever I wish. I see their attempts as blatant thievery, and it makes me feel somewhat disenfranchised, as my chosen candidate will surely receive less of the popular vote than he would have, had he been given fair access. I’ve never heard an acceptable defense of these efforts you mention. What is it other than disenfranchisement when you disallow someone to vote for their chosen candidate? Their vote has effectively been nullified.
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They have confirmed my feelings from back in the spring of this year, and
ever since the Dems put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, that the
Democrats are beyond salvation.
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More disgust at the craven attitudes of the Democrats, their supporters, and much of the Left. This is an important election, but for different reasons than the Democrats maintain. We are seeing total destruction (or suicide) of much of the Left, and I have doubts that they will easily recover from this. How can anyone believe something they say if, every four years, they argue that you should support someone who disagrees with all the positions that the Left holds?

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I tell you, this is a big issue with me. In my view, the maneuverings against Nader reveal the true face of the Dems–at least their leadership. These folks aren’t interested in my right to vote for my candidate. They’re interested in power, and they’re becoming more like Republicans when it comes to gaining that power. I can tell you that the constant litigation and sleaze over ballot access will probably keep me out of the Democratic party for the rest of my mortal days. In fact, it is this behavior that has convinced me that the argument that Kerry is somehow a closet progressive is largely crap.
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No. I traveled across the country to represent Nader in the PA ballot battle trial. These efforts make me see how afraid and pathetic the anti-Bush progressive mindset is and emboldened my view.
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I’m not surprised at all. History shows plainly that neither the Democratic Party nor the GOP gives a damn about democracy. Both groups exist to preserve the status quo and ensure corporate hegemony at the expense of workers and the environment. All of this is so well-documented that it simply underscores the complicity of mainstream media in maintaining the veil of ignorance that rests firmly over the eyes of most of my fellow citizens.
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I’m more determined to vote for Ralph than ever. As I said above, here in Portland I personally witnessed the Democrats trying to keep me from voting for whom I wanted. The SEIU spent $25,000 harassing Nader signature gatherers here-apparently, there were no local Wal-Marts that needed organizing. Rah-rah Taft-Hartley!
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Negative impact. Some of these folks, like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, are my heroes. I have been very saddened to see them fall into the ABB trap. Kerry has turned his back on a potential base of anti-war supporters who would have given him a landslide victory — and these well-meaning progressives have responded with “that’s OK — he’s not Bush.”
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They haven’t affected my decision, but they have increased my dislike of the Democrats
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9. Some of Nader’s allies from 2000 have said his candidacy this year is a strategic mistake. Do you agree? Explain.

We’re making a mistake if we vote for Kerry because we believe that he is the lesser of two evils. If we do the country will continue moving in the wrong direction. I made the mistake of voting for Clinton the first time because I thought he would reverse the Reagan revolution – only to see him continue it. The only way to affect change in the direction we want is to build a mass popular movement. This movement can be started if people defect from Kerry to join Nader.

So the real question is: when are the liberal supporters of Kerry going to realize their error and declare their support for Nader. If liberals weren’t willing to vote for nonliberals Nader would be a serious contender, would be hitting Bush and Kerry hard in the debates and making arguments that might move some undecided voters into our camp. People would actually hear someone on national tv defend our point of view.

Would we win? Possibly in a three way race we might if the electorate splits three ways. However, the bigger issue is that we start making the case for an alternative system and at least apply enough pressure on the system to exact concessions from the larger parties.

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I don’t understand where they are coming from. They are willing to sacrifice everything they worked so hard in the past four years to gain, just to throw it away on a man that tries successfully to act like Bush.
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I don’t agree. No one would even entertain any of the issues that Nader brings to the national stage if he weren’t a candidate for President. People have been complaining that he has been silent since 2000. I think that is more a reflection of the media who won’t cover him than it is of him not having anything to say. Nader makes Kerry at least look over his shoulder and possibly think about some progressive issues and he also helps to point out to the electorate the true lack of choice represented by these two Yalies. By the way, when is it wrong to stand up and tell the truth?
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No. If progressives don’t show some backbone, the Democrats will take them for granted.
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He accomplished a lot four years ago by putting the Green Party on the map. This year he may accomplish the destruction of the Democratic party, which would be even a greater accomplishment. That would open things for a real progressive party, replacing the make-believe one.

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I think his strategy could be better, but nobody is perfect. And it’s hard to have much of a strategy when you have to spend all your time fighting for ballot access. Most of all, I am very disappointed in how many prominent “progressives” have shown their true colors by telling us to back a candidate they themselves despise. This has done more damage to our cause than anything the democrats have done.
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I will say that in retrospect Nader made a terrible mistake by not running a serious campaign in 1996. He would be much further ahead this year and we would not be having this discussion. Also apparently he didn’t do much groundwork to prepare the way for his 2004 candidacy (at least the fruits of that are not apparent). I understand part of his reasoning is that he loathes professional candidates (and there is something to be said for that), but nevertheless the result appears to be a campaign in disarray.
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The vanguards of change are never popular or easily accepted. Fundamental things must change in the American political system: if it was easy or “popular” it would no doubt, by definition, not mean very much. Think about this: a great deal of the liberal animosity toward Nader would vanish if IRV existed. Progressives would accept and in virtually every case SUPPORT his candidacy Republicans would save their money and not contribute to his campaign and his support would be accurately reflected in the Election Day results.

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In a sense, early in the campaign, I was hoping Nader would not run. However, when Kerry became the second rich white Skull and Bones pro-war pro-establishment candidate, I was glad that Nader was there to bring up my issues.
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if he cannot live with the Greens any longer I wish he would name a successor (or two or ten or twenty) in order to avoid the Cesar Chavez syndrome when he passes on. I wish he and the Greens had not fallen out in the first place. I hate to see these battles among Lefties which seem more like disputes of style and personality rather than disputes over genuine platform differences.

I am still glad that he’s running. Even if I were in the nose-holding crowd, I’d be grateful that he’s running. My partner and others keep telling me that he’s a tyrant and an asshole, etc. etc… My response is that it’s a shame that you apparently have to be a tyrant and an asshole in this country to have enough nerve to stand up and say what needs to be said. My response is that if Nader is an asshole, Kerry is a stooge, and I’d rather vote for the asshole than the stooge.

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I believe Nader’s candidacy this year does two important things: One, it provides a voice for the right positions on the most important issues the nation faces (for example, the war was wrong and we should get out). Two, it indicates that if the Democratic Party wants to abandon progressive positions for the sake of electoral strategy, there is a potential price to be paid (i.e., some disaffected progressives will not vote Democratic).
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No. There is no time like the present to try and bring about change. If we wait for a better time to push for change, to wait for the perfect time, well then the time to do it will never come. Sacrifices sometimes need to be made to bring about real change, a real movement that will last. I am disheartened with what the Green Party has done. Not putting Nader on their ballot and then having a candidate that won’t run and in fact asks their party members not to vote for them in swing states. That is no way to create a movement, build a party for real change. They lost me as a member.
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Nader is the only candidate with broad based appeal that transcends parties. He is the only one trying to bring different voices together for a common good.
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Nader’s candidacy this year is the REASON I got active in politics, which would not have happened if he had not run. (which by extension includes all the people I’ve influenced such as my mother who voted for Bush in 2000, but will now vote for Nader in 2004)
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From a purely strategic point of view, that charge holds water. However, in the long run, holding back one’s candidacy due to strategy is only going to keep the 2-party duopoly in place. I then ask “what year is a good year for a minor party movement?” It seems the answer to that question is always “next year”.
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I don’t see why Nader’s candidacy was good strategy in 2000, but not good strategy in 2004. Are the differences between Kerry and Bush bigger than the differences between Gore and Bush? This is fear politics. We are supposed to be so afraid of another Bush presidency that we are expected to cower in fear. I am an immigrant, it took me 14 years to get my citizenship and this is my first opportunity to vote for President. I don’t want it to be an act of fear, I want it to be an act of resistance. {It occurred to me as an after-thought that the 6.5 years I spent waiting for a response on my application for political asylum would have been spent in jail if the Patriot Act had been law in the 1990s. I know people who are in jail today, who have done nothing but request asylum. This is the sad state of human rights in this country today, and John Kerry voted for that.} The Democrats had an opportunity to run a decent candidate. Instead, they picked the least progressive candidate of the original 9 who ran during the primary. They have only themselves to blame, Nader becomes more and more attractive as the Democratic nominee behaves more and more like a Republican.
###
I think the fact that Nader is not talking more about what his campaigning can do AFTER Nov. 2nd is the strategic mistake in his campaign NOT that he is running in and of itself. Of course, the main strategic mistake was made by the Democratic Party Leadership two years ago when they decided to hitch their fate to a pro-war platform. Had the Democratic Party Leadership adopted an aggressively anti-war strategy two years ago, they would be kicking Bush’s ass right now.

###
The truth works, but the Democrats didn’t believe in the truth and that was their mistake. Nader is a courageous and honorable citizen. He is teaching us how to be steadfast in defense of our best values. To try to knock down a man who is standing up for the best that’s in us is a foolish, dangerous, and stupid thing to do. I will stand with Nader for he stood with me. Bush deserved to be impeached. Had the truth been told, he would not even be a candidate. He doesn’t deserve to run. Nader was the only one who told the truth about that. Because of those who were unwilling to hold fast to their own values, the world is turned upside down: Bush is seen as steadfast, and Nader is portrayed as a traitor. That’s the price we are now paying for forgetting who we are and what we stand for.
###
The Progressive cause is never a mistake. Will supporting Kerry make it better for progressives in 2008? 2012? 2016? They don’t have a good history. Will the Republicans have a candidate to be scared of in the coming years? The Democrats will try this every election.
###
It’s always a bad year/”not the right time” for “spoilers” to point out that the system is spoiled. MLK faced the same accusation when he wrote his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Democracy can never take a holiday. Nader only has one life & is making each day count. We don’t know the future-all we have is the gift of today. I wish all of us would make our lives count as much for the betterment of humanity as his has.
###
No, the best thing about Nader is his unyielding drive and constantly standing for what he believes in. He would receive no votes ever without that. I wouldn’t know that there is at least 1% of people with common sense left in the country without him.
###

10. Let’s suppose that you and others vote Nader in a swing state, Kerry loses that state which he would have won if the Nader voters had backed him and that loss costs Kerry the election. What is your thinking about this outcome?

Bush is such a moronic, lying jerk that if Kerry loses it’s his own fault. And though I don’t advocate voting for Bush I see a silver lining: Bush is the most inept handler of US imperialism in our history. Kerry actually wants to rescue US imperialism. Our horrific foreign policies and budget-busting military budgets will come to an end sooner under Bush’s mismanagement.
###
No, I disagree. The strategy to hold your nose and hope and pray plays into the hand of the corporate democrats who no longer have ANY positions: they will push towards totalitarianism if they get a pass from liberals/progressives.
###

I don’t blame Nader for his pro-peace platform; I blame Kerry
because he is NOT pro-peace. If he were, maybe he would have won the Nader
votes.
###
? I did my job. Others should have done the same.
###
Serves him right. Kerry is arrogant and wrong to believe that it is Nader and his supporters’ fault for his loss. He could have done something -anything- right during the 9 months before the election, and he blew it. I feel no remorse or pity for the Dems because they need to realize that they are not going to unify the left by sucking the Republicans’ teats.
###
Jim Hightower said we need to drag the “sack of cement” Kerry over the finish line. But guess what –now the peace movement is stuck under a sack of cement. Dump the sack!!
###
Because Kerry would be merely a smarter and more effective manager of the empire, I have no misgivings about causing him to lose the election. Again, though, I would not be voting for Kerry even absent Ralph’s candidacy. Just as in 1996, I abstained from voting rather than vote a second time for Bill Clinton, in whom I was sorely disappointed.
###
Hell, I’ll do you one better. Assume for the sake of argument that I’m the last person to vote. All the other votes have been tallied, and Kerry is losing to Bush by only one vote in my state, the swing state that will determine the whole election. If I vote for Kerry they are tied exactly, and some sort of runoff takes place. If I vote for Nader, Bush wins it all. Even here, I don’t understand why it’s taken for granted that I would or should vote for Kerry. In this situation, Kerry’s platform hasn’t magically changed to meet my criteria. If my issue is with the agenda that both candidates share, then there’s no reason to think I’d support that agenda under any circumstances. Somehow this is lost on democrats.

###
If the so-called Democratic Party really believes that marginal candidates’s support is costing them elections, they have bigger problems than Nader.
###

Votes are to be earned, not given as a sort of feudal obligation. You want my vote? Earn the damned thing or shut up. There’s something else that too many progressives are not considering, and that’s the longer term possibilities of another Bush win. Things may have to get worse before they get better. I don’t like this prospect, but it may be truthful. We have a lot of brothers and sisters who just aren’t being jarred enough by the state of the state to seriously consider third parties, and another Bush term may help do the trick.
###
Kerry will have himself to blame. He trounced Bush in the debates, the country is hemorrhaging good jobs, and people have turned against the war. The race should not be tie now, Kerry should be up by double digits. He’s not because his agenda is not one bit different from Bush’s and if he loses it’s because people either didn’t vote or they saw no reason to switch horses in midstream. Don’t blame Nader if others like myself chose a candidate who actually has principles and wants to build a real alternative.
###
This is a bogus question. If an equivalent number of nonvoters had backed Kerry, Kerry would have won. If half that number of Bush voters had backed Kerry, Kerry would have won. Blaming Nader voters, who represent a miniscule proportion of all those who will not vote for Kerry, is absurd. In my view people who advance this “vote-siphoning” argument are just mindlessly repeating Democratic propaganda, meant to deflect attention from the fact that voters simply do not like them. Unfortunately the strategy works.
###
This question is a sad commentary on the sorry state of America’s public schools, particularly in the area of mathematics. For the very last time, run the numbers from the 2000 election, you #$%&^*#@! idiots (I don’t mean you, Greg). Many more registered Democrats cross party lines to vote Republican than to vote Nader. Hassle these right-wing dirtbags for once, will ya?
###
If Kerry doesn’t win, it’s not because people voted for Ralph Nader, it’s because people voted for George Bush.

No candidate is entitled to votes; they need to earn them. Bush and Kerry lost the chance to earn the votes of many people with their unconstitutional invasion of Iraq. Such voters are voting against Bush; they just happen to be voting against Kerry as well.
###
I object to the question. If Kerry loses a state, it is because too many people voted for Bush, not because 2% of the people voted for Nader. Even then, approximately half of the voting age population will not vote this election. The number of people not registered to vote is much, much larger than the amount of people who will vote for Nader. It never ceases to amaze me that it is my vote for Nader that puts Bush in the White House and not my neighbor’s vote for Bush, himself.

Assuming that the Nader vote added to the Kerry vote would be greater than the Bush vote, it is my belief that people who vote for Nader don’t cost Kerry anything. If Kerry can’t win against what could arguably be the most unpopular incumbent president in the history of the presidency, then he doesn’t deserve to win. He should be winning by 20 points.
###
Actually I think we are better off with Bush as the winner. Let’s face it, membership in progressive organizations like the ACLU and environmental and anti-war groups has mushroomed under Bush. Compared to the Clinton years when the war on Yugoslavia was met with support by progressives — I remember some progressives talking about the need for “humanitarian bombing” — virtually everything Bush does is opposed by progressives. Even where Kerry and the Dems would (and did) do the same thing (eg, the war, the patriot act). This is important because you have to remember that Bush’s action in Afghanistan and Iraq were supported by the Democratic Party in the house and senate, with very few exceptions. Ditto with the Patriot act, etc. You have to remember that real leadership in the country does not consist of Democratic or Republican “leaders”, but rather by the people who go out in the middle of February and protest the war, people who go to the inauguration and throw eggs at the presidents car are the real leaders. And it is of foremost importance that these people keep doing what they’re doing after the election is over. And, under Kerry, they wont. It will be hibernation time for at least a year, probably more. If Bush wins it obviously won’t be a decisive victory, there will be a lot of squabbling about election reform and the need to make some changes, he will be facing calls for his impeachment, for war crimes trials, etc. People will be pissed and the pre election fight will continue — unlike a Kerry victory. We need the rabble to keep rousing. They wont under Kerry.
###

That is not my problem. NM has had IRV introduced many times since 1997 and turned it down every time. In NM, the Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates will be taking votes Bush might think he owns. The electoral system is the problem not the candidates. In 2000, Buchanan, the LP and Constitution party candidates received over 5000 votes. Could say that helped Gore win the state by 366.
###
The outcome would be this. I stood up for what I believed in. I couldn’t convince my fellow citizens to vote with me. This is the result. That’s how it works in a Democracy. If we all don’t work to defend and build a better democracy, peopled by better educated citizens, this is what happens. Maybe next time we’ll do better. If we don’t we soon might not have a Democracy.
###
I admit when he first announced he was running, I was not sure it was the best idea. However, after hearing his reasons and watching the election, I now understand why and fully support him. The consolidation of power in our national system truly horrifies me. And…the fact that the Democrats do not seem to support any real voting reform measures just proves how vested in the system they are. If Nader stops running, his message and any momentum for reform is gone. There will be no one even trying to bring these issues to public attention.
###
11. Any other relevant thoughts?
All throughout history it has been people that have *forced* change upon society. Look at the abolitionists, women’s suffrage, labor movement, civil rights movements, Vietnam anti-war movement, and more recently (until the democrats effectively shut it down) the gay marriage movement. The politicians in power are largely irrelevant in this context. However, when we allow ourselves to be manipulated by fear into voting for the lesser evil and abandon these movements we abandon progress. Voting and working within the system is important, but it will never be more important than organizing and putting pressure on the system from the outside.

###
Kerry might be a more dangerous president. At least the liberal groups will fight Bush. They’ve made it clear in this election that no matter what Kerry does, they will line up behind him in the next election.

###
The Democrats, with a few notable exceptions (but not John Kerry), have completely abandoned principle in favor of policies that generate campaign money and favorable coverage from the corporate media. Ralph Nader stands up for what is right. It seems a fairly straightforward choice.
###
The Democrats should have nominated a better candidate and Kerry should have gotten on the right side of the Iraq War issue, early on.
He’d be smoking Cuban cigars now and have more time for windsurfing instead of running in a statistical dead heat with a war criminal absent any significant accomplishments to recommend reelection.
###
The war / business party in our country, of which the democratic and republican parties are the two main branches, is a master of instilling fear in the US public. It is their weapon of choice. They have successfully marred yet another election simply using their fear tactics. They have convinced people that some candidates are simply “unelectable.” They pass it on as a foregone conclusion that Nader has no chance of winning. Last I checked (the 2000 election notwithstanding), the candidate with the most electoral votes wins. However, you won’t find me deriding a democrat, the day after Nader loses, by saying, “if only Kerry weren’t on the ballot, Nader would have won.” Maybe I should.
###
Bush is not the real problem any more that Hitler was the real problem in
Germany. The problem is the drift into fascism, which has continued unabated at least since Reagan. Militarism, war, and the increasing corporate control of everything is the problem, and Nader is the only person articulate on this subject.
###
Certainly the most disgusting election campaign in my memory, and whoever wins, the world loses. But Bush has already won. The question now is who carries (or Kerries) out the Bush agenda: The Classic Bush, who we all love to hate, or the New Improved Bush, stronger and speaking better English.
###
I’ve had two Democratic supporters come to my house in door-to-door campaigns in the last month, and I’ve received a few phone calls from the Democratic party and all of these individuals agreed with me that Kerry’s plan for Iraq is similar to Bush’s, and they have agreed with me that the Democratic party is not going to do any better than Bush on many major things. Actually, I was surprised at this, I had figured they would try to convince me otherwise. The 2004 Democratic presidential campaign has been a huge mess in which many Democrats kept their distance from Kerry throughout the campaign, this has and will cost them dearly. I voted in the Iowa caucuses and was surprised and appalled, even back in January, at how many people supported Kerry in Iowa. I was happy that people were energized to take part, but peoples’ enthusiasm waned across the country as they struggled to figure out what John Kerry was about. I think the energy died down, too, after people realized Kerry didn’t differ too much from Bush on the Iraq war. If the ground troops for the Democrats don’t believe in their candidate, I don’t know how they can expect a default, alternative presidential vote(a Kerry vote). Only someone like Ralph Nader or Jesse Ventura (who I see as a strong candidate in 2008) can be a viable alternative to the Dem/Rep machine.
###
Yes, if as an agnostic I can paraphrase the Good Book: Be not deceived the Fates are not fooled. As ye sow so shall ye reap. And Kerry/Bush is what we’ve reaped from decades of voting for the lesser of the two evils. If that’s not relevant (and obvious!), I don’t know what is.
###
John Kerry has said NOT ONE WORD about the corporate takeover of the political system not just here in the United States but throughout the world. Not one word! It puts me in mind of Claude Rains’ famous line in Casablanca: “I’m shocked! Shocked to see gambling taking place here!” And then the croupier comes up to Claude Rains, the Chief of Police, and says: “Your winnings, sir.”

The only difference is that while Rains acknowledges that gambling is indeed occurring in Ric’s Place, Kerry *doesn’t even acknowledge* the presence of corporate corruption/corporate domination in political systems the world over.
Now, I would urge progressives who are voting for Kerry to think about this, for just a moment. …
###
This year, more than at any previous time, I have been conscious of the amount of money and effort spent by the state and its various apparatuses (including the mainstream media) to create the illusion of democracy and choice in the political process. And yet, never before has the lack of both been so glaringly apparent. Truly we are like thirst people being given the choice of two treacly brown fuzzy sugar beverages, differentiated only by their labels, and told that anyone looking for a drink of spring water is a subversive.
###
This year’s Anybody but Bush obsession has been catastrophic for the American electorate and for the world. It virtually guaranteed that the Democratic candidate would be Somebody like Bush. I’m sure the DLC – and their corporate buddies – couldn’t have been happier.
###
It’s a sad day when Pat Buchanan regularly spouts foreign policy positions that are (de facto) to the LEFT of John Kerry’s. If Pat were running, he’d be my second choice. I’d rather fight Pat’s minions on the streets of Portland and in the federal appellate courts than fight for Bush/Kerry on the streets of Fallujah or Gaza City. Hey, even Nixon had the EPA.
###
Just a huge thumbs-up to Ralph for battling on! The sort of crap he’s endured from pseudo-liberals in the Democrat camp is downright amazing. Shame on them for not agitating for the changes needed to win this election on their own party’s merits. Better still, why don’t they just acknowledge the whole doomed nature of the Democrat Party and join the Nader campaign themselves?!
###
I prefer to vote my hopes not my fears. The problem with a Nader vote is that is does not build a 3rd party, like a vote for Cobb does.

###
I am a voter from Michigan and I will not vote for Kerry even if it means Bush gets elected again.

Remember the Clinton years? Jackbooted government thugs, Ruby Ridge, Waco all sure to convince loyal Republicans that the Big Bad Government was out of control and nothing this immoral and threatening had ever come our way before.

Now the Democrats are doing it to their own. The sky is falling, the spawn of Satan is in the White House and the world cannot survive another four years of this irrational destructive policy.

The preemptive strike policy has been around long before Bush and used by Clinton in Afghanistan and the Sudan. Bush is just more in-your-face about it. Clinton bombed Iraq for 8 years and pulled the inspectors out as they were close to lifting the sanctions. Kerry wants 40,000 more troops and maybe can get them home in 4 years.

How can I, a peace activist, vote for this man? His plan is the same as Bush’s but he is softer speaking and seems less arrogant. Was it the Democrats that started the Anyone But Bush Campaign for that is exactly what they are offering.

Fascism at home cannot be brought about without the help of the Democrats. Right Wing Judges Cannot be approved without the help of the Democrats. I stand by Nader-what this country needs is two parties.

Pull the plug and let the comatose Democrat Party expire.

###
It is way past time for a third party. We need to start building a solid third party that will not be intimidated the way the Green Party was pushed around.

###
Thank you for your book on Ralph, but unfortunately I could not get one other human being to read it. Ralph has become the Collective Scapegoat for an unconscious electorate. Gandhi’s words, “In my humble opinion, Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good,” has always been at the core of who Ralph Nader is and why it’s with the greatest ease that this unrepentant Nader voter will cast their vote in November.

###
. As a Nader supporter I’ve confronted some of these ABB people who come on with their righteous indignation at us Naderites. And I say, “well, my candidate is opposed to the war. Yours isn’t.” “why are you supporting someone who support this war, who supports Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians?” And you can see the wind drop out of their sails as they don’t want to meet you eyes. They don’t like being stooges of reactionary political forces. And they know they are.
###
Here in Pennsylvania, Nader was stricken from the ballot, but after witnessing Kerry’s move to the center in the third debate, my husband and I are taking pens to the polling place. I concur that we are witnessing the collapse of the Democratic Party as we knew it and that a new party will have to be born. I joined the Greens because of Nader’s 2000 run and am now dismayed at the sellout (not at the local level) to Democratic Party interests.

What’s left (no pun intended)? My husband and I are not moving to the left, but the party is moving to the right. And rapidly. We desperately need an alternative vision and no compromising whatsoever to progressive values.
###
I am writing to talk about Ralph Nader. I don’t at all have problem with his running after you explained the scenarios in which he wouldn’t affect Bush’s votes. But I do have a problem with his either inability or refusal to get out and get his name in peoples’ mouths way ahead of time and not the year of his election. I am only 24, so I didn’t know he ran in 1996, he could be a household name as far as politics go if he would approach like a winner and not someone who doesn’t seem interested in or motivated to take the steps necessary to win. America needs Nader. His intelligence and understanding of things makes him a choice I believe most people would vote for if only they knew who he was. I love Nader, but I truly think he needs to be known as something more then the “other guy runnin’ for prez”. Do some commercials, visit urban areas, us Blacks get votes too, and would support him to the fullest. More blacks are voting now that Bush has screwed us so bad. I live in Detroit, a major American city, I have never heard of Ralph visiting us, cause I’d have been there, and asked questions. I am voting Nader this year and I will in ’08 assuming he runs after all the opposition this year. But a movement is hard to start, and we are already behind a whole lot. So it is imperative that people get to know Nader, or he needs to do like Karl Rove and get a magnetic puppet and manipulate him from afar. If you know him personally please bang this home with him because I am sick of WONDERING what a Nader presidency would be like and how much better things would be.
###
The Democratic party has been so marginalized by the DLC and conservatives in liberal clothes (Bill “I’m an Eisenhower Republican” Clinton, Howard “Rockefeller Republican” Dean, etc.) that I’m convinced that they should disband. Either that or merge with the Republicans and end the facade (or should that be farce).

###
I can’t wait until November 3rd (or whenever this damn election is over), so we can focus once again on movement building.
###
“I’d rather vote for what I want and not get it, than vote for what I don’t want, and get it.” That’s the essence of democracy; that’s how it works. Other “strategies” touted by the Dems and GOP and their flacks in the corporate media are a corruption of democracy on which just republican government depends.
###
I hope that all the voters that support Nader realize the importance of making our voice be heard. If that means Kerry loses a state – good – then maybe our voice will be heard. Don’t tell me now is not the time, and that there’s too much at stake – that’s what was told to the women’s suffragists – and they kept to it. I wouldn’t be able to vote today had those brave activists not taken on the system and demanded their voice be heard and their principles be addressed.
###
Yes, on a more personal note. This election has been emotionally much more draining for me than the 2000 election. And it’s not the fact that the Democrats have taken the gloves off and made their real anti-democratic agenda quite clear. It’s seeing so many good, smart people around me give into the fear-mongering and turn into Stepford voters. It’s trying to debate Kerry voters, and hearing them acknowledge every single point I’m making, hearing them ADMIT that their candidate doesn’t have anything to offer me, but then they still denounce me with the kind of fervor the Inquisition used to reserve for heretics. It’s having it made very clear to me that, for mainstream Democrats, I am more “the enemy” than an actual Bush voter would be, and seeing supposed “friends” of mine buy into this scapegoating rather than question the system.

Yes, it’s been a long, lonely, scary, confusing election year. All you other Nader voters out there (and the socialist comrades too), you’re not alone, and you’re not wrong to insist on your sacred right to vote your conscience. Hang in there, keep the faith, and above all, KEEP THINKING FOR YOURSELVES! From here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, I salute you
all.
###
With so many states so close between Kerry and Bush, why aren’t any Republicans attacking Libertarians the way Nader supporters are bombarded with the message that if Kerry doesn’t win it will be all our fault? That puzzles me.
###
In the words of Malcolm X: “Put the Democrats first, and they will always put you last.”
###

 

GREG BATES is the founding publisher at Common Courage Press and author of Ralph’s Revolt: The Case For Joining Nader’s Rebellion. He can be reached at gbates@commoncouragepress.com.

 

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