What’s the first thing you think when you hear, “Ralph Nader”? The first thing that comes to my mind is, “narcissist whose obstinacy led to the most disastrous presidency in our history”. It’s not right that this could be his epitaph, since he should be remembered for his lifetime of selfless consumer advocacy, and the genuine differences he made in our quality of life.
Nader also made many good points about our electoral process during his 2000 run for office. No one could argue with him that both major parties are beholden to corporate interests, that the American people deserve more and better choices, and so on.
But his blind spot was his insistence then (and now) that there was no real difference between Bush and Gore. Admittedly, it was a little hard to see why this wasn’t true at the time, as no one really knew much about GWB, and no one had a crystal ball. But the lesson should certainly have been learned in retrospect: one of the two major party candidates was going to be the next president and they were NOT the same.
The people who backed Nader were so convinced he was the only guy for the job, that a third of them said they would not have voted at all in a two-person race. When the dust cleared, Florida went to Bush by only 537 votes. Nader got 97,488 votes in Florida. Exit polls asked respondents how they would vote in a two-person race between Bush and Gore. 47% of the Nader voters said they would choose Gore, 21% would choose Bush, and 32% would not vote.
Here’s the thing. 16 years later, this important lesson has still not been learned. The people who still plan to vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson at this point are just delusional. They know not what they do.
But what about the Bernie voters who now insist they won’t vote at all?
In this random article, a young genius-for-Bernie says:
“I could, at this point, care less if Hillary Clinton won or lost because I think that Donald Trump winning might actually be a wake-up call for the rest of the country, and a wake-up call for the Democratic Party.”
Kid, try to understand. The wake-up call is not Trump winning the presidency. The wake-up call is Trump winning the nomination.