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The Nadir of Ralph Nader
by Bruce Walker
20 April 2004

Opinion polls show that Ralph Nader pulls about as many votes from President Bush as from John Kerry. 

Ralph Nader is inventing his own irrelevance.  Leftists have spent the last four years bemoaning the Green Party candidacy of Ralph Nader in 2000, which presumably “stole” the election for President Bush.  Leftists had convenient amnesia. 

The two political parties after the Green Party which drew the most votes were Pat Buchanan for the Reform Party and the Libertarian Party candidacy of Harry Browne.  If voters for these two parties more conservative than the Republican Party had voted for Bush, he would have received a substantial plurality of the vote.  The next biggest party, Howard Phillips’ Constitution Party, would have given Bush an even greater plurality. 

These votes would have also swung the election, regardless of what happened in Florida.  Buchanan alone gained enough votes in four close states -- Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico and Oregon -- so that Bush would have won the Electoral College outright if those voters had gone to Bush. 

Harry Browne, the Libertarian Party candidate, took enough votes from Bush to swing Wisconsin, New Mexico and Oregon to Bush, which would have left a tie in the Electoral College, meaning the election of President Bush by the House of Representatives meeting as state delegations and the election of Vice President Cheney by the Senate, which Republicans controlled until June 2001. 

These other electoral votes and congressional votes would have been unnecessary, however, because if President Bush had received either the votes of Buchanan or Browne, then he would have won Florida without any real difficulty. 

Considering that the 2000 election was the only election in the last seventy years -- with the possible exception of 1948 and, perhaps, 1980 -- in which third party candidates on the Left cost the Democrat more than third party candidates on the Right cost Republicans, only almost infinite narcissism could convince Democrats that Nader “cost” them the 2000 election.

Candidacies to the Right of the Democrat candidate constituted a majority of the vote in 1996, 1992 and 1960, all of which Democrats won.  Only two Democrats, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, have received a clear majority of the votes cast for president since the Civil War (Carter got only a majority of votes cast for candidates on the ballot.)  Considering that Democrats have won fifteen elections during this period, ten of those with less than half of the vote, squawking about minority presidencies rings hollow.

If Democrat whining about Nader 2000 sounds hollow, then Nader 2004 is even a sillier complaint. This “champion of the people,” who is really controlled by the institutional wealth of Leftism,  openly conspires with the Senator from Heinz on how best to run roughshod over the spirit of campaign finance reform.  When Ralph Nader says that he wants to meet with John Kerry to determine how they can work together to beat George Bush, does anyone -- particularly anyone on the Left -- see any problems with this?

What if Pat Buchanan was running for president and he met with President Bush for the expressed purpose of seeing how his candidacy could be used to defeat John Kerry? How long would it be before Leftists began demanding that campaign expenditures of the Buchanan campaign be considered part of the Bush campaign?

Campaign finance reform, we were would led to believe, would prevent this sort of collusion and fraud. If Nader is spending campaign funds to help Kerry, then why are those funds not considered part of the Kerry campaign?  The arrogance and openness of the crime seems to pass as proof that it is not a crime.

The Nadir of Nader is evidenced by the ethical bankruptcy of such a sleazy campaign, but it shows up in other ways as well.  Polls which have Nader included or Nader excluded show an interesting dynamic: Nader pulls about as many votes from Bush as from Kerry.  How could this be? 

Nader seems to be nothing more than an old, dry vessel for whatever unhappiness with real candidates is polling at the moment.  The vast majority of Americans call themselves “conservatives” (sixty percent) or “liberals” (thirty-six percent), with “moderates” claiming a scant two percent and “no response” also claiming a puny two percent.  These folks seem to be Nader voters.

Unlike Libertarian voters, who stand for something very specific and very positive (although I wish they voted Republican instead), Nader voters seem to stand for nothing other than anger, or perhaps more accurately, grumpiness. 

Here rest those geriatric Marxists still flummoxed by the revulsion conservatives and other ordinary people felt for the greatest system for mass murder in human history. Here rest the pals of Dan Rather and other dinosaurs whose ego demands that their forty years of missed guesses still be given reverent attention.  Here rest all the other mutations of Leftism which would have died without the slavish protection of foundations, government offices and fat, lazy corporations.

Yes, here in the gray, silly and vain groups of Nader supporters sit the real plutocrats (to the extent America really has plutocrats) of the sort which Teresa Heinz would instinctively support if her husband were not running for president. The Nadir of Nader. 

Bruce Walker's articles can be found at the Conservative Truth

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