Ralph Nader is Running for President

"This business of Ralph Nader being a spoiler — you know, in any three-way race, two of the three are going to be spoilers. Come on. Everybody's got a right to do it — you're not spoiling anything."

"If people want to vote for you, let them vote for you, and why shouldn't they?"

"I've just never understood why, just because you're a member of a party, you have special rights. That's not the civics that I learned in junior high school, and if Ralph Nader wants to run, good luck to him."

-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Ralph Nader

"I think the job of the Democratic Party is to be so compelling that a few percentage [points] of the vote going to another candidate is not going to make any difference."
-Barack Obama on Ralph Nader
In case you hadn't heard, legendary consumer advocate Ralph Nader is running for president. He makes a great case for his candidacy on today's Talk of the Nation, speaking about how our system is rigged and how it was more open to third parties in the 19th century.

I'm thrilled that Ralph is running. He should be. His voice needs to be heard, especially since only Nader is willing to tackle the issues that have been "pulled off the table by the corporatized political machines":
Cutting the huge, bloated and wasteful military budget, adopting a single payer Canadian-style national health insurance system, impeaching Bush/Cheney, opposing nuclear power - among many others.
(The Wall Street Journal left out "impeaching Bush/Cheney" in their coverage, no surprise.)

I'm also sick and tired of hearing the same old tired lie about Nader costing Al Gore the 2000 election. Most people know that George Bush won Florida by just 537 votes, and that Nader received over 90,000 votes. What they don't know is that every third party candidate in Florida received much more than 537 votes, much more than Bush's margin of victory over Gore:
  • Patrick Buchanan (Reform) - 17,484 votes
  • Harry Browne (Libertarian) - 16,415 votes
  • John Hagelin (Natural Law) - 2,281 votes
  • Howard Phillips (Constitution) - 1,378 votes
Of course there were a lot of things that caused Gore to lose in 2000 -- running a tepid campaign without Bill Clinton on the trail, poor debate performances, losing his home state, not contesting rampant voter fraud in Florida, Supreme Court partisanship, etc -- but Nader's candidacy was not among them.