[EM] To Bill Lewis Clark re: stepping-stone

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Mon Jan 26 12:53:07 PST 2004

On Sat, 24 Jan 2004, Adam H Tarr wrote:

> Bart wrote:
> >It's probably a safe bet that almost everyone
> >who voted for Nader (at least in a competitive state such as Florida)
> >didn't much care what happened between Bush and Gore, and placed a
> >higher value on placing a protest vote.
> I don't buy this.  The fact is that, even in a battleground state such as
> Florida, the chance of the election being decided by one vote is vanishingly
> small.  A progressive liberal could want everyone who shares his/her views
> to vote for Gore, and yet could still rationally vote for Nader.
> It's also worth noting that some Nader supporters were hoping that Nader
> would reach 5% so that he could receive federal matching funds in future
> elections.
> >As an aside, it's not clear to me that Gore would have netted anything
> >in Florida if IRV had been used.  Of the 1% or so Nader received, some
> >voters would have named either Bush or NOTA as the second choice.  So
> >Nader might have gained 1/8 or 1/4% against Bush from this group.  But
> >then Bush would have picked up additional votes from the Buchanan and
> >Libertarian voters.  So I wouldn't want to bet on whether IRV would have
> >changed the final outcome.
> (FOLLOWING THIS ASIDE FURTHER OT) I find it very hard to buy these
> arguments.  Honestly, I think it's a bit of mass cognitive dissonance on the
> part of the Greens - they'd rather not admit to themselves that they helped
> elect Bush.  It's all well and good to say that Gore and Bush are the same,
> but I can easily tick off a half-dozen issues near and dear to the
> progressive camp where the difference is really, really obvious.  It's easy
> to argue that the difference between them is smaller than the difference
> between Gore and Nader, but that's hardly the point.

I voted for Nader and would have voted for him even if a bonafide oracle
assured me that my vote would be pivotal between Bush and Gore if I were
to vote for one of them.

I believe that Gore would have bungled everything just as badly as Bush
has.  He could just as easily and cynically (and ironically) play the role
of the fundamentalist Christian anti-Christ ... the devil can dress more
than one wolf in sheep's clothing.

If Gore and Bush had been the only two candidates, as a form of protest I
would have refrained from voting, and not regretted it in the least if it
turned out that my vote would have been pivotal had I voted.

I know that most Nader fans preferred Gore over Bush, and that's why they
didn't vote for Nader.  The small percentage of Nader fans that actually
voted for him were probably thinking more like Mike and I do.


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