Posted on JRE blog on December 11, 2003:
The only thing common to Perot and Nader is that they were third-party candidates. While Perot may have helped siphon off some conservatives, thus helping turn Clinton victory into a landslide, Nader takes away liberals and thus hurt Gore in 2000. This year, Nader candidacy would not have much effect during the primaries, perhaps take away some Kucinich and Dean supporters, but it can really hurt in the general election, whoever the Dem candidate is. This is likely to be a close election and we cannot afford to lose supporters to the Greens this time around. In my comment on that Nader website, I noted that Nader's candidacy in 2004 will make Bush a shoe-in, resulting in years of GOP absolute dictatorial rule. On the other hand, if he abstains this time around and Edwards wins and gets his campaign reform passed, that opens the doors for all third and fourth parties to have more media exposure and less need for tons of money for campaining, to have their candidates elected into Congress, to win races for governors, mayors and state legislatures, and one day perhaps the Presidency. Right now we have a two-party system. Many people have tuned out politics because they feel it is a one-party system because both parties are in bed with big corporations and their money. Reforming the system so the Greens, Reformists, Libertarians, Socialists and others become more visible and enter the government will make the politics more interesting and more representative of the diversity of opinions in this country. Also, US has moved sharply to the right in the past 20 years. GOP is so far right it would have problems remaining legal in some European countries, like Germany where they are, for historical reasons, very sensitive to such sentiments, rhetoric, platform and record. Democratic party has moved to the center. We do not have a leftist party, but the only way to open the possibility for a leftist party to thrive is if the centrist Democratic party retakes the government, pushes ultra-conservatives beyond the margins of plausibility where they belong, and reforms the campaign rules. The quiet revolution may have started within GOP as moderates, like Arnold, get elected, and many life-long Republicans have started looking at the Democratic field of candidates for alternatives to Bush. Real conservatives do not like Bush because Bush is not conservative. Bush does not care about the central tenets of conservativism: fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility and personal freedom. Dixie Chicks got fantastic sales in the wake of ClearChanel action against them. This country has seen where the neo-cons are leading it and it does not like it. I feel we have good chances of deposing King George and we will not have a coronation in this country.