Saturday, February 4, 2012

12 Years Later Gore-ites Still Won't Let Go

This fall marks the 12th anniversary of the stolen election of 2000. Stolen, what? Well, officially, there were a lot of Gore vs. Bush and Bush vs. Gore court cases and ultimately it was the court, in this case the Supreme Court, which finally gave a ruling and ended our second long national nightmare. But that's pure obfuscation, because the election was stolen in Florida and there's little a thinking individual can do to ignore that piece of history.

In 2000, I voted for Ralph Nader and twelve years later I still get shit from Gore-ites who blame me and all others who voted for Nader as the true cause the 2000 election debacle. They ignore not only the stolen election but the fact that Al Gore lost his own home state (Tennessee) which would have made the machinations in Florida moot in regards to Gore winning the required amount of electoral votes. Did you just read that last sentence over again? Yeah, all he had to do was win Tennessee. Makes you wonder if the Republicans didn't see the Tennessee writing on the wall.
From Nader's website and I don't know the photographer.

Anyway, as far Ralph Nader goes, I kept thinking of that brilliant satire of the 1996 presidential election (and I voted for Nader in that one) done by the folks working on "The Simpsons". Go ahead, throw your vote away! In the case of Nader in 2000, his popular vote total was higher than what he achieved in 1996 and in neither case did he win a state and thus any electoral votes. Unlike 1968, the last time a third party candidate won electoral votes. Did those who voted for George Wallace throw their vote away? He won 5 states, all Southern states of course. Hey, wait a minute, we're not going there.

It must be remembered that in 1996 Nader was vastly over-shadowed by another third party candidate. Or is that a fourth party candidate? The 1992 election featured the first true three way race not since 1968, but 1980, when John Anderson ran as a third party candidate. In his case, unfortunately, the structure of TV debates (something TV is inundated with these days) completely excluded him. In a nice touch by the nascent cable news network, a debate between President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan was broadcast to a studio, and in front of an audience, where Anderson was allowed to respond after freezing the telecast of the "official" debate. Anderson's popular vote total was actually higher than Nader's twenty years later.

And so it goes in 1992 that a rich Texan (what, where?) entered the presidential contest and caused a lot of waves as they say. In terms of numbers, Ross Perot received a much larger popular percentage of the vote than Wallace did in 1968, but Perot failed to receive any electoral votes. Wallace received roughly 9.9 million votes and won 5 states, while Perot received 19 million votes and no electoral votes. When he ran again again in 1996, a bit of the gilt was off the gold and then there was Nader, but Perot's numbers were still impressive.

As you can see, there have been many third party candidates over the last years and I don't think anybody who voted for these candidates threw their vote away. As we approach the already decided presidential election of 2012, the only decision I have to make is who to vote for because I know who I am not voting for. Wait - already decided election? Why, yes! Obama is loved and supported by Wall Street and his re-election is a foregone conclusion.

So, vote for Obama or for whoever the Republicans decide upon and throw your vote away!


Thom Asspain said...

The problem with Nader and the Green Party is that they only make themselves visible every four years. I have yet to see Green Party candidates as a major presence in off-year elections or even running for local office (which is how the Rethuglic*nt-Neo Fascist party accomplished its agenda over the past forty years.

Now of course, we and the planet are royally f**ked in the ass.

Rod Harrel said...

Actually, Green Party candidates have run in local elections and some have even been elected! But, this question of Nader is 12 years old and he has not run for Prez since 2004.

urfriendjohn said...

You're absolutely right. Nader did not keep Gore from being elected president. Gore was elected president. But he didn't win the election because the Supreme Court decided the other guy should be our president.
Can you IMAGINE what would have happened if something like that were to ever happen the other way around? If a Republican president won the most votes and the courts decided to give the presidency to the Democrat? Republicans wont even aknowledge a Democratic president when he wins fair and square. They still think Obama is a "usurper" who stole the White House despite the fact that he won both the popular and electoral vote by a significant margin.
If a debacle like that had happened to the GOP there would have been blood in the streets and I don't mean that figuratively. There would have been crazy rednecks with guns shooting people.
But Democrats are wimps. It's the thing I like least about them. And they totally rolled over on that one. Gore should have fought harder and his party should have backed him up and they didn't. So it that respect, they didn't deserve the win.
I'm all in favor if more than a two party system by the way but I didn't vote for Nader because regardless of either of their parties, I think Gore would have made a really good president and I think Nader would have made quite a bad one. I appreciated a lot of what Nader had to say but there's more to being president than just having some good values. You actually have to know how to do the job, and Nader was pretty clueless.