Saturday, February 21, 2004

Re: Here Comes Nader

Ryan is correct--I misread the Reuters article (maybe I was influenced in part by this Fox News story). The New York Times today in this article quoted a spokesperson for Nader as saying that "this is pure speculation." I guess we all must and see.

As for Ryan's means-ends argument, I agree that it is far better for deliberative democracy to have more issues on the table and that is the reason I would encourage Nader to jump in. When it comes to voting time, where there are more than two choices the decision comes down to whether you want to vote for the best candidate or ensure that the worst candidate doesn't win. We should never have to make that choice, and so long as voters make the latter choice things will never change. But this time around I care more about getting President Bush out than promoting institutional change. In my humble opinion, another Bush term would do more long-term damage than would propping up the horribly botched electoral system for another four years. But all the same I believe Nader's presence in the next several months will be for the good. Someone must push the debate forward or Edwards and Kerry will drift more and more toward the middle. And while that may make good strategic sense, it does not bode well for progress.

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