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wodan46
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2009, 20:57:23 EST »

Like I said, I don't intend to be screwed. You're welcome to be screwed to your heart's content.
What, precisely, is your plan?  Me, I intend to make only enough money to live comfortably, not do anything financially idiotic, and pick a job that can move society forward to some extent, if only a little.

However the main issue is that the geezers have been throwing a party for the last three decades, especially the most recent one, and we get to foot the bill and clean up after.  We are going to have to pay that bill whether we want to or not, because its due before we can dump it on the next generation instead.
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joshbrenton
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2009, 14:23:24 EST »

I have to say that I was a little offended by a portion of Thomas K. Dye's message in the "Stepping Away" thread. He stated,

There's nothing wrong with holding the Democrats' feet to the fire, but I've watched policy dialogue turn into "All Democrats are TEH SUXXOR, I'm promoting a third party."  That way lies madness; you may feel that personally your hands are clean, but this was precisely the attitude that screwed up 2000.  Anyone who wants to tell me now that Gore would not have been a better president than Bush is seriously lost.

I'm quite annoyed by the people who continue to blame Gore's loss on people who voted for a third-party. As someone upset with both the Democrats AND the Republicans, I think I need to set the record straight that contrary to what some hardline idealogues may buy into, we are not trying to screw up the country or put unqualified people into office. We are just upset with how the two main parties are doing business and think there are better alternatives. And yes, we can't say how Gore would have performed had he been elected, but given the man's history of egotism and hypocrisy, I think he would have been about as bad as Bush.

That's my two cents.
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2009, 14:51:15 EST »

You can be as upset about it as you like, but the facts are that if Nader's votes in New Hampshire and Florida had gone to Gore, we would not be in the huge mess we are in now.  There is no way that Al Gore would have fabricated or jury-rigged evidence to support a case for non-existent WMD in Iraq.  There is no way that Al Gore would have stripped away environmental oversight and denie climate change the way Bush has.  All the consumerist, populist ideals that Nader ostensibly championed had a far better chance of being implemented in a Gore administration as opposed to a Bush administration.  The reality was that Nader wouldn't win, and there was a real threat that the counterproductive policies of the Republicans had a chance of being implemented, because the media had seen fit to disparage Gore every chance it got. 

Votes have consequences.  A protest vote for an unwinnable third party is meaningless; it gets thrown into the dustbin and provides a temporary feeling of "power." However, in the end, you've done nothing.  And now, the stakes are too high; at this point, we're talking about the survival of humanity and the planet itself.  We're talking about real people and real families who are losing out simply because too many people wanted to make a selfish, symbolic form of "protest" that never had a chance of making an impact.

Like it or not, the government is our best hope to ensure our survival.  There's not going to be a coup and it's not going to be dissolved.  The sooner we learn to work with it to make it work better for all of us, the better off we'll be. 
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joshbrenton
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2009, 15:05:27 EST »

You can be as upset about it as you like, but the facts are that if Nader's votes in New Hampshire and Florida had gone to Gore, we would not be in the huge mess we are in now.  There is no way that Al Gore would have fabricated or jury-rigged evidence to support a case for non-existent WMD in Iraq.  There is no way that Al Gore would have stripped away environmental oversight and denie climate change the way Bush has.  All the consumerist, populist ideals that Nader ostensibly championed had a far better chance of being implemented in a Gore administration as opposed to a Bush administration.  The reality was that Nader wouldn't win, and there was a real threat that the counterproductive policies of the Republicans had a chance of being implemented, because the media had seen fit to disparage Gore every chance it got. 

Votes have consequences.  A protest vote for an unwinnable third party is meaningless; it gets thrown into the dustbin and provides a temporary feeling of "power." However, in the end, you've done nothing.  And now, the stakes are too high; at this point, we're talking about the survival of humanity and the planet itself.  We're talking about real people and real families who are losing out simply because too many people wanted to make a selfish, symbolic form of "protest" that never had a chance of making an impact.

Like it or not, the government is our best hope to ensure our survival.  There's not going to be a coup and it's not going to be dissolved.  The sooner we learn to work with it to make it work better for all of us, the better off we'll be. 

A vote for a third party is not a "protest" vote or a "wasted" vote. It's a vote of conscience, made by people who are fed up with the status quo and want change. To blame third-party supporters because the guy you didn't like got into office, to spout this bull about how our votes hurting people and society because we didn't go in lockstep with your ideals, is asinine. It's nothing but a hostile form of projection; you need someone to be angry at and you pick us when you've run out of ammo for your other targets. I don't go around saying that everyone who voted for Bush, Gore, McCain or Obama were idiots or that they doomed the country, so I ask that you be mature and refuse to do the same for people who voted for Nader or other non-mainstream candidates.

Perhaps you're right when you say that Gore wouldn't have made the mistakes that Bush did. We'll never know. But I think that had Gore been elected, he would have brought about more government expansion and meddling in our private lives. Again, this is just speculation. You see it one way, I see it another.

As for your statement "The government is the best hope to ensure our survival,"... I don't even want to get into that. All I will mention is that I believe that it's bullshit.
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Manufacturing Dissent
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 15:11:43 EST »

As much as I disagree that Gore would have been as bad as Bush, the fact of the matter is, and this should never be forgotten, that the SCOTUS handed the presidency over to Bush.  Ralph Nader is not now, nor has he ever been, a Justice of the Supreme Court.

Please, please, PLEASE, stop repeating the myth that Nader cost Gore the election.
Thank you.
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Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation."
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wodan46
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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2009, 16:03:56 EST »

As much as I disagree that Gore would have been as bad as Bush, the fact of the matter is, and this should never be forgotten, that the SCOTUS handed the presidency over to Bush.  Ralph Nader is not now, nor has he ever been, a Justice of the Supreme Court.

Please, please, PLEASE, stop repeating the myth that Nader cost Gore the election.
Thank you.
There would not have been anything to hand over were it not for Nader taking 10s of thousands of votes in Florida, of whom the vast majority would've leaned towards Gore otherwises.  So yes, it can be said that if Nader had not run, Gore would've won.  Of course, given the very small margin, a lot of other events that under different circumstances would be minor became turning points.  For example, you could say that Gore lost because of his stance on the Gonzales case offending the Cuban-Americans, or because of the poorly designed ballots that made votes for Gore be given to Buchanan, or because the Republicans causes large numbers of votes to not be counted at all from liberal areas.

Nevertheless, if all other variables remain constant, except that Nader had not run, Gore would have won.
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2009, 16:14:59 EST »

One of the problems I have with the idea that Nader "took" votes from Gore is the whole idea that somehow Gore and the Democratic party owned those votes.  If Gore didn't earn those votes, that's not Nader's fault.

But all that is besides the point.  Gore had enough votes to win the Florida election.  Had there been a fair recount, he would have been president.  Even if the imagination can stretch it to say that Nader cost him the election, it is still scapegoating, and all that does is spread the myth that Bush won the election.  Put the blame where blame is due!

And I'm now done with this particular subject.  Frustration with adherence to the meme as a substitute for the facts chased me away from this forum for months a few years ago, and I don't feel like going over all this again.
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"If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.

Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation."
     -Eugene Debs (1855- 1926)
wodan46
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2009, 16:25:43 EST »

A vote for a third party is not a "protest" vote or a "wasted" vote. It's a vote of conscience, made by people who are fed up with the status quo and want change.
However, a third party vote will never cause change, whereas a main party vote can.  Hence, you wasted your vote.  Ross Perot got bigger poll figures than your third party ever will, and did he change anything?

To blame third-party supporters because the guy you didn't like got into office, to spout this bull about how our votes hurting people and society because we didn't go in lockstep with your ideals, is asinine. It's nothing but a hostile form of projection; you need someone to be angry at and you pick us when you've run out of ammo for your other targets.
No, it means that because you were unwilling to compromise in your quest for the "good", you stuck us with the worse of two evils.  If you had helped the lesser evil win, thanks to your support, you would even have a genuine chance to get them to change policies, and at the very least, it would be better than the evil that you and I bother consider to be greater.

Your behavior is that of a child, who upon discovering that the world is not fair, refuses to play, unless the world adheres to your standards of fairness.

Your behavior is that of a man on a boat with a hole in it 50 miles from shore, who rather plug the whole or at least bucket out water, instead jumps overboard to swim to shore.

That is why I'm upset.  I am not upset because you chose a given course of action, I'm upset because I believe you could have done better for yourself, and for society, but instead chose to make life harder on both.

I don't go around saying that everyone who voted for Bush, Gore, McCain or Obama were idiots or that they doomed the country, so I ask that you be mature and refuse to do the same for people who voted for Nader or other non-mainstream candidates.
No, I think that the people who voted for Bush doomed the country.  I can understand why some people voted for third parties, but I want them to change their act.

Perhaps you're right when you say that Gore wouldn't have made the mistakes that Bush did. We'll never know. But I think that had Gore been elected, he would have brought about more government expansion and meddling in our private lives. Again, this is just speculation. You see it one way, I see it another.
Gore would've balanced the budget, cleared the national debt, NOT started any large scale incursions, and supported people's freedom to do as they wish, and not to be labeled as terrorists or sexual deviants.  He wouldn't have raised your taxes even by a cent.  Well, unless you are so rich you don't even know what to do with your money any more, in which case I'd suggest that you stop being mister Scrooge and let little Tim have some already.

Katrina, 9/11, and the Housing Market, your guess is as good as mine.  Ultimately, the first two neither president would have had much control over, while the last was supported by liberals as well as conservatives.

As for your statement "The government is the best hope to ensure our survival,"... I don't even want to get into that. All I will mention is that I believe that it's bullshit.
Ok, so you'd rather have anarchy then.  That is the only alternative.

However, Leagal Beagles point is that no matter how much you rant and rage and whine and whimper, Libertarians will never be able to change how things are done while acting as a third party.  If they had been willing to cooperate, or compromise, like is done by everyone else in politics and society, you could have gotten some of your policies through, or at least gotten a better candidate, but no, you wanted it all, and as a result you got nothing.  Congrats.
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wodan46
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« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2009, 16:58:52 EST »

One of the problems I have with the idea that Nader "took" votes from Gore is the whole idea that somehow Gore and the Democratic party owned those votes.  If Gore didn't earn those votes, that's not Nader's fault.

But all that is besides the point.  Gore had enough votes to win the Florida election.  Had there been a fair recount, he would have been president.  Even if the imagination can stretch it to say that Nader cost him the election, it is still scapegoating, and all that does is spread the myth that Bush won the election.  Put the blame where blame is due!

And I'm now done with this particular subject.  Frustration with adherence to the meme as a substitute for the facts chased me away from this forum for months a few years ago, and I don't feel like going over all this again.
As I've noted, there are plenty of other factors that could have changed the loss to a win, including fair counts of the votes, and that not all of those who voted for Nader would've voted for Gore if Nader hadn't been present, but even so, it is reasonable to conclude that all other factors removed, if Nader hadn't run, Gore would've won.

George W. Bush (W)    2,912,790    48.850    Republican
Al Gore                    2,912,253    48.841    Democratic
Ralph Nader            97,421    1.633    Green
Patrick J. Buchanan    17,412    0.292    Reform

All that Gore would've needed is a mere 1000 or so of Nader's voters go to him, or 1000 more than those that would go to Bush, who would be a very small number.  I'm sure that the majority of the Nader voters would have simply not voted at all.  Nevertheless, all that was needed was for a mere 1% of them to vote for Gore if Nader was not on the ballot.
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Manufacturing Dissent
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« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2009, 00:22:10 EST »

As I've noted, there are plenty of other factors that could have changed the loss to a win, including fair counts of the votes, and that not all of those who voted for Nader would've voted for Gore if Nader hadn't been present, but even so, it is reasonable to conclude that all other factors removed, if Nader hadn't run, Gore would've won.

George W. Bush (W)    2,912,790    48.850    Republican
Al Gore                    2,912,253    48.841    Democratic
Ralph Nader            97,421    1.633    Green
Patrick J. Buchanan    17,412    0.292    Reform

All that Gore would've needed is a mere 1000 or so of Nader's voters go to him, or 1000 more than those that would go to Bush, who would be a very small number.  I'm sure that the majority of the Nader voters would have simply not voted at all.  Nevertheless, all that was needed was for a mere 1% of them to vote for Gore if Nader was not on the ballot.

You're still scapegoating Nader.  Instead of saying Nader shouldn't have run and that he was a spoiler, the Democrats need to be asking how they could have earned the votes of the people who voted for Nader.  Neither Gore nor the Democrats owned those votes they didn't get, they failed to earn them.  If you're going to place the blame anywhere other than the SCOTUS, put it there.  Nader was a legitimate candidate perfectly entitled to run for the position, complaining that he wanted to provide an alternative to the Democrats is basically complaining that somebody pointed out the they aren't nearly as left wing as people like to pretend.

Seriously, what is the problem with this?  The Democrats screwed things up, the SCOTUS screwed things up, and people are looking to place the blame anywhere but where it should be.

Now let's not even get started with the issues there are with people having a bigger problem with third party candidates than with rigged elections...


Addendum (rather than double post):  Something else that's never mentioned is that has the voter rolls not been purged of "felons", Gore would have also likely won the election.  Why complain about a third party candidate for your big reason, when you can point to something illegal that turned the tide?
So I repeat, once again, it is a myth that Nader cost Gore the election, and no amount of scapegoating will change that.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 09:15:19 EST by Manufacturing Dissent » Logged

"If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.

Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation."
     -Eugene Debs (1855- 1926)
wodan46
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« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2009, 12:40:30 EST »

I already noted that Gore could've won if any number of factors had been different, including Republican dirty tricks.  However, the thing that grates me regarding Nader is that unlike those other tricks, which were committed by outright enemies of Gore's views, Nader was much more amenable to Gore's perspective, but he still actively chose to gather votes even though he had to have known that doing so could only result in taking away votes for Gore.

And yes, I mean take away.  Some of Nader's voters would've never voted for Gore regardless, but many of them, more than enough to change the election, would have indeed voted for Gore if Nader had not run.  In short, Gore had earned those votes, only to lose them to Nader, who managed to convince those people that it was better to vote for the person whose views matched theirs better, even if it ensured that the worst of the 3 would win the election.

Basically, I can understand why the Republicans resulted to dirty tricks, they wanted to win, and they are ignorant assholes.  However, I can't understand why Nader would choose to split the votes on the left.  Sure, you can say "if Gore had wanted those votes he should've earned them", but to earn them back from Nader, he would've had to move left and lose votes to Bush.  Nader's decision to run would inevitably make things harder for the candidate between him and Bush be able to appeal to votes on both sides.
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« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2009, 13:02:57 EST »

I didn't know Nader was a supporter of NAFTA, GATT, and a lot of the other pro-corporate initiatives of the Clinton years, not to mention that electing Gore would have made one of the most influential advocates of music censorship first lady.

In other words... no, Gore did not earn the votes cast for Nader, and Gore was hardly a left-wing option.  Except for some of the grassroots and a few sitting members like Kuchinich, the Democrats are a centre-right party.


Nader provided a genuine left-wing option for those who disagree with the Democrats on a lot of key issues.  Maybe those votes could be won back if Democrats grew a backbone and stopped folding to the slightest corporate pressure, but I don't expect to see that in my lifetime.
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"If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.

Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation."
     -Eugene Debs (1855- 1926)
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« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2009, 11:17:32 EST »

*shuffles his papers like a douchebag*

Well, third parties do not always fade into obscurity, in recent history in Canada a thrid party actually supplanted the main conservative party.  We also use a past-the-post system with two main parties, and over the years the fringe party of the Canadian Communists has become a more and more viable party (NDP now).

In short, third party votes are not a waste, in so far as the historical sense, though it's a long walk to get them into power it can, and does, occur.  Then those parties centralize, attract miserable little sycophantic twats and become mirrors of the parties they replaced.  America might benefit from the short reboot though, as both the democratcs and the republicans have become parodies of centre-right and centre-left, and if I would make the comparison, one party runs around screaming "patriotism" while the other runs around screaming "race".

Neither party would survive in anything like a parliamentary system (with something like question period), but the fundementals of the american system and media create parties that are going to act that way.  Don't blame the kid in the candy-house for being fat.
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« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2009, 13:37:45 EST »

I didn't know Nader was a supporter of NAFTA, GATT, and a lot of the other pro-corporate initiatives of the Clinton years, not to mention that electing Gore would have made one of the most influential advocates of music censorship first lady.

In other words... no, Gore did not earn the votes cast for Nader, and Gore was hardly a left-wing option.  Except for some of the grassroots and a few sitting members like Kuchinich, the Democrats are a centre-right party.


Nader provided a genuine left-wing option for those who disagree with the Democrats on a lot of key issues.  Maybe those votes could be won back if Democrats grew a backbone and stopped folding to the slightest corporate pressure, but I don't expect to see that in my lifetime.


Indeed. This is the problem with the bi-polar "left" and "right" distinctions. Nader and Gore may have similarities, but there's also significant differences between their policies. People in third parties are in third parties for a reason - their political perspective simple doesn't fit into the broad scope of Democrats or Republicans; often they seek to deal with what the vast majority would consider a non-issue or they propose solutions that most people wouldn't consider appropriate.

The idea that third parties are somehow parasitic is silly. Those who support third party candidates seldom would be interested in a candidate from a major party.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 20:53:16 EST by Blue Boy from Red Country » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2009, 13:51:30 EST »

*shuffles his papers like a douchebag*

Well, third parties do not always fade into obscurity, in recent history in Canada a thrid party actually supplanted the main conservative party.  We also use a past-the-post system with two main parties, and over the years the fringe party of the Canadian Communists has become a more and more viable party (NDP now).

In short, third party votes are not a waste, in so far as the historical sense, though it's a long walk to get them into power it can, and does, occur.  Then those parties centralize, attract miserable little sycophantic twats and become mirrors of the parties they replaced.  America might benefit from the short reboot though, as both the democratcs and the republicans have become parodies of centre-right and centre-left, and if I would make the comparison, one party runs around screaming "patriotism" while the other runs around screaming "race".

Neither party would survive in anything like a parliamentary system (with something like question period), but the fundementals of the american system and media create parties that are going to act that way.  Don't blame the kid in the candy-house for being fat.

In ever case where where Third parts did climb out and became meaninful. They did NOT shoot right for the position of PM/President. But instead worked on the local level and build support, then spread to other areas to show the weren't just local.

ever time Third Parties have gone straight for the top, they have ALWAYS either faded or stayed in the "not a chance" category.
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