Why not Ralph?

By Kerry Lauerman


Salon Staff
October 9, 2000 11:05PM (UTC)

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Nader is not likely to win.

However, the Green Party will get matching funds next election if he can garner five percent of the electoral vote. This goal is by no means out of reach. Furthermore, I can reasonably foresee a future debates commission deciding that a party's candidate gets to debate if that party is receiving matching funds. It's a lofty enough goal that the standard would not result in the stage being overrun by minor candidates.

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-- Richard King

Kerry Lauerman wonders why Ralph Nader hasn't been able to attain Perot's peak of 19 percent in the polls. The answer is obvious: Perot had a personal campaign reservoir of $3 billion out of which to finance a blizzard of TV ads and half-hour vanity lectures on the networks. Moreover, as a cheerleader for corporate interests, Perot was afforded generous coverage by the mainstream media -- also corporate entities, remember. Nader, on the other hand, accepts no corporate PAC or soft money and advances an agenda that is at odds with the interests who own and run the big newspaper chains and electronic media.

-- William Kaufman

The author of this article ridiculously sums up the piece by stating a vote for Nader is hilarious, nihilistic and ultimately a vote for a potted plant. The article is rampant with sympathy not necessarily for either Gore or Bush but for an inept system that meets the needs of only a fraction of the population. Our present political dynamic is no longer relevant for many, if not most people. The problem with Nader doesn't exist in his lack of spunk nor in his ability to convince people things will be better if they vote for him. His role is to do what Gore or Bush would never do: relate the depravity of the American condition to voters in order to spur them into action. The message needs to be heard. He needs to be heard. Voted for, maybe not, but heard, yes.

-- Simon H. Van der Weide

I applaud Salon's frequent attention to candidates other than Gore and Bush. However, your statement that "Nader is the only candidate who supports gay civil unions" is incorrect. The Libertarian Party's Harry Browne (who, after all, will be on more state ballots than Nader) supports full equal rights for all persons, without exception. Naturally this includes the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, to serve in the military and (unfortunately) to foolishly vote for Al Gore.

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-- Tom Flynn

Why would any one waste their vote by giving it to Ralph Nader? It's impossible for him to win. Why not vote for the lesser of the two evils running on the major party tickets?

-- Ron Bupp

It isn't enough to say that Nader won't carry a single state, even by a plurality, but that even if he did win, he couldn't govern. In order to win the presidency, you need to muster a political coalition that can bring you approximately 50 percent of the popular vote. On his best day Nader is only at five percent, and look for three percent on election day. How about a new motto: Ralph Nader -- he has one-tenth of what it takes!

-- Daniel P. White


Salon Staff

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