A vote for Nader in 2000 was not a vote for Bush. A vote for McKinney (The Green Party Nominee for President in 2008) is not a vote for McCain. A vote for a third party or independent party candidate sends a message to the major parties that you are dissatisfied with the two party system and want serious change. When Nader so-called spoiled Gore's bid for the White House it showed that many mainstream voters thought that the SYSTEM WAS SO SPOILED that they could no longer automatically vote for one of the establishment candidates.
Voters should have the courage to send a message to the political establishment of what their deep seated beliefs and views truly are. Democrats should not bemoan Nader's "spoiling" of the 2000 election, but instead explore the discontentment of the Nader voters to understand how they can bring disaffected voters back in the fold.
After all the radical ideas the greens had about the environment, climate change, and (in 2004) of anti-Iraq War sentiment have now been integrated into the mainstream of American politics - even being embraced by a surprising number of Republicans. A mere coincidence? I think not.
How can you spoil a system which is already spoiled?
I submit that Nader's two recent runs have jarred the American political conscience to refresh the tenor of political debate in this country - making our system a little less spoiled.
Maybe if Gore showed more of the political courage and clarity he is now showing - and had fired Carvel and his clown show - then maybe he would have "spoiled" Nader's chances at making an impressive third-party run and had gone on to grab the White House.
The Democrats also backed down from their constitutional right and duty to challenge the Florida and Texas (two Texas "inhabitants" were on the same ticket - in violation of the constitution) a needed fight worth risking the stability of the Republic in exchange for her long-term integrity.
Indeed the founding document of the nation states, "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
The two party system in this country is spoiled and each year our duty as citizens should be to make the establishment candidates EARN OUR VOTES, not to automatically grant them our consent. I say to lovers of the history behind the founding of our nation, read the Declaration of Independence each day during this election season, and the preamble to the Constitution, then ponder what it means to vote like a true American - one loyal to the spirit of the founders.
Examination of the Constitution will find no reference to the two-party system or the establishment of any political parties for that matter. Read the Preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration twice on election day, then vote your conscience - if that is for a Democrat or Republican then go for it. But if you truly want to make Nader, McKinney, Barr, or another candidate your choice then do so in the spirit and guidance of our nation's founding document. DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE ON ELECTION DAY!
After all if voters, in 1860, were afraid to vote for the spoiler candidate, Abraham Lincoln would not have become the first Republican president.
Maybe we should petition the Congress to read the Declaration of Independence at the beginning of each session - that might give them some humility and humbleness and appreciation for the sacredness of the mission for which we have entrusted them. I wonder when the last time was when Cheney read the Document?
Donald Michael Schwartz, Ypsilanti, MI http://donaldsplace.net