People who voted for third party candidates in 2000 are getting a bit
jittery about now. They've
been blamed for putting President Bush in office by the Democratic spin
doctors who needed someone to blame for losing the election (the one they
actually won before it was stolen by the Republicans).
The Dems would rather attack third party politics than confront how
Florida was rife with election fraud, undoubtedly orchestrated by Florida
Governor Jeb Bush and his Republican Secretary of State, Katherine Harris.
Ralph Nader is an easier target than the Republican Party, and pointing
the finger at a scapegoat is easier than confronting the poorly managed
2000 Dem campaign.
Let's take a look back and refresh our memories of the things the press
discovered when all the attention was turned towards Florida in 2000;
investigations that would not have happened if it the election hadn't been
so close (with Bush winning by 537 votes).
1) In what I'm sure the Palm Beach Election Commission and the State
Election Commission must have thought was a clever, fraternity-prank-like
move, they made the ballot misleading and confusing to Gore
voters, many of whom unknowingly voted for Pat
Buchanan. Over 13,000 people in one county did notice
their error and filed a complaint to get a new ballot (as
prescribed by state law) but were refused.
<13,000-plus Gore votes stolen>
2) A total of 27,000 votes in Palm Beach County were misread
by voting machines, and the Florida Election Commissioner,
Katherine Harris stopped these votes from being counted
by hand. She did the same thing to Galveston County, one of
Florida's blackest, poorest and most Democratic counties,
where machines misread 1 out of 8 ballots.
<at least 27,000 Gore votes uncounted; likely >
3) Harris, who just happened to be the Co-Chairperson for the
Republican Party in Florida, hired a firm (with Republican ties)
for $4.3 million to generate a list that took 57,700 Democrats
off the voting rolls if they happened to have the same name as a
felon (without making sure they actually WERE the felon). The list turned
out to be 95% wrong in the one county that took on the task of calling
each disenfranchised Democrat to verify their status as a felon.
<at least 57,700 Gore votes uncounted>
These stolen votes - totaling far more than Ralph Nader's 95,000 votes in
Florida - would have gone unreported had Florida not become the deciding
factor in the 2000 Election. Where has the outrage gone over these stolen
votes and why is it now redirected, even by progressives, at a champion of
the people who dares to speak truth to power.
For Mr. Nader to be unjustly labeled a spoiler is beyond a mathematical
error; it is a travesty of justice and an attack on Democracy. Especially
since it is clearly documented that, in this country's past, it was third
party candidates that brought about social change for the good of
the working class (i.e.. the populist movements that gave us the
women's right to vote, the abolishment of slavery, social security,
minimum wage, the right to form unions and increase their standard
of living and their safety). These acts of justice wouldn't have even been
touched by the two major parties if reform candidates had not
put these issues on the political table.
Ralph Nader is doing a great service for America by pushing the needs
of the people into the public arena. Most Americans want an end to war,
stronger environmental protections, health care for all and a decent
living wage (Ralph proposes $10/hr. minimum). Without Ralph Nader, those
perspectives would not make it through the corporate wall of campaign cash
that stands between both major parties and the American people.
In states that are not swing states, where Bush is expected to win
easily or Kerry is a slam dunk, a vote for Ralph Nader is like
a referendum on the needs of the people. It is safe to vote for a true
American patriot, Ralph Nader. So vote your hopes, not your
fears, and send a message to the world that Americans expect a return to
government "of, for and by the people" rather than two parties selling out
our interests to corporate profits.