Thursday, September 22, 2016

How the left elected George W. Bush

Image result for ralph nader pictures
Bernie and Ralph

Michelle Goldberg on Slate:

...[In 2000]Nader was unconcerned about the prospect of throwing the election to George W. Bush by siphoning votes from Gore. The week after the Madison Square Garden rally, Nader spoke to an overflow crowd at Chapman University in Orange, California, where he implied that Bush would be better for the left than Gore. “If it were a choice between a provocateur and an ‘anesthetizer,’ I’d rather have a provocateur,” he said. “It would mobilize us.”

The next eight years put this proposition to the test. Nader told me that the 2000 election “showed the pundits that, together with our votes and Gore’s votes, we had a majority progressive turnout.” 

Perhaps it did, but without winning office, the display of a progressive majority counted for nothing. Bush won, beating Gore by 537 votes in Florida, a state where 97,421 voted for Nader. (Nader’s enormous rallies didn’t translate into impressive turnout, and the Greens garnered only 2.7 percent of the national vote.) 

Bush was certainly a provocateur, governing from the far right despite lacking a mandate, but there was no countervailing Green mobilization. After the election, the movement Nader had been building—the one that seemed so alive that night at Madison Square Garden—completely dissipated...

See also Stupidity on the left.

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