By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
You don't perpetuate a political system that's rotten on dozens of major global issues just because of this kind of thing with the Supreme Court. I mean, there are all kinds of very important issues. And what's happening is that liberal Democrats are settling for less and less every four years, because the less and less is a tiny bit more than the Republican less and less, and every four years both get worse. They're forgiven that error of judgment once or twice. But three times? Four times? Five times?
They [the liberals with hesitations about voting for Nader] are not thinking tactically. There are very few Green Party candidates: There's Medea Benjamin [running] for the Senate [in California]. There are only 16 Green Party candidates for the House of Representatives. So where are these millions of votes [brought to the polls to vote for Nader] going to go in the House races? To the Democrats. That's why it was clear from my meeting with Gephardt a few weeks ago that he's not displeased with this candidacy. [He's looking at] a few close congressional-district races. A few thousand votes here and there, and he's the speaker. That's pretty important, and they [the hesitant liberals] are not thinking that way.
Also, it all depends on what state they're in. If they're in Texas, they don't have to make the kind of calculation that they would in Michigan, where the Bush-Gore contest is close. They can say: Look, we want this Green Party to cross the 5 percent threshold [of eligibility for federal campaign funds in the next election], because then it's going to be a real hammer on the Democrats. It's going to pull them in the right direction, where now the corporate lobbies and DLC's [Democratic Leadership Council] are pulling them in the other direction. In Texas, they can say, I'm going to vote for Nader because Gore is out of it in Texas, he doesn't have a chance.
MEYERSON: On today's electoral map, you can probably do that in all but about 15 states.
NADER: Right, and that's what we've got to try to get across to people, because they're generalizing as if there were no Electoral College and it's all just one pot of votes.
MEYERSON: A piece in the lastAmerican Prospect made the point that the German SDP [Germany's dominant center-left party] has been moving steadily to the center despite whatever leftward pressure the Greens have put on it.
NADER: First, you've heard of the nuclear-power decision [the SDP-headed government's recent agreement to begin dismantling Germany's nuclear-energy program]? Second, that argument can be true in a non-winner-take-all system; [German Chancellor Gerhard] Schroder's SDP would be more immune to that kind of pressure because of their proportional-representation system. But in a winner-take-all system like ours, where two parties dominate, the Greens could cost the Democrats the entire shebang -- later, in future years.