Friday, June 22, 2007

Blame Voters, Not Nader

Revised (6/25/07)

According to the Politico, Ralph Nader is "seriously considering" re-running for president (isn't he always?). Recalling the 2000 election—where had just 538 people who voted for Nader in Florida voted instead for Al Gore, George W. Bush would have not become president—Democrats are again imploring the lefty activist to stay on the sidelines.

"His entry into the race . . . . would be just another vainglorious effort to promote himself at the expense of the best interests of the public," opines Chris Lehane, a prominent Democratic strategist.

This is a classic case of blaming the messenger. Nader never forced anyone to vote for him. To the contrary, he simply offered what some considered to be an attractive alternative. Plus, as with all third-party candidates, anyone who voted for him likely did so thoughtfully. As such, people should direct their ire not at the candidate but at those who campaigned for him and pulled a lever bearing his name.

Indeed, whatever constitutes the public's so-called best interests is for voters, not wonks, to decide.