Debunking the Ralph Nader Scare Tactics For Supporting The Lesser Evil

Trump Clinton Illusion Free Choice

Many of us have principles and will not support either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Many Clinton supporters have shown no understanding of the basic democratic principle that we have the right to support or not support whichever candidates we choose. They make bogus claims that not voting for Hillary is a vote for Trump. If true, the opposite would also have to be true–our decision to not vote for Trump by their logic would be a vote for Hillary.

Clinton supporters raise Ralph Nader and the 2000 election, but this is wrong for so many reasons:

This assumes that the Democrats are entitled to our vote, and that if there weren’t third party candidates running, those on the left would automatically vote for the Democrat. Wrong. Many would stay home, or leave the presidential spot empty, if there was no other choice.

Most of us do not live in battleground states, leaving us free to vote our convictions without affecting the outcome. Plus Clinton is pulling away in the battleground states and Nate Silver reassures us that Clinton will win anyways. Considering what an inept campaign Trump has waged since clinching the nomination, he is probably right (although Quinnipiac does show them deadlocked).

Hillary Clinton is not Al Gore. She is far closer to George Bush. We were outraged by Bush’s neoconservative foreign policy, but Clinton is the neocon hawk running this year. We protested Bush’s assault on civil liberties, but Clinton also has a far right record on civil liberties issues, sounding much like Donald Trump on restricting civil liberties to fight terrorism. We objected to an increase in government secrecy under Bush, but Clinton has a long record of opposing government transparency. Bush’s administration was remarkable for expanding the influence of the religious right.  Clinton worked with The Fellowship to expand the influence of religion on public policy when in the Senate. Plus Clinton has been on the wrong side regarding the corrupting role of money in politics, on the environment and climate change, on the death penalty, on single-payer health care. She is even to the right of Donald Trump on drug policy and the drug war and on the wrong side of trade issues.

If you think having George Bush elected in 2000 was a terrible thing (and it was), it makes no sense to argue that Hillary Clinton should be president when she supports so much of what made Bush such a terrible president.

If anything, Nader has been proven right by the Democrats nominating a corrupt warmonger such as Clinton. This clearly shows the dangers of “lesser evilism.”

When does the “lesser evilism” stop? We are warned about what happened when Bush beat Gore and told me must support Clinton because of Trump, but Clinton has supported most of the evil done by Bush. Next election will the Democrats nominate someone like Trump and will we be told we must support him if the Republicans nominate someone even more evil?

Some Clinton supporters have been rather bad winners, attacking those who disagree with them on social media for expressing our opinions. Life is more than a binary choice between the limited options provided by the major parties. It even might be argued that a function of the major parties is to limit debate to the limited issues where their candidates disagree.

In reality, Clinton and Trump are both in the authoritarian right segment of the political spectrum, not differing by as much as supporters of either would admit. Those of us who hold opposing views are going to continue to express our views on the issue, regardless of whether we have a presidential candidate who is likely to win. We will continue to oppose oligarchy, neoconservative military interventionism, restrictions on civil liberties to supposedly fight terrorism, the corrupting role of money in politics, destruction of the environment for profit, and an increased role of religion in public policy–even if the Democratic nominee is on the wrong side of each of these issues.

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7 Comments

  1. 1
    Tex Shelters says:

    They aren't "Ralph Naders scare tactics", they are scare tactics that use the 2000 election to scare people into voting for Clinton. You should fix that ambiguous title. PTxS

  2. 2
    SocraticGadfly says:

    Amen to this one. Jim Hightower called it correctly before the ink was dry on the November election in 2000. https://www.salon.com/2000/11/28/hightower/

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Tex, the title refers to “Ralph Nader Scare Tactics” (no s in it). I think most people who have any knowledge of the subject will figure out what I mean. I tried other variations on the title because of the potential ambiguity, but they got to be too long and awkward.

  4. 4
    Nancy says:

    Enjoyable reading and very well-written.  Word to the wise:  Don't try to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.   😉

  5. 5
    Cindi says:

    It would have been nice if you had included some facts about how Nader votes actually wern't responsible for "spoiling" the election.  I dont see much debunking in this article, and there certainly could have been.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is a related but different topic. My argument as to why the Nader argument is a poor argument applies whether or not one believes Nader votes cost Gore the 2000 election. Even if it was true he did, it is rather absurd to say that third parties should be permanently abandoned regardless of what the major parties do.

  7. 7
    Allan Finkelstein says:

    Either the USA is a restricted 2-Party System Or it is NOT… What we have now is the Height of Hypocrisy, and a Global Joke!!

    If we are in Reality a MULTI-Party system, then ALL parties have a Right to Run… and Nobody should be threatened based on their convictions or choice. That is Fascism!!

    Unless other political parties are Illegal… and Not even the Communist party is or has EVER been Illegal even in the days of McCarthy… Everyone should just shut-up about "spoiler" voting….
    And Vote for BERNIE… No matter what Letters appear beside his name!!!

    😀

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