Brad DeLong on Nader
Source Brad DeLong
Date 01/03/25/13:53

First of all, there are lots of ways of trying which do *not* involve
handing elections and offices on a platter to the right-wing

Second, the costs of "failing" as you put it are significantly higher
than the costs of "not trying." Nader was supposed to demonstrate the
strength of the left and not hand the election to Bush. He failed on
both counts--failed to get anywhere near as many votes as right-wing
challengers to Republicans have gotten, and did hand the election to

We are now paying the price. We now have an administration committed
to renewed confrontation with China and Russia (God knows why); an
administration committed to pollution rather than environmental
protection; an administration committed to employers' rights rather
than workplace safety; an administration committed to a more
regressive rather than a more progressive tax system; and so forth.

If you don't think that these shifts in policy make America a worse
place, it's not clear what you do believe.


>It was the Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas who
>noted that FDR carried
>out the Socialist program "on a stretcher." But without the
>Socialists, the Communists,
>and other insurgent forces, the New Deal would have dwelt on National Recovery
>Administration-type corporatist "solutions" to the Depression and
>would have held back
>from more progressive reforms such as Social Security...

And if third parties had split the anti-Republican vote in 1932 in
the same proportion as LaFollette split the anti-Republican vote in
1924, the 1932 vote total would have been Roosevelt--38.4%; Third
Party--22%; Hoover--39.6%. A highly likely electoral vote victory for
Herbert Hoover, and no New Deal at all.

Even where it is today the Democratic Party is committed to
environmental protection, to workplace safety, to a more progressive
tax system, and to no new Cold Wars; the Republican Party is
committed to pollution, to employers' rights, to a more regressive
tax system, and to confrontation with Russia and China.

Only if you think that these issues don't matter can you be proud of
a vote for Nader in 2000. And if you don't think that these issues
matter, I don't know what you are doing here...

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