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Subject: Re: Vote Ralph Nader (US) ( 60 of 98 )
Posted by Curious

Hello to all. This is my first time posting on this board. I live in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. This town is full of Nader/LaDuke supporters. IIRC, Winona LaDuke is from one of the Native American reservations nearby. Not only that, this is a college town; both the college of St. Scholastica and the Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota reside here. The college age group, I believe, is one of the major supporters of Nader.

Not only are many people in Duluth supporters of Nader, a rather high percentage (the exact value escapes me at the moment) of Minnesotans support Nader. Because of this, we've been visited recently by George W. Bush, Winona LaDuke, Tipper Gore, and Joseph Leiberman. We are what is commonly refered to as a "swing state", because we could "swing" either way.

This will be the first time I vote in a presidential election (or any election, for that matter). I am following the race closer than I have ever followed politics before, and so I have come across the "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush!" line several times. This is my opinion of it:

1) If a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush, then a vote for Gore is a vote for Nader, a vote for Bush is a vote for Nader, a vote for Bush is a vote for Gore, a vote for Gore is a vote for Bush, and a vote for Nader is a vote for Gore.

Things tend to cancel out.

2) In my experience, people who use this line see politics in two discrete values (liberal vs. conservative) as opposed to a political spectrum. That is, they say that since "liberals" will vote for either Nader or Gore, while "conservatives" will vote solely for Bush, then the liberals are splitting their vote and Bush therefore has an advantage.

In my experience, most people do not fall neatly into the two discrete labels of "liberal" and "conservative".

3) Some people who will vote for Nader would not have voted for either of the two major-party candidates even if Nader was not running. Therefore, neither major-party candidate is losing a vote when that person votes for Nader.

I find "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" to be on the order of "Ignorance is Strength" and "Freedom is Slavery".

Although I am not completely decided yet who I will vote for, I will most likely vote for Nader. But then, what did you expect from someone from a state that elected a professional wrestler Governor? ;-)
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