Welcome back Ralph Nader!
The Great Green Hope of Leftie La-La Land is back, and not a minute too soon!
Will he have much of an effect on this year’s election; only time will tell.
Did Ralph Nader hurt Al Gore’s chances of winning Florida in 2000? Absolutely! Did Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the election? If you look at only Florida the answer is yes, but when you cannot even win your home state of Tennessee, which would have handed you the White House, I have a hard time empathizing with the former Vice President.
Third party candidates can indeed siphon off voters; Ross Perot did so in 1992, but that backlash was in response to President George H.W. Bush’s failure to maintain the strong conservative values of his predecessor Ronald Reagan. Perot took 18.91% to Bush’s 37.45% allowing Clinton to win by default with a paltry 43% of the vote.
In 1996, Perot took 8.4% of the vote compared to Dole’s 40.72% and Clinton’s 49.23%. I think it is safe to say that Ross Perot was indeed the GOP spoiler, definitely in 1992.
Ron Paul ran in 1988 but had virturally no impact on the outcome; Bush collected 53.37% to Dukasis’ 45.65%; Paul received 0.47% so he harmed no one.
In 1980 John Anderson made a good showing for himself as a Rockefeller Republican running as an independent collecting 6.61% of the vote compared to Reagan’s 50.75% and Carter’s 41.01%, but again, the third party candidate did not hurt the outcome.
When does it hurt a major party candidate? When the third party candidate is more conservative than the GOP candidate. We’ve shown the effect Ross Perot had on the more moderate Bush and Dole candidacies. George Wallace almost cost Richard Nixon the 1968 election by receiving 13.53% of the vote compared to Nixon’s 43.42% and Hubert Humphrey’s 42.72%. Now the electoral vote wasn’t close, but Wallace still siphoned off 9.9 million votes.
In 1912 the third party candidate actually took second place, former President Teddy Roosevelt running on the Progressive Party beat out incumbent GOP candidate President William Taft 27.4% to 23.17%. Both lost to Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s 41.84%. Now Taft was supposedly the more conservative of the two, but his presidency had caused so much consternation in the business sector that the vote was split almost down the middle.
The point here is that many conservatives are talking about a third party candidate or simply just not voting. That is ridiculous.
Look what Woodrow Wilson brought us: the 16th and 17th Amendments which were a slap in the face of federalism. Wilson brought us the wonderful Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve Board. Wilson also pioneered the failed League of Nations that shaped the Treaty of Versailles that helped usher in Nazism to Germany.
Ross Perot brought us Bill Clinton, twice! Nuff said. Thank you Ross Perot.
As much as conservatives do not like John McCain, and for good reason, we have to not only ensure he gets elected, we have to win back both houses of Congress. And we will not settle for the nonsense of a Republican Congress backing the President if he supports policies that are counter to conservativism. We did that too often for eight years with George Bush but every time we opposed him we won. We will have to do the same with President McCain.
Conservatives, we need to fix the broken house from within. We cannot allow strangers in to do the work we need to do. It’s time to switch from being consumers and become citizens once again. That means you will have to come to realize that little Johnny’s soccer match and little Suzie’s ballet lessons are not more important than who becomes our elected officials. Neither is American Idol.
We have much work to do in the remaining 253 days before the general election. Stay tuned!