I meant to do this last week, but something about the Presidential election is still puzzling me: how did Ralph Nader get so many more votes than Bob Barr? Despite the fact that he was on fewer state ballots, Nader got 677,285 votes to the Libertarians’ 498,877 cite. And Nader outpolled Barr in states where I would expect the Libertarians to do well, such as Idaho and Montana. And this with no party behind him, very little press (yes, even compared to Barr), and a black mark next to his name because of the 2000 election (to say nothing of his polarizing public persona since then).
I realize that Barr was not a popular choice for many in Libertarians, but – Ralph Nader? Seriously? Where do you think this support for Nader come from? What’s his base? Or, in a year when the support for Ron Paul seemed to be remarkably strong, did the nomination of Barr really just blow it for the Libertarians?
Probably name recognition. Nader is better known than Barr. Some voters who didn’t like the two main parties and wanted to vote for a third party in protest might have just picked the name they had heard of.
I think you have to look at what conservatism represents. Conservatism at its best to me is a reluctance to discard the traditional and tried and true ways, the avoidance of reveling in the novel just because it is novel. This should mean that conservatives would not succumb to faddish trends and should be loyal to what they have traditionally backed.
Well, traditionally we are a two party system and I think many conservatives would be disinclined to abandon the two party system, which voting for a candidate not in one of the two major party represents.
I know a lot of libertarians and all of them voted for Obama. When asked why this was so, they all said that Barr was not a Libertarian. If they had their druthers they would all have voted for Paul (as I did in 88).
Barr was originally known as a very conservative Republican, one of whose key position points was cracking down on marijuana users. He has recanted that position as part of his libertarian conversion, much to the delight of the pro-MJ movement, but many may as yet be unaware of that.
Cite? To my knowledge, he has very little understanding of what’s wrong with America or modern politics. Case in point: being happy that Gore was defeated, even though Gore was far more of an environmentalist than Bush was.
This is his site. His feeling seems to be that a small difference on an important and dangerous issue changes nothing. One end up being as good as the other.
I suggest you read the other parts of his stance. He was for real change.
I think Nader’s hope was that after four years of Bush, the country would react by choosing someone even more favorable to his agenda than Gore was. He ended up being 100 percent wrong, and so here he sits in 2008, wondering if Obama will be “an Uncle Tom for corporations.” So about the best you can say for him is that he was for real change and severely miscalculated his ability to bring it about.
I don’t believe he ever entertained the idea of winning the election. He was merely hoping to point out what is wrong in todays America. Often 3rd parties just plant seeds.
Barr is doing the same thing. We all know our tax system is an abomination. But we just relax and go along with it. It is time for some things to be changed.
I don’t think I realized (or remembered) that Ron Paul endorsed Baldwin. That would explain it. There was certainly enormous buzz about Paul this spring (and signs all over rural New York), and very little about Nader’s run despite his name recognition. But I can see why enthusiasm for Paul didn’t carry over to Barr.
There’s no really easy way I can link to it (some of my sources are at a place I am not allowed to link to, and others seem to be rather heavily biased), but one of the items that may be of use is the fact that Barr, from the accounts I have heard, was in certain respects a problematic campaigner, not raising much money, annoying certain parts of the Libertarian base, having some difficulties with ballot access that Libertarians don’t usually have, and other issues of that nature.
Actions speak louder than words. Nader tells people whatever they want to hear if it will get him votes. Obviously, he’s never actually been elected and forced to live up to his campaign promises but his behavior in other aspects of his life show he places his personal agenda ahead of any other principles.
This thread kind of hints at one of the reasons I’m puzzled, which is that I thought Nader had already alienated most of the people who would have voted for him, name recognition or no. I guess I underestimated how much Barr did the same.