A former schoolmate of mine recently suggested on Facebook, that Nader should not be running for president. His logic is that Nader has no chance of actually being elected, so his only effect on the race will to be siphon votes away from the two major-party candidates in November. This is likely to most effect the candidate who's positions are most similar to Nader's. While this is, to some extent, true. It ignores the fundamental truth that the two-party system is not a sacred institution in this country. In fact, in my opinion, it's one of the things that's hurting this country. It's become nearly impossible for anyone, in any office to campaign without the support of one of those two parties, and with that, comes the requirement to conform, at some level to the positions of those parties. Can someone who is pro-life, pro-gun control, anti-government controlled health care, and pro-drug-controll reform get on a ballot? Not easily.
Offering people alternatives is always a good thing. If you believe that Nader being in this election is a bad thing, you should probably be equally dismayed by the fact that people have the option to write in candidates. More options are always to our advantage. If Nader "steals" votes for a candidate, it's because that candidate wasn't what the people who voted for Nader really wanted. People are cabable of reasoning out the fact that a vote for Nader (or any third-party or write-in candidate) may mean that the major party candidate that is closer to their positions is less likely to win. If they still believe that a vote for someone else is their best option than they need to be able to express that option.
I have, in the past, voted for third-party candidates. In fact, I have yet to cast a vote in a presidential election for either a Republican or a Democrat. I've done this because when looking at the candidates available to vote for, I determined that my vote was most useful as a motivation to future third-party candidates and for, hopefully, reaching that magic 5% mark in which a third-party candidate can recieve public funding. Neither of the major parties has offered a candidate who I thought would be a good president, so I could not, in good concious, vote for them. I used my vote in the way that seemed most likely to bring about a future that I wanted.
Do you think Nader is a help or a hinderance in this process?