[Marxism] Nader ballot woes
elishastephens at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 11 23:31:10 MDT 2004
>The necessity now is breaking the two-party system, by getting as many
>voters as possible to see a third party alternative as viable. We need
>to pool our ballots to make the possibility of an alternative as
>visible, and as viable to the voters as possible. A few million for
>Nader does that.
I share Mark's voting philosophy exactly; the best way to send a "message"
(to other workers, not to Kerry and the Democrats) is to have as large a
third-party vote as possible (within the limits of ideological
acceptability, not including Perot or Buchanan!), and that means Nader (if
he's on the ballot). However, it's worth noting that this does NOT preclude
someone (like, say, LouP) from doing the same thing with his or her vote and
still CAMPAIGNING for a socialist candidate. Who you campaign for (if you
think campaigning is worth any of your time) and who you vote for can
definitely be two different things (and there are many people doing the same
thing in a different context, *still* campaigning for Kucinich even though
they'll be voting for Kerry).
Personally, I think my time is better spent campaigning on issues, i.e.,
building antiwar, anti-occupation events. I suppose this position is open to
criticism, i.e., if I think it's good that Nader gets as large a vote as
possible, then I should campaign for him. Given unlimited time for political
activity, perhaps I would. But, given limited time, I think it's MORE
important to talk to people about the war then about Nader. Although, in
some contexts, one could imagine the BEST way to talk about antiwar issues
IS to do so as a campaigner for Nader, since there are contexts in which one
can enter as a political candidate (or representative of same) that one
cannot enter as "just" an antiwar campaigner, e.g., a candidates forum. And
why not come to the candidates forum as a representative of a socialist
candidate? Because there is definitely a significant layer of people who
will listen and respond to you saying exactly the same thing if you are
representing a "respectable" candidate like Nader, but who will "get their
defenses up" and not listen to you if you are representing a socialist (God
forbid!) candidate, even if you say exactly the same things.
Does this mean not "campaigning for socialism," a question LouP raised a
while back? Definitely not. But one can "campaign for socialism" without an
ELECTORAL campaign; hopefully, all of us are doing that all the time and not
waiting for one opportunity every two or four years!
There are definitely multiple sides to the issue.
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