This is a copy of a letter I sent to the Ralph Nader exploratory website a while back, before I thought he was serious about this.
"I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. At the time, I thought it was more important to bring more diversity to the possible selection. A third party whose views I agreed with would be, I thought, a positive addition. About 2 years later I realized that until an active and representative third party is present at the state level, there is _no_ place for a third party at the Presidential level.
I think independent parties are a great idea, however, given the nature of and the history of political parties in the United States it is something that will not be beneficial until they can demonstrate that they can bring 10 million plus votes to the table. The majority of those votes have to be new voters. If they can't then they are taking them from one or the other candidate. Perot sucked off enough votes from Bush (and created enough political dissonance) so that Clinton was able to win the election. Nader did not lose the election for Gore in 2000. Gore and his inept campaign lost the 2000 election. However, the fact that it came _so_ close and will come as close this election means that the non-conservative groups in this country need to get behind one candidate.
It is far too important.
People do not realize the extent to which the Republicans will go to cement their position. The reason Jeffords created so much anger with his switch was natural. Any and every method legal or otherwise will be taken to ensure the Republican control in this country. If you don't believe me read the National Review (who aren't the worst lot, they just hang out with bums), Wall Street Journal op-ed page and talk to any republican state or national (mostly national). The lawsuits over the redistricting are a prime example. It's about controlling the country. It's about controlling the electoral votes and to do that you need to control the states. THey have been biding their time. They couldn't take out Clinton and his bunch with a frontal attack, they had to rewrite the rules.
Defeating the Republican party is too important to have a third party pull of any time, attention or votes from that purpose. I supported a third party (green) in the recent mayoral election. I have supported one for the state house, but I will not do so for the president. Not unless he can show me 50+ percent of the vote. Otherwise, forget it.
If you are concerned about the attitudes and actions of the current administration, you will not allow your candidate to run. There is more at stake than diversifying the electorate. If Mr. Nader would like to seek a position in the house or a governership I would support him all the way.
Perot was able to bring 15% of the electorate to his side, many of whom hadn't voted before, most of whom voted republican the next time.
If Mr. Nader can not bring at least that much, he shouldn't come.
I have the greatest respect for Mr. Nader and I believe he has changed this country for the better in a lot of ways. He is truly working to help this entire country a step at a time. At this time, however, a run for the President is not the way to help this country.
The best way to help would be to endorse the Democratic candidate after the primaries. Bring the votes together with the Democrats. Once there the Democrats can work from a position of strength to change the "reforms" the republicans put in place.
This election is too important. The electorate is too close. There is no 15-20% undecided vote any more. This election is coming down to fractions of a percent again.
The Republicans want to bring the fight to Florida again. But if they get Cali they won't need to.
If Mr. Nader would like to help, have him endorse after the primaries. It's too important to make a run this year."
8 hours ago