Stateside

The vanishing relevance of Ralph Nader

For some reason, Ralph Nader’s announcement that he will run for President again this year has been getting a fair amount of media attention.

Nader ran for President in 2000 and won 2.7 percent of the vote. Enough of those votes were in Florida to throw the race into a deadlock and eventually to enable George W. Bush to claim victory over Al Gore. In 2004 Nader essentially farmed out his campaign to the Trotskyite International Socialist Organization, and that political powerhouse helped him win an even less impressive 0.3 percent of the vote. If that trend continues, as I expect it will, he’ll get about 0.033 percent of the vote this year– that is, about three-hundredths of one percent.

It’s not clear if Nader will seek the Green party nomination, or what effect his decision will have on former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s previously-announced candidacy. I’ll leave such speculation to those who may think it actually matters.

Seriously, I do feel sad watching Nader shred what was once an impressive and deserved record of achievement as a consumer advocate– most notably with regard to auto safety.

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