McGrath: By your definition, I am sure a conservative. I surely don't like Bush, and have very little enthusiasm for any of the Democratic candidates, including Kerry. I don't trust big business or big politics. I strongly suspect that at least 50% of the changes being proposed are for the worst. And I trust Nader less, even than Bush.
1. If elected, he could not run the country.
2. The whole idea of a third party on the Left (or Right) is hooey. A third party makes sense when it takes up a cause both parties have ignored. Ross Perot appealed to lots of people because they worried about the unbalanced budget and trade agreements -- issues where the two parties agreed. Before 1936, neither party could be characterized as "Left" or "Right." Today, more than ever before the Democrats are on the "Left" on every single issue, and the Republicans on the "Right." And polls indicate that the country is divided 50-50. So that the only possible effect of a fringe candidate like Nader is to weaken the cause he/she claims to represent.
The people who are left out are not people on the "Left" or the "Right," but those in the middle, who think both parties are too ideological and squabble too much. Lots of people, sometimes including even me, think we need someone who concentrates on good government and not on ideology. Nader's criticism of the Democrats is not that they support the wrong causes, but that they are not ideological enough, or militant enough. So that his position is exactly the opposite of what would satisfy the really dissatisfied voters who want most of all a practical government that makes things run. Those voters came to like Clinton, precisely for the reason you don't -- because he wasn't ideological and he made things work.
I understand your position. You are sitting over there in England, and could not possibly care less whether the United States is well-governed. That is not a very exciting issue, compared to the bold clash of ideologies. But I care a great deal about that, and it appears to me the present administration is truly horrible and taking us to the brink of disaster, and I think Nader disgraces himself by trying to perpetuate it. But for sure, it creates a lot of excitement for all you spectators out there.
I don't want to "live in interesting times." They say that is a Chinese curse.