Gore, Nader, Bush...and Obama: What was the lesson of 2000? (POLL)
By: Ara

Mark makes some pretty good points below. This one jogged my memory:

We won't stay home, know better than to get burned by the Nader protest vote again in this lifetime, and don't have enough clout to bring about real change.

Ah, Nader. Let me ask you a question, Mark: Why did Al Gore not gain the White House in 2000? Was it that Bush stole Florida?

Or was it that Gore did not talk more about (for example) climate change, thereby drawing the Nader vote more decisively?

Or was Gore's problem something else: that he lost Tennessee, his own home state, because the voters there thought he was too liberal?

When you have the answers to these questions, then we can talk some more about Obama's conduct in this campaign.

In the meantime, I don't have any easy answers here. At best, I guess I could say that things would have been different had Gore v. Bush been run in the context of today's Blogville. So maybe we have more power now than we think.

On the other hand, campaigns are always about winning elections, not leading movements. The time to lead a movement is after you get elected -- otherwise it ends up meaning a whole lot less than we all hoped it would.

[cross posted at E Pluribus Unum]


BruceMcF said...

Campaigns are about winning elections and movements are about winning change.

It would be counter-productive to put a movement on hold because a campaign is contesting an election, because we have a system of ongoing continuous elections.

It would, indeed, be just as counterproductive to confuse the campaign with a movement as it would be to confuse a movement with a campaign.

Where a movement has the most effect on the stance of a party is during the primary process, where it ends the political careers of those standing in the way of the movement. That is what gives a movement the power to affect change after the general election.

For a movement, the General Election is a dry run for field techniques to help build the capabilities to be effective during the primaries, where the action is.

Ryanaldo said...

Climate change is kind of a surrogate issue. We're not at war with China over all the C02, sulfur, and dioxins they produce in the process of manufacturing merchandise for us to consume.

We're at war in Iraq because it seemed important to our leaders to project some force in the vicinity of where the oil comes from. For a candidate to oppose the war they will have to severely criticize the American way of life(a shitload of driving and big box retail and deindustrialization). Without an honest and intelligent opposition to the invasion of Iraq, there is no difference between voting Republican and voting Democrat