Today, Ralph Nader announced that he would enter the 2008 Presidential race as an Independent, asserting that “dissent is the mother of ascent.”
In 2000, I remember the excitement that Nader’s nomination engendered as well as the lore regarding “Nader Traders”–those in hotly contested states who would vote for Gore while a partner in states assumed red would cast a Nader vote. Nader wasn’t on the Oklahoma ballot, and I didn’t bother to become a Nader Trader, but I certainly supported the Green candidate’s platform and thought that if he had been on the ballot in my state, I might have voted for him.
Given what happened in the 2000 race, though, I worry about how Nader’s entry will affect the democratic candidate. Though I cannot argue that dissent can produce positive results, I wonder if entering the race is the best way to promote his positions.