Don’t Fault the Green Party for Bush
Re “Antiwar Stance Risky for Democrats,” March 20: George Skelton repeats the simplistic canard that the Green Party is responsible for putting George W. Bush in the White House. The argument is that had Ralph Nader voters not voted for him in the Florida election they would have voted for Al Gore. What Skelton and others refuse to acknowledge is that, absent the option of voting for a true progressive, the Green voters would most likely have not voted at all.
Remember that the voter turnout in the last presidential election was among the lowest ever. It is the failure of the Democrats and Republicans to offer thoughtful and substantial candidates that has turned off the voters. One of the benefits of “instant runoff” voting is that it will attract voters who otherwise refuse to participate in choosing between candidates who offer no meaningful choice. And, yes, having come to the polls to vote for a candidate they believe in, they probably would vote for the lesser of the remaining evils as a second option. It is for this reason that the major parties should support instant runoffs.
I resent being characterized as sounding like a loser. It was the California Democratic convention Skelton was talking about, and I was a delegate. Need I remind him that we losers hold every statewide elective office? That we have majorities in both houses of the Legislature? That we have two fine senators and a majority of the state’s members of the U.S. House? That a majority in California were part of the majority of the popular vote for president in 2000? Stick around, Mr. Skelton -- you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.