April 06, 2004
"The place was filled with 200 or so mostly young, mostly white people. And this is a crowd that represents 1 to 5 percent of the Democratic Party coalition. John Kerry -- or any centrist presidential candidate -- will not bring these people out to vote. These people (many of them first-time voters) need an unalloyed candidate who doesn't seem part of the establishment to inspire them to participate. They need a candidate who can call for President Bush's impeachment for an "unconstitutionally-authorized war based on untruths" in order to register to vote and feel that they aren't selling out."
He's right to say that certain fringe elements on the left just won't involve themselves in politics unless there's a voice like Nader's to lead them. Nevertheless, I still think that Nader can do nothing but harm for Kerry. In the end, even these die-hard Naderites types can be persuaded that not voting for Kerry is bad for the things that they care about. Which leads me to the conclusion that Nader's candidacy is not objectionable if one condition is met: early in the fall, he gets on national tv and directs all of his followers to vote Kerry. He'd have to be stern and earnest: "do not vote for me, vote for Kerry."
More Nader news here and here.