Election 2012

We'd Only Be Punishing Ourselves

In a repeat of 2000, Michael Moore is taking the wrong approach:

MICHAEL MOORE: "They're so desperate to be elected, that [it] is more powerful than the money than they're getting from these corporations is your vote. They can't win without your vote -- and don't let the Democrats and Barack Obama play that card of 'Well, where else are you going to go?' You know? They do not want to do that. They really don't want to do that because hey saw what happened in 2000. There's just enough pissed off people that will actually go somewhere else and can cause a huge ruckus as a result of that. So, they do not have to go back very far to think of an example of what happens when you punk on those who have less. Don't do that, President Obama and the Democratic party. Stand up now.

Threatening the president and the Democrats with a vote for a third party -- or worse, staying at home -- is misdirected. If we pulled another stunt like 2000 and President Obama lost to Mitt Romney, we'd all be hurt by that outcome as the Romney administration would roll back everything.

No more healthcare reform, an all-out invasion of Iran, no more infrastructure spending, DADT reinstated -- all of it. This Moore threat is meaningless (paraphrased): "If you keep pissing us off, Obama, you won't win! Oooga-booga!" See, it's not about whether Candidate X "wins," it's about what they'll do when they win. By many accounts, a second term President Obama will move leftward. He won't have to worry about re-election, and this terrifies the Republicans and far-right conservatives. On the other hand, how do you think Mitt Romney will govern?

In 2000, Ralph Nader received 2,883,105 votes nationwide out of around 102 million. Significant for a third party, but not a threat to Bush and Gore. But in Florida? 97,488 votes for Nader. If Nader hadn't run such a strong campaign with so much support from a disillusioned left-wing and its voices like Michael Moore, Al Gore might have won Florida and history would have been almost completely different. (It's worth noting that Moore's "all parties are the same" mantra disappeared by 2004 when he and Bill Maher begged Nader to not run again on national television. It was a televised display of regret for the exact point of view Moore is inexplicably re-discovering now.)

I know you might be angry that President Obama hasn't done exactly everything you personally wanted (yet). But take a look at the wide view -- the historical view, and decide whether a protest vote will help your causes, and, more importantly, who a protest vote will really hurt. Personally, I will never again make the same mistake I made in 2000 with my empty, idiotic vote for Nader. I wasn't seeing the big picture and I was blinded by people who told me that the parties and their candidates are the same. They're not -- by a long shot -- as evidenced by what we know now with historical perspective.