And on the evidence presented here, it almost seems a duty. For as Crashing the Party rather effectively demonstrates, the notion that kept so many liberals from his ranks in 2000the notion of "Nader the spoiler"gets more moot the more evidence you examine. Nader did not hurt the Democrats; in Washington State, in fact, high turnout for Nader probably provided the margin for the Democrats' Senate candidate, and thus the margin for the current Democratic majority in the Senate. Nationwide, almost as many Nader voters would have otherwise voted for Bush as for Gore. His main effect on the election, in fact, seems to have been to proportionately bump up voter interest in the contest.
2004 Ralph should show less of the 2000 Ralph who writes of working with Bill Hillsman, the brilliant adman he shares with Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, "I didn't like the idea of spending money to enrich television stations that should be covering the campaign as a news story." And more of the guy who allows that, well, attention isn't such a bad thing when you're running for political office. You can do that and still tell the truth, after all.
photo: Beverly Orr
Ralph Nader: Really, is there anyone else with the moral authority to take his place?
Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President By Ralph Nader
St. Martin's Press, 383 pp., $24.95
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