Main Entry: hu·bris
Etymology: Greek hybris
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence
...Well, in 2000 it was a paltry 5% of the popular vote, not a hell of a lot, but enough to prevent Gore from winning, somehow, but instead of trying to court those voters a bit, or ignoring them, the Dems decided to vilify them instead. Is that clear? I don't need a civics lecture, I understand enough of the election process.
But when I suggested that Nader could gain substantial influence in a Democratic administration by focusing his campaign on the 40 safe states and encouraging his supporters elsewhere to vote Gore, Milleron leaned coolly toward me with extra steel in his voice and body. He did not disagree. He simply said, "We're not going to do that."
"Why not?" I said.
With just a flicker of smile, he answered, "Because we want to punish the Democrats, we want to hurt them, wound them."
If the purpose of Nader's candidacy really was to build a viable third party, as he stated, he should have been concerned only with maximizing his own vote total. Indeed, if this was his goal, he would have had a clear long-term interest in Gore winning: If Bush carried the election, many Green voters would probably return to the Democratic fold in 2004. Yet Nader chose to help Bush and hurt Gore, even when doing so came at his own expense. When American University professor Jamin Raskin proposed that Nader supporters in swing states swap their votes with Gore supporters in safe states -- thus maximizing the Nader vote while simultaneously helping Gore -- Nader denounced the idea.
Then there was the debate within the Nader campaign over where to travel in the waning days of the campaign. Some Nader advisers urged him to spend his time in uncontested states such as New York and California. These states -- where liberals and leftists could entertain the thought of voting Nader without fear of aiding Bush -- offered the richest harvest of potential votes. But [...] Nader [...] insisted on spending the final days of the campaign on a whirlwind tour of battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Florida. In other words, he chose to go where the votes were scarcest, jeopardizing his own chances of winning 5 percent of the vote, which he needed to gain federal funds in 2004. Nader does not mention this decision in his own account of the campaign. He does write that when Sellers worried that he would focus on electoral battlegrounds, "I told him we were running a fifty-state campaign to maximize our votes and were not going out of our way to target swing states." Either Nader was lying to Sellers or is lying to his readers.
I'd, therefore, like to frame this discussion into a bigger question about the American elections process: why are "state-rights" so important when it comes to drawing up electoral rules?
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;
The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.
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