[Nader friend Robert McChesney speaking] “I don’t think Ralph should run. It would be bad for him personally; I doubt he would get half the number of votes he got in 2000. And it would be bad for the Greens … Core elements of progressive constituencies, exactly the groups that the Greens need to build upon, will revolt with open contempt — far worse than 2000 — to anything that helps keep Bush in office … Running a presidential candidate in 2004 for the Greens is probably a quantum leap off a cliff. It is the Greens’ Jonestown.”
I made a commitment in my now-vanished comments to be nice to Greens, to avoid the “see what the differences between the parties are now?” lines of reasoning and instead focus on “here’s why Democrats want your vote.” And I’ll stick to that commitment. Nevertheless, this will sound more disparaging than it is: a Nader run in 2004 will set the Green Party back, substantially. He will get a much smaller amount of the vote in what is shaping up to be another close race. So the only two options are to again be the spoiler (goodbye Clean Air and Water Acts, hello Halliburton contracts), or to run and fail to stop the Democrat anyway, thereby ensuring that Democrats are hostile to Greens.