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97,488 Floridians voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Had Nader not been on the ballot in Florida, I think it's safe to say Al Gore would have benefited by a net increase of 30,000 votes there, a number larger than a "drop in the proverbial bucket."

My big gripe with Nader is that after that election he did not say, "Yeah, maybe our candidacy cost Gore and the Democrats the election. So what?"

Me, I'll never vote for any office holder who, from this day forward, votes to decrease Social Security benefits or limits the federal government's liability for those benefits. With that exception, I'll vote for any Democratic candidate for any federal office who unequivocally supports single payer health care for all and I'll vote for the highest polling opponent of any Democratic candidate who does not unequivocally support single payer health care for all whether or not that opponent is a Republican.

I want to wreck the careers of all corporate Democrats. It'll be up to the Democratic pollsters to identify those of us using this criteria. If my vote and the votes of like-minded Democrats end up costing a Democratic candidate an election win and someone asks me about it my response will be, "So what?"

Gore lost the election. That's what the numbers tell me, and I think it's what any serious look at them would tell anyone else. Gore had a double-digit lead in the polls going into the summer of 2000. He blew it by acting like the corporate tool I suspected he was.

The vote suppression had as much of an effect, maybe more, than Nader's candidacy. That's too bad, because if he'd polled ten percent or so, a realistic possibility if progressives weren't so afraid of giving the GOP the White House, it would have been clear that no Democrat could win without progressives, and they might have realized that the DLC road was a dead end.

Instead, we ended up with Kerry in 2004 and Obama in '08.

Whether a third party is a viable possibility to win office is immaterial. The Teabaggers are proving that. If your group is substantial enough to swing an election and it's willing to take its votes elsewhere, it matters. If it isn't willing to do that, it doesn't. That's what progressives aren't learning, and they'd better figure it out soon, or we'll be in this boat for a long, long time.

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  • "We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war."

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  • "[O]ur time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice."


  • "True religion will not let us fall asleep in the comfort of our freedom. Love thy neighbor is not a piece of advice, it's a command. ...

    God, my friends, is with the poor and God is with us, if we are with them. This is not a burden, this is an adventure."

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  • Ray wasn't singing about what he knew, 'cause Ray had been blind since he was a child. He hadn't seen many purple mountains. He hadn't seen many fruited plains. He was singing about what he believed to be.

    Mr. President, we love America, not because of all of us have seen the beauty all the time.

    But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody.


  • ''With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 percent will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 percent will produce eagerness, 50 percent positive audacity; 100 percent will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 percent, and there is not a crime which it will not scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged.''

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