That sucking sound you hear is Ralph Nader's candidacy absorbing much-needed liberal votes. While Nader is preparing to wring those votes out into the sink drain of plurality on election day, I can't help but think we need a solution to this ongoing problem.
Despite a very popular grass-roots campaign that aggregated so many "don't run" comments and drove them directly to Nader's exploratory website, he's decided to run again. Despite nearly irrefutable evidence that Al Gore would be our president if Nader hadn't ran the last time around, and that the Bush presidency was more damaging to Nader's causes than a Gore presidency would have been, Nader is running anyway. I can't help but agree with the suggestion that Nader's simply doing it to provide a publicity platform.
Okay, so the guy wants to showboat again. The question remains...What should we do about it if we want to avoid a similar election dynamic this time around?
Maybe we could fight fire with fire. If Nader will once again attract the disaffected liberal vote, maybe we need a vote sponge for the disaffected Republicans. Even without the benefit of the Green Party line on the ballot, I still think Nader will still siphon off enough votes to cause concern for the Democrats. So what's Ross Perot doing these days?
Perot has the potential to erode votes from two traditionally Republican strongholds:
- Militia kooks who think Bush is too centrist - Of the four people who still fall into this category, 75% of them will probably not turn out to the polls without wearing tinfoil hats to avoid being picked up by Illuminati spy satellites.
- Rich, conservative retirees who want to preserve their personal wealth at any cost - In short, the AARP. The AARP will likely throw their support behind Bush anyway, and since retired folk have the spare time to read all the direct mail that comes their way, including AARP election day reminders to vote Republican, Perot won't likely make a dent here.
Hmmm...Maybe Ross Perot won't be able to match the awesome sucking power of the Nader campaign. So who might be able to give us a hand here?
Bob Dole? I can't help but think that this guy has sponge potential, especially if we give him a broadsword, a Viking helmet with horns on it, and a strong motivational speech about unfulfilled destiny. Get him on the ballot in enough states and he'll soak up enough votes on name recognition alone. At least he'll confuse the hell out of the AARP, which will probably once again get at least 97% of its membership to the polls.
Ralph Reed? He could represent the Sarlacc Pit into which disaffected Republicans could cast their votes, never to be seen again. Goodbye Republican fundamentalist Christian power base.
Steve Dallas? This Bloom County right-wing institution could wrap up the aging frat boy vote, while simultaneously crafting a funny post-election story. Heck, I'd go to the election night campaign party just for the grain alcohol alone.
Hmmm... Perhaps this requires additional thought.