Sunday, October 24, 2004

On dailykos they're making predictions for how the election will go. I'm too lazy to sign up for an account there just to post one prediction and way too lazy to do all the electoral college math, so I'll just post my prediction here.

If this election is influenced by a spoiler candidate, it won't be Ralph Nader. It will be Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party candidate.

After four years of everyone (rightly or wrongly) blaming Nader for the 2000 election, after literally dozens of people who endorsed him in 2000 now endorsing Kerry and asking Nader to withdraw, after the Green Party withdrawing their support for him, after Dean firing up the left in ways that Washington insiders never could (God, I love Vermont), I think Nader has a snowball's chance in Hell of influencing this. Of course, we shouldn't dismiss him completely, but still.

Badnarik, on the other hand... in four years, Bush and the rest of the Republicans have done exactly two things for Libertarians or libertarians. He's lowered taxes (while raping the concept of fiscal responsibility in the process) and let the assault weapons ban expire. Meanwhile, he's also added 800,000 people to the federal government, endorsed an amendment to the Constitution to limit states' rights, and pushed what is probably America's most Orwellian bit of legislation ever, the USA PATRIOT Act. For the first time in history as far as I know, certainly the first time in my lifetime, America has seen what happens when the checks and balances get pushed aside and Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches of government. (Or for that matter, any one party.) If even two percent of the country is libertarian, well-informed, and fair-minded, that two percent cannot possibly vote for Bush in two weeks.

Wishful thinking? Armchair quarterbacking? Maybe. But if I'm right, then damn, I'll feel like a genius on November 3.

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