Nader absolves Libertarian voting guilt - Rob Felt

Thank you Ralph Nader! In an exercise of fundamental democracy Nader announced his bid for the White House this week as an Independent. Now Libertarians can cast a guilt-free vote for their candidate in November, knowing that socialists with a new outlet will offset the fiscally conservative votes lost for Bush.

If you're confused about the Nader campaign here's a quick translation: it's most likely that he will skim votes from the Democratic nominee, hence their placement of the "spoiler candidate" label on him.

Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has theorized that Nader may have cost Al Gore the 2000 election. The official line used to be that it was the Supreme Court who cost Gore the presidency when they "selected, not elected" George W. Bush. Apparently everyone except Michael Moore has moved on.

Back to the future. Votes for a yet unnamed Libertarian candidate will most likely detract from Bush support, so Nader's presence will balance the playing field.

Neal Boortz Libertarians, who talk a good game but vote Republican, should see no better year to cleanse their ideological souls. Reasons why Bush is expendable, in no particular order:

* Gay rights. Bush continues to alienate the center by thump-thumping himself into a monster theocrat. In a recent speech on gay marriage Bush cited the world's religions as having no support for homosexual unions. He isn't the president of the United World Spiritual Council or the final word on interpreting spiritual texts, so why does he support changing our Constitution based on this point?

* Red ink ledger. Republicans raising the spending and debt levels? Bush's voting base should be outraged, but they're not. Why? The following two reasons have been misunderstood and spun out of control.

* Game over in Iraq. War is over and it's time to start the peace. The White House has proven its ability to wage some good destruction but failed to convince the world that it's capable of rebuilding. Do you believe that a new administration would handle the situation any worse?

* Osama bin where? During the liberation of Iraq troops have continued to seek out bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda leaders. Bush has no control over this process and it will continue whether he is the commander in chief or not.

* President Cheney. Not going to happen. Loyal Republicans know it, and fence-sitting Libertarians should be willing to give up four years in order to reset the ticket and start fresh with two leaders who have a chance at a piggyback election.

The final question for scaredy-cat quasi Libertarians is – would you vote for the third-party candidate if you knew it would get John Kerry elected? If this question is posed to you, refuse to answer directly and say this: democracy should be about voting for the candidate who will represent your interests, not the one you disagree with the least.

Without voter support a third party will never establish itself as an influence on our political system.

Talk is cheap. Put your vote where your mouth is.

Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at rfelt@henryherald.com.