Third Parties Are Not Spoilers
Open Letter to the Wall Street Journal
By Ralph Nader at Nader.org
How unbecoming it is for the self-styled freedom-loving Wall Street Journal (“Ron Paul Nader?” Dec. 21) to use the politically bigoted word “spoiler” to describe a hypothetical Ron Paul-Libertarian party presidential run.
Why is a third-party candidate called a “spoiler” when the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties, that have given us a spoiled political system (corrupted by the highest bidder) are never referred to in such a pejorative way? These two decaying parties do not own the voters in this country, though they act that way through their many state laws obstructing outside competition.
Since all candidates are supposed to have the equal right to run for election, then they are either all spoilers of one another in seeking votes or none of them deserve to be called “spoilers.” Candidates from smaller parties are not second-class citizens. After all, either of the major party candidates “takes away” far more votes from the other than any third party candidate does.
Ron Paul was the Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 1988, and is seeking the Republican presidential nomination this year, as he did in 1988. There has been media speculation that he might go Libertarian again, and Paul has not ruled it out, although his goal remains to win the Republican nomination. Another former contender for the Republican presidential nomination this year, former NM Governor Gary Johnson, has already jumped over to the Libertarians.
Ralph Nader sought the presidency as a Green in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent in 2004 and 2008. He is not running this year.
In the last 27 years, 1992 was the only presidential election year when neither Paul nor Nader was an independent or alternative (“third”) party presidential candidate in the general election.