{Empty title} | The Nation

During the last three presidential campaigns I've found and completed web surveys that compare my views to the candidates positions and find that Nader represents my views on issues more than the Democratic candidate every time. Then I look around my community to see who's supporting Nader. For this election, and the last two, I've told myself that I'll vote for Nader as soon as I find a lower-income non-white person who supports him. Maybe they exist, but I haven't seen any here in Wisconsin. I see lots of college undergrads that attend the flagship campus of our state university here in Madison, most of whom are supported by their parents. I see Nader bumper stickers on $30,000 hybrid cars and Nader lawn signs in front of quarter-million-dollar houses.

In other words, at least here in Madison, Wisconsin, there's no visible support for Nader by people who are at the most financial risk from another four years of a Republican administration. Again, maybe those folks exist somewhere, but they don't appear to exist here.

It's pretty clear to me that the people in our country that are financially beneath the middle class are better off under Democratic administrations than under Republican ones. It's also pretty clear to me that (despite his denial of it) Nader's candidacy has consistently helped the Republicans and hurt the Democrats.

I have a good stable professional job, my spouse does as well. We probably could survive another four years of a Republican administration. Voting for Nader might best represent my views on issues. But as he has no realistic chance of winning, the thing I think he's most likely to do (again) is weaken the chances of a ticket that, while less idealistically aligned with my views, presents a far lower risk to the people in our country that need the most protection. As long as that's true, voting for Nader is, for me, a nice idea that it would be unacceptably irresponsible to act on.