Originally posted by rageous
My response: You bet your ass that's what I'd want of him.
If Michael Moore truly cared for America and really wanted to see change, I would indeed expect him to look towards a protest candidate.
For Michael Moore, and many other people now, getting Bush out is more than big enough of a change.
A lot of people who had the attitude "Democrats and Republicans? They're all the same! They're all out for big business! They're all power mongers who don't care for the little guy!" may still not be in love with Democrats, but they are now realizing how big a difference there can be between the lesser and the greater of two evils.
Think of what Moore and his great ability to generate press could do to bring light to viable third party candidates.
His abilities will be enough to shift opinions a few percentage points, no more.
First of all, he's tarnished his own credibility on more than one occasion.
Second, while he may be influential, he's also divisive. He's viewed as far to the left, and many people would disbelieve him if he said 2+2=4, just because he said it.
The left/right division in this country is very real, and the coming election is will most likely be decided by a few percentage points drifting around in the middle between entrenched camps.
But he doesn't want real change, he just wants Bush gone at any cost.
I don't buy the rhetoric that Kerry replacing Bush isn't "real change". It will most certainly be real change.
As for costs, what about protest at any cost? What about the cost of forms of protest that run counter to the protesters own goals?
Many Americans might be disillusioned with the two-party system, but it's not because they're hankering for, oh, a Socialist Worker's Paradise that neither of the two parties is providing.
I'm not saying it's wrong to try to change the two party system -- I'd like to see a lot of changes myself. I'd like to see the notion of "party" severely weakened, and have a system where individual candidates mattered more, and where proportional representation and power rather the "winner takes all" is the most common way of doing things.
But there are effective and ineffective ways to get there. Voting for Nader is an ineffective one. Nader does not appeal to the majority, or even a plurality, of Americans, no matter how displeased or apathetic towards the two parties we might be. In a crude left/right analysis of the current electorate, Kerry appeals to the left, Bush to the right... and Nader? Mostly to the further left.
Call it "voting your conscience" all you like, voting for Nader will suck more votes from Kerry than from Bush, hurting Kerry, helping Bush, and even if you
, unlike many of the rest of us, aren't terribly worried about what four more years of Bush could be like, the "return on investment" in future elections for casting a protest vote now isn't likely to be very high, and could in fact be negative.
And right now to Moore and the rest of those who dislike Bush it means voting for whomever has the best chance at beating him, not who they actually would support if they cared about the future of their country.
This sounds an awful lot like insufferable Bushies who call liberals traitors.
News flash: It's BECAUSE MANY OF US CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY that we think that another four years of Bush is something that WE CANNOT RISK. Please don't play the game of impugning the motives of those who disagree with you.
I give you credit for having genuine concerns. I just think you're very mistaken about how to express your concerns effectively.
If you're concerned about the symbolic power of voting, consider this: Think of all of the harm Bush has done to the reputation of America around the world, all of the distrust and hate stirred up among both allies and rivals. Now think of the world's reaction if we show that we've dismissed this man vs. the reaction if we look like we're putting our stamp of approval on all he has done by giving him four more years.
It's the compromises that have gotten us to where we are.
On the contrary, I'd say it's lack of compromise
that's gotten us into the current mess. Republicans, with control over both Congress and the White House, haven't had to compromise enough
with Democrats, and have given an incompetent, politically-driven, policy-inept administration too much power.