Greetings once again, my faithful readers. You may wonder what prompts such a snarky blog post title. Well, it’s election season, and a lot of wrongheaded sloganeering is making it’s way around the Internet. The latest that I have seen is this meme pictured above, aimed at supporters of Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein.
This one really goes for the gold, I must admit. We get a two-fer here: not only does this meme take an ageist swipe at potential Stein supporters, but it advances the notion that Ralph Nader somehow costs Al Gore the presidential election in 2000. Looks sound on the surface, but let’s explore the validity of this claim, shall we?
First off, the major thing that we all need to remember is that the 2000 election was stolen. It all came down to Florida, Dade County to be exact. Thousands of votes were not counted, and the courts decided that election. Al Gore, had all the votes been counted, would have won. It’s like people forgot about all of the voter suppression, the “hanging chads” and other irregularities that handed George W. Bush the presidency. The recount in Florida was actively blocked by Republicans.
Secondly, this is yet another example of falsely attributing third party politics as a major factor in the success of the right wing in U.S. politics. Instead of pointing to the policies of the Democrats as to why some third party efforts can win the votes of people who want different, its much easier to demonize the Greens. Well, how do you explain Al Gore losing his home state of Tennessee? Was that Ralph Nader’s fault too?
Some of us were around for the 2000 election. Some of us even studied it after it happened. For those who were old enough to vote at the time, the outcome of this election was a shocking blow to the confidence in the American political system. What followed that election was a period of anti-war activism that sprung from anger over a stolen election, and was only stifled by the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Don’t try and re-write history with memes out of political context, misleading the many activists and observers who are justifiably upset about the shenanigans of the DNC with an ageist slant. CADOF.org is engaging in sophistry, and it must be called out.
A person who reads this meme may take it at face value. This is one of the dangers of gleaning understanding from politics from surface Google searches. There are too many forces out here, that are willing to bend the facts to put a false historical narrative to dissuade people from looking at third parties. This is why people study political science.
To read another take on this issue, see No, Ralph Nader Did Not Hand The 2000 Presidential Election To George Bush
Peace, until next blog post.
-Marc W. Polite
Professional political meme debunker