After hearing about http://www.repentantnadervoter.com and http://www.unrepentantnadervoter.com, it is clear that many Americans still don't understand how a democracy is supposed to function.

The idea that Nader cost Gore the 2000 election is an idea so stupid that it could only have originated with one of the two major US political parties. Let's examine the underlying logic to the "Nader Cost Gore the Election" idea. The only leg on which this argument stands is that the people who voted for Nader would have, without a doubt, voted Democratic if Nader hadn't run. So, if we can somehow knock that leg out from underneath the argument, we can prove the argument is wrong.

Can anyone conclusively demonstrate the number of Green Party voters in 2000 who would have:1. Gone to the polls even if Nader hadn't been running 2. Voted blindly for the Democratic nominee once they got there Of course not. No one talks about the number of people who may not have voted at all if they hadn't been energized by Nader's campaign. It is blind supposition to assume those same voters would have been otherwise energized by Gore's campaign.

As Nader said many times during his campaign, "Only Al Gore can beat Al Gore." What Nader was communicating was that if Al Gore could sufficiently mobilize Democrats and moderate Republicans to vote for him, Nader's candidacy could not hurt him. However, as we now know, Gore was a terribly unexciting candidate and he failed to excite voters. It is therefore extermely difficult to believe that everyone who voted for Nader would have, without question, voted for Gore. Heck, how many registered Democratic voters did not even go to the polls in 2000? Only 51% of all registered voters bothered to vote in the 2000 election. Given the close results, we can safely assume that somewhere in the range of 50% of all registered Democratic voters turned out to vote (for anyone, not necessarily Gore). If Gore really wanted to win, he needed to get more people who tend to vote Democratic to not only show up at the polls, but to vote for him. The Democratic Party's claims that Nader stole Gore's votes were simply a sign of weakness.

Having said that, what do we make of the, um, people who start web site like repentantnadervoter.com? The obvious charactertistics:- They gladly line up to have their dignity soiled at airline security counters - They pay attention when the Homeland Security Department changes the terror alert color - They have a six-month supply of food, water, plastic sheeting, and duck tape in their basement - They feel safer knowing that no one is flying with pool cues and hockey sticks in their carry-on luggage - They lock the doors on their rusting Dodge Neon when they go to the grocery store, even if there is nothing in the car worth stealing I could go on and on, but the point is clear. These are people who live in fear. As such, their fear votes for them. They may want the Green Party candidate to win, but they fear the Republican candiate, so they vote Democratic. That's like going to a restaurant, yearning for the steak. But you fear the fish and as a result you order the chicken.

Does that make any sense?!? The only way America will ever have viable third/fourth/fifth parties, is if people stop voting with their fear and start voting with their minds and hearts. This advice isn't just for those on the left side of the political spectrum, either. If you truly believe in Libertarian ideals, and if the Libertarian party best represents those ideals, vote Libertarian. Americans ought to stop voting against what they fear, and start voting for what they desire.