NOW who wasted their vote?
After a long, hard campaign that resulted in the closest election in American history, it was commonly believed that the last laugh would go to the winning candidate. That said, it is clear who is laughing in this sort of election-limbo-we-still-don't-have-a-president-elect state in which we currently exist: Yes, it is the Nader supporters in the swing states who are chuckling all the way to the chaos bank.
The Green Party enthusiasts have been laughed at from the very beginning. They have been told that Nader was not a viable candidate, that they were wasting their vote. Towards the end of the election, many people (Gore supporters, mostly) tried to convince Naderites that a vote for Nader was really just a vote for Bush. But now, these Nader fans have crawled out of the woodwork, the bohemian coffee shops, the NORML meetings, and Phish shows to laugh at the rest of us, and to revel in the chaos that they created.
It is obvious now, that had Nader not run, Al Gore would have likely been our new president. Or George W. Bush. In either case, it is much more likely that we would actually know who our next president is right now. A CNN Poll taken on election night asked of Nader voters, "If Ralph Nader were not running for President, for whom would you vote?" 61% said Gore.
Before election night, it was reported that the Gore camp was supposedly trying to convince Nader to withdraw from the race. Nader refused, and his hippy followers rejoiced.
"We will be recognized," hollered Nader on election night, amid hordes of stoned University of Wisconsin - Madison students. "A message is being sent, loud and clear, to the Republocrats in Washington that this type of corporate politics will be tolerated by the American people no longer." The crowd erupted in a deafening cheer.
"Our votes will not be wasted! We will become the disparaging factor of the closest election in history, causing the country to erupt in chaos and utter confusion! There will be questioning of America's democratic process! There will be recount after recount! And most of all, there will be a huge movement to abolish the electoral college! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!" As the crowd hollered with delight, Nader then proceeded to whip out a spliff the size of a baseball bat and inhale it all in one giant puff. "Holy living fuck!" said Nader, and then he started making out with Winona LaDuke.