Feb 5th, 2008 by ravi
Obama: the spoiler of 2008?

Back in 2000, when we were still belabouring under the impression that democracy is an open sport, those of us who supported Ralph Nader were castigated for promoting a “spoiler” candidate. This artful term summarised the idea that a few deluded idealists (that would be us) were not just throwing away votes but worse helping the real opposition win. Let’s play this logic out a bit…

The “SuperDuper Tuesday” results are pouring in and one trend seems to be emerging:

Obama is winning big in the red states: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Utah (and losing in the liberal ones — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts — not counting his home state of Illinois). With some small modifications, one can now apply the “spoiler” argument to Obama: he is drawing upon the votes of idealistic minorities (African-Americans, in this case) to establish a lead that is worthless in the real election where the votes of these groups, in those states, will be swamped by that of the white majorities who will prevail as before in installing a Republican in the White House.

Extending the logic a bit further, we can see that Hillary is a spoiler candidate too. Because she is drawing upon the votes a few idealists (women, in this case) to win primaries… etc… you get the drift!

I, of course, do not accept this strange logic, and am under no compulsion to consider any of these three a spoiler candidate.

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