Spoiler Alert: it’s not third parties. Let’s take a look at 3rd party scapegoating and the real culprits behind lesser and greater evil politics.
As Kevin Gosztola noted in April on Shadowproof, the myth of the spoiler is getting an unusually intense workout this election, being used against Bernie Sanders and its more traditional targets, third party candidates like Jill Stein.. Gosztola wrote:
Every four years, commentators who support the Democratic Party reflexively invoke the candidacy of Ralph Nader in 2000. They use Nader to shut down debate about support for alternatives to who the establishment picks in the two most prominent political parties in the United States. Nader is also mentioned to stymie discussion of how to democratize elections.
The myth continues to hold weight with voters, despite being debunked numerous times. In 2010, a DisInfo writer, known as “Good German,” collected links to numerous articles dismantling the Ralph Nader spoiler story. They concluded:
So, why do Democrats continue to focus blame Nader and the Greens? It’s certainly easier to vent one’s frustrations upon someone weaker than you than it is to confront powerful, corrupt institutions and a dysfunctional system. And it’s even more attractive if one is part of that system, and if the weaker party could conceivably become a threat to one’s own power some day.
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