nader nader nader

It seems that Ralph Nader’s recent announcement that he is considering running for Preznit again has stirred up controversy in the blogosphere. Max has this to say, and Lawrence Lessig this; the comments threads on both are good. A while back, Patrick said this, which also begat a commentfest that I meant to feature.
The Nader issue is interesting to me because it highlights two potentially very different approaches to politics. Is your vote a tactical weapon in the struggle to improve society, or an expression of your political and ethical worldview? Is politics the art of the possible, or the arena in which different moral systems do unflinching battle? I’m something of a utilitarian and very much a meliorist, so I think you should write or paint or flash a boob on national TV if you want to express yourself; when you vote, do the most good you can and leave your ego out of it. (I should add: that’s not to say that even swing-state Nader 2000 voters were simply indulging their ego; it seems to me that it would have been possible, before the excesses of Gee-Dub and the Corporate Welfare Tribe, to be willing to risk electing Bush II in order to promote a strong progressive voice and a third party.)
(An aside: I note with pleasure that Max’s trackback window says “Continuing the discussion…”. As always, comments off on this entry; the conversation is happening at the end of those links.)