Come election day, millions may vote for George W. Bush and Al Gore while not believing in them. Doubtlessly, some will vote for one of these two enthusiastically, but sometimes it seems neither of these candidates has inspired many beyond their immediate family and those on their campaign payroll. Many unimpassioned voters would consider backing a third party candidate, like consumer advocate Ralph Nader - or Pat Buchanan or the Libertarian or Natural Law candidates. But voters are scared.
What is this mania for labels? It is as if Rainman's autistic literalness was the only reality? Vote your convictions? Well hell not voting for the republicans was based on MY CONVICTIONS. Voting for a can't win fantasy candidate is against my principles because it would only help the republicans to win. You can say what you want but Nader robbed a lot of progressive votes from Gore. That is what happened despite the denials of third party advocates. The Nader votes wouldn't have gone to Bush and that is the fact of the matter. Maybe Ralph doesn't want to face it but he actually did help to elect Bush because there was no way for him to win and he knew it. He should have had the decency to drop out rather than feed his ego.
That song and dance about raising issues has some merit but they can be raised in other ways than by draining off votes against the rightwing.
So enough of Rainman literal interpretations. Voting against the rightwing IS a principled vote and a case can be made that voting for a candidate that you know has absolutely no chance to win is actually a self indulgent and unprincipled action because it ignores the fact that it helps the rightwing.
So vote your conscience and not help the worst to win. Pick the better choice not the worst choice. That is how voting works. It is all about which candidate gets in ... and you having to live with what they do later.