Al Sharpton: We Need to Warn Against 'Negro Naderism' (Blacks Voting for a Third Party)

On his Monday radio show “Keepin’ It Real,” the Rev. Al Sharpton touted “Operation Lemonade” to get blacks to vote early in Florida, and attacked purists who might vote for a third-party candidate like Jill Stein of the Green Party. He insisted we “need to watch the Naderism, what I would call the Negro Naderism” that could tip the election to Romney.

He agreed with his regular guest Earl Ofari Hutchinson, insisting “Nader cost Gore the election” in 2000, then added no black voter should waste a vote on third-party candidates:

SHARPTON: A lot of us that saw the impact of Nader and the results of Nader and Nader’s whole justification for running was this hard line dogmatic few, that you’ve got to be a purist in terms of all of your political views, and if someone wasn’t all the way one way, it was all or nothing. I think that same attitude is being held by some of the critics of President Obama in our community and could be just as dangerous. And I think that we’ve got to watch the Naderism what I would call in this case the Negro Naderism that in terms of being so puritanical that it will cost us votes that will give Romney the election.

Sharpton referred to the ongoing fight he's had as the Obama operative battling black critics from Obama's left like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West who insist Obama's "not black enough." He complained he didn't understand why conservatives were intelligent enough to let Romney move to the center on everything, but leftists won't allow Obama to do the same.

Hutchinson wrote in The Huffington Post:

There are nearly 8 million registered voters in Ohio, and Stein’s projected 1 percent of the vote total there would give her nearly 8,000 votes. Obama almost certainly would get a fair number of those votes if Stein weren’t on the ballot there.  This may not mean anything when the election dust finally settles in the Ohio count. But then again it might, particularly with some projections that the entire presidential election could come down to as few as two Ohio counties. This again underscores the looming titanic fight that the GOP and the Democrats and the Romney and Obama campaigns are waging over every individual vote. The presidential election has been reduced from a major broad front war to a house by house fight. It’s seemingly that close.

...In any other election, the third party candidates would be applauded by millions of Americans and even get their votes, and deserve to get their votes. But this election is not that election. Romney has made sure of that. He has made it his political casus belli that this election is an election that presents two diametrically different philosophies about politics, government, values, and the future direction of the country. There’s a powerful, ultraconservative, top heavy religious fundamentalist Tea Party movement that’s there to make sure Romney means what he says if he bags the White House.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis