In the US presidential elections of 2000, George Bush received 271 electoral votes, Al Gore received 267 electoral votes and Ralph Nader received 0 electoral votes. Before the election campaign began, it was completely clear that Ralph Nader did not stand any realistic chance whatsoever to win the elections.
The political views of Ralph Nader are closer to those of Al Gore than to those of George Bush. So even before the 2000 elections had started it was obvious that the main thing Ralph Nader could realistically be doing, was taking away votes from Al Gore and make it easier for George Bush to win. Nevertheless Ralph Nader decided to run for office anyway.
The 2000 elections were won by George Bush by an extremely thin margin. Florida turned out to be the state that was the deciding factor in the race. If Gore would have taken Florida, Gore would have won the elections. The vote total of Ralph Nader in Florida was 97,488. George Bush won Florida by a margin of 537 votes over Gore.
In his book Crashing the Party, Ralph Nader later stated: “Exit polls by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg showed that 25 percent of our voters would have voted for Bush, 38 percent would have voted for Gore, and the rest would not have voted at all.”
So it is clear that if Ralph Nader, who had no real chance to win in the first place, would not have entered the presidential race, Al Gore would have become president in 2000. If Al Gore would have become president, it is very unlikely that the United States would have made war on Iraq. So if Nader would not have entered the 2000 presidential race, the war in Iraq would very likely not have happened.
The irony here is that Ralph Nader is someone who is extremely anti war. So in his uncompromising effort to be extremely good for the world, he actually accomplished the opposite. That’s the lesson we can take away from the actions of Ralph Nader, that the extreme and self–centered attitude of being unwilling to be realistic, results in achieving the opposite of what you want to achieve.