Ralph Nader

Citizen Nader, what have you done for me lately?

If you're like me, you've taken a lot of flack for not following in line during recent political campaigns. The bad news is that we're gonna catch hell again this time. The good news is that we're not alone. We've got good company. So, please, take heart.

Ralph Nader ran for president four times, but most people only remember when he ran against Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000. As the Green Party nominee Nader got nearly 3 million votes, 97,421 of them in Florida — a pivotal state where, after a contentious recount and a Supreme Court decision, Bush beat Gore by 537 votes. Democrats excoriated Nader, calling him a spoiler. He lost many friends. Even Public Citizen, the advocacy group he founded in 1971, distanced itself from him. Nader has no regrets about running and has remained steadfast in his belief that democracy requires multiparty elections: it is not good enough to have people cast votes for the candidate they find less distasteful than the other one.

Before that election, Nader was among the most trusted people in the U.S. To some he was known as Saint Ralph. A ubiquitous consumer advocate, he’d gained a reputation for being a vigilant citizen. His coworkers remember the copious amount of mail that poured into his D.C. office: letters from fans and admirers; desperate pleas for help. Someone sent the driveshaft from a car, asking if it was defective; someone else sent a box of dry ice containing one of his lungs. Deemed cancerous, it had been surgically removed, and the man wondered if the operation had been necessary. But all that was forgotten.


Consider this letter to the editor:

It was difficult to read David Barsamian’s interview with Ralph Nader, not because of what was said but because of who said it. Though I agree with Nader, I couldn’t help but remember that he was instrumental in helping George W. Bush get elected president: had Nader not been on the
ballot in Florida, Al Gore would have won the state, taken office, and most likely never ordered the invasion of Iraq. Gore would also have led in the battle against climate change. Yet Nader states he has no regrets. I take this to mean that, knowing what we know now, he would have run anyway. Rather than put a presidential spoiler on the ballot every four years, a viable third party should focus on
local or statewide elections. Unfortunately we saw key states go to Donald Trump in 2016 because of a third-party candidate. I wonder how a man who says the things Nader says can support third-party politics upending elections.

A second subscriber echoes the sentiment:

I am impressed with Ralph Nader’s lifelong service to society, but as someone who sees climate change as a top priority, I find his good work pales in comparison to the harm he caused
in the 2000 presidential election. Two points are undeniable: he had no chance of winning the election, and in a razor-thin race between a Texas oilman and one of the first major-party politicians to recognize the urgency of climate change, Nader swung the election to the former. This set the planet back considerably, which will cause the death and displacement of millions of people
and the loss of thousands of species. I appreciate Nader’s work on auto safety and many other things, but on balance, his reckless foray into presidential politics makes him an unmitigated disaster for humanity.

Read Nader's response below the fold.

"War-Preparers Anonymous": Who Are These Men, What Are Their Names? Diseased Sociopaths Who Must Be Outed. Change Won't Come Without Confrontation First.

Just a few nuggets.

The first is a passage in Kurt Vonnegut's "Fates Worse Than Death," a book of autobiographical essays. And the second, a conversation on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour with Phil Donahue.

The lesson Nader and Sanders missed

Let's start with 2016. The consensus was formed -- Hillary Rodham Clinton was going to be the next President, and neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump was going to stand in the way. Donald Trump was the chosen opponent -- the Clinton forces thought he would appear so horrible that the voters would be motivated to select Clinton simply to avoid electing Trump. Bernie Sanders was merely trying to chirp in with the notion of social-democratic guarantees of economic security.

Deconstructing the Nader-Spoiler Smear Tactic

If you are considering "wasting" {cough} your Vote this fall, consider this ...

Now that Hillary Clinton has wrapped up the Democratic Presidential nomination with the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, her supporters have transitioned to denigrating progressives who affirm they are “Bernie or Bust” by supporting Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein over Clinton. [...]