a kate west reflection
He ran for President four times, as a Democrat in 1992 and then in 1996 and famously in 2000 for the Green Party and also in 2004 for the Reform Party. That is what Ralph Nader is most remembered for, currently, although his real life's work is in protecting consumers and fighting tirelessly for your civil rights. Born in 1934, this attorney (a graduate from Princeton University and Harvard Law) and civil rights activist led many to take on evil corporate power, earning them the name "Nader's Raiders". He's the one responsible for our seat belts, air bags and free tickets when the airline bumps you, to name but a few of the thousands of positive reforms he's accomplished. We need men like him to remain stubborn and tenacious, even when we don't want to hear it anymore.
A hit at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary "An Unreasonable Man" features all aspects of Ralph, to the point of illuminating, (for those of us who don't already know), the sordid details of the 1966 smear campaign by General Motors in an attempt to discredit him. The dangerous idealist Nader started a slew of activist organizations, including helping to found the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has worked his entire life to save us from corporate greed.
Why then, is he ridiculed and even reviled today? For campaigning in 2004 against Al Gore and George W. Bush, supposedly taking away votes from Gore, helping Bush gain the election. Completey absurd allegations. Gore fought briefly and half-heartedly for a recount when everyone knew the Florida votes were invalid, so he lost that election all on his own. Besides, it's still a free country, and everyone should be entitled to run for President if he/she is able and it's high time the two-party monopoly system was challenged anyway. There are bound to be more than two points of view in this country. So why not try Nader's? He's always looking out for ours. He's still a hero in my book.
| January 24, 2006 (Sundance Film Festival)
January 31, 2007
The Ralph Nader Reader
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