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Breaking Through Power: Historic Civil Mobilization Now


Breaking Through Power: Historic Civil Mobilization Now

Ralph Nader

Ever wonder why Presidential and Congressional election campaigns fail to meaningfully connect with civil society? Candidate rhetoric is designed to attract voters and campaign contributions. Candidates go out of their way to ingratiate themselves to their corporate paymasters, whose monetized minds want nothing to do with the civil society. Civil society leaders at the national and local levels and their nonprofit citizen groups form the bedrock of democracy.


The persistent presence of the status quo in our society is often powered by name recognition and not by their record.

Edit for correction.


Hopefully, Bernie will wake up enough youth to get them to see how important it is for them to become truly informed. The youth are savvy enough to reject the glow box's messaging, however they do not receive proper education in civics and the textbooks they are exposed to seek to keep them in the dark and prepare them for a life of corporate servitude. Is there any other candidate than Bernie that reaches the youth? Hell, no.


If you can ally Breaking Through Power with Bernie and the Green Party you might start a genuine movement, Ralph.


Went to the web site. Looked at the speakers. Looks pretty White to me. Just sayin'.

wicklund: Definitely not for the every day local grassroots folk $$$.

port_outlook: think we can expand that list a bit more, yes?


Another one who hasn't the decency to give credit where credit is due and acknowledge the phenomenal influence that Bernie has had on the American public and the concurrent rise of civic minded activism!

Bernie has made the people believe in civics again. He has been like a one man occupy movement for America and people have responded to his decency and honesty. He deserves some credit for being the activist who has accomplished things like the rise of the civic minded American public!

I don't know what some true believers must be thinking about a high priced ticket affair that seeks to create a Secretariat ??? of retired military and intelligence agency officers and diplomats to facilitate stopping wars and who will have great influence with the media and congress? Is this for real? Ralph says these people wanted to speak up in 2003 but there was no organized structure that they could speak to and would support them? Say what? You mean the public Ralph? So now You say that the name recognition status quo will guide us - lead us - speak for us.?

Ralph is running again, he doesn't care what for. He likes name recognition himself I think. This is elitism stuff and it co-opts the people in favor of an elite. A Secretariat? Is this for real?

edit added for correction


Thanks for pointing this out, Mr. Nader... since the media typically renders so much invisible. Then its pundits turn around and assert that no one cares or no one said anything to oppose the war, etc. Catch-22 style.

"These Americans did speak up in unprecedented numbers in 2002-2003 against the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq but had no infrastructure to increase their numbers and reach to the American people and the cowardly politicians in Congress."

I like this idea very much, and boy is it overdue!

"The participating citizens will be asked to support the creation of several new organizations. One will be a Secretariat to facilitate action to stop illegal wars and their quagmires (e.g. the wars on Iraq and Libya and their brutal aftermaths) by retired military, national security and diplomatic officials who have great credibility for waging peace and also significant influence, if organized, for the media and the Congress."

After that, I'd suggest:

  1. A Fair Elections Oversight board
  2. An E.P.A. that DID check cities' water quality
  3. A media watchdog entity endowed with the power to revoke networks' licenses if they don't allot 10% FREE air time to tomorrow's major political candidates. (This would help to make said candidates immune to the contagious influence of Big Donor disease... and thus, answerable to the citizens and their needs.)


Confusing sentence by Nader: It's Wilkerson, not his former boss Powell, who is participating.


Thanks! You are absolutely correct! My bad, I should remember to wear my reading glasses lest punctuation escape me and I read past it thinking that blur is not a comma or something. Misread it and corrected that issue. My point still stands ( though one step lower on the staircase it being Powell's chief of staff and not Powell himself).

Hate to say it but Ralph is sounding more and more like the status quo himself but just as the official gadfly and critic however. Nevertheless... One of the status quo.

A Secretariat? Is this really Ralph saying that with a straight face? Yikes.


Can someone tell me why in a conference about civics in this technological age that these speakers will not be available for streaming live to the public? If you want civic participation then stop 'trying to be the leader' and let people participate.

This should be a open conference with online live access for one and all with tickets for those who wish to attend in person.

Just sayin'


Yes he has, and this has been entirely Bernie's show.
But what happens in the likely event that he is defeated by Hillary?

If he supports her as he has said he will, his revolution is dead, unless he associates with an established party (after the election) and/or a group such as Ralph's.

Even if Bernie wins the nomination and the election, a unifying organization of left-liberals, progressives and radicals is just what the country needs.

I don't think Ralph is trying to steal Bernie's thunder; he'd just like to see a permanent home for an effective movement to the left of center.

The more left-leaning critters and organizations that we can have come together under one roof, the better the chances for a movement's success.

Bernie has generated the momentum, let's not ever let it die.


I do not respect deception even self deception. One may lie by omission. To leave out evidence may send an innocent man to jail. I don't think that Ralph wants to steal Bernie's thunder though one may wonder sometimes. I think Ralph wants to pretend that Bernie didn't create the thunder and that is a lie.

Ralph and others want to pretend that Bernie has been no more successful than they had been at creating a nationwide movement and that it just sort of showed up by itself anyway. Another lie. Bernie deserves credit for being Bernie. A decent and honest person who cared about justice and people all his life. One of us who tried to change the system from within. People responded to Bernie as a person and listened to his message and saw his long record and trusted him. They trust Bernie!

Ralph has gone in to full martyr role and doesn't want to face that his ego helped defeat Gore and install Bush. It happened though. Ralph should have bowed out when it was obvious that he couldn't win but he stayed in. He insists that it didn't matter but people don't respect the lie. So Ralph resents being remembered for what he chose to do in that election when he opted to be the spoiler but he was. Bush/Cheney was a horror and that wouldn't have happened ( shouldn't have anyway) because 2 million votes are hard to steal even for the republicans.

I think Ralph feels that he should be where Bernie is in people's minds but he isn't. I think Hedges shares some of that ego trip too in his own way. Oh shocker that an icon of the left is human and might be envious and jealous rather than saintly and pure? Who needs disunity yet Ralph and Hedges both have been forces of disunity concerning Bernie. Why? I think that they want to be where Bernie is, that's why. They want to be the vanguard of the new mood in the country but it is due to Bernie yet they don't face that.

Ralph is talking about unity right? Do you not feel that is curious considering his opposition to unity these many months? Ralph's unity features Ralph - sad to say which is why people no longer share his self image. They saw him as the spoiler and he showed them that same personality flaw again with Bernie. He was willing to be a force for disunity unless he was in charge.


Like your suggestions - I'd put them in the present and future tense too.


If the democrat party allows Hillary to be their standard bearer, and the republicans put up Trump, then they should expect to have a third party challenger. I wouldn't mind supporting Bernie towards the end that sees him using that desk in the oval office for the next 8 years.

I for one, didn't expect he'd win in NY, but I didn't expect the Clinton machine to make it so lopsided with all that's in their bag of dirty tricks.
Ante up for Tuesday folks!
Feel the Bern!


We need to consolidate all these groups: Democracy Spring, Democracy Awakening, Occupy, and I've already forgotten the catchy, cute slogan and logo of this event, et al. Where are the 90,000 people in Germany and France demonstrations? When are we going to fill the DC Mall again? When are we going to make impossible for the conglomerate media moguls to ignore we the poeple? How about occupying Meet the Press, Face the Nation and This Week.

I know I can't in a month's time plan a trip to Washington DC and find a hotel to stay in. Hotels around the country are ridiculously priced and are pricing us out of the traveling market.


Things may have to get worse before they get better:

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage". John Galbraith (1908 -)


Leave it to Ralph Nader, the quintessential consumer advocate, to come up with the perfect way to educate the public. This meeting of like minded people could spark or actually seed, a true political revolution. What a wonderful idea Mr. Nader.


So Ralph, why not support a #PeoplesPAC?


"Breaking through power means securing long-overdue democratic solutions
made possible by a new muscular civic nexus connecting local
communities and Washington, D.C."

Well wowie-zowie! Such clarity, such eloquence, such forcefulness--yawn zzzzz.
Sounds like Ralph is giving us a precise of his next boring book.


I totally agree. It looks pretty male as well. No arguing that white males hold the power in the US and therefore power arguably might listen to them more than to the rest of us but that's definitely a non-representative group and it needs to better reflect the demographics of the nation or perhaps the world given that the policies of the US government affect the lives of all on this planet.