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Can the Politicians Heed the Lessons of Hurricane Harvey?


Can the Politicians Heed the Lessons of Hurricane Harvey?

Ralph Nader

Hovering Hurricane Harvey, loaded and reloading with trillions of gallons of water raining down on the greater Houston region—ironically the hub of the petroleum refining industry—is an unfolding, off the charts tragedy for millions of people. Many of those most affected are minorities and low-income families with no homes, health care or jobs to look forward to once the waters recede.

Will this tragedy teach us the lessons that so many politicians and impulsive voters have been denying for so long?


It’s great to see Ralph take a shot at militarism as Point 1. Duopoly politicians and media (including much of the “progressive” media) seldom mention the relationship between imperial militarism and domestic austerity.

As for elections, I think that Ralph is truly wrong on this. Look at active war zones where “elections” are being held. Look at post-Katrina New Orleans where hundreds of thousands were displaced and people didn’t even have addresses for months, if not years.

Post-Harvey Texas/La is an emergency zone. Talking about elections at this point is beyond absurdity.

According to the Arkema Corp., their chemical plant in Crosby (northeast of Houston) will blow up next week and there’s nothing to do but evacuate. The massively polluted floodwaters have yet to recede. There are still possibly hundreds of bodies to be found and a massive (estimated) $160 billion recovery, reclamation and rebuilding project to undertake.

East Texas and SW La should be declared an emergency zone and a transparent recovery committee should be appointed to oversee the region. Of course capitalists and their flunkies will dominate it, but elections are just a distraction. Better the sore be exposed for all, than disguised with the Kabuki of the U.S. “political” process.

But there’s really nothing to worry about because the current elected mayor has supported the Astros in playing ball again this weekend in downtown Houston and they’re giving thousands of free tickets and t-shirts to flood victims and I’m sure the national anthem will be a really moving event. On With the Games!!!


The lesson is to prohibit development in flood zones … big money rules overall. Nothing will change, especially in the stupid states (majority) …


Interesting point is that with subsidized flood insurance it encourages development in floodplains. As an ex city planner I have seen this. Rich developers pick up flood prone land cheap and develop it citing some made up American mantra of “It is my property, I can do what I want with it !” Floods come, property is destroyed, and they rebuild in the same place in the same way ! (called repetitive loss) Had a realtor show us a home in a flood prone area once with her justification that, “You can just redecorate every few years !”


I will never …never forgive Nader for causing Gore to lose the election. Our entire world would look different.


Nader has been great a consumer activist and a disaster as a politician. He should have kept his focus as a consumer activist. Once he said there is basically no difference between the Republicans and Democrats you knew he was lost. What a thing to contend just to get votes as a third party candidate. Of course many people actually believed him. I have heard him admit there are some differences between the parties on environmental and social issues. You have good reason not to forgive him. He ran a campaign on complete nonsense about the parties being the same and was at least one of the factors that played a role in Bush winning that election. If Gore had won there would have been no Iraq War and the US would have made great progress fighting climate change.


The United States Supreme Court foreclosed the election before the balance was due, and violated precedent by doing so when Gore was elected.

I voted for Gore and hold nothing against Ralph Nader.

In reference to the article above, Ralph; you assume that we have a rational populace, and that may be a stretch of credulity.


Do we now understand Citizens United, or are there still lessons to be learned?


I agree. To say Republicans and Democrats were the same was a stupid dramatization. Yes, Democrats were also corrupted to a degree ( and it’s much worse now) but what Dems SAID they stood for was so much better then the GOP. Gore losing the election was tragic for many many people in lasting and huge ways. Climate change is so much worse and further advanced that people know. And the greedy “powers that be—money men” are doing their best to make sure people don’t see. They are exhibiting a sort of bravado on their way down the drain, if they know what is happening. Eat, drink, be merry …etc. If there was ever a time to make a choice on your true values, it’s now …as we all face a grim future.


Has my memory failed? Didn’t a Democratic president fund the trillion dollar upgrade on nuclear weapons that Trump is endorsing. Didn’t a Democratic president continue the Republican wars around the world and expand them into 3 or 4 more countries? Didn’t a Democrat destroy “Welfare as we know it”? Didn’t a Democrat push through NAFTA that took many American jobs and ruined the Mexican economy to push newly unemployed workers and farmers North? Didn’t a Democrat deregulate Wall Street that led to the Great Recession that 90% of us are still in? It seems you are a victim of the illusions instead an analyzer of facts.


The two parties are similar enough that the largest bloc of voters - by far - in 2016 couldn’t see a difference between the two parties and chose not to vote, thereby giving Trump the election. The two parties ares similar enough that the only candidates the parties run for president are “the fakers and sellouts” that Nader mentions in this article. Hey Ralph, we’d be glad to vote for your “real candidates, who may not have silver tongues and corporate backing, but have a consistent record of being on the side of the people”, but where the hell are they? By the time the candidates get through the rigged primary process, all we get for a choice are those fakers and sellouts. No doubt some of those “no vote” voters stayed home because they actually did do their homework.


Gore lost because he was a nit-wit. I voted for Nader, and it did not change Gore’s chances of winning. If Gore had actually challenged Bush in the courts…the script was written.


Perhaps you should go to:

your comments might be appreciated there.


I disagree. Gore was not a nit wit. Voting for Nader was stupid


Not his fault. The ones to blame are Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris. They stole it for W,


Gore did win! Bush was installed, not really elected.
The Republicans stole it!


This could never be proved! Also I hate this thinking or a way of controlling how people vote—voting is personal and should be considered sacred-people should vote for who they want and if they decide to vote for the lesser evil so be it. The people who voted for Nader could have stayed home if he wasn’t running—no one knows. But this I do know -Gore should have demanded an all state recount from the beginning. And if Gore had picked the more progressive VP he would have won----Sen Graham from Florida. It came down to Graham and Lieberman, Gore’s staff wanted Graham but Gore went with Lieberman. The corporate media said what a great pick,and years latter I would wonder How could Gore pick this guy -----he is right wing.


Anyone remember the debate between Gore and Perot and “the giant sucking sound”.


I bet you also blame Bernie for giving the election to Trump.


Yep and we have seen the same thing here in 2016. I don’t like Hillary but even I will admit if it wasn’t for the electoral college system she would be president right now.