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Ralph Nader's Democracy Crusade


Ralph Nader's Democracy Crusade

Ruth Conniff

Fifty years ago, Ralph Nader published Unsafe at Any Speed, the book that exposed General Motors, changed the government’s approach to auto safety, and launched a thousand public-interest crusades.


The reason people don't show up?

I can only speak for myself.

Being talked at by smart people drives me away never to come back.


My mother, a little old retired school teacher who probably never voted republican voted for Bush.

She was furious with democrats for thinking they owned her and kept telling her not to vote for Ralph.

Why didn't you go ahead and vote for Nader? I asked her. She simply didn't think of that because it was outside the two party system she had grown to accept as reality.


I enjoy working with smart people, especially if they are smarter than me.

Yep. It's the lecture hall podium panel of experts. No portal to distributed intelligence. Perhaps they work like that at Cern and Ligo; I would be disappointed to find that out.


Nader always tells us how doing this or that with him will result in that or this etc.

When Ralph? You are a media person and a professional gadfly, but when does your stuff ever come to fruition. As the article points out, for 50 years you have not succeeded. You want to lead but have people followed? A few for sure but never nearly enough. You or Ruth may talk this 1% could do so much...but has it? Ralph you have become like a religion based on faith and the potential for miracles.

You and others were quite willing to not back Bernie even though he stood a really good chance of winning. Your reasons must have made sense to you for not doing so despite the many benefits that other people in the country would receive from him being elected. You know you could have worked with him too. Certainly far better than anyone else in government anyway. Yet you didn't support him.

You couldn't get past you not being the leader? I don't know your reasons for making it easier for Hillary or Trump but for the first time I don't trust you. You betrayed common sense and maybe more.

In any case, now you know why people don't follow you Ralph. They also have their reasons. They did to you as you did to Bernie. Nobody trusts that Ralph. You say you weren't a spoiler but you stayed in the race long past where you knew you could never win. Bernie is nearly in a tie which you never were. You stayed in back then just to see how many votes you could get regardless of what it cost the Dems and we ended up with Bush/Cheney.

Your ego Ralph. People can't trust that. And the truth is... They don't trust you anymore and you proved it once again this election. Where did you help progressives this election Ralph? I am sure you could list your reasons but in the end, you didn't help progressives when it would have mattered. You didn't help. That matters ya know? That matters.


Wereflea, Did you read "Unsafe at any speed?"


I did and supported Ralph wholeheartedly when I was young. But then Ralph became the professional gadfly. And then it was what? I would still respect Ralph except that he is willing to sacrifice what others want. He is an isolated idealist which is fine but we ended up with Bush/Cheney and climate change took a back burner because Ralph the purist said to people... I don't care what you need, I want what I want. We all lost then. It mattered.

Ralph knowingly kept in the race even though it was utterly hopeless just to see how many votes he could get. Okay he had that right it is true but he didn't help others and as we saw, we ended up with Bush/Cheney and endless war, two trillion in tax cuts for the rich, Enron and outsourcing and on and on! Ralph chose not to help, my guess it was merely ego. It hurt us all.

He likes to pretend what he did didn't matter. Lots of professional pundits do the same thing.nthey get it wrong and still want to retain their media position and pundit for pay status.

I truly admired Ralph when I was young and nobody had heard of him yet.


Listen you hypocrite have some courage and stop being a gossip. Talk to me directly if you have any courage.


“What Bernie Sanders should do if he doesn’t win is turn himself into a civic mobilizer,” Nader says.

Nader has some specific ideas for how to do that. It should start, he
says, with a big rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., after
the primary is over, followed by a rollout of further rallies across the

“He has to avoid allowing himself to be turned into a toady for
Hillary Clinton,” Nader says of Sanders. “The Democrats are going to try
to absorb him and neutralize him and turn him into a ditto-head.”

And that, Nader says, would be “a shattering blow to everything he built up so marvelously in the last nine months.”

Words that I hope Bernie takes to heart.


See why Nader isn't trustworthy as a pundit? He says '...everything he (Bernie) built up so marvelously in the last nine months." What is he doing here? Nader came out against Bernie in the those early days and kept at criticism of Bernie until recently if even then. To hear Ralph now it is as if he was rooting for Bernie all the time. It wasn't so. Ralph has become the status quo of gadfly pundits. He is a Washington DC figure. The official Nader opinion?

He hurt us rather than helped us and we all face Hillary or Trump if Bernie can't convince the superdelegates to switch. Fine Ralph is Ralph but so what? Call me a naderite atheist... I have lost my faith in the Naderist religion.


Nader's 2,000 Raiders per Congressional District:

If members of Congress would actually hold frequent, regular, Town Hall Meetings with the voters (every 3-months) that could act to balance the scales of the pay-to-play political system.

But the politicians are not going to do this on their own.
And manipulating them into showing up for the Town Hall Meetings called by the 2,000 politically active ''hobbyists'' won't be easy.

So as soon as some Congressional District, somewhere, figures out how to get their members of Congress to show up for Town Hall Meetings, then they can let the rest of us know how it's done.


Kudo to Sanders' role in co-founding the Congressional Progressive Caucus, even if many of them opted out when heavy lifting issues like the ACA arose over the years.


There's more than way to skin a cat!


I too am sick of reading that Nader cost Gore the 2000 election. People had the right to vote for Nader or any other candidate. If more people had any sense, they would have voted for Nader in 2000. Gore was just another Bill Clinton.


Since WHEN was it up to Ralph, in some kind of godlike act, for "his stuff" to "come to fruition"??? He has made it clear again and again and again that it is up to us, repeat us, to bring this "stuff" to fruition. Get it?

Now, tell me what you have done to bring some of his stuff to fruition? Seriously. CV please!


This is shockingly like what Znet's Michael Albert has encountered from fellow leftists when he asked for a unification of efforts. Crickets....


He is a rather strange "Washington DC figure" considering that no politician will return his calls or answer his letters. He as about as much a "Washington DC figure" as a mechanic for WMATA or a trash collector for the DC DPW.


He was talking to you. BTW, Nader didn't have anything to do with the Florida recount, which resulted in the SCOTUS (illegally) handing the election to Bush.

Please don't be drunk next time you post.


With you on that. Stopped reading myself. Close-minded? No, just aware of the facts.


Read it again genius, he addressed the comment to someone else which makes it gossip to refer to me.

I never brought up the recount. I was talking about before Election Day. Once people had voted it was irrelevant if Nader dropped out then. This is depressing.