FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Talk with Ralph Nader

 

( JOSHUA FRANK, author of the forthcoming book, Left Out, recently had the opportunity to have a quick chat with Ralph Nader about his Independent campaign for president.)

JOSHUA FRANK: Mr. Nader thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Given how worried the Democrats appear to be about your presidential run taking votes away from John Kerry, why do you think the Kerry campaign refuses to toss even a small bone to the progressive anti-war, anti-PATRIOT Act crowd — even though this is the contingent of voters that could quite possibly cost Kerry the election if they continue to be ignored?

Ralph Nader: Because they believe these voters have nowhere to go, especially with Dennis Kucinich’s endorsement of John Kerry in return for nothing. Also, Kerry’s campaign is trying to take the war, Patriot Act issues off the table and they do this by “me-tooing” these issues with Bush. Call it protective imitation.

JF: Do you find any irony in the fact that the Democrats, who have complained for the past four yours about disenfranchised voters in the 2000 election that were not allowed the right to vote for the candidate of their choice (think black voters in Florida), are actively trying to prevent ballot access for your campaign this year?

RN: Yes. They seem not to recognize that by their (and Republican) passed ballot obstruction state laws, and their “dirty tricks”, that they are violating civil liberties of Nader-Camejo and the millions of voters who should have the opportunity to vote for candidacies of their choice.

JF: How do you respond to charge that you have “sold out” by allowing conservative groups and individuals to aid your ballot access efforts in swing states such as Oregon and Michigan?

RN: False rumors promoted by Democrats to provide cover for their dirty tricks which are obstructing Nader-Camejo ballot access. We do not accept outsider organized political assistance whether Republican or anyone else with such motives.

JF: Why, after the 2000 election, when you garnered 3 million votes and probably had another 7 million who preferred you but voted for the lesser evil in Al Gore, was there not an effort to cohere all that grassroots support into a growing base for further activism and third-party building?

RN: There was — within the Green Party. I helped organize and attend some 44 gatherings-fundraisers for the Greens in 31 states since 2001. Other efforts were also undertaken for the Green Party. But it is hard to push a string. Now they can grow by themselves. Good luck to them.

JF: You have recently registered your own “Populist Party” in a few states that do not recognize “Independent” as a political affiliation. Do you plan to work and grow this party as an alternative to the Greens following the election?

RN: That will depend on support for the Party.

JF: Why, in swing states, where voters may be worried about your candidacy tilting the election to Bush, should people vote for you instead of John Kerry?

RN: If they are worried, let them vote for John Kerry. Voters should follow their conscience.

JOSHUA FRANK, a contributor to CounterPunch’s forthcoming book, A Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils, is putting the finishing touches on Left Out: How Liberals did Bush’s Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press. He welcomes comments at frank_joshua@hotmail.com.

 

More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book, co-authored with Jeffrey St. Clair, is Big Heat: Earth on the Brink. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
Renee Parsons
The Supreme Court and Dual Citizenship
Eric Draitser
On Ilhan Omar, Assad Fetishism, and the Danger of Red-Brown “Anti-Imperialism”
Elizabeth Keyes
Broadway’s “Hamilton” and the Willing Suspension of Reality-Based Moral Consciousness
David Underhill
Optional Fatherhood Liberates Christians From Abortion Jihad
Nick Pemberton
Is Kamala Harris the Centrist We Need?
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Bailouts, Bernie and the Washington Post
Russell Mokhiber
The Boeing Blackout
William Astore
America’s Senior Generals Find No Exits From Endless War
Jeff Hauser – Eleanor Eagan
Boeing Debacle Shows Need to Investigate Trump-era Corruption
Ramzy Baroud
Uniting Fatah, Not Palestinians: The Dubious Role of Mohammed Shtayyeh
Nick Licata
All Southern States are Not the Same: Mississippi’s Challenge
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Sly Encouragement of Lawless Violence
Cesar Chelala
Public Health Challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean
March 20, 2019
T.J. Coles
Countdown to “Full Spectrum Dominance”
W. T. Whitney
Re-Targeting Cuba: Why Title III of U.S. Helms-Burton Act will be a Horror Show
Kenneth Surin
Ukania’s Great Privatization Heist
Howard Lisnoff
“Say It Ain’t So, Joe:” the Latest Neoliberal from the War and Wall Street Party
Walter Clemens
Jailed Birds of a Feather May Sing Together
George Ochenski
Failing Students on Climate Change
Cesar Chelala
The Sweet Smell of Madeleine
Binoy Kampmark
Global Kids Strike
Nicky Reid
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Requiem for a Fictional Party
Elliot Sperber
Empedocles and You and Me 
March 19, 2019
Paul Street
Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting
Jonah Raskin
Guy Standing on Anxiety, Anger and Alienation: an Interview About “The Precariat”
Patrick Cockburn
The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit
Robert Fisk
Turning Algeria Into a Necrocracy
John Steppling
Day of Wrath
Robin Philpot
Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda
Victor Grossman
Women Marchers and Absentees
Binoy Kampmark
The Dangers of Values: Brenton Tarrant, Fraser Anning and the Christchurch Shootings
Jeff Sher
Let Big Pharma Build the Wall
Jimmy Centeno
Venezuela Beneath the Skin of Imperialism
Jeffrey Sommers – Christopher Fons
Scott Walker’s Failure, Progressive Wisconsin’s Win: Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic Party Convention
Steve Early
Time for Change at NewsGuild?
March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail