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This page last edited on

12 August, 2008

Ralph Nader for President of the United States in 2008

 

VOTENADER.ORG

 

 

Daily Audio - Ralph Nader for President 2008

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NEW! A comments section has been added to the bottom of this page. Please feel free to exercise your right to free speech and let us all know your thoughts on the Ralph Nader campaign! I've also included polls to find out what Americans think of the issues that are vitally important to this country so please feel free to vote!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wild Zookeeper and her hero Ralph Nader

My day with the American icon - Mr. Ralph Nader

 

  The thrill of my lifetime was on April 1, 2008 when I finally met Mr. Ralph Nader for a personal one-on-one conversation.  It was NO April's fool joke either! I have been a supporter of Ralph Nader during the past two election cycles and again this time around.  When he announced his bid for the presidency this year I immediately donated to the campaign and signed up for his email and volunteer lists. As a result, I was invited to a private fund raiser prior to his public speaking engagement at the Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. It was a very casual affair at a lovely home near the cinema where like-minded people had a chance to sit down with Ralph to ask questions and learn more about his policies and ideas.  I was more than thrilled to sit right next to him at the dining room table and ask questions and have the most wonderful conversation with this man of integrity and action that I have admired and followed since the late 1970s. Ralph even grabbed an empty plate and handed it to me and told me to eat something! The food was all vegan because the hosts were vegan, and Ralph is mostly vegan, as I am and I suspect the other guests were too.

 

  The picture of the two of us together that day will be a constant reminder to me of this exceptional experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  It was simply the most precious 1.5 hours of conversation that I have ever had! When I first walked in the house, Ralph immediately got up and greeted us as we walked in. I asked him "can I hug you?" and he so graciously replied, "sure, why not."  It was the best hug ever!! From that moment on, he put me at ease and all my nervousness about meeting this cultural icon who has changed this country is so many positive ways, was evaporated. Of course it cost money because it was a way to raise funds but I put my money were my mouth is and it was for a good cause, plus a great opportunity to meet with Ralph in person for one-on-one conversation.  I also got his book "The Good Fight" which he signed for me. The last time I saw him in person was in 2004 in West Palm Beach when he came to speak right after Hurricane Jeanne (the 2nd/last one of the season). I NEVER drive on I-95 because I call it "I-DIE 95 due to how dangerous it is and how nervous I get driving on it, but I had to drive on it to get to the venue where he was speaking. I can honestly tell you that Ralph Nader is the ONLY person I would have ever driven on I-95 for! Many in the area were still without electricity but a nice crowd showed up nonetheless. As he signed his book, "Crashing the Party" for me, I had a brief conversation with him, which was my first one. I was overjoyed then and never thought that four years later I would be sitting down next to him having the most delightful of times!

 

  He is the most humble, down to earth man I've ever met and he is extremely intelligent and sharp as ever even in his 70s. He rattled off so many things from the top of his head it was mind blowing!  I was able to ask several questions and he answered them all with gusto! He is definitely a man of conviction and his knowledge and memory is so vast its humbling to be around him. Ralph asked us questions as well and truly valued our opinions as much as we treasured his answers to our inquiries.  It was like talking to an encyclopedia, one with truth and honesty and common sense though! I was just floored by how much Ralph knew about so many topics and how articulate and well spoken he is.  I wasn't surprised because I expected as much from him, but it was just breath taking to experience this in person.  From the moment I first saw Ralph Nader in person I was hooked. Way back in the late 1970's while I was in high school I was a reporter on the high school newspaper. The staff of the paper went to hear Mr. Nader speak at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I was riveted even back then as a young person by his speech and knew that I was in the presence of a truly great man, a man who actions his words into positive results. In the decades since, I have followed Ralph and researched his many, many accomplishments.  Unlike any other candidate for President of the United States in our history, Ralph Nader has done more for this country than any other American, living and dead. That is NOT an overstatement - do your research and find out for yourself. The internet is a wonderful tool that will enable you to find out for yourself that I am writing the truth!

  It gets even better than just great conversation with a man I've admired and followed since the late 1970s - he personally asked me to do a research project for him since I told him and his wonderful and handsome assistant, Matt, that I worked for a spine surgeon and did medical research and helped with writing papers, etc.  I don't wish to divulge the project but suffice it to say I am excited to do the project in my spare time and more than honored that he asked me to do it. I hope that this will enable me to get more involved in the campaign and have a working relationship with Mr. Nader and his team of like-minded people dedicated to the causes he not only believes in, but actually gets accomplished!

 
  Then at the speaking engagement at the Cinema Paradiso, I helped with the book sales and sign up sheets which I enjoyed. After his heartfelt and inspiring speech, I said good bye to the hosts of the private fund raiser and to Matt and we said that we would keep in touch. I also said good bye to the other supporters who were at the private fund raiser. I had given everyone, including Ralph and Matt, my website cards and I spoke to Ralph and Matt about creating this page on my website where I would extol the virtues of Ralph Nader and why I support him for President of the United States. They were equally as thrilled about the page as I was to have the opportunity to do it after having the experience of meeting him in person.

  Ralph asked all of us attending the speaking engagement that we find just three people we know and ask them to sign up for their email list. You can do so by visiting Ralph Nader's website www.votenader.org.

 

Why I support Ralph Nader for President of the United States

 and you should too!

  You know, Ralph Nader may not win the presidential race this year, but with his decades long history of "winning" for the American people, he is the only candidate who has actually made a positive difference for this country.  Not only that, but he is the only candidate that will actually sit in the oval office and work for us instead of the lobbyists and political action committees that run this country.  If everyone who is as equally frustrated with the way things are going in America as I am, actually voted their conscience and cast their ballot for Ralph Nader instead of the corporate cronies currently running, we WOULD take the United States of America back to where it belongs - in the HANDS OF THE PEOPLE! No one is more eminently qualified to represent us in the White House than Mr. Ralph Nader, a man who has tirelessly worked hard for the American people for the last five decades. No one in our history has accomplished more for the American people than Ralph Nader. Below is just a partial list of what he has done to improve the lives of millions of Americans.

Just some of the organizations Ralph Nader founded or helped start:

  • American Antitrust Institute
  • Appleseed Foundation
  • Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest
  • Aviation Consumer Action Project
  • Buyers Up
  • Capitol Hill News Service
  • Center for Auto Safety
  • Center for Insurance Research
  • Center for Justice and Democracy
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Center for Study of Responsive Law
  • Center for Women Policy Studies
  • Citizen Action Group
  • Citizen Advocacy Center
  • Citizen Utility Boards
  • Citizen Works
  • Clean Water Action Project
  • Congress Project
  • Congress Watch
  • Connecticut Citizen Action Group
  • Corporate Accountability Research Group
  • Critical Mass Energy Project
  • Democracy Rising
  • Disability Rights Center
  • Equal Justice Foundation
  • Essential Information
  • FANS (Fight to Advance the Nation's Sports)
  • Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights
  • Freedom of Information Clearinghouse
  • Global Trade Watch
  • Health Research Group
  • Litigation Group
  • Multinational Monitor
  • National Citizen's Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
  • National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest
  • National Insurance Consumer Organization
  • Ohio Public Interest Action Group
  • Organization for Competitive Markets
  • Pension Rights Center
  • Princeton Project 55
  • PROD - truck safety
  • Public Citizen
  • Retired Professionals Action Group
  • Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest
  • Student Public Interest Research Groups nationwide
  • Tax Reform Research Group
  • Telecommunications Research and Action Center
  • The Visitor's Center
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice

Click here to for the full list of organizations, legislation & books Ralph Nader helped to make happen.

  Nothing is done overnight, especially when our corrupted two party system has monopolized the process of running for president and made it virtually impossible for independent and third party candidates to throw their hats into the ring. But if everyone who has complained about the sad state of affairs in this country actually voted for change, then we would get change! If people had the courage to vote outside the box - the establishment of the democratic and republican parties - which have done virtually nothing for the American people in the past decades, we would have this country back to being the once great nation it was.

  Don't be fooled into thinking that he cannot win, even though you agree with him on the issues, because millions of others also think that - imagine if everyone who agreed with Ralph on the issues actually voted for him - then he would win!  We will never turn this country around if we continue to vote for the status quo candidates who are bought by corporations and thus won't turn from oil, coal, nuclear and natural gas to solar, wind and biofuels, won't see to it that ALL Americans have health care, won't stop the war in Iraq, won't penalize corporations that continue to or have outsourced jobs but take American tax shelter, and won't work to equalize the pay between the average American worker and the greedy corporate CEOs so that the average American family can survive day to day,  let alone, God forbid, save money for retirement.  The "won't" list does not exist with Ralph Nader but his "has done" list certainly does which is a long list of major laws and governmental agencies he has gotten enacted to improve the lives of the American people over the past forty years. Now who do you want sitting in the oval office working for you:  the "won't" candidate or the man who "has done" more positive and beneficial improvements for this country than any other American in our history?

  Never, ever vote for a candidate simply because everyone else is or because he or she can "win" and the other candidates cannot. Every single American needs to vote for who they think will best represent them from their local country commissioner to the President of the United Sates. This is why we have primaries - so we can narrow the field down for the general election. During the primary people vote for who they feel is best from what is a glut of candidates. Do we immediately start out only having two candidates in the primaries? NO! We start out with a lot of choices and voices as Ralph would say and that is a very good thing! People have the opportunity to express their preference for the general election and as such, the general election is the same - it is now narrowed down based on the voter's choices to a narrow field.  So if everyone in the primary season voted for only the candidates they felt could "win" in the general election we would be wasting the entire process of narrowing the field. Why not go straight into the general election without a primary then? Why then when we do get to the general election does the mere thought of an independent candidate throw the country into a tailspin? Why are more than two choices for president at that point so threatening to the democrats and republicans? The reason - because all they do is want to win again - no matter who their candidate is so long as he or she is a democrat or a republican! They are in fact threatened when it comes to independent and third party candidates because they see them as taking votes away from their candidate and lessening their chance of winning for their party, whoever the candidate is at the time representing the party. This is why they called Ralph Nader a "spoiler" but in fact, the only spoiled ones are the democrats and the republicans who only want to self-perpetuate and whine and complain when they have legitimate competition. In the business world they call that a monopoly and there are federal laws that govern this.  If we didn't allow competition in the business world we would be in a world of hurt and in politics, we would have a dictatorship without competition to compete for office. Is that what Americans want? I don't think so!!  

  In America we are able to vote for anyone who is legitimately on the ballot. Since when did Americans become so closed minded and jaded that they discount and preclude any candidate other than a republican or a democrat from running for president or any other office? That sentiment is anti-American, unconstitutional and goes against the principles of the founding father's inception of this country and insults every single American who has fought or died in all our wars for our freedom. I find it ironic that Hillary Clinton has said she has every right to continue to run in the primary despite calls for her to quit so that the focus can be on Barrack Obama. She's right - she has every right to continue to campaign right up to the democratic convention. Where along the way did we become so narrow minded that only seemingly "front-runners" can stay in the race, especially when several states have not even had their primary yet? This is so typical of our culture nowadays. We want everything super fast and done so we can go on about our lives without having to think about important matters. In the same vein that Hillary has every right to continue running, Ralph Nader has every right to run as well.  So now Hillary knows how it feels to be told to stay out of the race, to be treated in a disposable way as if she were an annoyance to the country. It appears to me that even her own party is playing the same dirty pool with her that they do with Ralph Nader. They are elitist and only care about beating the republicans. At this point, they want her out so they can focus on Barrack Obama beating John McCain. If they do these tactics with a dyed in the wool, well known democrat like Hillary Clinton, imagine how ruthless they will be with Ralph Nader.

  Polls show that the majority of Americans want Ralph Nader included in televised debates but of course, he will always be shut out. The debates, unknown to most Americans, are run by a corporation set up to include only the two major parties. Ralph has tried in vain to be included but they have no desire to see justice done and include him or any other third party or independent candidate.  Why? Because they would never want to go head to head against Ralph Nader, the most accomplished American in history, a man who has a proven track record of getting things done, a man who has encyclopedic knowledge and the memory of an elephant! They know they would lose to Ralph Nader's inquiries into why they do nothing for the American people - why are we still dependent on foreign oil; why do millions of American's go without health care; why did they vote for the USA Patriot Act; why did they vote for and continue to support the war in Iraq; why haven't they pushed for renewable energy sources and gas mileage efficiency standards; why is nothing being done to ensure social security and Medicare will be available in the future - the list of "why's" could go on and on...

  The problem with any democrat or republican, including Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, is that they are members of a "duopoly" that care more about keeping their party together than actually working for the American people. Too many legislators are corrupted figures who "owe" corporations and political action committees for helping them get elected, therefore, even if they hear the voices of their constituents they do not "listen" because they are expected to "payback" the evil lobbyists who got them to where they are. What have the democrats and the republicans done for us in our lifetimes? I remember Jimmy Carter back in the 1970s oil crisis saying we needed to conserve energy and to get off of foreign oil. Did any president or session of the Congress get us off of foreign oil or push for renewable, clean, home grown energy sources? NO! Has health care for all Americans been a priority? NO! The reason you ask? Because the energy and health care corporations that dominate this country have dominated Washington, D.C. and have squelched any progress. Please check out my habitat section to read more about these issues. So why should we elect any member of these parties who has done nothing for us to improve our lives and enhance the country, let alone bring us into the 21st Century of economic and energy efficiency? I say we shouldn't! Imagine what message would be sent to our "representatives" if we chose to NOT elect them to the highest offices in the land and chose to elect truly independent representatives who are NOT bought out by corporations and political action committees. Wouldn't it be truly wonderful to NOT have partisan bickering going on in the nation's capitol? Would it not be just sensational to have Ralph Nader representing us in the White House, a person who has worked his entire life making this country better by enacting laws that keeps us safer, forming governmental agencies that improve our lives, forming non-profit groups that help the poor and under-represented?

  I realize that the ills of the country are much bigger than just electing an independent like Ralph Nader. But we need to take baby steps in order to make giant steps. It all begins by realizing the challenges that lay ahead of us and doing something positive about them. You have much more power than you think. Your vote is the most powerful card you have at the table. By voting for or against candidates you let your voice be known and known loudly! When you continue to vote for the status quo candidate or re-elect a candidate who has done nothing in office, your vote says you don't seem to be bothered by the "do nothing" disease so pervasive in our politics. But when you vote for an independent candidate or do not re-elect a candidate who has not represented your interests in office, then your vote screams that you have had enough, that you will not be taken for granted anymore! It will only be then that we can get our representatives to truly "represent" our interests and desires.

  So typical of the pervasiveness of lobbyists today, I was told by a staff member of my Congressman, Robert Wexler, that he would not meet with me to discuss issues because "he does not meet with individual constituents."  This staffer then told me that I should join the Sierra Club so that the issues I wanted to speak about would be "represented" when the Sierra Club's lobbyists met with Congressman Wexler's staff at some point. I was informed that the lobby group for the Sierra Club does meet with the congressman's staff from time to time and that the congressman had a good voting record on the environment. Well...there are so many things wrong with this picture I don't know where to begin! How come even the Sierra Club has a lobby group? They try to get clean air and water and save animals and they have to lobby our representatives to do that?  Furthermore, my congressman only meets with lobbyists, not the citizens that elected him into his office? How pathetic is this? This is all so common and yet so destructive to our country. We NO LONGER have a republic form of government where our elected officials go to their office to "represent" our interests. But we have all allowed this to happen because of our apathetic attitude towards the government, our indifference to how they vote on the issues, our ignorance of what truly goes on in our local, state and federal offices. The words of Thomas Jefferson are more true today than when he first spoke them: “We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” Ben Franklin was asked the question “Well doctor, what have we got - a republic or a monarchy” upon leaving Independence Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. His reply, “A republic, if you can keep it.” According to Jefferson the American people have not kept it.

Lets take a quick peak at the three major contenders for president in 2008, Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain:

 Barrack Obama appears to be an energetic, idealistic and charismatic man who is distinctly handsome, but those pleasantries do not qualify one to run this country. I do agree with Hillary Clinton that he is vague and lacks specifics on the issues. I do believe he has potential but at this time his inexperience overshadows his personality to be president.  l am delighted that he does partially represent the African American community in running for the presidency but again, his overall lack of experience and his ties to the democratic party keep him as a status quo candidate in my opinion.

Hillary Clinton is somewhat of a paradox. She certainly has been around for a long time and has seen and done more than most people and her exposure to the White House and the Senate certainly gives her more credence than most candidates for the presidency. However, her lack of progress as Senator of New York to make this country better hinders her in my opinion. Furthermore, she voted for the Iraq war, for the USA Patriot Act (and its reauthorization) and has done absolutely nothing to push for healthcare for all Americans and renewable energy sources. Her lack of truthfulness is legendary and she changes her moods and political positions to fit her audience. She now speaks out against the war but yet she voted for it without reservation! It was only years later, after deciding to run for the presidency, did she say the war was a mistake. How convenient since most Americans now are against the war! Hillary's ties to lobbyists are also legendary and there is a substantial amount written about her ties to corporations and political action committees. No thanks, we don't need another corporate crony in the White House - we've got enough of them in the Congress and have had a surplus of them in the oval office already! 

John McCain has been a US Senator for two decades but yet has not accomplished major positive goals for this country like health care for all Americans, getting off of foreign oil and pushing for renewable energy sources here at home. He has, however done some good such as campaign finance reform and he does have a better record on the environment than his typical republican colleagues. I find it disturbing, as do many Americans, that he condones the Iraq war and wants to continue troop presence there for 100 more years.  He also voted for the USA Patriot Act and its reauthorization which serves little more than eroding our civil liberties. Electing John McCain is akin to re-electing George W. Bush to a third term! No thank you!

 

 

 

  Ralph Nader DOES NOT take campaign contribution from corporations or political action committees! 

Ralph Nader's Issues for 2008

(partial list)

Obama/Clinton/McCain's

 Issues?

  • Adopt single payer national health insurance

  • Cut the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget

  • No to nuclear power, solar energy first

  • Aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare

  • Open up the Presidential debates

  • Adopt a carbon pollution tax

  • Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East

  • Impeach Bush/Cheney

  • Repeal the Taft-Hartley anti-union law

  • Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax

  • Put an end to ballot access obstructionism

  • Work to end corporate personhood

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

X NO

  Florida spoiler in 2000?  To all those around the country who think Ralph Nader was the "spoiler" in the 2000 election and that Al Gore lost the election because of him, I say they have a fatally flawed argument. If you search the internet you will find more scholarly articles on why Al Gore lost the 2000 election than what I write here. There are plenty of articles on the net that break down the vote in Florida and elsewhere that prove that Al Gore was responsible himself for losing the election. What I write here is more folksy, not analytical - its from my own knowledge and heart and common sense on the topic. I have a several layer point to counter their argument that Al Gore would have won had it not been for Ralph Nader.

  The first layer is that Al Gore was on the ballot here in Florida and the other states - if Ralph Nader voters had wanted to vote for Al Gore, they would have! What makes people think all the Ralph Nader voters would have voted for Al Gore had Ralph Nader not been on the ballot? They had their opportunity to vote for Al Gore and passed him up for someone else, just like all the people who voted for George W. Bush did! So what is the difference between George W. Bush and Ralph Nader voters? How come George W. Bush voters weren't called "spoilers" by the Democrats? Get my point? What people fail to think clearly about is that people who voted for Ralph Nader are truly independent voters, people who have realized neither democrats nor republicans have any value about them so they vote for neither, whether Ralph Nader's name is on the ballot or not. I can assure you, I would never have voted for Al Gore even if Ralph Nader had not been on the ballot. I would have voted for the libertarian candidate or written in a name. I don't know but I suspect that most independent voters like me would have done the same. When I moved to Florida I registered as an "independent" because even back then I was fed up with the two party "duopoly" as Ralph would say. People make the erroneous assumption that Nader voters are just a millimeter away from liberal democrats and therefore, given the chance, will always vote for the democratic candidate if Nader is NOT on the ballot. This is actually insulting because it presumes the Nader voter to be an idiot - a person who cannot make up their mind without being told who to vote for! Nothing could be further than the truth that Nader voters automatically equate a democratic candidate with Ralph Nader! The democratic party, while paying lip service to environmentalists, has done as much for the environment as the republican party - zip, zilch, zero, nada! The candidates all pander to the environmentalists but when they get into office their only allegiance is to the corporate backers who helped get them elected, the same groups and corporations that also cough money up to the republican candidates. There really is no sizable difference between how democrat and republicans get elected and which corporations back their candidacy. Nader voters know this and that is why they choose him over the corrupt and bought status quo candidates of the duopoly. No democratic president has ever pushed to get off of foreign oil or pushed for renewable, home grown, clean energy sources. For all the hot air Al Gore spewed about global warming and the environment, he did absolutely NOTHING about these issues when he was vice president. If he wasn't in a position to use his power and influence as vice president than I don't know who would be. Why would I vote for a man whose talk is not backed up by action? I was so not impressed with the environmentalist in Al Gore and I know many other Nader voters who equally were not as well. Al Gore has only himself to blame for that, not Ralph Nader. As vice president, he auditioned for the part of president and he failed miserably on one of the most important issues facing this country. If you don't believe me, Google "Al Gore environmental record" and see for yourself what a pitiful, and actually harmful record he and Clinton had as environmentalists in the White House.

 

  The second layer is Al Gore simply didn't get enough Florida or national votes to win, pure and simple. You cannot possibly blame another candidate or candidates for his loss, no matter how many candidates there are. In this country people fought and died for the freedoms we have and that includes the right to vote. It also includes the right to run for office even if that seat has many other candidates seeking it.  We have never put a limit on candidates or a limit to the number or parties legitimately seeking office. If a candidate works to get legitimately on the ballot for a particular office then they have a legitimate right to win that office if they get enough votes. It is the way this country works, the way it was set up to work, and the way it should continue to work. We only hurt ourselves when we begin to limit the number of candidates we allow to seek office and we hurt ourselves when we become divisive about election results when they didn't turn out the way we wanted them to. Al Gore lost his own state of Tennessee and the hanging chads here in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the subsequent nightmare that ensued all contributed to Al Gore's demise, not Ralph Nader! Furthermore, Kathryn Harris sealed his fate when she qualified Florida's election results and the U.S. Supreme Court dealt Al Gore his fatal blow when they "elected" George W. Bush. Besides those debacles, estimates are there were between 250,000-350,000 registered Florida democrats who voted FOR George W. Bush, NOT Al Gore! If Al Gore could not persuade voters of his own party to vote for him that is his problem and how dare he or anyone have the gall to blame Ralph Nader and call him a "spoiler." One more piece to this layers is the fact there were other third party candidates on the Florida and national ballots. I suppose they "siphoned" votes away from poor Al Gore too. How come those voters weren't called "spoilers" by the democrats? If you tally up the reasons why Al Gore lost the election, you will find he is the cause, not Ralph Nader. And besides which, since when did the democrats decide that they had carte blanche on "liberal" voters? Since when did voting for a party supersede voting your conscience? Am I mistaken or didn't I learn from grade school through college that Americans had a constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choice, party or independent platform being immaterial?  

  The third layer is that Al Gore may have won the popular vote but lost the election due to the antiquated electoral college process which was set up in the United States Constitution in 1787 and later modified in the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.  When the electoral college was set up this country was in it's infancy and the founding fathers devised a system to enact fair representation to states with low population. This made sense back then. The congress has never changed this and therefore, fair or not, Al Gore was a victim of the founding fathers, not Ralph Nader! If Americans want to see the electoral college process overthrown for a modern electoral process than they better start petitioning their representatives otherwise nothing will be done about it. This is a golden opportunity for all Americans to exercise their civic duty and let their voices be heard!