[act-ma] 6/19 Chris Lydon interviews Ralph Nader "live" on 'OpenSource' (Tues)

James in Cambridge tompaine at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 18 14:15:54 PDT 2007


Ralph Nader: Super Hero or Über Spoiler?
***Records Tuesday, June 19, 7 PM***
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On Janury 22, 1968, a young Ralph Nader, clad in a suit of armor, starred as 
Newsweek’s cover boy. The headline read: Consumer Crusader, Ralph Nader.
And this was only one notch, among many, in his beltway legacy. By the mid 
70’s Nader was an American icon: famous for saving millions of lives, famous 
as a public interest lawyer for having such a long, legislative record.

Imagine if you got into a car and the airbags said ‘Ralph Nader,’ or if the 
seatbelts said ‘Nader,’ or if you look up at the clean air and it says 
‘Nader.’ If people could see that on a day-to-day basis, they would 
understand the effect that this guy has had on their daily lives.

James Musselman, Former Nader Raider, An Unreasonable Man, 2005

Hero or spoiler?
[snowball / Flickr]
But in 2000, when Nader tossed his hat into the presidentail ring, nearly 
all that he had accomplished during his 40-year-career was forgotten. Having 
been marked as the man who handed George W. Bush the key to the White House, 
Nader was no longer America’s knight in shining armor — he came to solely 
represent the nadir of our political process. From President Jimmy Carter to 
Michael Moore, practically every liberal in America sent Ralph packing for 
the dog house.

Thank you Ralph for the Iraq war. Thank you Ralph for the tax cuts. Thank 
you Ralph for the destruction of the environment. Thank you Ralph for the 
destruction of the constitution…The man needs to go away. I think he needs 
to live in a different country. He’s done enough damage to this one, let him 
go and damage someone else’s.

Eric Alterman of The Nation, An Unreasonable Man, 2005
We jumped at the chance to have Ralph Nader, one the most influential and 
polarizing figures in America, on Open Source.

For those of you who want full Nader immersion, he has a new book out, The 
Seventeen Traditions, which is a personal history of the values and idealism 
that he was suffused with as a young boy growing up in Winsted, Connecticut. 
There is also an excellent documentary on DVD, An Unreasonable Man, which 
offers a non-partisan look at Nader’s life and enduring career.

What is your take on Nader? Are you more in sync with Nader’s Raiders or 
Nader haters? As the 2008 election heats up do you miss his presence on the 
campaign trail? Or his absence in the presidential debates? Do you see Nader 
as a selfless activist or as an opportunistic megalomaniac? What questions 
do you have for a man who has so firmly made his mark on our country?

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