CounterPunch Radio – Ralph Nader

CounterPunch Radio – Ralph Nader

free trade here dream another free trade great train rollin freight train hello and welcome to counterpunch radio my name is Eric tracer thanks so much for tuning in for coming back first time listeners welcome aboard it’s a great episode today I’m very very excited about it before I can turn to my guests though I want to do a little pitch for counterpunch as I always do because we really do need to defend our independent media these days we are in many ways under assault from all sides especially if you’re on the left if you have a progressive outlook on the world and if you really do value independence and your journalism and in your political analysis and that’s what counterpunch is it it really kind of has maintained the sort of an outpost in the wilderness for the last 25 years and to keep counterpunch going a great way is to become a subscriber to get a copy of the print magazine mailed to you imagine print ink on paper it’s a it’s a relic of the past and we still do it so that’s one way you can of course make a donation through PayPal and pick up the phone you can call the counterpunch office however you would like to do it we would be so greatly appreciative so with that out of the way I’m really excited to turn to my guest today he’s somebody who probably needs no introduction although I’m going to give one this is this is somebody who who I respect almost more than I can really describe here he is a consumer advocate probably the most well known consumer advocate any of us know he is the author of the brand-new book how the rats reformed the Congress just published a few months ago among many many other books it is Ralph Nader he is the host of the Ralph Nader radio hour he is also the author of a weekly column that you can get by going to the website Nader dot org signing up for the column to be delivered right to your mailbox every week Ralph Nader thank you so much for coming on counterpunch radio yeah it’s a real pleasure Eric I get your counterpunch magazine and people ought to know most of the time the articles there are on subjects never covered by the either mass media or public media thank you for that and we do try to make sure that we focus on a lot of those issues that go underreported or completely omitted but that’s also what you do in many ways and one of the things that you’ve done recently that I find so interesting is kind of branching out in terms of your own output you’re incredibly prolific but in terms of books I think many of us have encountered your books over the years and would be surprised to know that you recently published a fiction book so I’d like to begin by asking you about this book what is it and what inspired you to write this kind of book which really does seem to be somewhat of a departure from what you’ve written previously this is a fiction book designed to get people into nonfiction and organized in every congressional district to take control of Congress to whom they’ve delegated power that’s been used against them on behalf of Wall Street in the military machine war war Empire and you know today you do a nonfiction book the way we did in the 70s who runs Congress is the best-selling book ever in history on Congress today people just don’t read it whether they’re overloaded so I thought I’d do the fable there is a huge rat infestation by the way in Washington DC I thought I’d do a fable where the rats would start coming up to toilet bowls of the leaders of the House and you can imagine the frantic terror that flowed from that and the desire by members of the House to suppress it and that they can’t even take care of the rats in the house they don’t want to be laughingstock around the country so the idea is to make people laugh themselves seriously enough to form Congress rat watchers group which they can do by going to rats reform Congress org and they get a tutorial exactly here’s how you form a watchdog group for citizens doesn’t take that many especially if you’re going after members of Congress to do things that a majority of the people often left right back home they want living wage full medicare-for-all cracking down on corporate crime breaking up the big Wall Street banks that are too big to fail cutting back on the bloated military budget and putting it into repairing it Main Street USA the so-called infrastructure of bridges public transit and many other things like cleaner drinking water and proper sewage systems that are all crumbling and that’s what it’s about so it’s really hilarious in the first 30 pages I’ve had people in Congress call it disgusting revolting I say really what do you think you’re all doing how many people have you killed in Iraq how are you blowing apart Afghanistan how many people are you cheating by not regulating corporations I mean elections you’re gonna sell to the highest bidder you’re talking this book starts disgusting and revolting well the people are different Eric and we’re getting orders for this book five at a time now I’ve never seen that so I’m wondering whether they’re starting to discuss this in their living rooms on how to start these Congress watchdog groups which are really a piece of cake you get 10 15 people who say look I like people who have hobbies some are you know a bird watchers stamp collectors coin collectors all power to them but our hobby is going to be Congress and where we’re going to look at American history and whenever they’ve been big changes women’s suffrage civil rights movement environmental it never involved more than 1 percent of the population back home locking arms and marching demonstrating organizing focusing on their to Senators and Representatives and to turn it around especially when they have a majority public opinion we have a lot of changes in this country that are 70 80 percent or more in the polls I did a book called unstoppable the emerging left-right alliance to dismantle the corporate state and on page 60 61 or so at 24 major areas that a people want changed want reform like cleaning up elections by the way and and criminal justice reform and so that’s why I ask people look just get yourself two rats reform and see how easy it is you start a letterhead you announced it to your two senators representatives and if you get 500 clearly written signatures on a petition you can summon and get a u.s. senator to your own Town Meeting why not have our own town meetings with our own agendas where we summer summon the representatives in Congress to whom we have delegated this constitutional power called We the People even if you don’t want to start a Congress watch group but you want to get your the attention of your senator representative for your own issues your own concerns go to rats reform Congress start org and you’ll see how you can get the book and you can get the knowledge to empower you so you don’t just give up and withdraw indeed and the book is so fascinating to me because on the one hand did you know it’s quite easy to call it a fable or an allegory which it is in many ways but on the other hand it really does seem to be a lot more than that and you were kind of alluding to it just there in your comments about really kind of providing a blueprint for some of the things that can be done and and that’s one way of looking at it and I certainly was thinking about that as I read through the book but the other thing that I think it’s really successful at is helping people to envision really visualize what a political revolution in the United States might actually look like because it seems such an abstract concept that just seems so far away and yet when you read this book it’s like wow that really could happen it could happen nobody can stop it from happening I mean you’ll see the rumble from the people starts in this book when the derision the mass division because a reporter broke the story that these members of Congress running around trying to suppress the ride said they’re poisoning their own environment with the rat poison and all kinds of frantic calling on the executive branch for the for the military to come and and then people around the country who really want to take back control of Congress say hey hey the tens of millions of people are finally paying attention to Congress or watching these late-night comedy shows and derision over the chasing after the rats that are scurrying everywhere for water and for food these are not anthropomorphic acrobats this is not Mickey Mouse they just do what rats do and Congress is full of parties and crumbs falling and food and water etc so there’s all right momentum heading toward the Congress but then the groups who are mobilizing this is where it’s so fascinating Eric you put your finger on the word envision if you can’t envision real possibilities how are you going to ever roll your sleeves up and get them done and for example one of the techniques that the Reformers used was massive round-the-clock encircling of Congress with hundreds of thousands of people with bullhorns saying resign resign resign to the beat of the Roman army boom boom boom and people just came in and you know the media played it all over the country so they kept coming in and relays and relays meantime inside Congress they’re hearing this thing boom boom boom boom boom and some of them defect so you got about 120 real progressive members of Congress who cross over and they join with the crowd meanwhile the rigorous lobbying start and the end specialists on taxation on housing on Social Security on Wall Street accountability on the war machine on the Empire so I have all congressional hearings one after the other and one thing that the book teaches is if you don’t do this fast you can’t get it done as likely because you know Harry Truman pushed for universal health insurance and we still don’t have it and Lyndon Johnson got Medicare and Medicaid so don’t worry we’ll get the rest where we didn’t get the rest in the 1960s thanks to the Vietnam War but it’s each issue that attracted millions of people helped other issues that attract other millions of people and so we change the labour laws we expand the ability of people to band together we take control what we own we own the public airwaves we own the public lands we own trillions of dollars of research and development they’re given free to drug companies and set up companies in Silicon Valley with basic research they never want to spend on we own trillions of dollars of pension funds and mutual funds that control the majority of stock on the New York Stock Exchange they could control all these big companies and nobody can stop us mobilizing on this and what we own and don’t control see because the you know the oil gas and timber countries have control over our public lands but that’s only because we let them we still own the public lands we own the pensions we own the mutual funds and that’s why this book moves really quickly it’s got a great cover by mr. Fisch a classic cartoon where basically it’s in a form of a toilet where the rat picks up the top of the toilet which of course looks like the Capitol dome right I tell you there should be discussions all over America here there’s so many book clubs little book clubs all over the country and you know Eric 90% of them don’t touch nonfiction they don’t want to have any non-fiction books they don’t want any you know controversy no kitty I mean democracy is built on dissent and discussion and debate and controversy anyway 90% or more they only deal with fiction books like Oprah Winfrey selected fiction book so this is the fiction book how the rats reform the Congress go for it you can buy five at a time at a discount and I made this offer and I got one response I said when I was on KPFA I said I’ll do 20 minutes by phone to anyone who gets ten people in their living room with ten book are the rats reformed the Congress to discuss it and I’ll get on the phone and we’ll have a discussion for 20 minutes so this is the offer to your listeners – boy I hope some of us are gonna take you up on that offer that would be a lot of fun and also speaking as a former educator at the high school level in a pub in public high schools this is the kind of book that really does have potential impact for younger people as well because it’s not you know it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of previous knowledge it doesn’t necessarily require an in-depth understanding of the minutiae of Washington it really does kind of come across in a way that really I think is palatable for all audiences yeah it’s funny it’s serious strategic tactics everything that’s necessary they’re busy says to people look you’re the you’re the sovereign power that’s a good start we the people they don’t say we the corporation do they in the in the Constitution they don’t say we the Congress they say we the people and then you got all the huge wealth that people own as a Commons that I just listed and then you’ve got the delegated power to Congress which is the critical branch in our government it’s the smallest but most powerful branch obviously the declare war power the tax power to spend power the confirmation of nominee power for the judges etc and it happens to be the most personal we know their names they have to come back money means a lot to the members in Congress it doesn’t mean anywhere near what votes mean votes organized in focus can nullify gobs of money from Wall Street I think that’s an important point that people really do need to chew over now I mentioned in the introduction that you’re so prolific and and part of the reason I said that is because how the rats reform the Congress is not the only book that you published in 2018 there’s another book that I found really fascinating and I would recommend to everybody – the ramparts how Bush and Obama paved the way for the Trump presidency and why it isn’t too late to change course now this book is I mean it’s also very interesting full of these really fascinating kind of fictionalized perspectives or fictionalized letters and imagined perspectives etc but the political content is really what I want to get out with you here can you explain how exactly in your view Bush and Obama paved the way for Trump I mean do you mean that in a procedural sense like the use of executive orders and things like that or did you mean in terms of discourse neoliberal policy how exactly do you envision this sort of paving the way for Trump actually in both both the substance of policies and procedure I really started with Bill Clinton but you know sometimes it’s not enough space on the cover of a book let’s just assume you’re Trump and you’re a failed casino magnate and you watch a lot of 20 television so you turn on the TV and you watch Bill Clinton get away with adultery with abuse of women all documented and he still gets reelected and he’s still popular and Trump says hmm that’s my type of guy right are you thinking of running for president ever since he was 40 years old Trump okay then he turns the TV on and George W Bush comes and George W Bush starts a criminal war of aggression he kills over a million Iraqis three millions of refugees blows the country apart blows trillions of dollars that could rebuild America and communities back home and he gets reelected well you know Trump is a control freak he’s an autocrat he’s a bully boss and he’s watching this he said he’s my type of guy that’s what I want to be like when I’m president what I says goes and I can get away with in effect and then Obama comes and Obama expands the drone warfare and he expands the Empire in a lot of ways and he lets Wall Street off the hook he doesn’t prosecute anybody in Wall Street and he doesn’t prosecute his predecessor for declared war crimes I mean finally vile in the Constitution was never declared by Congress UN says it was a violation of international law to invade Iraq and never threatened us etc it was based on lies and cover-ups and deceptions and Trump says to himself not bad you know I’ve done a few things on the edge is a big business and I got a lot of Wall Street buddies and look what they did and they got away with it well you can see how he was emboldened right all the things that his predecessors did he would like to do or already did and then emboldened him and then when you look at the substance of it all you know Obama basically talked a good game in terms of the environment and did a few good things but by and large in the consumer labor environmental area he sat on his knees he didn’t do anything he promised 950 an hour minimum wage in his campaign in 2008 he never talked about it until after 2012 and a consumer protection forget it the Food and Drug Administration was one of the worst in the history of the agency and what did he do want climate change doesn’t make climate disruption rather other than make speeches so you know he opened up drilling he wanted to drill off the coast of the US all three coasts stopped the Arctic drilling under pressure from people lawsuits but he laid the basis for all of us he expanded to drone warfare and above all as counterpunch pointed out he fell for Libya’s he fell for Hillary’s war in Libya Hillary listened to some guy in France and ran over to the White House and said we could overthrow Qaddafi easy and secretary Gates said no no you don’t know what’s going to happen after you overthrow Qaddafi in a tribal society it’s to blow the country into chaos violence can spill into African countries nearby don’t do it and Obama says Hillary I’m all with you and he did it now listen to this this is the most extreme illegal use of presidential outlawry in American history why do I say that okay it was a war on Libya by the way Qaddafi was cutting deals and he was disarming nuclear starts or whatever he was turning around the u.s. liked what he was doing and so look at the illegality here error there was no declaration of war there was no authorization of money for the Libyan attack by the u.s. there was no appropriation of money there was no hearings it was a total war crime and it’s blowing apart Libya year after year and as we speak there’s now a civil war emerging in Libya and it spilled over into neighboring African countries all kinds of weapons and guerrilla warfare and terrorism so forth so you can see how in many other ways that you know there’s no time to library counter punches cut done a lot of good critiques on Clinton Bush and and Obama but Trump didn’t just come down like a UFO here he didn’t come out of whole cloth as a matter of fact Trump is teaching us very important lessons that we better learn lesson number one if we don’t do our homework as voters we’re going to turn our country into a classic dictatorial regime it’s already on the way the democracy’s deteriorating a concentration of power and corporations and the corporate state is continuing unabated lesson number two get rid of the electoral college this is ridiculous so Democrats are so stupid they’ve lost two elections in 60 years 2000 and 2016 when they won the popular vote handily and they lost the electoral college are they trying to neutralize it by jumping on this campaign it started in San Francisco called national popular that’s where they get the states to pass laws saying that if we reach 270 electoral college votes we’ll throw our electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote so you don’t even have to amend the Constitution does the Democrats get behind that oh no no no they’ve got politically correct language to take care of they’ve got a real problem there and the third lesson that trump is teaching us is the following if we don’t focus on that the things that really matter to people where they live work and raise their families and if we get diverted by stuff like Russia gay or politically correct explosions of people if if we turn away from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt mission with his always flaws of bread-and-butter politics and if we in effect go into what what has been called some professional identity politics that is you go nuts when there’s ethnic racial and gender slurs and you say get out get out get out but you don’t do anything about the basic abuses of women and ethnic groups and racial groups in the low-income areas for example of our country that’s what’s called superficial identity politics and it’s devouring the Democratic Party and they’re losing their blue-collar workers and they’re losing elections one thing that you alluded to in terms of lessons that we’re learning from Trump that I think you were kind of getting at and I want to draw it out a little bit further if I could he’s teaching this all I think a lesson on media and in particular on the bankruptcy of our mass media one thing that we’ve kind of been hammering endlessly at counterpunch over these last three years is really the necessity of focusing on all of the real crimes the policy crimes all of these other things rather than I guess what you could call really a melodrama of Russia Gate a sort of soap opera and so III guess what I want to ask you is what’s your take on the media’s obsession with Trump and Russia I mean there are some who argue in various ways that this is some kind of you know that they’re involved in a conspiracy to foment a war with Russia others are simply saying that this is really just about ratings ad revenue and profits over you know the the public interest and the public good is it bad journalism how do you read the media and what the media has demonstrated over these last three years it’s a cheap journalism it’s inexpensive for Rachel Maddow to spend half her shows on Russia gate you don’t have to do much no homework you don’t have to look into how millions of people are losing their pensions you have to do work but if you just keep every day it’s like a soap opera right you just keep every day it’s simple and you can use clever language and take a poke at Fox News and cable and you know for adversaries over there it’s cheap its sensational and there’s a drama to it because they you know develop all kinds of scenarios and and horrible hypotheticals and so MSNBC’s has got it has got this ditto head journalism because they don’t want to do the hard work you know they ever put progressive on MSNBC I never get on MSNBC now they just put corporate liberals on Hillary Bill Clinton’s style and and and they get a base and they get you know their one or two million dollars a year and if they can attract to two and a half million people very small audiences but it gets very lucrative because they they stick to the melodrama the viewers say I wonder what the next chapter is now I’m the Russia gate first of all the US as counterpunch knows have over as overthrown over 60 government since World War two literally overthrown like the Iranian government 19 1919 53 which ushered in the Shah again and the tyranny and the government of Guatemala in about the same time who are we to talk number to war we’re accusing the Russians of interfering in the election yeah and they try to mess around on Trump’s side there’s no doubt about it but whether it cheese many votes is still up in the air we’re interfering in errors we’re interfering new Ukraine we’re interfering everywhere there isn’t a country in the world that we have an interest in that we’re not interfering in their election I mean heavy-duty stuff too not just you know social media stuff and and the third is look at the look at the obtuseness what country had its election interfered with in the last few weeks massively on one side by President Trump and not a squeak about it not a single issue not a single article raised Israel Trump Trump is an anti-semite against Arabs you could write two books on that he attacks Syrian refugees in this country when he was in the campaign in South Carolina two little families that came fleeing the terror and chaos and civil war in Syria and he’s never stopped he and he cut off aid to the Palestinian Arabs and the children hundreds of millions of dollars while he expands billions of dollars aid to Israel he allows the annexation and the Dominion rather of the Golan Heights he’s constantly beating up on Palestinian Arabs and he’s not very tolerant with Arab Americans in the u.s. he’s an anti-semite against Arabs you know and they’re too anti-semitism wonder get won against Jews and ones against Arabs and Alex Coburn wrote a book on the anti-semitism so he interfered enormous Leon Netanyahu’s side it’s really surprising that the Israeli opposition that wants a peace agreement etc didn’t make a big deal out of this but he did and everybody knows that you read the New York Times Washington Post you don’t have to do much research he got the Capitol move to you know the US Embassy to Jerusalem the Golan Heights thing one after another cut off the charity aid to Palestinian Arab children one after another and so who are we to speak who are we to talk about this we’re the biggest interferes in foreign elections the world has ever seen I mean Jimmy Carter when he goes abroad to monitor elections in third-world countries he has five criteria and if those five criteria are not met like paper ballot counting like multi parties he will not go to be a monitor at the invitation of of the country and then he came back once about ten years ago and someone asked him the question and he said America is no longer a democracy here’s a former president you think it would be headlines in the New York Post right America is no longer a democracy nevermind the republic democracy thing you can be you can be a republic and still be a democratic society exactly and Jimmy Carter is kind of as many historical figures are as kind of been whitewashed in terms of things he said and his comments about that he made about the u.s. being an Oleg our key comments he made about the democratic system in Venezuela many other things that Jimmy Carter has said that have been kind of papered over by the liberal establishment who would rather he just kind of be this grand fatherly figure this soon to be forgotten yeah and I would say the corporate liberal we got to get that word everywhere corporate crime corporate welfare corporate media corporate driven Wars are not using the right language don’t aren’t you amazed Eric when you have real progressive writers even like Chris Hedges and he uses the word neoliberalism I said once to Chris I said what the hell does neoliberalism mean to to the man or woman on the street what are use words like it you’re talking about corporate global takeover that’s what neoliberalism whether there’s trade investment banking war machines government contracts I think Connor French can do is a big favor by listing the kind of words that should be replaced how about in the healthcare industry don’t you like the word and instead of saying seller they use the word that the industry use provider hey here’s here’s a drug subsidized by the US government this is a big drug company and it’s going to help your ailment it’s only 150 thousand dollars a year per patient don’t you like those kind of provider and and and what provisions they’re providing example well speaking of speaking of I’m sorry go ahead no I I was just gonna try to segue since I know we’re running out of time here you mentioned corporate takeover corporate greed and that really does kind of raise a particular issue in my mind that I want to get your comment on since you’ve recently written about it and certainly it’s right in your wheelhouse you recently wrote a pretty scathing piece I think about Boeing and the recent 737 max 8 crashes I would highly recommend people check out that piece entitled Boeing homicides will give way to safety reforms if Flyers organized now the reason I bring up this is is partially to get your comment on Boeing but also something I noticed in the way that you wrote that piece because in fact it’s it’s really making two distinctly different but clearly interrelated points on the one hand it’s it’s a piece about corporate greed about Boeing putting profits over safety in the way that I think doesn’t really need all that much explanation and then on the other hand it really does root itself on this idea of the power of collective organizing on the part of consumers so can you talk about these like that that dynamic in that piece and your take on a obviously what’s happened with the Boeing 737 max and then be the prescription that you provide in that article well the Boeing 737 max was an unstable design that flowed from corner cutting and the refusal to invest in a clean sheet new airplane that they started to do in 2011 because they wanted to catch up with Airbus 320 Neil and so they put bigger engines on it changed the center of gravity and aerodynamics and it led to the plane being prone to stall which is lethal and instead of prone instead of stall proof its stall prone and we lost our grandniece in the crash in Ethiopia an emerging leader on global health no-nonsense intellectually rigorous tremendously compassionate community based in terms of health her name was Samuel Rose stoom oh and Boeing is not going to get away with this the Mac’s will never fly again the second there’s no software fix no software patch no software glitch it’s never going to fly again it’s a killer plane and Boeing’s executives suppress their own engineers and through their way around at the FAA on on Capitol Hill to get what they want and this time they’re not going to get what they want because the passengers are going to organize we’re going to have a consumer boycott and the button is going to read acts the Mac’s no more 737 max they want to sell planes narrower bodied passenger planes they can sell the 737ng that’s already ready for sale they never sell at 737 max again imagine no plane and in five and a half months they killed 346 people criminally we hope that they’re going to be criminally prosecuted not just civilly pursued under the law of torts the FBI Justice Department has opened up a criminal probe there’s a grand jury operating in Alexandria on the subject and the inspector general department transportation who’s a really effective person is going to push this for for all the way in terms of airline passengers safety anybody listen to think well that’s somebody else’s tragedy they want to sell five thousand of these planes listeners five thousand you’ll be on those planes unless we ground these planes permanently so go to Nader org you’ll see three articles that I wrote on the subject and they’re going to be a lot of whistleblowers a lot of people coming out noting what the Boeing executives did led by CEO who made eleven thousand dollars an hour last year Muhlenberg and his cohorts they should resign because they’re presiding over in this case a criminal enterprise and if it continues it’s going to devour a good slice of Boeing itself so in their own interests they should be replaced by new management one hundred percent and the other aspect of this story that’s really fascinating and ties into so much of the work that you’ve done over decades is that it demonstrates once again the the lethal impact that regulatory capture has because Boeing dominates the FAA Boeing is able to basically dictate to the agency that in theory regulates their industry in the way that the big telecom companies do with the FCC and with many other examples of that so it’s a safety question but it’s also coming back to what we were talking about at the beginning of our conversation this is a question about government it’s the corporate state corporate takeover of government the regular ages has become delegator zfa delegated the inspection role beyond belief to the Assembly floor in Renton Washington that they basically said Boeing pickier two inspectors have one say this meets the standard have the others say I representing the FAA agree and then the FAA rubber-stamped but it’s really not the FAA s fall it’s Congress’s fault it’s Trump’s fault it’s the White House for Obama accelerated the delegation and four weeks before the Indonesian crest Congress passed an authorization bill for the FAA pushing the FAA to delegate even more to Boeing now why is Congress doing it well Boeing gives campaign cash to three hundred and thirty out of 535 members of Congress every year Boeing has a hundred full-time lobbyists and get this almost every member of Congress takes freebies from the airlines they take three upgrades they take three first class they take waiver of reservation fee changes we sent a detailed survey twice last year fifteen freebie privileges categories to every member of Congress and we said please fill out the survey which ones do you take which ones don’t you take we didn’t get a single answer that’s the kind of corruption that starts with the Congress that’s why it’s reformed the Congress it’s so important because we the people just one percent of us one percent two and a half million people watching Congress it’s the whole Congress and the future of the families of all the American people absolutely well the last question that I really have time to ask you here and it’s one that I’ve long since wanted to ask you and it’s not really about the 2000 election so much as it is about what the the attitudes that people have around that and around you what that tells us about politics in our current contemporary climate because you know you hear this word spoiler Ralph Nader was a spoiler in 2000 Ralph Nader gave us George Bush etc etc and said but the truth is that it seems like and as we’ve seen recently even with Bernie Sanders it seems like the spoiler quote-unquote is not somebody who impacts the election results but rather somebody who through being to the left of the mainstream of Democrats and of clintonites exposes how right-wing the Democrats really are and I think that that was to a large extent the role that you kind of played in 2000 and I think that they’ve never forgiven you for it so I I want to ask you I mean is the quote unquote spoiler really what they say it is or is the spoiler that which exposes them well the word escape Democratic Party which can’t landslide the worst Republican Party in history the most coolest the most Wall Street the most war mongering the most vicious against labor and consumers and universal health care they can’t landslide him because they never look at themselves in the mirror and say gee maybe it’s because we’re dialing for the same corporate dollars for our campaigns so instead of looking at the mirror it’s always someone else’s fault isn’t it in 2000 it’s the Green Party Nader’s fault really go go run the election the electoral college through into Florida and Jeb Bush took the rest of the ball game for his brother George W Bush and Antonin Scalia finished it off with the judicial coup d’etat stopping the Florida Supreme Court order of Arica which Gore would have won okay so you’ve got now in 2016 hey Democrats you couldn’t be a corporate buffoon a man who doesn’t read as pop Robert a man who has disgusting personal violations of proper norms a guy who cheats his creditors his workers his shareholders a guy who’s one step ahead of the sheriff and you couldn’t beat him and what are the Democrats say oh it’s the Russians it’s the Russians they’re the ones who did it so this is a corrupt party and Bernie Sanders trying to change it from the inside and others are trying to change it from the outside but you and have a democracy heard if you don’t have competitive elections and you can’t competitive elections if you can’t have multi candidates on the ballot to give voters voices and choices that’s what it’s all about I mean the Democrats and Gore noses he doesn’t blame the Greens he knows why he lost he lost his home state of Tennessee if you want to eat urban president he won the popular vote the Electoral College took it away from it went into Florida with the Republicans stole of fifteen ways to Sunday and ends it up in the Supreme Court 5-4 which is as I say a judicial usurpation and so that’s what it’s all about we have to focus on the Congress Congress Congress that’s the lever that’s the focal and we can do it because we know their names is only 535 of them we organized back in the districts about 140 of them are on our side on most of these issues anyway which is a good start that’s why in my column I list all kinds of hearings that the House of Representatives now should have hearings on corporate crime hearings under causes of poverty hearings on the need to fund the congressional office of Technology to stop these military technology in Silicon Valley foolhardy technologies that are if they’re not dangerous they take control of people’s privacy we want investigations into speculation on Wall Street and attacks on Wall Street speculation hearings on consumer protection fundamental reform of our tax laws here is reviewing the failed military and foreign policies and their boomerangs hearing on the planets environmental disruptions from the climate crisis to water usage to soil erosion deforestation in the oceans pollution hearing on electoral reforms that’s extremely important and finally hearings on opening up Congress which itself is an exclusionary cocoon try getting a holding remember try getting a hold of the staff it’s almost impossible to get through to your own member of Congress unless you want to have you know a birthday card sent to you or a graduation card sent to you so go to Nader org read a counterpunch magazine and get engaged it only takes one percent or less than the American people to turn our country around I couldn’t agree more I I’m really honored that you came on the show I’ve been a long I’ve been a supporter of yours since I’ve been politically aware and I continue to be and I’m really grateful to have to have you on the show again listeners the website Nate org the Ralph Nader radio our go to the website sign up for the column to be delivered to your inbox every week and of course the book how the rats reformed the Congress very very important book get it as a gift get it for yourself do yourself a favor read it pass it along to other people and have them read it as well Ralph Nader thank you so much for coming on the show today thank you very much thank everybody a counterpunch I just sent in my subscription again thank you so much and thank you as always listeners and we will chat again real soon you

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