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FTR #264 Darth Nader: Ralph Nader’s Politics of Hypocrisy

Listen: Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]
RealAudio [3]

1. In this most closely decided election, the small percentage of the vote garnered by Green Party candidate Ralph Nader did, as some critics had warned it would, prove to have decisive impact. A vote for Nader was indeed a vote for Bush, particularly in Florida. (Nader got more than 90,000 votes in Florida.)

2. This program illuminates some aspects of Nader’s financial and professional history that have escaped popular attention. The broadcast begins with an article by Martin Kilian, a charter member of the Green Party in Germany. Kilian penned a critical analysis of the Nader candidacy that was posted on the Consortium’s web site. (consortiumnews.com; 11/1/2000.)

3. The Consortium is an association of alternative journalists. Kilian warned against the political immaturity of the Nader candidacy, failing to take into account both the nature of the American electoral system and the social and environmental consequences of a Bush presidency. (Idem.)

4. The balance of the first side of the broadcast features an article about the hypocritical investment policy that Ralph Nader has executed. (“How Nader Profits While He Preaches” by Jeff McMahon; bushwatch.net/nader.htm; 10/27/2000.)

5. Nader owns up to $250,000 worth of shares of Fidelity Magellan Fund, a firm that is heavily invested in many of the corporations that Nader has been most vocal in criticizing. (Idem.)

6. Among those firms that Fidelity invests in are Halliburton oil, headed by Dick Cheney up until recently. Fidelity also invests in Occidental Petroleum, a firm that has been criticized by environmentalists. Al Gore’s mother’s trust owns a significant block of Occidental stock. Gore’s populist credentials have been impugned Nader Vice-Presidential candidate Winona La Duke because of that stock. (Idem.)

7. The second side highlights disturbing aspects of Nader’s anti-labor activities, and his avoidance of social issues. (“1.75 Cheers for Ralph” by Doug Henwood; Left Business Observer; 10/1996 [#74].)

8. Next, the program turns to the effect a Bush administration will have on issues that are at the core of the Green/Nader campaign. (“The Last Green Mile” by Thomas L. Friedman; New York Times; 12/ 8/2000; p. A31.)

9. The federal appointments that Bush will make are going to have an immensely negative impact on the interpretation of Federal regulations on the environment, in particular. (Idem.)

10. The broadcast concludes with discussion of a federal appeals court decision that dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutional legitimacy of a Bush/Cheney ticket. (“Cheney Ruled a Resident of Wyoming” AP; Los Angeles Times; 12/8/2000; 12/8/2000.)

11. Three of the four judges were appointed by President Bush, the other by Reagan. (Idem.)

12. Program Highlights Include: Nader’s role in undermining airline and trucking workers in the 1970’s (“1.75 Cheers for Ralph” by Doug Henwood; Left Business Observer; 10/1996 [#74].)

13. Nader’s fight to prevent unionization in a publication he founded (Idem.).

14. Nader’s alleged refusal to prevent publication of CIA/corporate collusion in his Multinational Monitor (Idem.).

15. Nader’s role in effectively neutralizing a bigger union drive at Public Citizen (Idem.).

16. Nader’s excessive secrecy about his own financial affairs (“How Nader Profits While He Preaches” by Jeff McMahon; bushwatch.net/nader.htm; 10/27/2000.).

17. A detailed list of the various corporations Nader invest in and (hypocritically) criticizes at the same time. (Idem.)