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PoJu: Nader Edition

PoJu: Nader Edition

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The eternal candidate.

The eternal candidate. Source: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Source: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

There was a time, my parents assure me, when the name Ralph Nader was associated with more than the 2000 election, or indeed, any election. Now, Nader's running in his third consecutive presidential election. Critics in the Democratic party argue that he can't win, but might get enough votes in a key state or two and throw a close election to the Republicans. Their argument: Florida, 2000. Today, he joins us at the Newseum to take your questions, as well as the Political Junkie's queries. Plus, we know where you've been getting your political news — the National Enquirerthe Atlantic publishes some Clinton campaign secrets (that sound sorta tabloid-y), and Georgia is on everybody's mind. It's the Political Junkie at the Newseum... post your thoughts here.

*Every picture of Nader looks like an edition of Unintentional Hilarity.



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Answer to trivia question:
George Herbert Walker Bush
His father, Prescott Bush was Sen from Conn.

Sent by George Curran | 2:10 PM | 8-13-2008

Mr. Nader-
I am sorry to be so blunt, but why do you continue to run when it is impossible for you to win? I support your platform, but be realistic. You and Hilary Clinton should back off, accept your losses, and give the Democratic Party a chance to win for once. If you really support bringing our troops home, you will not let another Republican win the presidency this year.

Sent by Keith | 2:28 PM | 8-13-2008

why not give equal time to the Communist Party! Ralph Nader? Never has ran for mayor, Governor... nothing.... just out to destroy the Democratic Party? Why not sock it too us... Pat Paulson for President!!!
You need to have Bob Barr on at the least. But that would mean you guys support fair play.

Sent by William Laney | 2:30 PM | 8-13-2008

I suppose you could ask the media why they are choosing to slaver over the Edwards affair - but choose to ignore the same by McCain. Edwards did not leave his crippled wife and children as McCain did - especially not for a 25 year old beer heiress.

Adultery is under the "conduct unbecoming an officer", yes?

Sent by Leigh Cutler | 2:30 PM | 8-13-2008

It was good listening to Ralph Nader. Is it possible to get a transcript or a podcast of the interview?

Sent by Barry | 2:56 PM | 8-13-2008

If Ralph Nader is so concerned about the Government of the USA, why doesn't he ever run for the senate or congress in his home state and try to gain some political clout and experience by doing so? Isn't it the height of ego to expect to be president or nothing, as if that is the only way to effect change in our nation?

Sent by Barbara Flaig | 2:56 PM | 8-13-2008

ENOUGH ALREADY...we get it...we've heard all the ins and outs and the previous caller is absolutely correct, the only reason you all are focusing on this IS the sex and the titilation -- it has nothing to do with anything that's really important...we deserve better from the press and we EXPECT better from NPR--I give up...I'm turning this off.

Sent by Susan Bray | 3:16 PM | 8-13-2008

What is the likelihood that John Edwards will have much free time to sue the paper?

Sent by Peter Minor | 3:33 PM | 8-13-2008

Because Edwards' affair seriously affects the Presidential race, I am curious to know if there has been any investigation into the theory that the woman (either independently or pushed/paid by others) instigated the affair with the goal of destroying Edwards' career (not that her purpose forgives his transgressions!) and hurt the Dems.

Sent by George Brown | 3:49 PM | 8-13-2008

William Laney writes, "You need to have Bob Barr on at the least. But that would mean you guys support fair play."

Bob Barr was our guest on the July 30 program. Does that mean (gasp!) we support fair play after all??

Sent by ken rudin | 4:11 PM | 8-13-2008

I am so sick of all of this John Edwards talk. We are at war. Who cares about John Edwards?

Sent by Nathan | 4:16 PM | 8-13-2008

William wrote:

You need to have Bob Barr on at the least. But that would mean you guys support fair play.

fwiw, TOTN had Bob Barr as a guest on July 30th.

Sent by andy carvin, npr | 4:30 PM | 8-13-2008

Ken Rudin does it again. Obama's position on Georgia is closer to the presidents? BS.

When did BO call for humanitarian aid to be flown in via military transport? When did he call for the Sec. State be sent to the region?

McCain called for those steps and other before anyone else did.

Sent by Zip | 4:45 PM | 8-13-2008

It boils my blood when Nader is accused of taking votes away from the Democratic candidate. I would never vote for a warmonger, ever. Someone should instead inform Obama that Afghanistan did not participate in 9/11. The Taliban's crime? They asked for proof to the US's claim against bin Laden. And even if proof was given at the time, and it wasn't, how was Afghanistan to turn him over? With all the troops, weapons and technology, the "coalition" forces can't even find him!

I'm voting for Nader and flag-waving proud of it!

Sent by Sylvia Smith | 5:14 PM | 8-13-2008

Ralph Nader has more credentials than Obama and McCain combined to be President. More importantly, he is the only one who supports majoritarian issues. To the person saying that Nader would do better to let Obama win if he wants the troops out: you do realize that Obama has never said he wants to bring the troops home, right? He says only that he will redeploy many troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. No liberal should vote for Obama. Nor should any conservative vote for the neoconservative platform the 2 corporate candidates share.

Sent by Joel Rosenblum | 5:36 PM | 8-13-2008

Nader did not cost the Democrats the election. First, he didn't force anyone to vote for him. So, he didn't steal an election.
Second, if Obama loses the election it will be his fault, because of his platform. He supported limits pain and suffering payments in civil suits, he supported limiting class action lawsuits (both Bush proposals), he supported FISA (spying on Americans) and giving immunity to phone companies that help Bush spy on Americans, he's now considering Off-shore drilling, and he is open to new nuclear power plans. Finally, he's been voting for the Iraq war funding for the last few years and he can't commit to a definite withdrawal date. Guess what? THAT's why Obama will lose.
Third, are you in favor of all those positions? Then vote for Obama and accept the guilt. Don't shift the guilt onto us who are voting for Nader. That guilt is all yours. Fourth, haven't you heard that keeping candidates of the ballot is undemocratic? That's what they do in Iran and China. What country do you live in?

Sent by Paul Samaras | 5:49 PM | 8-13-2008

Thanks to Talk of the Nation for inviting a third party candidate to speak on the issues. What a breath of fresh air to hear actual substance! And thank you to Mr. Nader for representing the views of the majority of the American people. Your honesty, courage, and determination give people like me hope.
One question- Why does Google have a 10% rule for participating in their debate? I would have thought that they would be advocating for more inclusion...

Sent by Elizabeth | 6:01 PM | 8-13-2008

Thanks to Talk of the nation for inviting Mr. Nader. We need to see and hear more from Ralph Nader & Matt Gonzalez. How about some coverage of the Bonusgate Scandal? We ask that Mr. Nader cover the vaccine issue (civilian and military)during the election- and include this important health and safety issue on the website. Thanks, and we hope Nader & Gonzalez will get the media attention they deserve, and most importantly that Nader is included in national debates.

Sent by John | 6:53 PM | 8-13-2008

Enjoyed hearing Mr. Nader today. Glad to finally hear something really interesting on Talk of the Nation. Maybe I'll start tuning in more often.
To those who say why run if you won't win: To push issues, educate and get more people active. Regardless of which of the corporate candidates wins in November, hundreds of thousands of American lives will be lost because of easily preventable causes every year, millions of Americans injured, millions of lives lost internationally. Obama will not end the war, he'll leave 50,000 troops, he'll leave 140,000 mercenaries, he's voted for Patriot Act reauthorization, he voted to rid us of our right to privacy with the FISA telecom immunity bill, he will not do anything about the corporate crime that's destroying our economy and lives. When is enough, enough? How long do we allow the corporate parties to take our votes for granted and get worse every four years because one of them is always a little less worse than the other? Do we keep voting for the lesser evil until we've lost even the right to vote?
for more on what's really at stake in the election google betterthannader and 'what's at stake'

Sent by betterthannader | 8:30 PM | 8-13-2008

Go NADER! Anyone who believes we will get any form of change from Obama OR McCain is incredibly naive. Both mainstream candidates are corporate pawns and we will get more of the same. I'd rather vote for what I believe in and not get it than vote for what I don't believe and get lots of it. So I will be voting for NADER!

Vote for Obama, get a wolf in sheep's clothes. Vote for McCain and just get a wolf.

Vote for the man who has always stood up for our rights - Ralph Nader!

Sent by Jamie | 8:33 PM | 8-13-2008

Thank you TOTN for having Ralph Nader on today. Although I wish the entire two hours could have been devoted to him, the thirty or so minutes was definitely worth it. I'm flabbergasted how anyone, after hearing him speak, could vote for anyone else! The man represents America at it's core and he still believes in the American process; that is, he still believes that by simply voting, by simply exercising a right guaranteed by the Constitution, people can make a change. The word "pander" does not enter into any editorial about Nader; he is a true citizen. Thanks again.

Sent by Michael Madigan | 10:06 PM | 8-13-2008

Nader is the closest we have to a "real issues" candidate. It'just too bad that he did not get an earlier and more organized start in all 3 of his attempts to throw his hat in the ring. Also we don't hear much from him between elections. One thing that puts me on his band wagon for sure and that is "getting rid of the corrupt two party system". In essence, we seem to be stuck with partisan greed and corporate domination in BOTH parties. I hate to say it, but I think there is too much human greed to swing this around any time soon. (I hope I am wrong!)

Sent by Jim Snead | 11:12 PM | 8-13-2008

I do enjoy Mr. Nader's rhetoric. It is truly inciting. I for one in both of the last two presidential elections, was truly inspired by his platform. But as we near November, I am reminded of Florida, California, and several midwest states,. Where the exit polls demonstrated the Nader vote split the Dem vote almost 2 to 1. I agree with most of what Ralph Nader has to say. The last eight years have been catastrophic for middle class families. The American worker is endangered, we can't take more policy from the Bush regime, as McCain has several camp. workers from this very group. As well as strong ties with several staffers from the current. We could very well see them in his administration if it becomes so.
So Mr. Nader, please send money not derision. Let's bring the balance back, then we can talk about airbags in automobiles.

Sent by Ian Armstrong | 8:57 AM | 8-14-2008

Ralph Nader is the quintessential american hero. Fighting for justice and against greed/power for his entire life. He would have fought against the US invasion of Cuba and the Philippines in 1898. The Korean War the overthrow of the democratically elected governments in Iran and Guatemala, which followed by the American installation of brutal dictators. And on and on. American history is never lacking "important" elections and there will always be the cry of "not this year" when anti-empirical, anti-corporate voices are banging on the iron doors of our government. All major social changes come through repeated tiny actions of social unrest and Ralph Nader, for as long as Obama has been alive, has consistently chipped away at those cracks. He does not need to win the election, only provide a different template of choice and thought. Only to invite more of us to quietly chip away at American injustice. We should all vote for a man with such a long and stellar record!

Sent by Jesse Tack | 10:43 AM | 8-14-2008

Make no mistake, Ralph Nader is the answer to Karl Rove's prayers. Nader voters are a self-indulgent lot.

Sent by Andy O | 1:26 PM | 8-14-2008

Nader voters may be self-indulgent, if it is self-indulgent to vote for the person who represents your views, but Obama & McCain voters are unprincipled and/or lack integrity. Which would you rather be?

Sent by Joel Rosenblum | 4:17 PM | 8-14-2008

Andy O,

It's fact there are so many folks who actually think there is one lick of difference between McBama and O'Cain - That is the real answer to Karl Rove's prayers.

We live in a world of illusion. There are not two major parties but one party with two factions - the Corporate Party.

Our nation has been in a steady decline for decades. No change will come until we elect an outsider. This MUST happen or we are in trouble, as we edge closer and closer to Fascism.

Vote Nader!

Sent by Jamie | 4:58 PM | 8-14-2008

With all do respect you can not claim to agree with Nader's platform and continue to ask him to give the Democrats the chance to win. It's a cop out to blame the consequences of the 2000 election on Ralph Nader. Why ask the candidate who's platform you claim to agree with to remove himself from the political process rather that trying to fix the duopoly that is putting you in this situation in the first place? This will not get to the root of the problem which is that this two party system does not provide real options for the voters since there is two much special interest control on both sides. The real issue is that Democracy and government should be representative of the majority of the people, not the few, elite minority that have corrupted the political process by wielding power through their stock holdings and fund raising capabilities. Good grief, Nader spent his whole adult life fighting for consumer protection on a myriad of issues that we still benefit from today. As much as Obama may have good intentions, this two party system will be a great challenge for him in the long run and will inevitable slow the progress of even the most intelligent, charismatic, capable and forthcoming candidate.

Sent by hope cardenas- brooklyn | 5:19 PM | 8-14-2008

To all you Democrats and Republicans who vote mindlessly and blindly according to party allegiances, your arguments against Nader running are tired and old. Only a moron would argue against someone running for office in a democracy, unless they don't really believe in democracy. If the standard for insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different outcome, then the real insane people are supporters of the 2 parties who keep voting Democrats and Republicans into office and expecting them to care about people. They only care about one thing: keeping power to themselves and their corporate interests. Stop voting like mindless zombies. Vote outside the box. Vote for someone who cares, and his record proves it. Vote Nader 2008!

Sent by John | 7:28 PM | 8-14-2008

Talk about self-indulgence! The Democrats are so self-absorbed that they do not realize that there is indeed a good and viable Presidential candidate that is the voice of the American progressives, and that not all liberals have to vote Democrat by default. Democrat Party has to earn everyone's vote.

Sent by H Vyas | 7:31 PM | 8-14-2008

It's funny how the ones who are most opposed to Nader's candidacy are members of the party (Democratic) which is supposed to be representative of all people and espouse progressive ideas. The truth is that democrats are no different than republicans and it shows in their attempts to limit voter access to other options. The democratic party should change its name to the Un-democratic party, since it only wishes to limit the flow of ideas in politics. Nader is everything democrats wish they were.

Sent by Michelle | 7:36 PM | 8-14-2008

When I turned on Talk of the Nation yesterday and heard lies and misnomers about Obama and the democratic party it took a very short time to figure out the egotist behind them. When are some people going to learn that Nadar is out to ruin the chances for any democratic President? I assume that is because no Republican would ever vote for him and he knows there is no chance of getting their votes.

Sent by MA Black | 8:58 PM | 8-14-2008

Please cover the election fully. Having Nader and Barr on once a year is not full election coverage. If people knew more about these two candidates, more people would be voting for them. It's time for the media to do its job and make this country a real democracy not just a two party corporate oligarchy. It looks as though only candidates that can pay big bucks for media get covered. NPR is supposed to be the voice of the "public" and cover stories that don't otherwise get covered because of the corporate ownership of the media. I do not need to hear about McCain and Obama 24/7. Please cover the other candidates in every news cycle.

Sent by Martha Holland | 12:48 PM | 8-15-2008

I didn't get to hear the show live, but one thing I have enjoyed more is the response of TOTN listeners. Your comments are insightful and whole hearted. It's not often that a political topic brings the best out of people.

Nader may not win the Democratic nod, but he is a pioneer in the efforts of civility and experience. The man has had to overcome numerous obstacles and although I will be voting for Obama, my father has never wandered from his support of the man.

And I also agree, NPR does a good job of coverage, but not nearly what it could do.

Sent by Joseph | 2:09 PM | 8-18-2008

I am so tired of hearing how Nader had anything to do with Bush being elected. Why not place the blame where it belongs? That would be the people that voted for BUSH. Nader was a FAR better candidate. A bunch of idiots voted for George Bush, end of story.

Sent by Heidi | 7:46 PM | 8-19-2008

Knowing our history as well as you do, how much more abuse do you think the
American people should take before we take up arms against this corrupt government?

Sent by Marty Zupan | 6:56 PM | 9-9-2008