Everything we take for granted from safe cars, air quality, and safe drinking water to Congress Watch, Public Citizen, and cheaper auto insurance has Ralph Nader’s name all over it. The movie is deeply rooted in the American dream of one taking the reigns from the powerful and giving it back to the people.
Years before Rove, General Motors spent millions trying to dig up dirt to discredit Nader. Even going so far as to sending housewives to offer him sexual favors in the grocery store. In the end all of GM’s attempts failed and Ralph became stronger than ever and the modern consumer movement was born.
One cool thing was after the movie there was a video conference with Nader. Those who watched the movie were able to ask questions and get straight answers back. There was one of the what if questions. Ralph what if you didn’t run in 2000 would Gore have won? As Nader pointed out the Democrats chose one what if out of thousands. What if the SLP was not in the race, what if Gore carried Arkansas, what if Gore carries Tennessee, what if Democrats voted for Gore instead of Bush, what if the Supreme Court did not step in, what if Gore had not selected such a hideous VP candidate…
Another question Nader got was from a 10 year old girl wondering why he didn’t run as a Green in 2004. Nader explained the primary was not up far enough to run a serious campaign. That is a half truth because the Green Party had previously asked if he had intentions to run, and the eventual nominee David Cobb said he’d step aside for Nader. If Nader wanted to run as a Green he certainly could have, but that’s not what he wanted to do.
I have said before I only began supporting the Greens after they got over their Nader fetish. While Nader has great admiration for the people in general he has always had more difficulty with them in particular. The fiasco with the Green Party in Milwaukee had much more to do with Nader’s lack of patience with the democratic process.
None of this should take anything away from Nader being an American hero and truly a Great man. With his recent book on the Seventeen Traditions he seems more welcoming of the role of elder.