Ralph Nader

The Left's New Machine
May 07, 2007

Most political activists can point to one catalyzing event, an episode in each of their lives (or, more often, in the life of their country) that shook them from their complacency and roused them to change the world. You can find many such stories if you troll through the netroots, the online community of liberal bloggers that has quickly become a formidable constituency in Democratic politics. But the episode that seems to come up most often is the Florida recount.

Naderism Lives
April 20, 2007

by Alan Wolfe For those--I include myself--who continue to blame Ralph Nader for the disaster known as George W. Bush, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gonzales v. Cahart caps the story. It is not merely that this decision is one more example of the way in which the American right has become more statist than the left. It is that the paternalism of the decision flows directly from Nader's particular version of statism. Nader believes that consumers make irresponsible purchases and it is the job of the government to prevent them from decisions they will later regret.

Nader's Devastating Ego
February 19, 2007

Someone at Sunday lunch reported that he'd heard on the radio that Ralph Nader was thinking of running for president again. I tried to confirm it on a Nader web site, and somehow was sent to MySpace. There is some kind of Nader venue there. But I couldn't find anything more conclusive than an ad for a Nader T-shirt. Still, his ego is so enormous--isn't it anomalous that a saint should have an enormous ego?--that he might be considering a third try.

I'm Gonna Ralph
February 16, 2007

Ralph Nader says he might run again if Hillary gets the nomination. On the other hand, Nader is trying to flog a new memoir, so take that with a grain of salt. --Michael Crowley

Wooden Frame
May 23, 2005

It's show-and-tell day in 50 Birge Hall. At least as close to it as you get at an elite university like Berkeley. George Lakoff, the instructor for this introductory cognitive science course, has asked students to bring in examples of popular "texts" containing hidden metaphorical meanings--the kind that play subtle tricks on the human mind. First out of the gate is a British student who holds up an ad for Splenda, the sugar substitute. The ad features a young girl sitting on her father's shoulders and covering his eyes with two large cookies. "Lucky girl," it reads. "You've got a Splenda dadd

Minority Report
June 07, 2004

Every day, withdrawal from Iraq becomes a little less "unthinkable." Among politicians and pundits, the idea is still largely confined to the usual lefty suspects: Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, Arundhati Roy. But the public is further along. According to this week's Washington Post/ABC News poll, 40 percent of Americans want to get out now, up seven points in the last month. Among Democrats, it is 53 percent.

Idiot Time
July 08, 2002

Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich by Kevin Phillips (Broadway Books, 432 pp., $29.95) Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! by Michael Moore (ReganBooks, 304 pp., $24.95) I. As Lord Bryce noted in 1888 in The American Commonwealth, the American way of choosing presidents rarely produces politicians of quality. Subsequent events vindicated his point: in the half-century after his book appeared, Americans elected to the presidency such undistinguished men as William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G.

Street Unwise
February 25, 2002

With ten congressional committees holding hearings on Enron, it's almost impossible for any one member of Congress to distinguish himself on the issue. But that hasn't stopped Senator Jon Corzine from trying. These days the freshman New Jersey Democrat sounds more like Ralph Nader than the former investment-banking pooh-bah he is.

All in the Family
October 02, 2000

It is obvious to the folks at Bob Jones University that I do not belong. For starters, I am the only woman on campus wearing pants: The university dress code requires female students and faculty to clothe themselves in more appropriate attire--dresses or skirts, mostly of the floor-length variety. What's more, I have a small press pass dangling around my neck. Just by looking at me, therefore, locals can instantly tell that I hail not only from the liberalmediaelite but from the secular-avant-garde-that-scorns-the-traditional-moralvalues-- that-decent-Americans-hold-sacred.

Unhostile Takeover
June 26, 2000

Ross Perot's reform party is about to do something no third party has done in a century: transcend its founder. And it will be thanks to Pat Buchanan. Although Buchanan won't give either major candidate a scare in this year's presidential election, he'll probably line up enough disenchanted social conservatives, blue-collar workers threatened by imports, and disillusioned independents to win 7,000,000 votes.