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Insane at Any Speed 
What's wrong with Ralph Nader

7/22/2002

 
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Mr. Porter

I just stumbled upon your absurd rant against Phil Donahue. But im curious...what's wong with Ralph Nader? And what the fuck is up with that bsnn web site? I didn't know their were so many people in the world with dull-normal IQs. Obviously you folks have WAY too much time on your hands.

Tennis W. Lilly
Executive Director
Lawrence Grassroots Initiative

Dear Tennis:

What’s wrong with Ralph Nader? That’s like asking what’s wrong with syphilis. What’s wrong with Ralph Nader? Two of his biggest supporters are Phil Donahue and Michael Moore. What’s wrong with Ralph Nader? That’s like to asking what’s wrong with the grammar in your email to me—it’s obvious. Ralph Nader is insane: (1. not sane; mentally ill or deranged; demented; mad 2. of or for insane people [an insane asylum] 3. very foolish, impractical, extravagant, etc.; senseless).

Exhibit A: The Madness of King Ralph

1) “Every time I see something terrible, it's like I see it at age 19. I keep a freshness that way.” — Ralph Nader.

The sad thing is he reacts to terrible things like someone who’s 9: “Mommy, why do cars kill people?” “Because automobiles are unsafe at any speed, Ralphie.” “Then why don’t they just ban them?” “Because corporate hucksters live only to exploit then kill little children.” “Well I am tired of the greed and power of a few dominating the many and I’m going to hold my breath until they stop.”

2) “If they don't close these [nuclear] reactors down, we'll have civil war in five years.”—Ralphie circa 1977.

The true colors of an insane tyrant: give me want I want or I’m inciting civil war. Surely 25 years later even Ralph Nader admits this statement is just plain silly…not to mention insane, which rhymes with inane, which stands for pool…never mind.

3) “Did you wash that?” — Ralphie anxiously asked this question while being fitted with an ear piece for an appearance on CNN.

As Lenora Todaro reported in the Village Voice, “Nader believes the spread of infectious diseases is a greater security threat than military invasion.” For Nader, the earwax of whoever wore that ear peace before him is more frightening than al Qaeda or a nuclear-enhanced Saddam Hussein. During the 2000 presidential election, Nader proposed cutting the defense budget by 100 billion dollars and demobilizing the military because he thinks we are wasting our efforts defending against non-existent enemies. In what world is this bozo living? Certainly not this one. Nader has his insane head buried so deep in the sand his eyebrows have been spotted in Beijing .

3) “In all due modesty, it would not have happened.” — Ralph Nader claiming that if America had only initiated his aviation-safety reforms there would have been no 9-11 attacks.

Only in the psychedelic world of Ralph Nader could this be true. “For 30 years,” Ralphie continued, “our aviation safety group has been pressing the airlines to adopt security standards, including toughened cockpit doors and latches, as some foreign airlines have done for years, and the airlines resisted and the FAA did not require it. That is the consequence of non-regulation and deregulation.”

Not only could Ralph Nader have prevented 9/11, deregulation caused it, and we all know who’s responsible for deregulation. Ronald Reagan. There we have it. In the twisted, little mind of Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan is to blame for 9/11. There’s just one problem with Ralph’s modest assessment, and that is the reaction of pilots in a pre-9/11 world. Remember this: everyone—except the FBI and CIA—assumed that hijacked airplanes would be used to fly and land somewhere. No one—not even Ralph Nader—was advocating safety measures to protect against the use of airliners as missiles. Had there been toughened cockpit doors and latches, the terrorists would have found a way around that problem. Simply threatening to slit the throat of a stewardess or passenger would likely have brought any pre-9/11 pilot out of the cockpit. What we have with this insanely smug statement from Ralph Nader is not a serious discussion of airline safety, but a brazen attempt to politicize the tragedy of 9/11 in an effort to promote his insane personal agenda.

4) Jay Leno: “What do you do for fun?” Nader: “Strawberries.” — Exchange during an appearance on The Tonight Show.

Okay, I’ve got to give Ralphie the benefit of the doubt on this one. I grow strawberries, and it is fun. But I wonder what Ralph means by “doing” strawberries. I thought most solitary weirdoes “did” cantaloupe or watermelon. Besides, doesn’t he live in a studio apartment? Where does he grow strawberries? Does he even grow strawberries or is he simply saying that eating strawberries is what he does for fun? If that’s the case, he’s not only insane, he’s pathetic.

Exhibit B: The Foolish, Impractical, Extravagant, Senseless Ralph Nader

In 2002 alone, Ralphie has threatened Bill Gates, threatened the NBA, played footsy with Fidel Castro and called for the formation of a new World Consumer Protection Organization that would oversee online privacy, e-commerce, intellectual property and Internet governance. Can you imagine it? The Internet: unsafe at any speed.

While in Cuba last week, Ralphie gave what the AP described as a “rambling two-hour speech,” and called President Bush an “irresponsible corporatist,” all to the delight of Fidel Castro, who himself is an irresponsible Communist (talk about redundant). Nader said the purpose of his visit was to learn more about Cuba 's disease-fighting efforts, which presumably preclude the use of medicine since Ralphie has attempted to ban a host of beneficial medications simply because some corporatist somewhere might make a profit by selling them. Pharmaceuticals: unsafe in any dosage.

When Ralphie took on NBA officiating, it was an epiphany for many of his supporters who, till now, labored under the false assumption that he is sane. Take this excerpt from Bull Magazine: “This one pains us a little bit to write - especially since some of us actually volunteered with the Green Party during the last presidential election to help support Ralph Nader. However, lately the guy has been making a complete fool out of himself, embarrassing those who originally thought he was a well-grounded, sane individual (everything Ross Perot was not).”

Sorry, Naderites. The only thing Ross Perot and Ralph Nader have in common is insanity. At least Ross Perot has created jobs and wealth for thousands of people, and paid millions upon millions in taxes. Of course Ralph Nader has created wealth as well, but only for himself and his organizations. And he has created jobs, too. But not the type of quality jobs society needs. As for paying taxes, well, Dave Barry once wrote, “Big Business never pays a nickel in taxes, according to Ralph Nader, who represents a big consumer organization that never pays a nickel in taxes.”

As for the type of jobs Ralph Nader creates, many of his employees have attempted to unionize some of his organizations because of excessive hourly work requirements and poor pay. Nader blocked all such attempts, saying, “I don't think there is a role for unions in small nonprofit 'cause' organizations any more than within a monastery.”

“Public interest groups are like a crusade, you can’t have work rules, or 9 to 5,” Ralphie explained. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of labor unions, but I particularly loathe hypocrites.

“Information is the currency of democracy,” Ralph preaches. “Its denial must always be suspect.” But in practice Ralph spends a considerable amount of energy hiding information about himself and his organizations. During the 1996 presidential election, Ralphie refused to release his tax returns, even though every other candidate had done so. His Public Citizen non-profit has fought disclosure laws that would inform the public of the role that Ralphie’s special interest groups play in shaping legislation. And like any truly insane person, Ralphie tries to hide the trivial as well. Two of his top aides once refused to give Nader’s office address to Congressmen who requested it at a Congressional Hearing. I guess his office is unlisted. Talk about weird.

Insane or not, Ralph Nader is the type of communist who would’ve felt at home in the Politburo—preaching austerity to the masses while amassing millions through capitalism; demanding good jobs at good wages from Big Business while providing lousy jobs and lousy wages for his own employees. His hatred of all things corporate has made Ralphie, more often than not, the enemy of goodness and decency. Ralphie didn’t approve of the new South African Constitution that ended apartheid because it granted corporations some legal status as individuals, like most any market-oriented society. And while Ralph says he worries about the greed and power of the few dominating the many, many people who once supported him are growing tired of the secrecy that shrouds his finances, the hypocrisy of the personal wealth he amassed by purchasing and selling corporate stock, and of the insane and tyrannical reign of terror over the big-hearted, small-minded, do-gooder employees of his many non-profit organizations.

In a Campaign 2000 column for The New York Times, Paul Krugman wrote, “At times Mr. Nader’s hostility to corporations goes completely over the edge. Newt Gingrich disgusted many people when, in his first major speech after leaving Congress, he blamed liberalism for the Columbine school shootings. But several days before Mr. Gingrich spoke, Ralph Nader published an article attributing those same shootings to—I’m serious—corporate influence. Many of those who are thinking about voting for Mr. Nader probably imagine that he is still the moderate, humane activist of the 1960's. They should know that whatever the reason—your amateur psychology is as good as mine—he is now a changed man.”

No, Mr. Krugman, he is, has, and always will be an insane man. Nothing’s changed about that. Ralph Nader: Insane at any speed and by any definition.

Nathan Porter is responsible for BSNN.net.

  

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