From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Nov 3 14:40:25 2000
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 22:01:39 -0600 (CST)
Subject: NADER'S RECORD
Organization: Deja.com - Before you buy.
2 November 2000
Ralph Nader is by all accounts a very smart man, his humorless, hair-shirt
personality aside. But he's only interested in one issue: the
growth of corporate power and its corrupting influence on democracy. He
has little interest in, or commitment to, social issues.
For his entire career, Nader had little or nothing to say about
abortion, gay civil rights, affirmative action, or race relations.
Despite grassroots Green efforts to help defeat the anti-affirmative
action "California Civil Rights Initiative" in California, Nader would
not take a stand.
When Phil Donahue asked Nader about abortion, he dismissed the entire
issue as "too much private stuff." His only detectable involvement in
women's issues during the last forty years were his efforts to include
women on juries in the 50s and 60s--an issue long-since decided.
He dismissed concerns over gay civil rights as "gonadal politics."
Nader talks like a big friend of labor, but his actions tell a
different story. In the early 1970s, he treated unionized airline and
trucking workers as beneficiaries of government-sanctioned monopolies
and pushed the successful drive for deregulation of these industries,
with disastrous effects on workers later in the decade.
Closer to home, Nader squashed efforts to unionize workers at his
publication, Multinational Monitor, through a vicious campaign of heavy-
handed tactics and intimidation. After staffers alleged unfair labor
practices and filed papers with the National Labor Relations Board
asking for union recognition, Nader changed the office locks (within 24
hours), "gave" the magazine to his closest aides as a free gift, and
fired the entire staff, none of whom were ever rehired.
When the fired workers filed unfair labor practice charges with the
NLRB, Nadar's aides retaliated with a $1.2 million civil suit, charging
that the ex-staffers were trying to "destroy their business." A
settlement was reached in which the complaint and suit were both
dropped, but from that point on, the Monitor has been a scab
Until this election year, Nader obviously did not want to be associated
with Greens. He refused membership in the Greens and disavowed the
party's platforms; he even refused an interview with the national
newsletter of the Greens, the quarterly tabloid, Green Politics.
Even after embracing the Greens as a vehicle for his political
ambitions, it's not clear that a majority of mainstream Greens even
wanted him on the ballot. In state after state, the Nader campaign
compromised the integrity of local Greens in its grim determination to
be on as many state ballots as possible. Wherever the local Greens
resisted the Nader juggernaut, ambitious individuals were recruited to
launch a Green petition drive of their own.
To cite just two examples: Nadar told Ohio Greens that organizers from
California would bring a petition drive to their state if they declined
to do so. When Greens in Texas opposed a statewide Nader drive, Greens
across the country received repeated "emergency" fundraising appeals
over the Internet to send campaign organizers there over the objections
of the Texas Greens.
In 1996, former Monitor staffer Doug Henwood summed up Nader this
way: "Ralph Nader may look like a democrat, smell like a populist, and
sound like a socialist--but deep down he's a frightened, petit
bourgeois moralizer without a political compass, more concerned with
his image than the movement he claims to lead: in short, an
opportunist, a liberal hack. And a scab."