UNITED STATES: An interview with Nader

November 17, 1993

Independent US presidential candidate Ralph Nader recently spoke with Joshua Frank, author of the forthcoming book Left Out! How Liberals Did Bush's Work for Him.

Given how worried the Democrats appear to be about your presidential run taking votes away from John Kerry, why do you think the Kerry campaign refuses to toss even a small bone to the progressive anti-war, anti-PATRIOT Act crowd — even though this is the contingent of voters that could quite possibly cost Kerry the election if they continue to be ignored?

Because they believe these voters have nowhere to go, especially with Dennis Kucinich's endorsement of John Kerry in return for nothing. Also, Kerry's campaign is trying to take the war, PATRIOT Act issues off the table and they do this by "me too-ing" these issues with Bush. Call it protective imitation.

Do you find any irony in the fact that the Democrats, who have complained for the past four years about disenfranchised voters in the 2000 election that were not allowed the right to vote for the candidate of their choice (i.e., black voters in Florida), are actively trying to prevent ballot access for your campaign this year?

Yes. They seem not to recognise that by their (and Republican) passed ballot obstruction state laws, and their "dirty tricks", that they are violating civil liberties of Nader-Camejo and the millions of voters who should have the opportunity to vote for candidacies of their choice.

How do you respond to the charge that you have "sold out" by allowing conservative groups and individuals to aid your ballot access efforts in swing states such as Oregon and Michigan?

False rumours promoted by Democrats to provide cover for their dirty tricks which are obstructing Nader-Camejo ballot access. We do not accept outsider organised political assistance, whether Republican or anyone else with such motives.

Why, after the 2000 election, when you garnered 3 million votes and probably had another 7 million who preferred you but voted for the lesser evil in Al Gore, was there not an effort to cohere all that grassroots support into a growing base for further activism and third-party building?

There was — within the Green Party. I helped organise and attend some 44 gatherings-fundraisers for the Greens in 31 states since 2001. Other efforts were also undertaken for the Green Party. But it is hard to push a string. Now they can grow by themselves. Good luck to them.

You have recently registered your own "Populist Party" in a few states that do not recognise "independent" as a political affiliation. Do you plan to work and grow this party as an alternative to the Greens following the election?

That will depend on support for the party.

Why, in swing states, where voters may be worried about your candidacy tilting the election to Bush, should people vote for you instead of John Kerry?

If they are worried, let them vote for John Kerry. Voters should follow their conscience.[Reprinted from Left Hook http://www.lefthook.org.]

From Green Left Weekly, August 11, 2004.
Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.