Watching this documentary, I was able to see again one of my favorite quotes, a quote I used to attach to my e-mails years ago. "The reasonable person adapts themself to the world; the unreasonable person persists in trying to adapt the world to them. Therefore, all progress is dependent upon the unreasonable person." George Bernard Shaw, 1903. That's a good quote to remember when I'm being told how unreasonable I am.
As I posted a couple of days ago, Ralph Nader is making another run this year for president. He really is the only one running who truly would represent the people, you and I. It's something he's done for close to 50 years. Without making himself a multi millionaire. Without Corporate backing. Here are just some of the things in which we have to thank Ralph.
1) We have him to thank for the seatbelts in our cars.
2) We have him to thank for the air bags in our cars.
3) We have him to thank for the labeling on our prescription bottles.
4) We have him to thank for some of the labeling on our food.
5) We have him to thank for making our air cleaner and our food safer.
And did you know, that since 1978, no new nuclear power plants have been constructed here in the U.S.? Guess who we have to thank for that one. Yep. Ralph Nader.
This post isn't just my own personal endorsement of the man. It's also to talk about the documentary and how fascinating it was to watch him in action over the years, taking on Big Business and reprimanding the government during congressional hearings, keeping them accountable. Ralph Nader is the citizen crusader of this country and he certainly hasn't been in it for the money. It's his life work. It's his passion. He lives and breathes what he does. He really cares about the safety of the american people and he's equally as passionate in pursuing justice when he sees injustice. And of course, he's a strong supporter of democracy and a government that represents the people. He says he was outraged by the corporate culture he saw in government that began during the 1970's and yet, as he remarked, compared to today's environment, what we saw during the 70's was benign.
It was disheartening to see his support drop during his 2004 run and how unfairly attacked he was by progressives and Democrats. Even Michael Moore, who back in 2000 was a big Nader supporter and was encouraging people to vote with their conscience, vote with their heart, to stop the trend of "voting for the lesser of two evils" (which Ralph humorously points out "what you have left is still evil"). And yet in 2004, Moore had changed his tune, even going so far as to encourage people NOT to vote for who makes them feel good, saying a few moments of feeling good can lead to years of terrible consequences. Geesh! Talk about jumping ship.
People were so desperate to keep Bush out of office for another 4 years, they saw Ralph, again, as a Spoiler. Some went so far as to call him selfish for running, claiming he was all about ego (as though none of the other presidential candidates has ever not had his--or her--ego front and center). While everyone has a right to their opinion, I would put that one in the "absolutely false" category. He ran because he sees the corruption in both parties. He sees the corporate control in the halls of government. He sees how a vote for a Democrat or a Republican, while it may result in some typically minor differences in policy, is still, overall, a vote for Big Business. How can that possibly be good for America, for you and I? It can't. It never can be. It never will be.
He wasn't a spoiler. What he did was stir up people who generally don't vote. He didn't take votes away. He brought the apathetic non-voter into the scene, thus brought in new votes.
Watching this movie left me with a couple of my own quotes that I will end with.
1) An apathetic citizenry is a killer of democracy.
2) For to lose the ability to be outraged by acts of injustice is to ensure more acts of injustice.