What Ralph Nader Is Thinking About the 2012 Election
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Q: The Romney tax returns: Issue or nonissue?
A: It is an issue because he’s not an ordinary taxpayer. We know for sure he’s used tax havens abroad. He was a well-known tax escapee. That means he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt. As a candidate, he has to fill out a financial form. It’s pretty extensive, though not as much as the tax returns. I’m a big promoter of tax return privacy because they have to fill out that long form, and I think that’s enough, but not in his case because he’s a well-known tax escapee.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter. And how he made his money doesn’t seem to be costing him any voters. You’ve got a tax escapee, you’ve got a war monger, a job shredder, he’s against the minimum wage, he’s against unions, he thinks global warming is not proven, he’s endorsed the Ryan budget which taxes everything but the corporate interests.
Q: Why didn’t you run for President this year?
A: There’s no point to it anymore. I’ve done it, I’ve laid out my plans and they’ve gone for the least worst. Even in polls where I’ve got five percent a week before Election Day, come Election Day the vote is at less than one percent. We’ve documented the exclusion third party candidates are subjected to, we’ve documented the obstacles, we’ve offered alternatives. There’s really nothing more to achieve. It would be one thing if you could get some press. You can’t even get that except a story every few months.
Q: People still say you cost Gore the election in 2000.
A: If they couldn’t get a landslide against a bumbling governor from Texas who could barely put a sentence together with an incumbent vice-president in an era with a balanced budget…
Q: Who do you wish would have run this year?
A: Feingold. (Former Senator Russell Feingold, Dem.-Wis.) He’s got a Common Cause-type group he’s creating. He would’ve been a great candidate. He wasn’t interested. Nobody was interested.
The main issue in this campaign should be corporatism and the decay of American democracy and those things aren’t being discussed even after Wall Street collapsed. All These Wall Street big time crooks are now more powerful than ever. None of them were shamed into powerlessness. That’s a real sign of decay after they were exposed for malicious behavior, for the damage they’ve caused society. In any healthy society, they would have been disgraced.
Q: What are your preoccupations these days? In other words, what are you up to?
A: I’m writing, I’m agitating, holding people to their pretensions in Washington. We’re starting groups, encouraging groups, saving groups that are about to collapse and working on a long list of issues.