Ralph Nader: ‘Bernie Sanders Is Plagiarizing Me’


Way back in May 2015, Bernie Sanders announced his bid for presidency. The pundits and night show hosts at the time seemed more concerned with his crazy white hair than the context of his platform. This caused me some distress as I already knew quite a bit about Sanders’ political leanings before the announcement. My curiosity was piqued some time ago by the “I” next to his name where a “D” or “R” would typically reside. I found Bernie’s politics, or lack thereof, refreshing. He represents my own views better than any politician I’ve encountered.

When that announcement was made in May, I cheered. Then, I started thinking. Dammit. I considered Bernie’s views in a frame of reference relative to U.S. politics as a whole. I visualized the resistance he would see from corporate America and their money machine. When my liberal friends would get excited about Sanders being the solution to our collected issues, I cautioned against being too optimistic. I sent them Wikipedia links about the spoiler effect and vote splitting. I made direct references to the 2000 election, posted song lyrics and used the term “Nader 2.0” when referencing Sanders. It appears as though I now share this opinion with at least one other person.

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Sometimes I think he’s plagiarizing me, but he’s been at it for a long time

This was spoken by Ralph Nader himself in an interview with Newsweek. Now, I’m not saying that sharing policies with Nader is necessarily a bad thing. Quite the opposite. Once I forgave him for killing the Corvair, I learned to appreciate the amazing changes he was able to affect in our country. Nader, without ever holding public office, ushered a huge shift in the relationship between automotive manufacturers and their customers. It has been written that Nader and the activist groups he founded are responsible for much of the consumer protection legislation and regulatory agencies that keep us safe in our daily lives. He also said this to Newsweek:

Bernie’s catching up. His only obstacle left is the Clinton’s control of the party apparatus and the superdelegates. If you had the George McGovern rules in ’72, he would have very good chance of winning

Oh jeeze, why did you have to go there Ralph? As mentioned in the Newsweek piece, McGovern lost that election, by a lot. He had run on a platform that supported a guaranteed minimum income and immediate withdrawal from Vietnam. The Republicans painted him as a left-wing wacko and never even had to check the rear view mirror. This is not a good comparison to make, even if it isn’t a direct comparison, if you want to show yourself as a winner.

As for Nader’s opinion on Hillary Clinton, he didn’t say nice things.

Cold and tired, redundant. Talks with a forked tongue. That’s why people don’t trust her.

Oh, I know people don’t trust her. Those liberal friends I spoke of earlier have started reusing Hillary Clinton memes better suited for Tea Party rants about Benghazi lies and Wall Street cronies. I’m not sure this sort of divisiveness is good for us. We are facing a foe that will be even worse than maintaining the corporate-controlled status quo in this country.

In June 2015, Donald Trump rode the down escalator into history. Since then, we’ve heard about big walls, Mexican rapists, denying refugees, hating on Muslimsreporter’s menstrual cycles, racist comments, starting wars, bathroom breaks, opinions on who gets to be a war hero, Starbucks cups… the crazy could fill tomes. Not just in spite of this insanity, but BECAUSE of it, Trump has maintained a steady position at the top of the polls. He says the things that the other Republican candidates believe, but don’t voice out of fear of losing moderate votes. Don’t think for a second that Cruz, Rubio, Carson or JEB! would be any better for this country if they win.

The amount of people supporting this hate makes one wonder if we as a country have evolved much since 1972. I worry that a Sanders nomination could cause a short-lived historical repeat that devolves into something far more sinister. As much as it pains me to write this, our country wasn’t ready for Nader 15 years ago and it doesn’t seem to be ready for Sanders now. Hopefully, I’m proven wrong.


Images via Wikipedia

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