Ralph is the ultimate fighter for social justice and peace. He is a long distance runner and has been at it since the 1960’s. This election cycle, Bernie Sanders is running as a Democrat and the American people get to hear his ideas in televised debates. He surged in the polls once Americans were able to gain mainstream access to his ideas. Ralph Nader ran several times but the DNC and RNC undemocratically locked him out, closing off the debates. In 2000, they even escorted Ralph off the debate premises, despite his having a ticket and a media invitation for an interview. That was how scared they were (and are) of free and open debates. Ralph Nader has done more concrete things for the average American than any public figure. From seat belts, airbags, and safer cars to the labeling of prescription drugs and food, from cleaner air and water to safer food– we can thank Ralph. He talks more about ending U.S. imperialism abroad than Bernie– who focuses more on domestic agendas. I like that about Nader. For me, foreign policy, from a moral and legal standpoint, comes first. To put an analogy to it, one can’t morally destroy their neighbor’s house and then lament the cost of heating and electricity for their own home. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.” I was honored to be on Ralph’s 2008 campaign staff.
Bernie is also a long distance champion for social justice. I learned about Bernie in 2001, when I was 21 years old. At the time, I was in Los Angeles and had called into a conservative talk show to give my opinion and lay down some needed facts. I told the host all about Norway’s economic model and how it was better than the U.S. system. After I hung up, I continued to listen to the radio and a man called up and commented on me. He said, “I want to say something about that last caller. The little commie sounds like the Senator from Vermont. I’ll give him a one way ticket to Norway.” This is the first election in my life in which we have had a candidate like Bernie– a real progressive– get this close to the presidency. His campaign has already educated and inspired millions.