Ralph Nader, the longtime consumer safety advocate and third-party candidate, will hold a rally today in Portland for Multnomah County's campaign finance measure.
Rally proceeds benefit "Honest Elections Multnomah County," the campaign working to pass Measure 26-184. Nader also be signing copies of his new book, Breaking Through Power: It's Easier Than We Think.
The rally is at First Unitarian Church of Portland, Main Street Sanctuary, with doors opening at 6:30 pm and the event starting at 7:00 pm.
WW: Did you view Bernie Sanders as a kindred spirit? What did you think of his approach to trying to reform the Democratic Party from within?
Ralph Nader: I think he walked the talk. The Democrats have always said they're for campaign finance reform, but they don't want to unilaterally disarm vis a vis the Republicans. They say that every election, so nothing ever happens. Sanders did unilaterally disarm from fat cats fundraisers on Park Avenue in New York and Beverley Hills. He unilaterally disarmed from taking money from Super PACs. He proceeded to raise over $220 million with an average contribution of $27. That is a tremendous breakthrough, dispelling that myths or that devious argument by the traditional Democratic Party candidates.
What's next for the progressive movement in the coming years? What are the issues you'd suggest he and his supporters concentrate on?
After the election, they've got to start a progressive party. Now they know they can raise significant funds over the Internet. They have the skilled people who did it for Bernie. They're working on Our Revolution, a new group Bernie started. Others are working on a brand-new Congress organization called BNC. They just have to start to break the grip of the two party tyranny, the two party duopoly that's dialing for the same dollars. And on foreign and military policy and Wall Street policy is pretty much the same. On corporate policy is pretty much the same. On the abridgment of civil liberties is somewhat different, but they both supported the Patriot Act. And on campaign finance reform one party talks better than the other, but they don't do anything.
Is Trump something totally new or a product of the two party system?
He's inherited politics as entertainment and turned it into a circus. He's a chief circus barker. He's a failed gambling czar and corporate welfare king that's cheated his workers, his creditors, his suppliers, cheated taxpayers by not paying any taxes and by getting subsidies. And brags about it. He calls his serial bankruptcies a competitive advantage, to use his term.
He wouldn't have had a chance 30-40 years ago. Anyone in the gambling industry wouldn't have gotten to first base. They would be laughed out of the party. See how things have degraded.
The two parties are working off their opposite failures. They don't say vote for the Republican, and I'm better. They say vote for theRrepublicans, you know how bad the Democrats are. The Democrats say you have to vote for us, not the Greens, you know how bad the Republicans are. It's a race to the bottom. They're driven by campaign cash.
I think the two party duopoly is going to be battered from now, just the way Trump battered it in one way, and Sanders battered it in the other.
Has Hillary Clinton won your vote with her promises to repeal the Supreme Court Decision Citizens United, which overturned campaign contribution limits?
No no no. You can never believe her or Bill. They say exactly what they think people want to hear and then they go back and become the representatives of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. Hillary means more war and more Wall Street; that's been her record and she's not going to change.
Who are you voting for?
I never say who I'm voting for. The Green Party platform is the best platform of any party in America. I ran on it. And people should focus on that to see what they want to do. I always believe in a vote of conscience, rather than a tactical vote that keeps allowing the least worst party to get worse every four years.
Even against Trump?