TO THE FUTURE:
AD: What do you think of the presidency of Mr. Bush? Do you think it’s as bad or worse than you had predicted?
RN: I think it’s worse than all of us predicted. Many people in Washington thought he was just his father’s son. He was just going to be kind of a redo of Bush one. He instead turned out to be a Masonic militarist, a person who did not have much knowledge about public affairs and surrounded himself with very manipulative, very corporatist and very belligerent advisers including vice president Cheney.
AD: When people refer to you as a spoiler in social situations, we get into arguments. People are close-minded to what was really going on last election. How do you respond to being called a spoiler?
RN: Well, first of all, how could you spoil a political system that is spoiled to the core? I think young people understand that, perhaps even more than people who are older. The latter have become jaded to accept more and more reprehensible politics. Second, there are things that we do need to spoil in this country. We need to spoil the domination of giant corporations who run over everything that matters to us in this country: our elections, our childhood, our culture, our music, our politics, our environment and our educational systems. We need to break the grip of these giant corporations, who roam the world looking for the most repressed labor and the most servile regimes. In order to ship products and services back to the United States and to dislodge companies and workers who are playing by the rules. We need to displace that kind of corporate globalization. We need to displace the polluters that have taken over the United States government. They have taken over massive amounts of taxpayer’s dollars and turned them into subsidies and handouts and giveaways. So, there are a lot of things that we need to spoil in order to make a very good country, a horizon for future generations. So they can build a world that they could be proud of to hand to their descendents.
AD: One of the greatest things about your candidacy last time was that you raised issues that were important to people’s lives. In this presidential race, candidates arose on the democratic side that brought up a lot of the issues you had brought to the forefront like Howard Dean, as well as Dennis Kucinich. What do you think about how these candidates came forward with a lot of the same issues you talked about?
RN: Well, Dennis and I have been friends for over thirty years. I helped him when he was mayor of Cleveland, with his fight against the corporate bosses, so that doesn’t surprise me. I expected Dennis to move on with an agenda like that. He has been very, very energetic, he’s still at it and he is going to take it to the democratic convention before he stops his candidacy. I was more surprised to hear John Edwards, Howard Dean and John Kerry starting to talk about corporate power, corporate lobbyists, polluters and corporate criminals. There was a time when I was thinking about suing them for plagiarism!(ha ha!) It’s obvious that at the Democratic primary stage of the campaign, they got the greatest applause by standing up for the people of this country and by implying that corporations had to be subordinate to the people. That they (corporations) must be subjected to the rules of the law and not be able to get away with anything they want to get away with, just because they rented and bought politicians. But, notice now as the general elections come into the forefront, the rhetoric of John Kerry is beginning to change from a progressive rhetoric to conservative. He stood before the audience of wealthy contributors fundraiser where he raised a million and a half dollars and declared that he was not a re-distributionist and that he was a centrist. These are code words that indicate to the corporate Democratic Party that he’s back in the fold. That’s very unfortunate and we hope to nudge him and jolt him out of that fold, so he can stand for the principals that he announced more clearly as a primary contender.
AD: This is the big one that is on the minds of most of our community: What I learned from you last election has stuck with me, it is to “Vote our hopes and not our fears.” We are really afraid of another four years of Bush. What would you say to people that voted for you last time, who are so fearful now that they might vote Democrat?
RN: I suggest they should have higher ambitions, which is to vote for our candidacy and for the things they believe in. The only vote that you waste is when you vote for the candidate that you don’t believe in. You vote tactically. Number two, they can mobilize against Bush and help depress his vote. The conservatives are furious with Bush; over huge deficits, which they see as a betrayal of conservative principles, over the world trade organization and NAFTA, over the lack of respect for taxpayers by shoveling taxpayer dollars into corporate subsidies, giveaways and handouts that they call corporate welfare, over the big brother impact and invasion of privacy and snooping, over the Patriot act, and over the inadequate crackdown on ENRON-type crimes, political buddies of the corporate criminals and the administration. Those are important issues. Now obviously, conservatives differ from liberals on other things but those are real issues we can all collaborate on to bring down the Bush regime and send Bush back to Crawford,TX. So, I would say: lift your ambitions, roll up your sleeves, depress Bush’s vote by spreading the word about how bad Bush is and vote for the Nader candidacy as an independent demonstration of your declaration of independence.
Let me just suggest, that the only way to get to tens of millions of voters in this country is on the debates. www.Opendebates.org is a very important website that keeps everybody current on the new debate commission that’s going to challenge the existing Democratic/Republican control debate commission. No candidate running for president in all 50 states, in the biggest arenas in the country from Madison Square Garden to the Oakland Arena can reach more than 2 percent of the voters that they would reach on one of those presidential debates, watched by 40 to 50 million people. *