Ralph Nader on Civil Rights
2008 Independent for for President; 2004 Reform nominee; 2000 Green nominee
Nader took out his pocket-sized copy of the Constitution and placed it in his breast pocket. “I’ll put the constitution here like this, okay?” Nader asked. “This is what we need to safeguard. The flag can take care of itself.”
We have a criminal war of aggression in Iraq. It violates the Constitution repeatedly. It violates federal statutes. It violates international treaties that we’re signatories to, that have the force of federal law.
We have the most impeachable President and Vice President in American history. We have torture; violation of civil rights and civil liberties; arrests of thousands of people without charges; imprisonment without attorneys; we have signing statements which are a usurpation of the Constitutional authority ascribed to Congress.
NADER: The gay and lesbian community would prefer our position to the position of John Kerry to what’s going on in Massachusetts. Certainly his position is better than Bush, but our position is the best. We’ve got to get rid of this discrimination, this chilling, this bigotry toward gays and lesbians that are reflected in literally hundreds and hundreds of statutes and regulations in this country.
Now, nearly a half century later, there are big questions about just how far we have come to meet those high hopes, particularly in the economic arena. Yes, there has been progress, but for many minority citizens the advances have been painfully slow.
Disparities which exist between African
A: It’s common sense. There have been crimes against Native Americans.
Q: But why a truth and reconciliation commission?
A: Instead of picking at one case at a time, it’s to see the patterns of discrimination. And she thinks there should be a major task force to raise this issue in a big way and ask, How can we improve justice for first Native Americans?
A: First of all, tax returns are a matter of privacy between individuals and the U.S. Treasury. They are inappropriate vehicles for political candidates to disclose and breach the -- what I think should be -- impenetrable protection of privacy. For 30 years I have supported the right of privacy -- whether for medical data, credit information, tax information -- and I want to practice what I preach.
Now the only appropriate vehicle for disclosure in my judgment for political candidates is the Government Ethics Act. It has a $ 5,000 threshold. I will spend less than $ 5,000 and not become a candidate under the definition of the Government Ethics Act.
My work deals with indiscriminate injustice. When you work in indiscriminate injustice, everybody wants their defective car to be recalled and fixed. You tend to appeal to a broader spectrum of the American people.
I think we need in our country to put more attention on indiscriminate injustice, because while it is important to focus on discriminatory injustice, if you just do that, you tend to divide the country. So you need a force that not only abolishes gross, discriminatory injustice, but unifies the country against indiscriminate injustice. Anybody can join bank groups, consumer groups. They’re voluntarily funded. It doesn’t cost the taxpayer anything. Everybody is a customer of banks, directly or indirectly. Everybody is a consumer of insurance, electricity, telephone, gas, pollution.
A: Actually, the range of permissible political discourse is far narrower here than it is in Russia at the present time. For example, when there’s a corporate crime epidemic going on, [American news shows] never have any programs. They never even talk about it. You’ve got a corporatization and of almost all of American life. The university research agendas are being set more and more by these corporate contracts and moonlighting consultantships with professors. You know throughout history what happens to a society that only serves mammon, that only serves commercialism? It’s on its way down. And commercialism now is the juggernaut system that’s running roughshod over other important value systems like health, safety, economic opportunity, justice and other values that don’t have a dollar figure on them.
The organization made the appeal even though Nader supports legalizing marriage for gays and lesbians while Gore and Bush do not. Gore supports recognizing limited “contractual rights” normally reserved for married couples. Bush has said that he supports allowing states to decide the issue.
Some gay Republicans objected to what one called the HRC’s “scare tactics.” A spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP organization, said Bush is supportive of gay rights. “This is the first GOP nominee in history who has reached out to gays and lesbians,” he said. Bush has said he would not discriminate against gays and allow them to serve in his cabinet.
A: My view on this is equal rights, equal responsibilities for gay and lesbian people. That would cover all issues.
A: The word “gonadal” means that which begets. I could have used the word sexual politics. I fought against the restrictions on women being prohibited from civil juries way back before some of the more prominent issues of homosexual rights and abortion came onto the political scene. The Green Party will be speaking out on these issues as well.
|Other candidates on Civil Rights:||Ralph Nader on other issues:|
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)