Nader on Obama: ‘He wavers a lot’

Posted on August 2, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Outspoken consumer advocate praises ‘pulse’ of Tea Party movement

The man who changed the face of consumer protection in America and ran as a third-party candidate in the last three presidential elections is again calling for fundamental societal change.

Ralph Nader, 76, who gained fame for his 1965 book “Unsafe at Any Speed,” about safety issues in American cars, will be in Utica on Tuesday promoting his latest book, titled “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!: New Ways to Empower Ourselves for Overdue Changes in Our Communities.”

“Its message is very realistic,” Nader said in a telephone interview Friday.

“Local and national philanthropists and people of wealth need to begin focusing on contributing to issues of justice, not just issues of charity.”
Nader will speak at noon Tuesday at the Mohawk Valley Community College Theater. The event is presented by Zogby International Research LLC, MVCC, Café Domenico and The Bagel Grove. Admission is free.

The following are excerpts of the O-D’s interview with Nader:

Q: In your view, what is the state of consumer protection in America?

A: It’s flipped again, pretty badly, because of all the Wall Street frauds and crimes … They’ve taken a very powerful blow by the Wall Street operators who were so reckless.

In the area of food safety, there is a lot of work to do … we need more ambitious standards for fuel efficiency.

Q: What’s your general opinion of the administration of President Barack Obama?

A: I think he’s too concessionary to big business. He started out with a lot of public support in January 2009, and the first thing he does is put people high up in office from the business community and Wall Street, like (top economic adviser) Larry Summers. He turned his back on a lot of consumer advocates and consumer groups …

When big business smells someone who’s not going to stand up to them, they just keep grabbing for more. They got away with it in health care … He wavers a lot, and his rhetoric is better than his actions.

Q: What is your perspective on the situation in the Middle East?

A: It’s very bad. It’s fueling more insurgents, more attackers, more animosity among hundreds of millions of people because we’re in their backyard blowing up their country. It’s costing American lives, Afghan lives, Iraqi lives, and trillions that could be spent back in places like Utica and Buffalo.

It’s a very bad strategy, and a lot of it is illegal.

Q: How do you feel about the Tea Party?

A: It’s nice to have citizens who show a pulse, a public pulse. It’s hard to generalize, but I think the Tea Party is largely the reawakening of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, which had been patted on the head of the corporate Republicans such as (former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney) and given a lot of rhetoric without any delivery.

Q: What does the future hold for you?

A: We’re trying to get the American people more interested in running their government and big business that controls the government and runs the country into the ground … How do you motivate people to realize that they have the power if they organize and exercise it?

Q: What can people expect from your presentation Tuesday at MVCC?

A: The emphasis at Utica at noon will be on the book; how I developed the concept, outlining the drama and the application of the book to real life at the local and national level…it’s a work of political imagination, which means anyone in civil activity could write books and short stories like this.

Posted Jul 31, 2010 @ 06:14 PM



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