Nader Blasts Two-Party System

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Ralph Nader ended his latest presidential bid yesterday with a fraction of the votes he won four years ago. We hear an excerpt of an address by the independent presidential candidate. [includes rush transcript]

Ralph Nader ended his latest presidential bid yesterday with a fraction of the votes he won four years ago, but vowed to continue his campaign against corporate domination of American politics.

The consumer advocate — denounced as a spoiler in 2000 by Democrats who blamed him for costing Al Gore the election — lashed out at the “liberal intelligentsia” for pressuring him to end his campaign and rallying instead behind Democrat John Kerry.

The independent presidential candidate was drawing about 0.5 percent of the vote in Florida with most of the returns counted, while Bush led Kerry by more than 4 percentage points. By contrast, Nader won about 2 percent — more than 97,000 votes — in Florida four years ago. Democrats believe most of those votes would have gone to Gore, who lost the state by 537 votes.

Nader was on the ballot in 34 states this year, including at least a half-dozen battleground states where Democrats feared his presence could tip the balance in another close presidential contest.

  • Ralph Nader, speaking in Washington DC.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is an excerpt from what Ralph Nader had to say last night in Washington.

RALPH NADER: Look at our media. Have we ever had more stations and cable channels? Have we ever had less opportunity to speak in other than sound bites heading for a decade of sound barks? Look at our sovereignty, the principal mode of representing people, our nation state being undermined by W.T.O. and NAFTA; autocratic systems of international governance whose architects were the multi-national corporations and their law firms. Look at the level of poverty in this country; 40% of all households are really in poverty. The official figure is ridiculous. The official figure says if you’re family of four according to the Department of Labor and you make $19,000 a year gross, you’re not poor. 40% of our nation’s households live poor in the richest country of the world that has more billionaires than any other country, whose 1% of the richest people has financial wealth equivalent to the bottom 95%. When you go into low-income areas of our country such as here in Washington, D.C., there is no rule of law. There is only rapacity, predatory behavior, anarchy. People can’t even cash their checks without paying 5% to the cashing-in stores. Predatory lending, landlord abuses, lesser municipal services in the poorer areas, crumbling housing, libraries that fall apart, consumer exploitation, dumping grounds for shoddy merchandise, including dirty meat and poultry. And most of those cities were run by Democrats and the Democratic party for years. After November 2, it’s not the end. It’s just the end of the beginning. We’ll continue out of the box between now and inauguration, to push those liberal groups who were so reticent in advancing their life’s work like the anti-war groups in the last year and others to come to grips with their own introspection needs and that is the moment they go for the least worst that will be their fate. There will always be a least worst between the Democrats and Republicans, every four years, every two years. And least worst means that you exert no pull on the least worst, and, therefore, your own influence and your own impact is self-limited.

AMY GOODMAN: Ralph Nader speaking last night in Washington. This is Democracy Now!

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