By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan
Ralph Nader, the legendary consumer advocate and former Green Party presidential candidate, has a message for the Democrats: Crush the GOP in 2022. Nader sees the Republican Party’s embrace of authoritarianism as an existential moment for U.S. democracy, and the midterm elections as the key moment to defeat this rising tide of fascism. “This is clearly the most dangerous political movement since the Civil War, the GOP under the corporate fascist Trump’s thumb,” Ralph Nader said this week on the Democracy Now! news hour. “He spread a whole breed of mini-Trumpsters who are getting far too much publicity compared to their opponents. Everything we fought for, for over 50 years, is at stake here.”
Nader has partnered with political organizer and author Mark Green, launching a campaign called “Winning America,” with a website, WinningAmerica.net. Nader and Green believe a rapid retooling of Democratic candidates’ messaging could have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the midterm elections. The electorate is not as divided as many would have us believe, Nader and Green argue, especially on a range of policies and programs that most Americans support.
“What they’ve got to do is authenticate their message and their rhetoric where people live, work and raise their families, often called kitchen table issues,” Nader said, referring to the Democrats. “They have got to compare and contrast life under the authoritarian bigoted corporate indentured GOP with life under the Democrats.”
Ralph Nader continued, “For example, 20 or 25 million people will get a raise to $15 minimum wage under the Democrats. The GOP is against that. The assault on children by the GOP is absolutely stunning. from not using available Medicaid funds to insure them, to exposing them to hazardous pesticides and denying paid family leave and sick leave. The GOP is against that. The $300 a month child tax credit to 58 million children in our country, cutting child poverty by a third, was suspended because of GOP opposition in January.”
Mark Green highlights the need to make simple, bold statements in the remaining time before the midterms to activate what he calls the “five-second voter,” those who don’t follow politics on a daily basis.
“The midterm election ultimately is about democracy versus fascism.” Green said on Democracy Now! “But now in the last two weeks, you have to know how to be rhetorically muscular against the party, the Republicans, who don’t hesitate to call Democrats not only socialists but communists and murderers. At this point, Democrats can’t flinch at being blunt and reducing their campaigns to one, two or three major phrases and concepts…Democrats have better policies. How the hell are they losing?”
Ralph Nader has a reply to Republicans who attempt to smear their opponents as “socialists”:
“Oh, you Republicans are against socialism? I know why you’re saying that—because you hate Medicare. You hate the Post Office. You hate Medicaid. You hate public drinking water departments. You hate public schools. You hate Social Security. That’s why you’re talking socialism. But you are really corporate socialists. You want to bail out every corporation of any size. You want to subsidize, hand out all kinds of stuff to corporations in a mockery of your so-called free market philosophy. The same with defunding the police. The Republicans are defunding the corporate crime police.”
While core issues like protecting Social Security and Medicare resonate with most voters across party lines, Donald Trump and his loyalists have deployed a relentless stream of propaganda and misinformation in support of Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
The Washington Post analyzed every upcoming midterm race for Congressional and statewide offices, and found 291 Republican candidates who parrot Donald Trump’s election lie. In 171 of those races, the Republican is expected to win. There are an additional 48 races that the Post labels “competitive.” In many of those races, rightwing extremists could very well replace incumbent Democrats, in offices ranging from U.S. Senate, governorships, and, perhaps most alarming, as secretaries of state. These are the state officials who actually run the elections.
Ralph Nader has never shied away from criticizing the Democratic Party. Now, sharp and focused at the age of 88, he is urging Democrats to “Crush the GOP,” with a detailed array of issues and talking points at WinningAmerica.net.
“This is an order of magnitude we have never seen before,” Nader concluded, denouncing Republicans. “We have never seen a party literally trying to repress the vote, miscount the vote, purge the vote, intimidate precinct worker volunteers and steal elections. They have actually basically said, ‘Any election we lose is because it has been stolen from us.’ That is the word of a dictatorship party.”