Nader rallies for more support at the University this week

George Fairbanks

With his insurgency campaign holding steady at 8 percent in Minnesota polls and 5 percent nationally, Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader spent Tuesday evening at the University to drum up even more support.
Over the next week, Nader’s mission will be to convince voters of what one of his campaign signs says: “Your vote will not be wasted — it will alter the future of politics.”
Nader opened his trip with a news conference at Rarig Center on the West Bank before he and Gov. Jesse Ventura teamed up as “Nightline” guests.
Nader’s passions were evident from the minute he began speaking.
He assailed the last eight years of President Clinton and Al Gore’s leadership as a disaster for the American farmer. And he called the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act a foreign policy failure — catering to what he called “giant agri-business” and not the American family farm.
Nader called his run on the Green Party ticket with Winona LaDuke a reform movement.
He also spoke reverently about Arizona Sen. John McCain, who lost the Republican presidential nomination to George W. Bush, and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, who lost his bid against Gore. Nader suggested that both McCain and Bradley share his desire to return politics to the people.
Nader repeatedly noted his desire for the Green Party to become the third major party in the United States and a “watchdog that will wake up major parties by taking votes from them.” He said, “America needs a reform movement that will take power back from big business.”
Perhaps the biggest issue that Democrats are using against Nader, in an effort to capture votes back from the Green Party, is abortion.
Democrats suggest that a vote for Nader will lead to a Bush win and cost a woman her right to an abortion because the next president should have the opportunity to appoint the next few Supreme Court justices. However, Nader noted in the news conference that Democrats are responsible for the appointments of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas because they didn’t use their Senate majority to block the confirmation of either man.
“Whoever Gore picks will have to get past (Utah Republican Sen. Orrin) Hatch’s veto. Unlike Democrats, Republicans stick together,” Nader said.
He also lambasted Gore on the environment, claiming he knows the issue inside and out but doesn’t fight for it. “Gore talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk, and Bush doesn’t even know where to talk or where to walk.”
Ultimately, Nader passionately stated that he is in the race until Nov. 7, and feels no pressure to back out to help Gore defeat Bush.
“It’s not my job to elect my competitors,” said Nader.

George Fairbanks welcomes comments at [email protected]