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Ralph Nader challenges Green Party, liberal progressive movement

Ralph Nader challenges Green Party, liberal progressive movement

November 10, 2009

From the Jamaica Plain Gazette’s report on Ralph Nader’s October 30 appearance at the Jamaica Plain Forum:

“Amen,” one audience member in the pews said during Nader’s two-hour assault on corporate control of American society, which revolved around his new utopian novel “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” “Washington, D.C., is corporate-occupied territory,” Nader said, and no one disagreed.

But Nader, ever the intellectual gadfly, challenged the near-capacity crowd as well. Progressives are too quick to stereotype all rich people in class-war terms, he suggested, and end up proposing smart but ineffectual solutions.

“The Green Party thinks money is dirty,” complained Nader, who famously ran as the party’s presidential candidate in 2000. “The liberal progressive movement is in a rut.”

In a question-and-answer session, Nader even fenced briefly with Jill Stein, co-chair of the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party. He had suggested that the Green Party’s meager fund-raising indicates its members are “concerned” but “not serious.”

“Just to let you know, the Green-Rainbow Party is getting serious,” Stein said, pointing to such items as a voting-reform ballot initiative the party worked on this year. The party was unable to get the initiative on the ballot this year, but is targeting it for next year.

“Would a quarter-million [dollars] have put that on the ballot?” Nader asked. When Stein said it would have, Nader replied, “Thanks for making my point.”

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