Ralph Nader was an important progressive voice … fifty years ago. (More)

Dear Ralph Nader,

You used to be an important voice. Like, half a century ago. For perspective, the world’s oldest Twinkie was preserved as a science project in 1976 … 11 years after your book was published.

Put another way, you were an important voice way back before Watergate. Before Woodstock and the Apollo 11 moon landing and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned anti-miscegeny laws in Loving v. Virginia and Thurgood Marshall became the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Before construction began on the first World Trade Center and the National Organization for Women was founded and Robert Weaver became the first black presidential cabinet secretary.

Yes, you were an important voice right about the time President Lyndon Johnson sent U.S. Marines to Vietnam, when John McCormack was Speaker of the House and Mike Mansfield was the Senate Majority Leader, when Herzog topped the New York Times bestseller list, the Beatles’ “Eight Days a Week” topped the Billboard charts, The Sound of Music topped theatre box office receipts, and Bonanza topped the Nielson ratings.

What I’m saying is … five decades is a long time.

So really, enough with blather like this:

When asked what positive contributions Clinton has made to the 2016 campaign, Nader called her a “corporatist, militarist Democrat” who would have been defeated by Sanders if every state held an open primary.

“She’s going to win by dictatorship. Twenty-five percent of superdelegates are cronies, mostly. They weren’t elected. They were there in order to stop somebody like Bernie Sanders, who would win by the vote,” he says.

To date, Clinton has captured 3 million more total votes than Sanders, but Nader argues the results would be different if independents were allowed to participate in each state.

In fact, Clinton has won 13 of the 19 open primaries, including Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Conversely, 11 of Sanders’ 20 wins have come in low-turnout caucuses. Clinton isn’t winning by “dictatorship,” unless you consider primary and caucus voters “dictators.”

You started attacking Clinton back in 2014, right after the midterms, and you were scolded about it by Ann Brown, former chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the agency you helped to form way back when you were still fresh. She reminded you of the damage you helped inflict on this country in 2000:

It was 2001. A kid’s best friend had shot him in the head with what he thought was an unloaded Daisy BB gun. Why? A “design flaw” that would cost about $2 per gun to fix. Fifteen children had been killed by the guns. But the company wouldn’t recall the guns.

George Bush had just been elected president. I was on my way out, but I authorized a lawsuit to make the company do the right thing.

Too late. In came my George W. Bush-appointed successor. Against every staff recommendation he decided to just give them a warning.

She listed dozens of other consumer disasters during the Bush administration. She mentioned only in passing the greatest disaster of all, the Iraq War. And then she added this:

And during my time at the CPSC, there was one person whose interest in the consumer went beyond politics: Hillary Clinton.

I remember when we invited her to attend an event focused on cribs in day care centers. We needed to publicize how many centers had old cribs that could suffocate infants.

“Where and when?” she asked. She stayed well past the time she had to leave, listening to parents who had lived through tragedy. Her concern – her passion – was real.

Do yourself and the world a favor. Take a close look at today’s logo. It’s a photo of you with your mouth shut. Please practice that pose, so you know how to respond the next time some reporter approaches you.

Like that Twinkie, you’re way past your sell-by date.


Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowsky (Getty Images)


Good day and good nuts