Ralph Nader’s New Book Urges Liberals to Back Rand Paul

Ralph Nader.


Posted to The Week

By Bill Scher | May 1, 2014

This week, Ralph Nader returned to the political stage with a new book, Unstoppable, whose triumphant subtitle is The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. To kick off his publicity tour, he has argued that liberals should “definitely” impeach President Barack Obama, abandon the “international militarist” Hillary Clinton, and instead embrace Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as a possible leader of his dream coalition.

To what end? In the book, Nader writes that by marrying the Left with the libertarian Right, we can cut off government support for corporations and have “honest government,” “fair taxation,” and “more opportunity.” Nader sees relatively low-hanging fruit in opposing “sovereignty-shredding global trade agreements, Wall Street bailouts, the overweening expansion of Federal Reserve power, and the serious intrusions of the USA PATRIOT Act against freedom and privacy.” He also articulates loftier, if not fully fleshed out, aspirations to “push for environmentalism,” “reform health care,” and “control more of the commons that we already own.”

Some liberal commentators, like Esquire‘s Charles Pierce and the American Prospect‘s Scott Lemieux, are dismissing Nader’s vision as fantastical, since the Right will never join his progressive crusade. But Nader’s vision should not be dismissed so quickly. He leads his book with concrete examples from the 1980s of when he put Left-Right coalitions together to stop an over-budget nuclear reactor project and to pass legislation to protect whistleblowers who uncover wasteful government fraud.

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Ralph Nader has run for President five times, first running as a write-in candidate in the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary, as the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.

10 thoughts on “Ralph Nader’s New Book Urges Liberals to Back Rand Paul

  1. Jed Ziggler

    I have the utmost respect for Ralph Nader and can’t wait to read his new book. I was proud to vote for him in 2008. That said, fuck Rand Paul. No chance in Hell I vote for that phony.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I could not believe the article when I first read it. I thought it must have been from “The Onion” or another satire site.

  3. Deran

    For someone who also respects RalphNader, and worked for his presidential campaign in ’96 and ’00, Mr. Nader is really reaching at straws. Wasn’t his last idea to send a letter to each of a few dozen billionaires to try and get one of them to run for President on their own dime, and thus somehow breaking the Two Party Duopoly? And then there was Mr. Nader telling Senator Sanders a few months ago that Sanders should not run as an independent and should run on a third party ticket otherwise the effort is wasted….

  4. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Why post an article about this subject from a partisan Democrat like Bill Scher?


    In this article, Nader explicitly denies that he would support Rand Paul.

    From the (question and answer) interview
    “So if the 2016 election comes down to Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton. I know you’re not a particular admirer of Sen. Clinton. And there are some issues where you do have common cause with Rand Paul …

    It won’t be Rand Paul. It will be Jeb Bush. And the danger is a libertarian party with Rand Paul, if he breaks. The danger now to the Republicans is split.

    Could you support Rand Paul?

    No. No.

    I don’t vote on an individual. I talk on the subject matter.

    But on a handful of these subjects – the Patriot Act, the drug war, some of the corporate welfare — he’s probably closer to your thoughts …

    No, he’s terrible on federal regulation, health and safety, the environment. I mean, that’s a rather big area. And also, by the way, he’s very bad in personal relations. Very bad.”

  5. Thomas Knapp

    “Nader needs to keep his name in the news. That’s how he’s made his living.”

    Well, that’s part of how he’s made his living. The other way has been stock manipulation — both he and his organizations have been caught “shorting” stocks of companies they were about to attack, or buying the stocks of those companies’ competitors.

    Anyway, a non-liberal urging liberals to support a non-libertarian in the name of liberalism and libertarianism is a bit weird.

  6. Jed Ziggler

    When he was on The Independents, Nader seemed to dismiss Rand Paul and was more in favor of someone like Ron, so I question how honest this article is.

  7. David Barth, CFA

    Too many think the regressive, anti-progress Progressive are Liberal while the are power hungry, materialistic thugs. The Liberal movement morphed out of Libertarianism and has been perverted by the Progressive Big Government (which is failing more each day) Facists who detest Constitutional Government and any other restriction on their collectivist power grab as any objective person can see being done by the Obama Administration and the One World Government champions in Academia, the media and the Democrat and Republican leadership.

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