Ralph Nader Q&A: How Progressives and Libertarians Are Taking on Corrupt Dems and Reps.

Ralph Nader Q&A: How Progressives and Libertarians Are Taking on Corrupt Dems and Reps.





"The total support of the military-industrial complex and empire by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is staggering," Ralph Nader tells Reason TV. "Everybody has an equal right to run for election. We're either all spoilers of one another, trying to get votes from one another or none of us are spoilers. We're not second-class citizens because we're a Green Party candidate or a Libertarian candidate….The brass of these two parties is they control the election machinery so they keep you off the ballot, harass you, file a lawsuit, delay you, exhaust you."

Nader's latest book is Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.

The longtime consumer activist, recidivist presidential candidate, and several-time host of Saturday Night Live talks with Nick Gillespie about what he sees as a new libertarian-progressive attack on crony capitalism, whether GM cars were ever any damn good, and why the Democrats still wrongly insist that he cost Al Gore the 2000 presidential election. Oh yeah, and the article of his Reason published back in the early '70s!

It's a wide-ranging, spirited, fun, and at times contentious conversation.

About an hour long. Produced by Joshua Swain.

Transcript and downloadable versions at

41 thoughts on “Ralph Nader Q&A: How Progressives and Libertarians Are Taking on Corrupt Dems and Reps.

  1. I’ve been thinking this forever. If it was Progressives vs Libertarians instead of Democrats vs Republicans, our country would be a million times better off.

    1. @ThE DuCk Ron Paul is a Libertarian, Rand Paul despite what he says is a Republican.  The son is not the father.

    2. +Thurgor Supreme I would be sad about that, too. But, don’t be pessimistic.
      BIG MEDIA are the ONLY ones who do not take leftists seriously.
      The people will listen to ANYONE whom Big Media shoves down their throats.

  2. Great journalism. Nick gave Nader time to explain himself and challenged him/asked tough follow-up questions. Great job, Reason!

    1. Agreed. It’s nice to see an actual debate on the things that progressives and libertarians in particular, disagree on. I disagree with Nader’s assessment that immigration is what brings wages down as well as his views on Wallmart and Antitrust laws, but Nick G. allowed time for civilized discourse and challenged him on the actual issues. Most debates end up being attacks on personal character and motive, so I’m glad that this one didn’t devolve to that.

  3. Regarding the GM bailout… I don’t know why anybody is surprised or upset. Government works on the premise that if something is mismanaged and unprofitable, you just throw more money at it. But prior to the bailout, I already voted on the issue when I bought a competitor’s car. If GM wanted my money, they should have made better products – but instead they steal it via Uncle Sam. Sadly, that’s now the American way.

  4. This was a fun interview to watch. This was constructive. We need more people like this who debate without name calling.

  5. Ralph Nader is an example of what is best about America. He has consistently been vocal and active in fighting for the Working Class and Middle Class Americans. He is a teacher at heart and a patriot whose wisdom is concerned with a better, happier, more equal USA. Do I agree with everything he says? No. Yet he supports his comments and teaching with an educated, egalitarian spirit. Good man. We need more like him..

    1. Agreed. Tho theres no middle class. Middle class aint some bs 6 figure. Middle class has been millionaire for a looooong time.

  6. It is commendable for Nick Gillespie to interview Nader, yet it was very clear that Gillespie, like most Libertarians, although well-meant, don’t care much about facts but have well-indoctrinated opinions and always making arguments to substantiate those arguments. For example he disregards the facts (with no comments) of NIH spending billion in taxpayer money to discover drugs and give then for free to pharmaceutical industry and argues that it is okay for a drug company to charge $1,000 for a drug again disregarding that CEO makes $100 million dollar bonus due to that while bankrupting the nation by charging the consumers both with  un-affordable insurance and cost of drugs whereas those funds could be used to help increase consumer demand for make other items that can help true capitalism. 

    1. @xlxfjh Right. Most libertarians are principled people who genuinely believe a theory that sounds great on paper can be applied in the practical world where there are psychopaths with most of them being attracted to power and money much more than most others. These few psychopaths blindly believe that they are special people having their visionary God or some other power having given them special powers to rule the world and thus behave as if end justifies the means. This is why libertarianism falls flat in the practical worlds. Only good government elected by logical people could stop a few taking over the society for their benefit.

    2. I agree. We have a democracy that is supposed to be based on system of checks and balances and representative government. On paper, the theory looks good and it many ways it is good, but yet here we are today, where the country is basically being ran by an oligarchy. So what happened. Why didn’t the checks and balances work. I am sure it would take shelf’s full of books to do a proper analysis of all of the factors involved, but the point is, the theory broke down in practice.

      And it is the same with libertarianism. There are many things about such a system that sound good and the libertarian always will tell x won’t happen because y will prevent it. In theory land, x should prevent y. Just like under our framework of government, x was supposed to prevent y, but as we know, it didn’t.

      I was a libertarian for a short amount of time. But abandoned it because I though it wasn’t pragmatic. For me, I would like to see a party that operates more in the gray zone. For example, with regulations. We have to understand that sometimes regulations are bad. That the people with power and wealth use to their benefit and the common man’s detriment. But at the same time, we also have to understand that there are also good regulations that benefit the people. We also have a lot of regulations that don’t do much but are passed in order to make it look like the politicians are doing something. So, I wish there was a party that would speak out on this and inform people about the regulations that are provide unfair advantages to the powerful and rich,
      regulations that do little or nothing except to make a certain set of people believe that something being done and lastly, there are regulations that are good and beneficial and they benefit society. It is not a case of A or B. Who would be for regulations that can be statistical shown to not work. Who would be regulations that clearly show that they are being used to benefit the powerful and wealthy. There are a lot of common sense liberals that if they understood these things would come on board. But when you have a libertarian party that at its roots is anti-regulation, and doesn’t seem to recognize that it is possible to have good regulations, then it turns off a lot of people like me.

    3. @MusicByJC Well said. I agree wholeheartedly. Kudos to you for not being a fanatic and get out of something you believed for a while when you saw that it is not practical. Sadly many don’t have that willpower. Once they believe in something and have friends with similar beliefs they refuse to give up those beliefs regardless how many facts are given to them to contradict their beliefs. In that regard political fanatics share the same mindset with religious fanatics. Hope you take a look at Jill Stein of Green party and at least poll for her to get her on the Presidential debates.

    4. However, I do like the libertarians and like engaging with them. Even in the videos, Nick indicates that libertarians like consistency. For example, I am big civil libertarian. Democrats typically are stronger on civil liberties than republicans, but they tend to not be consistent on the subject.

      One example I like to use, was the case of the Boston Marathon bomber. The police had located the surviving suspect hiding in a small boat. As we know the suspect was unarmed, but yet the police fired hundreds of rounds into the boat. They just started firing away.

      The law if very clear on the use of deadly force. The officers were not in imminent danger of bodily harm. And the laws don’t change based on if the suspect is a bad or evil person. While I can’t say that no Democrats spoke up against this, I can’t recall any, but on the libertarian forums, this was something that was discussed heavily and most of the libertarians seemed to agree that the police’s actions were in violation of law. The police are not judge, jury and executioner. The people of this country grant law enforcement the right to use force, with that right comes responsibility and limitations. And as soon as you let any segment of government expand their power beyond the scope that was delegated to them, and then no take action when it does occur, then it just sets a precedent that will allow further abuses to occur in the future. So, if the police had shot and killed the bomber, without having justifiable cause, then they have violated the law just like the bomber and should be prosecuted.

      But unfortunately, we have let government abuse power and to get away with it, without repercussions, to our countries detriment. And the libertarians are the most consistent and passionate group when it comes to issues like this and even though I have issues with a number of the libertarian’s platform, they are probably the group of people that I like to engage with in discussions the most. If I bring up my reservations about some of the libertarian ideals, it usually results in a civil discussion. Since I am not a Democrat of a Republican, I end up having issues with both groups and if I were to go to a predominantly left or right discussion group and try to discuss differences in opinion, it usually ends up resulting in a whole bunch of people calling you names and make wild accusations.

    5. @MusicByJC Again I agree with you. I also like Libertarians for the same reasons you have given. But I also believe in the system as they have in Scandinavia where all have a social safety net and then based on how hard you wish to work and how smart you are, you are given an equal opportunity to be a billionaire if you wish while the others just live okay thanks to the social safety net.

  7. We have a intelligent and articulate man like this and he’s virtually ignored in the main stream; they focus on Trump and Hillary to dumb us down. Sad.

    1. John Doe. Only members of the zionist establishment may run for president. Nader told it as it is.
      There’s no difference between parties and candidates. They are ensured for the cabal and its corporate activities.

  8. Ralph Nader is a brilliant and ethical man. I am proud to have voted for him. And this interview contained a lot of great commentary. Too bad so few people have the patience and intellect to watch this.

    1. I apologize to people like you because I blamed you for Bush, but now that I’m older, and hopefully wiser, I see that voting dem or republic or the lesser of two evils is throwing away your vote and that’s what i did voting for Obama.

    2. That takes a lot of character to admit. Depending upon personality and lifestyle, it takes some people longer to see this than others. Glad that you have awakened. Let’s wake everybody else up!

    3. In 2016, Jill Stein is the only progressive candidate. She is the only candidate worthy of trust or respect. She is the only logical choice for any voter with a conscience.

    1. 24:45 The only way to effectively decentralize private power is to provide alternative business models that work for people.

    2. Yeah actual capitalism instead of this authoritarian socialism that we currently live in where failing corrupt businesses are given business and money instead of allowing them to die like an actual capitalism.

  9. Fed up conservatives, join the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party

    Fed up progressives, join the Green or the Socialist Party

    If millions of disfranchised voters swell the ranks of these 3rd parties, we’ll see change in the system.

  10. Wow, this is so interesting that 6 years later, here in 2020, the young internet connected people have FINALLY had enough to become activists! It really gives one hope. Nadar is a genius.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home Privacy Policy Terms Of Use Anti Spam Policy Contact Us Affiliate Disclosure DMCA Earnings Disclaimer

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!On Social Media

Share This

Share this post with your friends!