Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader spoke to a packed Cosford Cinema on Tuesday evening about the major points of his campaign platform. The event, “A Personal Conversation with Ralph Nader,” also allowed the audience a chance to have their questions answered.
Edward Martos, Council for Democracy President, coordinated Nader’s visit.
“We sought to place a prominent political personality in a close, personal setting where students can speak intimately with the guest,” Martos said.
Many students who came to the talk wanted to hear more about how Nader’s platform will work.
“I don’t care if he’s not going to win – I’m just curious to see how his different ideals can be put into practice,” Danny Westlake, a senior, said.
The issues in Nader’s talk were geared towards influencing the student audience in particular.
Repeating catchphrases such as the need for more “choices and voices,” Nader touched on the harm of large, monopolizing corporations.
“Students are facing a loss of power due to the military draft and the failed war on drugs, to name a few things that matter to students, because there is so much power in the hands of big businesses,” Nader said.
“This country is in trouble. We don’t have high enough expectations of it,” Nader said. “There are 250,000 preventable deaths each year because the health care system is not competent and affordable.”
Nader spoke about his belief that corporations abuse the media, especially television.
“Most of you have grown up silly. Corporations get into kids’ minds to hurl [at them] a massive marketing campaign,” Nader said. “Kids spend so much time in front of screens that they end up having a shrunken vocabulary of words, shrunken attention spans, and they don’t socialize enough with family and community.”
During the question and answer session, Nader was asked why he decided to run for president. He replied that his reason was based on a struggle for justice. He said that it was better to run and create some awareness in people in the process, rather than not run at all.
“I want to get you into a fighting mood, not a forbearing mood,” Nader said.
When asked how he felt about not being included in the presidential debates, he said that 57% of voters want to see him participate.
The audience left the talk with some of their questions answered and a clearer idea of Nader’s positions.
“I thought the overall message was that a change needs to be made,” Danish Ahmad, senior, said. “I’m very satisfied. I was never a Bush supporter but I made up my mind that Nader is the best vehicle for a change.”
Reeva Oza can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.