ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Consumer activist Ralph Nader, running for president as the Reform Party candidate, sat down with Gannett News Service last week to talk about his campaign:
The Desert Sun
October 26, 2004 http://www.thedesertsun.com/news/stories2004/election/20041026000008.shtml
Question: What do you say to people who claim that you don't matter and that a vote for you is a wasted vote?
Answer: They need to have a more democratic spirit. The only vote that's wasted is when you vote for a candidate you don't believe in. And that the only elections worth running are elections where there are more voices and choices for the American people.
Question: What's different from the crusading Ralph Nader of the 1960s and you?
Answer: We could get something done in the '60s and '70s because Washington, D.C., offered an opportunity to improve our country because of people who were in Congress and the White House and the agencies. Now, Washington is corporate-occupied territory. Every department and agency is controlled by corporate lobbyists on the outside and ex-corporate executives in high positions on the inside. ... It's shut down to the citizenry.
Question: Even though you say John Kerry would be "least worst," you seem a lot madder at the Democrats than the Republicans. Why?
Answer: Only because they're constantly attacking us and we constantly have to rebut. And we have to defend ourselves in court. And we have to describe their dirty tricks.
Question: You've described George W. Bush as the worst modern president in U.S. history. Why not drop out if Bush is so bad?
Answer: Because the Democrats are the worst defense. They could have stopped so (much) of what Bush did: the Patriot Act, the war resolution, the tax cuts for the wealthy. They are terrible in terms of defense. And in offense, they're no bargain. Basically, you've got two trains dragging the country downhill: one going at 80 miles an hour and one going at 55-60 miles an hour. That's not the right choice for the American people. We deserve better. And the more we settle for least worst, the more every four years both parties get worse because they're getting a free pass.
Question: Why are you running?
Answer: It's to create a political movement -- with a third party or not -- that breaks up the corrupt two-party system.