We bow to no one in our respect for Ralph Nader and the work he has done to expose government and corporate corruption and to work always for his fellow citizens. By extension, he has done good work for many other people throughout the world by inspiring them to look closely at their own institutions and to find fault where fault is found.
Mr. Nader has always been a gadfly, and a highly effective one, buzzing through the last several presidential elections, often with the Green Party, and persisting despite a certain wariness on the part of the press. Nader is completely free of any spin and external agenda aside from his own; his willingness to speak truth to the various powers that can overwhelm our lives is vital if the idea of America is to function at all - he cuts through the cant to get at the truth and then tries to make the truth more powerful than the myths that many prefer to subscribe to.
We ruminate about Mr. Nader because he will be speaking about nuclear energy outside the building NEI occupies. He will be there because NEI is here (we have two floors of a 13 story building, so our neighbors are in for a treat). Mr. Nader really, really doesn't like nuclear energy and hasn't liked it since at least the seventies.
Here's some of the announcement:
Now, nuclear power is resurgent.
Because politicians like McCain, Obama and Clinton all want to keep nuclear power on the table.
All three support legislation that would provide government taxpayer subsidies and guarantees to power companies to build nuclear power plants.
The billions are far safer and better spent supporting energy efficiency and solar energy projects than building these nuclear national security risk boondoggles.
Once again, we will be saying loud and clear - No Nukes.
To us, this has the whiff of the coffee house and of earnest folk singers singing earnest songs. The flyer mentions solar, but Nader favors any renewable, emission-free energy source that isn't nuclear.
We could quibble quite a lot about Nader's stances around nuclear - you can read all about it at his Web site - but won't in this post. We will say that Nader is holding tightly to ideas that have seen their best days come and go, but he's allowed. After all, if Robert De Niro can play in Bullwinkle, Ralph Nader can stage slightly old-style No Nukes gatherings without endangering his legacy. It is what it is.
So if you find yourself around 19th and I in DC today at noon, stop on by and see Ralph Nader. Shake hands with him: he's a living legend, after all - a vexing one for us, certainly, but there you go.
By all means, visit Mr. Nader's Web site and see what you think. They have a blog (where the above snippets come from), a way for you to contribute to his campaign, and various position papers.