Ralph Nader Speaks …

Ralph Nader is an American political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney, noted for his involvement in consumer protection, environmentalism, and government reform causes.  I hadn’t heard anything from Nader for years, but he has a blog titled In the Public Interest where he writes once a week or so.

Nader has a long history of activism, which has been directly credited with the passage of several landmark pieces of American consumer protection legislation including the Clean Water Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. He has been repeatedly named to lists of the “100 Most Influential Americans”, including those published by Life Magazine, Time Magazine, and The Atlantic, among others.

His latest entry came onto my radar yesterday, and I thought it was worth sharing … it is both a summation of where we are today, and a warning of where we may be heading.

From Trump Tower to Dictatorial Trump Power Over Law

ralph-naderBy Ralph Nader
August 30, 2019


Donald Trump is “dumb as a rock” (to use his phrase) when it comes to the programs and the policies of the federal government agencies over which he is allegedly presiding. However, when it comes to defending and expanding his own political power, Trump is shameless and profoundly cunning.

Trump turns accurate appraisals of himself into accusations that he levies at others. Earlier this month, he questioned whether Joe Biden “is mentally fit to be president.” 

But Trump has found way to spread his toxicity beyond his lying tweets. He has carefully developed formidable barricades to shield himself from the gathering storm regarding his countless impeachable offenses and other serious misbehaviors.

Trump’s remarks, decisions, and asides reveal his plans to stay in office. Trump heaps praise and extra funding on the military. In his travels, Trump likewise incessantly praises the police regardless of the local situations.  Trump has openly said these constituencies are the core foundation against his adversaries that will keep him in office. His White House will keep the military and the police very well endowed.

He also makes sure that big business is happy with him. Some of the bosses are getting anxious about the uncertainty associated with Trump’s use of tariffs and his caustic remarks about leaders of the countries where U.S. companies do business. However, Trump knows that as long as he cuts corporate taxes; deregulates health, safety, and economic requirements on Wall Street; and continues the crony capitalism of subsidies, handouts, and bailouts; the corporate bosses will continue to pay obeisance to Trump.

Manipulating the mass media is child’s play for Trump. He taunts them about how they have to give him top billing because of the profitable ratings his performances brings them. Some in the mass media, nonetheless, expose his wrongdoing with thorough features. Trump, though irritated, ignores these exposés and repels them like water off a duck’s back. It’s all “fake news,” he shouts. His approval polls, though lower than previous presidents, stay firm. So far Trump has faced no real consequences from the revelations of his misdeeds.

The courts, meanwhile, are Donald’s Trump card for endless delays. Who has been sued as president more than Trump? Over two and a half years into his term, litigation against Trump grinds on. Nobody knows how long these court actions will take, what with Trump’s delay tactics and appeals. The top appeal is to the Supreme Court which he believes is 5 to 4 for him on just about everything relating to runaway presidential power and immunities. Trump has appointed 146 judges while in office, including two Supreme Court justices. Trump’s chosen Supreme Court justices are partisan actors who will suit his purposes nicely—it is as if they came from “central casting” for him. Trump has declared unlimited presidential pardon powers, musing that he could even pardon himself.

Labor unions are another big joke to Trump. As they decline, Trump reminds the pro-Democratic Party union leaders that many of their rank and file members voted for him. A troublingly large minority of union workers—over a third— defected to Trump’s camp in 2016, enough to make the union leaders skittish about seriously confronting him.

That leaves the Congress with which he toys. The Republicans are frightened chickens in a coop, peering out at the insatiable Fox. When they look back at their place in history, they’ll have to squint. Sycophants all, except for the late Rep. Walter Jones and Rep. Justin Amash.

As for the Democrats, Trump is blocking subpoenas and orders for witnesses to testify. Trump is also turning down major demands for documents from several House Congressional Committees. Exercising their constitutional authority to oversee the executive branch, the Committee Chairs are filing one law suit after another. Trump laughs and tells his attorneys to keep stonewalling and appealing—which can mean years. That’s how he operated during his sordid failed business career.

Donald Trump, selected by the Electoral College, is daring the Democrats to impeach him. He knows Democrats are divided and can use the Republican dominated Senate as an excuse for inaction. Of course impeachment is a constitutional duty for the House, not a simple political calculation. It is certainly warranted for the most impeachable president in American history.

Trump is thumbing his nose at Democrats daily, blocking oversight, allocating appropriated funds by executive dictate, brazenly freezing enforcement the laws or revoking regulations that protect the health, safety, and economic wellbeing of the American people, enriching himself through emoluments, and also casting aside the Constitution and the rule of law regarding his military and foreign policy aggressions.

Trump has neutralized our country’s checks and balances and separation of powers, including judicial accountability. He adds to his monarchal presidency by unleashing the Republican Party’s suppression of the vote and other electoral shenanigans.

If the law ever catches up to Trump, he has many toadies who are willing to engage in “wag the dog” distractions. They are his war-hawk on steroids, national security advisor lawless John Bolton and the militaristic Secretary of State Michael Pompeo who travels the world threatening half of it. The new Secretary of Defense, from the Raytheon Corporation, presents no restraint in contrast to his predecessor Jim Mattis, cashiered by Trump.

If Trump wins, America loses. The outcome is up to you in November 2020. Be alert and prepared for tumultuous upheavals should Trump lose by a narrow margin.

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36 thoughts on “Ralph Nader Speaks …

  1. Too bad Ralph is smart enough to never run for office. He would make a great leader. Meanwhile, Trump is in contrast to him. Maybe even he could not defeat Trump’s base. Compared to them, Trump sounds smart. The greatest lie ever told!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder these days if anybody could convince Trump’s base … I swear I believe he has had them all lobotomized! But yes, Nader is wise and a man of conscience … just what the nation could use at the top.


      • Steel yourselves, pace yourselves for the long, hard road ahead.
        We are into the stage here where ‘Brown Nose’ is trying to emulate Cromwell and the forcible removal of Parliament (April 1653). Thing is some 15,000,000 people are not happy. And the flabby born of privilege Johnson is no Cromwell (warts and all)

        Liked by 1 person

        • I see that there were some massive protests in London this weekend. Do you think that might make a difference? Boris, like Trump, sees himself as the “Once and Future King” I fear. I hope they both find out how irrelevant they are very soon.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The UK is bitterly fractured over Brexit Jill, families are split and dialogue between the two groups is zero.
            Should there be a turn around and a Remain group took control there would a Leave backlash.
            As a political entity untied by consensus The UK is not working. It will take a long while to repair the damage.
            I fear we must go through the Purgatory of Brexit to start that process.
            AS for Johnson & co they may well go down, but since they do not have the qualities of national leaders it will not matter others will turn up for thier time on stage…..
            You know that parts of Roman history where there are umpteen emperors in a short space of time?…..You’re looking at….. it live on TV.
            USA get out your votes and stamp down the Right before it’s too late

            Liked by 2 people

            • Roger, as we have discussed for ages now, people who voted for Brexit were not told some hard truths. And, that continues to this day. If the UK must leave, they should at least have a plan and an agreement. For Johnson to tell people that a “no-deal Brexit” is manageable, that is grossly misleading the British people. Brexit will be hard enough and dilutive to the British economy for many years, but a no-deal Brexit is beyond poor stewardship that cannot be altered by words. One thing has been clear from the get-go, British leaders have shown an inability to manage the process thus far. What makes people think they will suddenly handle it well when it occurs? What is that saying about pride preceding the fall? Keith

              Liked by 2 people

              • One quote keeps going through my mind Keith, attributed to Prime Minister Walpole in 1739 when Britain went to war with Spain allegedly over the mistreatment of a British Sea Captain (The War of Jenkin’s Ear). Walpole was against the war and was reported to have said on hearing of church bells being rung in celebrations at the start of the war:
                ‘They are ringing bells now. They will soon be wringing their hands ‘
                9 years later with 20,000 dead, wounded, missing, or captured and 407 ships lost, the British had failed to take control of any Spanish territory (which was the true reason for the war).
                I do not cut a large proportion of the British Public any slack over this, they have fallen into a jingoistic and sometimes racist frame of mind, imagining The Empire will rise again..
                Add this to the fact that the current political class is shorn of vision and insight and you have a most unhappy recipe.
                I suspect later historians will not treat either the politicians or the people of this isles kindly when they look at this era.
                This could well mark the beginning of the final decline of The UK as an entity into a collection of small insignificant outfits, in some cases probably in commercial terms owned by overseas (unelected) companies….Irony?

                Liked by 1 person

                • You could be speaking about either the UK or the US when you say that “the current political class is shorn of vision and insight”, for both have lost their way, it seems. I do hope your final paragraph is not prophetic, though. 😥

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • It’s getting really tangled as I write Jill.
                    In fact it would be easier to explain some basic aspects of Quantum Physics than the current UK political situation.
                    It is changing by the hour.
                    Basically Johnson has made a possible fatal basic error for any UK PM.
                    ‘Don’t screw with or try to bully Parliament’
                    Not that this will settle the UK divisions of the public. But the drama is high

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • So I gather! I’ve been trying, off and on today, to understand any of it. I thought Boris prorogued Parliament until mid-October, yet they voted against him today when I thought they wouldn’t be in session. And now, he’s threatening to ruin the political careers of all who oppose him and saying they shouldn’t want a snap election. David tells me this makes it almost certain there will be a no-deal Brexit next month, but I thought Parliament was trying to avoid that. Oh, my head is spinning! I thought our system was complex! One question: do you think there is any possibility of a good outcome, such as a new deal with the EU? Sigh. Hang in, my friend … thinking of you.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • For Johnson’s prorogue to go through he had to be there in Parliament, which was where he slipped up, in that he does not have a solid and devoted wide spread power base within The Conservative party as you will have observed. He has also demonstrated a lack of consistency over saying he wanted, didn’t want an Election. And even more importantly in a UK Parliament a sad lack of respect for the formalities and not much eloquence (when in doubt you need eloquence – see Churchill).
                      In this morass he has called those he would throw out ‘traitors’….one of whom is the grandson of Winston Churchill, a point the media had pounced upon.
                      The common phrase in use now is ‘Uncharted Waters’. Each day is a new scenario, in which No-Deal Brexit, delay of Brexit, Agreement to a Deal, General Election and even Referendum are touted as possibilities, none of which are in the febrile almost anything close to certainties.
                      As for an outcome, this is hard to say whether there would ever be a Good Outcome, given the spilt in the UK, for let us not forget The People are as much to blame as any Govt.
                      One step in a Good Outcome would be the casting down and humiliating of the Johnson cabal and allowing some more balanced folk back in with everyone shaken up by what might have happened.
                      In this situation we could quote Churchill after the victory at El Alamein:
                      ‘It is not the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning,’
                      Therefore we can but hope these weeks will be a collective big bucket of ice cold water in the face of the entire UK to shake it out of this ludicrous episode in the Islands History.
                      (And no one who cares about a Representative System of Government want to read my solutions. )


            • Sigh … it sounds like the people in your country, like those here, have stopped even trying for civil discourse and compromise. I’m so sorry you guys are having to go through it, too. Yes, our only hope here in the U.S. is in 14 months, and I’m not so sure that common sense will prevail. Crazy times … I’m glad, in one sense, that I am old and not likely to see the worst of it all. In another sense, if I were young, perhaps I could be a part of positive change. Who knows? Hugs, my friend.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, well said. Picking up on what Nader said, following the narcissist playbook, one of the attributes of a narcissist is blame others with your own faults. It is a self-defense mechanism. Attacking Biden’s mental stability is an interesting example as more than a few reporters and Republican leaders are questioning the stability of the president. Anthony Scaramucci’s comments that Trump is “off the rails,” is not an outlier.

    Some easy examples from this week will suffice, but there are many, many more. Trump said he missed the G7 meeting on climate change and Brazil to meet with Merkel and Modi. They were in the meeting he missed.

    He said is wife is getting along well with Kim whom she has never met.

    He said Obama is the reason the G8 kicked out Russia not Putin’s invasion of Crimea. Mark Shields said the other G7 leaders prefer Obama, so Trump feels obligated to demean Obama.

    He said again the Chinese are paying for the tariffs which is a repeated Trump lie and repeatedly proven lie.

    So, going back to his labeling, “Lyin Ted,” Crooked Hillary,” he is defining himself, but painting them this as a defense mechanism. I go back to why people are not paying more attention to what Michael Cohen said under oath, “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is a cheat.” I do not disagree with Cohen’s assessment. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, I nearly choked when I heard that he questioned Biden’s “fitness for office”! And yet, his campaign press secretary tells Chris Cuomo that Trump never lies! Even Trump doesn’t bother to deny his lies, just laughs them off. The one about not attending the G7 meeting on climate change and the Amazon fires because he was meeting with people that he couldn’t possibly have met with because they were in the climate meeting is just utterly stupid, and surely he knew we would all see it for a lie, but simply did not care. He has little or no regard for the people of this nation, not even those who slavishly support him.

      Like you, I believe Michael Cohen … if anybody knew the real Donald Trump, it was likely Cohen.


  3. First, an important and worthwhile read! Then, allow me to say that Ralph Nader is an American treasure. Whilst I have not always agreed with everything he writes, his books are thought provoking and some are/should be essential reading. Two of the most recent : “Breaking Through Power” in Sept. 2016 and “To the Ramparts” in August 2018. I came across Nader’s piece last evening in “Common Dreams” and as I read his words they struck me to the very core of my being. Nader writes what I already know to be true, but in a powerful heart stopping way. I was reminded of something that I had read and jotted down, as is my wont, back in 2016 post election. H. L. Mencken, a well known journalist in his time amongst other things, was writing about the difficulties of good men reaching public office in an article for “The Baltimore Evening Sun” on July 26, 1920. I give you this part of that article : “…But when the field is nationwide,…then all odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre – the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright moron.” A premonition from a distant and different time has come to pass! Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually came across Nader’s piece in Common Dreams, also! A dear friend tuned me into their newsletter! That quote from Mencken is, indeed, prophetic, for a moron is indeed what we have elected, and I fear the masses are not intelligent enough to understand what they have done, and are likely to repeat the mistake next year. Sigh.


    • Yes, I am very concerned for you guys and what will happen between now and the end of October. I was stunned that he could just cancel Parliament like that, depriving them of the opportunity to be heard until it’s too late. The two of them seem determined to destroy our countries from the inside. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know … I caught wind of that one yesterday and it made my blood boil. Then, I read somewhere the parents of said child would have to pay some $1,200 to make their child a citizen. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. We were out today and saw a homeless veteran begging alongside the highway. Doesn’t look like Trump is doing much for him, does it?

      Liked by 1 person

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