Ralph Nader Assesses Opportunities for Building Progressive Movement in 2016 Presidential Campaign

Posted July 29, 2015

MP3 Interview with Ralph Nader, citizen activist, democracy advocate, author and four-time independent presidential candidate, conducted by Scott Harris

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Establishment political consultants and corporate media pundits have seen their conventional wisdom analysis of the 2016 presidential campaign upended by the surprise appeal of Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and real estate billionaire Donald Trump. Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist who passionately rails against growing economic inequality and challenges corporate power, has drawn unexpected enthusiasm to his campaign. Thus far, Sanders has drawn the largest crowds to his rallies of any candidate, Democrat or Republican. Reflecting his growing grassroots popularity, the independent Vermont senator has raised more than $15 million, made up mostly of contributions of $200 or less.

Meanwhile, the candidate that most commentators expect to win the Democratic nomination, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has veered away from the centrist rhetoric of her failed 2008 campaign, and adopted many of the same progressive positions as Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In recent months, Clinton has forcefully talked about the need to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, gone further than President Obama in supporting policies that would shield undocumented immigrants from deportation and the need to impose new regulations on Wall Street.

On the Republican side, billionaire real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump has shot to the top of many primary polls by launching ugly attacks against Mexican immigrants as murderers and rapists, as he viciously insults his 15 fellow Republican candidates. The GOP establishment seems frightened about Trump's popularity and what many observers maintain is a culture of hate and fear cultivated within the party over recent decades. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with citizen activist, author and four-time independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who assesses the opportunities for promoting a progressive agenda in the 2016 election campaign.

Nader’s newest book is titled, “Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015." Visit his website at nader.org and listen to his podcast at RalphNaderRadioHour.com.

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