Ralph Nader comes to UVM

On Tuesday, October 5th Ralph Nader came to the University of Vermont’s Ira Allen Chapel to speak to a full crowd of students, faculty and others from the Burlington community. To some Ralph Nader represents an unspoiled figure standing up for the consumer at a time where politicians are at the beck and call to corporate financiers. To others he represents a stubborn idealist who fails to recognize the damage he could cause by spoiling this year’s election.

Before Nader’s speech he held a press conference in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lounge below Ira Allen.

Nader answered the questioned poised by The Vermont Cynic as to why he was expending so much political capital is there is not a chance to win the election. He quickly stated, “No, of course not, the elections in this nation are rigged by two parties to exclude everyone else.”

He went on to say, “Our role is to give the American people the opportunity to exert the sovereignty of the people over the power of big business.”

Nader’s speech at the University of Vermont was held just days after the first presidential debate, and on the same night as the first vice presidential debate. Nader stated after the first presidential debate it was clear that a vote for Kerry is a vote for war. Nader outlined a six month exist plan that would remove the US’s military and corporate occupying forces. Saying, “Iraqi people will only distance themselves from the resistance when the occupation is over.”

Other issues on Nader’s platform include: ending the Patriot Act, guaranteeing healthcare for all Americans, creating a living wage and, giving marriage rights to same-sex couples, and to end the “War on Drugs”. Many journalists at the press conference were heard saying that it was almost pointless in asking specific questions to what he would do as president given that his answer would have to be hypothetical.

Nader made it a point to convey the message to the young voters that it is better to vote for someone they believe in and lose than to vote for some they do not believe in and win. Nader said, “College students are too young to start voting for candidates they do not believe. If they do they will be a captive of the least worse attitude that will drag them into supporting a political system that is dragging down the country.”