The Year was 2000
I sit in south jersey next to a warm fire place. I sometimes forget that it is a fake fireplace and the fire turns on with the flick of a switch.
On television I’m watching Public Broadcasting, and to my great surprise, the documentary film about Ralph Nader’s life is on. “Unreasonable Man” is an amazing film to watch, because the man himself is amazing and every bit of his life is inspiring and the definition of courage. I love that the title of this film is “An Unreasonable Man”. I hope that one day I too can be an Unreasonable Man in this tradition.
I had never seen videos, photos, and audio from the 60’s and 70’s… as Ralph took on the giant corporations and disfunctional government and became a force to be reckoned with, a force that reports directly to and represents, regular people.
My work revolves around questions of quality of life, the quality of life that humans could live versus the quality of life they are being denied, everyday, everywhere. Nader has worked his whole life effecting change in this very area. He made change when people thought it impossible, and he fought battles even when people lost the will to support him.. when people decided to settle for less than justice.. less than true democracy.
Some of the images on the screen as I type these words, are of the super-rallies back in 2000. I remember the one I attended so vividly; Madison Square Garden. I remember the Garden filled to the brim and the music and the speeches and the long list of inspiring people who took the stage that night. I found some old photos of those days in my closet here in New Jersey. I even found the old Nader/LaDuke poster from the 2000 election.
As I so often say, it is films such as this one that should be shown in high schools throughout not only the US but the world. Because when people want to understand what it means to be a citizen. Or what it means to care about your community and your neighbors… they can just look at the shining example of Ralph Nader… a true fighter and for this podcasting journalist, a hero.