Ralph Nader Quotes

Ralph Nader

Born: 27 February 1934, Winsted, Connecticut

Nader’s parents were Maronite Catholics from Lebanon, Arabic was his first language. He graduated from The Gilbert School (1951), Princeton University (1955), and Harvard Law School (1958). After six months in the US Army he practiced law at Hartford, taught at the University of Hartford for two years, and in 1963 joined the staff of Assistant Secretary of Labor Patrick Moynihan and advised a Senate subcommittee on auto safety. He wrote Unsafe at Any Speed (1965), attacking the safety of American automobiles. While this led to establishment of federal standards for auto safety, including the first seat belt requirements, the book pilloried the Corvair, a small fuel-efficient car no less safe than other small cars of the day, arguably setting back the market for fuel-efficient vehicles. He created the Public Interest Research Group, with numerous state chapters, and founded at least forty-five non-profit organizations devoted to various causes. He also wrote about thirty books. All of this activity galvanized tens of thousands of activists to devote time and energy to what they saw as the public interest, which has to count as a significant contribution. On the other hand, those that are pleased by the issues he raised in his several presidential campaigns probably regret that his 2000 campaign put George Bush in the White House, at least arithmetically if perhaps not ethically.

Ralph Nader quotes:

  • A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.
        Ralph Nader
  • A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.
        Ralph Nader
  • Addiction should never be treated as a crime. It has to be treated as a health problem. We do not send alcoholics to jail in this country. Over 500,000 people are in our jails who are nonviolent drug users.
        Ralph Nader
  • As a public interest lawyer, your fund of injustice will never be empty.
        Ralph Nader
  • Competition, free enterprise, and an open market were never meant to be symbolic fig leaves for corporate socialism and monopolistic capitalism.
        Ralph Nader
  • Every time I see something terrible, it’s like I see it at age 19. I keep a freshness that way.
        Ralph Nader
  • For almost seventy years the life insurance industry has been a smug sacred cow feeding the public a steady line of sacred bull.
        Ralph Nader
  • Half of democracy is about just showing up.
        Ralph Nader – The Good Fight (2004)
  • I don’t think meals have any business being deductible. I’m for separation of calories and corporations.
        Ralph Nader
  • I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
        Ralph Nader
  • If you choose the lesser of two evils, you will get the evil of two lessers.
        Ralph Nader
  • If you don’t turn on to politics, politics will turn on you.
        Ralph Nader
  • If you know what’s going on and know how society can be improved and happiness advanced, you tend to focus on how to get things done that will help health, safety, opportunity, justice, accountability of powerful institutions to the people they are supposed to serve.
        Ralph Nader
  • John D. Rockefeller wanted to dominate oil, but Microsoft wants it all, you name it: cable, media, banking, car dealerships.
        Ralph Nader
  • Let it not be said by a future, forlorn generation that we wasted and lost our great potential because our despair was so deep we didn’t even try, or because each of us thought someone else was worrying about our problems.
        Ralph Nader

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