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Ralph on

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News Hits has made no secret of its admiration for consumer activist/Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader. So it should come as no surprise that we had front-row seats when he spoke at Wayne State University this past Monday. True to form, Nader offered an inspirational speech, hammering home the importance of true citizen participation in our so-called democracy, and pointing a finger at the dangers of a system controlled by corporate interests. Fault him if you will, but the man speaks the truth.

News Hits, though, was waiting for the Q&A session. Since the closing weeks of last year’s election, we’ve been nursing a fantasy scenario where Nader cuts a deal with Al Gore. In return for Gore’s promise to appoint Nader attorney general, Ralph would urge his supporters to vote for Al. It’s far-fetched, but not totally inconceivable. Had it happened, Bush would be back home picking his nose in Texas. Gore would be compromising with the Republicans on Capitol Hill. And, perhaps for the first time in history, we’d have a true corporate crime-buster as the nation’s top law-enforcement officer. Can you imagine an AG who’d actually bring criminal charges against corporate honchos like the bastards featured in Bill Moyers’ devastating “Trade Secrets” investigative report last week?

Wouldn’t that be better than the nightmare we’re looking at now, with an administration taking a slash-and-burn approach to everything from environmental regulations to a woman’s right to choose?

The thought, of course, never entered Ralph’s mind. “You don’t betray your supporters for something like that,” he responded as the audience cheered.

Ralph is in for the long haul. And he’s cutting deals with no one. Aside from idealism, there are practical obstacles to the sort of politicking News Hits mused about: “Who would trust Gore to follow through on something like that?” asked Ralph.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail cguyette@metrotimes.com

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