Dinner with Ralph
Turns out it was. And it turned out by coincidence we were sitting next to each other at the event. I have spoken with Nader a couple of times before, he is highly approachable. In 2013 he was pitching his book “I Told You So” which is a collection of his more prophetic published articles. He and a couple helpers had broken down their display and were walking away thru Union Station in DC and i stopped him to tell him i had appreciated his concession speech in the 2000 election.
So people write books, others hold various jobs, Nader starts and grows organizations. Wikipedia has an impressive list of them. For me the most important ones are the Critical Mass Energy Project, the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) and Public Citizen. Nader has been fighting for consumer protection and against nuclear power for longer than i have been alive (Nader is now 80).
In person Nader has a slightly paradoxical personality. He is modest, soft spoken, crazy smart and opinionated of course, but there appears a dissonance in his unassuming manner. Then he steps in front of a microphone. Even at 80, Nader’s energy when on public display was palpable. There were 2 dozen speakers over the 4 hour event i attended, and he was easily the best one. He owned the room, not because of his fame, but because of his conviction and sharp analysis.
We are lucky to have Ralph Nader on our side, and even more lucky he has grown so many organizations which are producing so many more organizers and activists to take his place.