On Tuesday night (and Wednesday early morning) PBS showed a documentary about Ralph Nader as part of its Independent Lens series. I caught most of it, and found it very inspiring. He really is an amazing American, who has profoundly impacted our society for the better.
His entire career as a consumer advocate is reviewed, as well as his political campaigns. I think the film gives his critics' points a fair hearing, though it certainly is in the pro-Ralph camp.
An Unreasonable Man will be shown again this Sunday, at 3 AM (set your recorders).
By the way, the PBS/IL site has a lot of interesting background info on Nader and the film, not to mention a “talkback” section where a lot of passionate comments are being left. The film's original web site has a list of reviews and news stories about the documentary, which include a lot of retrospective thinking about Ralph's legacy.
On a personal note, I voted for Ralph in 1996 and 2000, while in Florida. I'd do it again. If Ralph had not run, I still would not have voted for Gore, primarily because of his VP pick of Lieberman. On that assessment, at least, I think I've been proven right.
While many still cling to the myth of Nader being a spoiler in his campaigns, especially 2000, any close examination of the facts will pretty much resolve the charge. Besides, Gore won Florida, he just didn't win the Supreme Court. I would hope those still harboring anger at Ralph, stop being “unreasonable” and watch this film.
As far as Ralph's plans for 2008, who knows? On Hardball this week (pretty good 7-minute interview, embedded below), he likes Edwards' populist positions. So he's waiting to see what happens with that in the early Democratic primaries.
Would I vote for him now? Moot point: in Oklahoma, I don't have that choice.