"Zonked Out"by The Roving Eye
Boise Weekly - June 14(?), 2000
Last week, the Eye went over to the deserted college campus across the river to hear Ralph Nader speak and came away wondering if it was time to pack up and move to Portugal. The famously earnest consumer advocate is running for president but suffers no illusions about his chances. Instead he stressed the need to build the socially progressive Green Party and the need to gather more than 4,000 signatures to get his name on the November ballot.
It wasn't Nader himself who inspired visions of an unfettered Portugese beach, but rather his gimlet-eyed view of the good times here in America.
As could be expected, Nader's was not the typical presidential campaign speech. He didn't reply on a TelePrompTer and there were no bright lights on the podium. Instead, there was an opposite effect. His face was actually in a shadow because of outside light shining in from the window behind him.
Anyway, his comments were far more enlightening. As could be expected, he railed against the influence of corporate America on the political process and drew from his fundamental cause, that in his opinion, this nation has a business structure that is completely at odds with what's best for the American people. As he said, "The saying used to be 'A rising tide that lifts all boats.' The saying now is 'A rising tide that lifts all yachts.'"
He covered an agenda too broad for this space, but one thing he did that was not widely reported was call for the decriminalization of industrial hemp.
One comment that drew the loudest applause from the 70 or so people in the room had to do with corporations that use government subsidies, yet have no loyalty to the country. "You're [corporations] privatizing your profits but socializing your losses on the backs of innocent taxpayers," he said.
Since the Eye has been pointing readers to the Internet with alarming frequency lately, you might as well check out Nader's site at www.votenader.org
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