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TMFBro (< 20)

GM and Ralph Nader's revenge

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June 11, 2009 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: F , TM , GM

These days, Ralph Nader is probably more well-known for supposedly getting George Bush elected rather than for what he did during the four decades before the 2000 election. (Whether or not that's a valid criticism, I remain agnostic -- though I'll paraphrase The Daily Show book America, which included something like, "Ralph Nader was second only to Al Gore in costing Al Gore the 2000 election.") 

But last night, I watched "Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man" (trailer below) and learned a few interesting things about Nader's career, and the history of General Motors. 

One of Nader's earliest quests was to improve car safety, with a 1959 article in The Nation called "The Safe Car You Can't Buy" and his 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed. Here's the funny part: GM hired people to follow Nader, tap his phones, and try to catch him in morally questionable behavior. Since it didn't seem that Nader engaged in such activities, prostitutes were hired to pose as housewives in supermarkets and proposition Nader. 

Unsubstantiated rumor? Sadly (and humorously) no. GM President James Roche was hauled in front of a Senate subcommittee and apologized to Nader, who eventually sued GM and won a few hundred thousand dollars. 

Whether you like Nader or not, I think you'll like this movie. It's a bit of a hagiography, though it features plenty of Nader critics. You'll certainly learn a thing or two about the auto industry and political history. 

 

(The video isn't showing up when I preview this post, so if you don't see it, watch it on YouTube.)

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 11, 2009 at 3:16 PM, abitare (49.76) wrote:

Fools may not know this, but IMO Nader is a real national hero. Watch the movie and tell me if you disagree.

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#2) On June 11, 2009 at 3:56 PM, eldemonio (97.93) wrote:

I voted for Nader the past three elections.  Each time, all of my friends said I was crazy for throwing my vote away.  I don't understand how voting your conscience can be considered a wasted vote.

 

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#3) On June 11, 2009 at 5:55 PM, nottheSEC (80.53) wrote:

Nader best legacy deed amongst many to to me is that he saved thousand of lives. His pestering of GM alerted the Amercan public and politicans to focus on auto safety. This intensified effort and marked a historic shift in responsibility for automobile safety from the consumer to the manufacturer aka Motor Vehicle Safety Act .The legislation mandated a series of safety features for automobiles, beginning with safety belts and stronger windshields.

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#4) On June 11, 2009 at 8:22 PM, rofgile (99.41) wrote:

Nader's a great man - I love seeing him speak.  A lot of people like Ron Paul here - though I'm more of a Nader fan.  What would be great would be to have a debate about this countries issues between those two on national television.  Then you'd get a real discussion about health care, the fed banks, drug war, iraq war, etc.

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#5) On July 15, 2009 at 10:57 PM, ozzfan1317 (78.55) wrote:

If we ever elected an independant maybe I would feel like my vote was being listened to...lol

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