2008 Election
Video introduction to ProCon.org and the pros and cons of controversial topics

[Editor's Note: Ralph Nader has been selected as the official 2008 presidential nominee of various state-level political parties. According to Loralynne Krobetzky, Communications Director and Policy Writer for the Nader Campaign, in a phone call with ProCon.org on Oct. 20, 2008, those political parties and related states are: Ecology Party (FL), Independent Party (DE, HI, MD, NM), Natural Law Party (MI), Peace Party (OR), and the Peace & Freedom Party (CA).]

Ralph Nader

Independent Presidential Candidate
Attorney, Author, and Political Activist

Positions & Statements
on the Issues
Videos

Speeches

Finances
VP Selection: Matt Gonzalez


Ralph Nader's Positions & Statements on the Issues
Positions are categorized as Pro, Con, Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found.

Abortion: "Should abortion remain a legal option in America?"

Pro: "Ralph Nader affirms that these are issues of life and death for women, not mere matters of choice. Ralph Nader supports access to safe and legal abortion, to effective birth control, to reproductive health and education. We oppose attempts to restrict these rights through legislation, regulation (like the gag rule) or Constitutional amendment. Ralph Nader supports the right of women to have children, including appropriate pre-natal care and quality childcare. We oppose government efforts to limit or discourage childbearing, such as family caps and involuntary sterilization."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Abortion: "Should parental consent be required for pregnant minors to have abortions?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.

Character: "Is competence more important than honesty in a President?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Both."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

China: "Is China a threat to the US?"

Con: "No- China is interested in our jobs, and technology and not interested in military conflict."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

China: "Should the US impose economic sanctions on China as an incentive to improve its human rights policies?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Consider the irony. Here are US corporations -- pampered for years with lower taxes, de-regulation, and taxpayer subsidies of various kinds -- aggressively turning their backs on America and American workers in favor of production facilities inside a communist dictatorship. A self-described conservative, President George W. Bush is not only silent but is presiding over policies that favor such flight to China and other low-wage, authoritarian regimes.

By bringing these regimes into the World Trade Organization (backed by Clinton and Bush) and by Congress providing China with most-favored nation status, Uncle Sam's hands are quite tied. There is no more tying trade to human rights standards by the United States."

"The China Price," CommonDreams.org, June 21, 2004

Criminal Justice: "Should felons, who have completed their jail time and probation and paid all their fines, be allowed to vote in elections?"

Pro: "Pro- Restore the voting rights of people who are in prison or on parole. The stripping of voting rights of convicted felons, many of them drug war victims, has eliminated the voting rights of 1 out of 6 African American males. Loss of voting rights is no deterrent to crime, but it is a deterrent to rehabilitation."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Criminal Justice: "Should the US develop programs that focus more on rehabilitation than punishment in order to reduce its rate of incarceration?"

Pro: "Clearly, there needs to be a saner, fairer, better administered and less costly criminal justice system focused on treatment and rehabilitation and prevention. Filling more expensive taxpayer-financed prisons with drug users and other non-violent offenders serves no one but the politicians who want to posture as 'tough on crime' while doing nothing to reduce root causes of crime."
"The Tough on Crime Party," Nader.org, Mar. 15, 2001

Cuba: "Should the US continue to support an embargo against Cuba?"

Con: "The trade between the United States and Cuba should be the same as it is between the United States and China."
"Ralph Nader Visiting Cuba," Cybercast News Service website, July, 8, 2002

Darfur: "Should the US send any American forces, with or without the UN, to the Darfur region of Sudan to stop the genocide?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "We join with the thousands of Americans who are calling on you to intensify your efforts to end the slaughter in Darfur.

This genocide unfolding before our eyes stands in danger of worsening drastically in coming weeks, if African Union peacekeepers are forced out of the area. But the current situation itself is unconscionable. As you know, the UN Security Council has authorized a plan to send a UN force to Darfur, to supplement the African Union presence and transition to a UN operation. US leadership is needed to turn this plan into reality, especially by persuading other nations to back and immediately implement the plan...

When you address the United Nations this coming Tuesday we urge you to set aside your likely agenda to defend the disastrous war and occupation in Iraq, or prepare for perilous military actions against Iran.

Instead, use the opportunity for a nobler purpose -- to exert leadership on the Darfur issue and challenge the international community to act now, before the situation descends into an even worse humanitarian nightmare."

Excerpt of a letter to President George W. Bush, Sep. 15, 2006

Death Penalty: "Should the death penalty remain a legal option in America?"

Con: "Since I was a law student at Harvard, I have been against the death penalty. It does not deter. It is severely discriminatory against minorities, especially since they're given no competent legal counsel defense in many cases. It's a system that has to be perfect. You cannot execute one innocent person."
"Campaign 2000: Nader and Buchanan Stances on Election Issues," The Daily Texan, Nov. 2, 2000

Defense: "Should the US build its missile defense shield in former Soviet states despite objections from Russia?"

Con: "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

District of Columbia: "Should the District of Columbia become the 51st US state?"

Pro: "Statehood for DC!...

Most Americans do not know, and many would find it hard to believe, that under our current system D.C. residents are second-class citizens. The District is denied local control Congress must approve the District's budget, and can override any action of the city government. At the same time, District residents do not even have one voting representative in the Congress that controls them. D.C. is effectively a colony, with all local decisions directly subject to change by a Congress largely out of touch with local realities...

The voters of the District of Columbia should be allowed to hold a referendum to choose their future status."
"Electoral Reform," Ralph Nader's official candidate website (accessed July 16, 2008)
Economy: "Is outsourcing jobs to other countries good for America?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Economy: "Should the US include mandatory regulations for labor rights in free trade agreements?"

Pro: "Labor Day 2000 should also mark a new resolve to end abuse of trade by corporations under the guise of 'free trade.' Free trade sloganeering has been a means to hide corporate efforts to evade labor and environmental standards and, with the support of dictatorial regimes, to exploit workers throughout the world.

Trade policies should be based on 'pulling standards' up around the world, not on 'pulling down' our standards. Labor, joined by environmentalists and human rights advocates, should make clear the differences between the corporate managed trade and what is truly 'fair trade' that provides decent protections for workers and the environment."

"The Real Strength of the Economy: A Labor Agenda for Workers," The Progress Report website (accessed Apr. 9, 2008)

Economy: "Has the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had an overall benefit for the US?"

Con: "WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA are systems of transnational forms of autocratic governance that subordinate our own courts and our own regulatory agencies and health, environment, labor, and consumer standards."
"Ralph Nader on International Trade, NAFTA, and the WTO," PBS Now, YouTube video (accessed Apr. 9, 2008)

Economy: "Should the federal government bail out failing US private corporations like it did with Bear Stearns or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac at taxpayers expense?"

Con: "Why should the American taxpayers bail-out fraud, recklessness and criminal irresponsibility? Why should the American people trust the judgment of the very administration that has gotten us into this mess?

If WallStreet gets away with this, it will represent an historic swindle of the American public -- all sugar for the villains, lasting pain and damage for the victims. ..

Enron and IAG [sic] are the bookends of the Bush/Cheney reign of economic and social corruption and neglect...

Consumer groups from around the nation are in an uproar over this example of socialized welfare for corporate greed."

"Nader Warns Against Mammoth Bailout," Ralph Nader's official candidate website , Sep. 24, 2008

Economy: "Do labor unions provide an overall benefit to workers in the US?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "The notorious Taft-Hartley Act that makes it extremely difficult for employees to organize unions needs to be repealed. It has resulted in less than 10% of the private workforce being unionized, the lowest in 60 years and the lowest percentage in the western world...

The percentage of union members in the private economy has dropped below ten percent, the lowest in over sixty years. At the heart of this decline are labor laws which throw insurmountable barriers before organizing efforts.

With the demise of union influence, almost every aspect of workers' rights is given short shrift. The minimum wage has been allowed to languish far behind inflation as executive pay skyrockets."
"Worker's Rights," Ralph Nader's official candidate website (accessed Oct. 30, 2008)

Education: "Has the No Child Left Behind Act been effective at improving public education?"

Con: "And they say we are going to leave no child behind and these corporate consulting firms in Washington, they want to sell more of these hyper-muliple-choice standardized tests in order to avoid a broader, more personal appraisal of the multiple intelligence of young children. And so they get [George W.] Bush to say 'leave no child behind.' And he doesn't fund it, number one, and he is forcing these tests on these children and forcing the teachers to teach to the test and envelope these schools in rigid, bureaucratic, unfunded anxiety on stupid tests that should be thrown into San Francisco Bay."
Speech at a Nader-Camejo 2004 campaign rally, San Francisco, CA, July 16, 2004

Education: "Is the increasing cost of college and university tuition pricing America's middle class out of higher education?"

Pro:  "Pro."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Education: "Should the federal government fund school voucher programs?"

Con: "Vouchers unacceptably erode the democratic foundation of public education and the role of public education in establishing our democratic foundations."
"Major Players: The 2000 Presidential Candidates," Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University website (accessed Apr. 9, 2008)

Education: "Should sex education in our schools be based on abstinence only?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Election Reform: "Should voter verified paper audit trails (VVPAT) be mandatory in elections?"

Pro:  "Pro."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Election Reform: "Should there be restrictions on campaign contributions?"

Pro:  "Pro."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Election Reform: "Should the election campaigns of candidates for public office be publicly financed?"

Pro: "Reform our corrupt campaign finance system. It is now a well-accepted fact that our system for financing presidential and congressional campaigns is fundamentally corrupt and pernicious. The only way to ensure effective and honest representation by lawmakers is through decisive campaign finance reform, with public funding of campaigns."
"Shift the Power," Ralph Nader's candidate website (accessed Sep. 3, 2008)

Eminent Domain: "Should federal or state government be allowed to use eminent domain laws to take private property for non-public use?"

Con: "New London exercised its authority of eminent domain to seize the homes of ordinary citizens - not for a traditional use such as a highway or railroad, but to transfer the land to private developers. How could five Supreme Court justices (including the supposed progressives) uphold this unconscionable action?...

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution gives government power to take possession of private property needed for a 'public use' (provided it give 'just compensation' to the owner)...

But it does not follow that most uses of eminent domain to transfer property to a private party are acceptable. A transfer should never be used solely as a means to redistribute wealth - to take from X to give to Y because the government favors Y. Moreover, it makes some difference whose land is taken. For example, seizing a multi-generation family farm is different from seizing an apartment building leased for profit."

"Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking," The American Conservative, June 21, 2004

Energy: "Should drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) be allowed?"

Con: "No drilling in ANWR, the Arctic refuge. What we should do is nail the corporate executives in Detroit to liberate their engineers so they can improve fuel efficiency. One mile per gallon over the entire range of motor vehicle production will save more fuel than anything that can be gotten five, 10 years from now from the Arctic refuge."
News Conference, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., Feb. 24, 2004

Energy: "Should the US tap into its emergency oil reserves to help bring down the price of gasoline?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Energy: "Should the US permit more offshore drilling to increase domestic energy supplies?"

Con: "Offshore drilling is severely damaging to the environment, and dangerously vulnerable to turbulent weather and hurricanes. For 27 years, beginning under an initiative signed by Ronald Reagan, our country has managed to protect sensitive parts of our ocean coastlines from the ravages of offshore drilling -- a commendable feat considering the many pristine areas of our public lands and ecosystems that have been violated by extractive activities." 
"Offshore Drilling Is Fool's Black Gold," gristmill.grist.org, Sep. 15, 2008
Energy: "Should the US build additional nuclear plants?"

Con: "The atomic power corporations are beating on the doors in Washington to make you guarantee their financing for more giant nuclear plants...

Since 1974, there has not been a filled order for a nuclear power plant. Following the Three Mile Island near-melt down, many spills and shutdowns, then the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, the electric utility bosses found a negative Wall Street and a protesting public in their communities too much to overcome. They dropped nuclear power like it was a radioactive hot potato...

If the government wishes to guarantee energy loans, they can start with loans to residences and small businesses to make their premises much more energy efficient...

Instead, unless the House of Representatives quashes the Senate giveaway, the national security risks inherent in atomic power, complete with growing transportation on the rails and highways of radioactive wastes, will multiply...

It won't take many of you to stop this madness, just as citizens helped stop expansion of nuclear power in the Seventies."
"Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer," www.commondreams.org, Sep. 11, 2007

Energy: "Should the private ethanol industry be subsidized by the federal government?"

Con:  "From the beginning, Ralph Nader has been opposed to the subsidized ethanol industry as inefficient, environmentally damaging, inflationary, and as the primary fuel sustaining the corporate welfare kings.  "
"Energy," Ralph Nader's official candidate website (accessed Sep. 24, 2008)

Environment: "Should the US ratify an international environmental agreement (such as the Kyoto Protocol) that mandates reductions in carbon emissions?"

Pro: "Q: Many argue that the US shouldn't commit to a global greenhouse-gas reduction target that doesn't involve China and India. Do you agree with this? How would you bring them to the table?

[Nader]: You bring them to the table by restricting imports of badly emitting greenhouse-gas technologies. Then you devise an international treaty where you analyze very carefully which countries really need aid in this area, which countries don't need aid, and you proceed accordingly. You have a deliberative process under an international body with a global goal of restricting greenhouse gases and acid rain and other things."

"Nader on the Record," Grist website, Mar. 19, 2008

Environment: "Should the federal government mandate an increase in fuel efficiency standards for automobiles?"

Pro: "...[T]he average fleet efficiency levels in new vehicles have slipped to the lowest level since 1980.

So, here we are in 2004, almost twenty years later, and the standard is at the same pitifully low 27.5 mpg level for passenger cars and 20.7 mpg for light trucks and vans. Well it is time for a little introspection. Is the price of gasoline so low consumers don't mind driving gas guzzlers? The Department of Energy says the retail price gasoline in the United States is $1.78. At this price even the least frugal consumers have a real incentive to want fuel efficient automobiles...

Congress should require the CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] standard be raised to at least 45 mpg for cars and 35 mpg for light trucks, to be phased in over five years. The auto industry has had almost 20 years to gear up for this schedule, given their bragging about their Research & Development programs. Consumers will save money at the pump, the air we breathe will be cleaner, and the amount of oil we import will decrease...We can start brightening our energy future by strengthening our fuel efficiency standards - even Detroit has had enough lead time to catch up with Tokyo."

"Spinning Wheels - Our Continual Refusal to Raise CAFE Standards," CommonDreams.org, Apr. 12, 2004

Environment: "Are humans substantially responsible for global climate change today?"

Pro:  "Pro."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Gun Control: "Are more federal regulations on guns and ammunition needed?"

Pro: "First of all, you have two constituencies that have rights. You have people who are killed or injured with guns and you have law-abiding people who want to use certain kinds of guns for self-defense. How do you blend the two? First of all, make sure the weapons are designed safely with trigger locks. ... Two, strong law enforcement so that they're not falling into the hands of the criminal element. Three, you look at a weapon the way you look at a car. You've got to know how to handle it. You should be licensed. ... And four, there are certain weapons that should be banned. If you do all that, both interests will be protected."
"Nader Q and A," Scripps Howard News Service website, June 24, 2000

Health Care: "Should all Americans have a right to government or employer subsidized basic health care?"

Pro: "The Nader Campaign supports a single-payer health care plan that replaces for-profit, investor-owned health care and removes the private health insurance industry (full Medicare for all)...

The Nader campaign favors replacing our fragmented, market-based system with a single-payer health plan - where the government finances health care, but keeps the delivery of health care to private non-profits, and allows free choice of doctors and hospitals for patients...

Providing universal health care can only be accomplished through a single-payer system: no country ever achieved universal coverage with private health insurance. President Harry Truman proposed universal health care in 1948 but was rebuffed by Congress. The time to act is yesterday. Let us end our disastrous descent into the corporatization of medicine and its callous consequences."

"Healthcare," Ralph Nader's official candidate website (accessed Aug. 18, 2008)

Health Care: "Should Americans be allowed to purchase their prescription drugs from other countries?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.

Health Care: "Are fast food companies responsible in any way for America's obesity problems?"

Pro: "Experts in their methods of targeting children, McDonald's uses some of children's most beloved characters, including Nemo, Tarzan, Winnie-the-Pooh, 101 Dalmatians, Furby and Beanie Babies, as well as collectible toys and gimmicks to peddle its high-calorie, low-nutrition Happy Meals. The rise of McDonald's and other fast junk food chains has paralleled the boom in children obesity as it has changed the diets of children, (who are encouraged to nag their parents for fast food)."
"Super Bowl Advertising," Nader.org, Jan. 28, 2005

Immigration: "Are illegal immigrants a net gain to the US economy?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "...[T]hey are working, they are having their taxes withheld, they are performing a valuable service, even though they are illegally here..."
"Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking," The American Conservative, June 21, 2004

Immigration: "Should illegal aliens receive any of the rights or benefits that lawful permanent residents enjoy?"

Pro: "[Pat Buchanan]: Should illegal aliens be entitled to social-welfare benefits, even though they are not citizens and broke into the country?

[Ralph Nader]: I think they should be given all the fair-labor standards and all the rights and benefits of American workers, and if this country doesn't like that, maybe they will do something about the immigration laws. [Pat Buchanan]: Should they be entitled to get driver's licenses? [Ralph Nader]: Yes, in order to reduce hazards on the highway. If you have people who are driving illegally, there are going to be more crashes, and more people are going to be killed."

"Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking," The American Conservative, June 21, 2004

Immigration: "Should the US build a physical barrier, such as a fence, along the US-Mexico border?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Iran: "Should the US use military force against Iran if Iran does not dismantle its nuclear program?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "The point is that we are exaggerating that threat instead of using diplomacy, number one. Number two, Iran does not have nuclear weapons; they're nowhere near nuclear weapons, according to intelligence estimates. Number three, Israel has 250 nuclear weapons. Does Iran really want to commit suicide? And number four, two major national security experts in Israel have been reported as saying Iran is not a problem."
"Ralph Nader on Barack Obama: 'It is Quite Clear He is a Corporate Candidate from A to Z'," "Democracy Now!" interview, June 18, 2008

Iran: "Should the US be involved in direct negotiations with Iran?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Ralph Nader believes the US must stop saber rattling and take up Iran’s serious proposal in 2003 to negotiate all outstanding issues between the US and Iran."
"Presidential Candidate Questionnaire," National Green Party website, Apr. 7, 2007

Iraq: "Was it a mistake to attack Iraq in 2003?"

Pro: "There will likely be no apologies from Bush/Cheney for putting US soldiers into a fabricated war-quagmire – a disastrous, costly boomeranging invasion."
"President Bush Owes Troops an Apology," The World Can't Wait website (accessed Apr. 10, 2008)

Iraq: "Has the war in Iraq made America safer?"

Con: "The truth many Americans want to hear from the President, but are very unlikely to hear, is that the war and occupation of Iraq was not based on available intelligence, that our continued presence in Iraq is counterproductive to the safety of Iraqis and the United States, and that a responsible withdrawal from Iraq – of both US military and corporate interests – with continued humanitarian and economic support is the most likely way to bring stability and democracy to the country."
"A Guide to the President's Speech," cowritten with Kevin B. Zeese, LewRockwell website, June 28, 2005

Iraq: "Should the US set a timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq?"

Pro: "Nader/Gonzalez would reverse the current policy in the Middle East.

The current political strategy of pre-emptive war in the Middle East is a disaster for both the American people and the people of the Middle East. It has bloated the already wasteful military budget and has cost at present over 4,000 American lives, nearly 100,000 American injuries, and over a million Iraqi civilian lives, plus the destruction of their country.

Nader/Gonzalez propose a rapid withdrawal of troops from Iraq. A target of withdrawing troops in six months will be set."

"Middle East," Ralph Nader's official candidate website (accessed Aug. 18, 2008)

Israel: "Should Israel continue to receive the current level of military and economic aid from the US?"

Con: "Con. Nader favors a two-state solution and believes that the United States needs to highlight the broad and deep peace movement in Israel and its counterparts among Palestinians and among Americans of the Jewish faith."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Israel-Palestinian Conflict: "Should the US allow Hamas to join future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Once again, former President Jimmy Carter is to be commended for taking the initiative toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The announcement that he will meet next week in Damascus with Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas, is consonant with a March 1, 2008 poll by the leading Israeli newspaper - Haaretz - that found 64 percent of Israelis favor direct talks with Hamas. Only 28 percent were opposed...

It is remarkable that the Republican and Democratic candidates for President of the United States stand in opposition to 64 percent of Israeli public opinion - and in opposition to leading former Israeli intelligence chiefs and foreign ministers - who want negotiations with Hamas."

"Nader Commends Carter Peace Initiative," votenader.org website, Apr. 11, 2008

Israeli Palestinian Conflict: "Should there be an independent Palestinian state?"

Pro: "[Flagpole]: What should happen to bring stability to the Middle East?

[Ralph Nader]: A Palestinian state, East Jerusalem as the capital, no colonies, some restitution for land and homes taken."

"Ralph Nader Believes in You," Flagpole, Apr. 10, 2002

Kosovo: "Should the US have supported Kosovo's independence?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.

Marriage: "Should there be a Constitutional amendment or federal law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman?"

Con: "Con- He opposes President Bush's proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. All adults should be treated equally under the law. The Nader campaign believes that by attempting to mandate inequality, President Bush is leading the country in the wrong direction."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Marriage: "Should an affair outside of marriage disqualify a candidate for public office?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Media: "Should journalists be shielded from prosecution for protecting their sources?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Apr. 22, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of July 29, 2008.

Medical Marijuana: "Should marijuana be a medical option?"

Pro: "[R]esearch has shown marijuana to be a safe and effective medicine for controlling nausea associated with cancer therapy, reducing the eye pressure for patients with glaucoma, and reducing muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, para- and quadriplegia."
Interview with the Drug War Chronicle, Oct. 8, 2004

Medical Marijuana: "Should the federal government stop raids against people for using medical marijuana in states where medical marijuana use is legal?"

Pro: "The criminal prosecution of patients for medical marijuana must end immediately, and marijuana must be treated as a medicine for the seriously ill. The current cruel, unjust policy perpetuated and enforced by the Bush Administration prevents Americans who suffer from debilitating illnesses from experiencing the relief of medicinal cannabis."
Interview with the Drug War Chronicle, Oct. 8, 2004

National ID: "Should there be a national identification card?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

National Service: "Should the US institute a military draft?"

Con: "...I'm helping to push the Democrats toward opposing a military draft..."
Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Oct. 15, 2004

National Service: "Should openly gay people be allowed to serve in the US military?"

Pro:  "Pro."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

National Service: "Should the US mandate military service or civil service like the Peace Corps?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Civil Service- There is, as well, a critical positive role for the federal government to play, by promoting the vision, curricula, programs and projects for a K-12 civics education for democracy. In an era when children are overwhelmed with marketing images that reduce their attention spans and vocabulary, and orient them to an overweening focus on immediate gratification, low-grade sensuality and conspicuous consumption, an emphasis on civics for democracy promises instead to take students from instruction to learning to knowledge to application, until the highest educational goal is reached -- the sustained onset of educational self-renewal of, by and for the confident, motivated student."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Presidential Power: "Should the US President's powers be expanded to include a line item veto?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.

Presidential Power: "Should the unitary executive theory apply to the US President?"

Con: "Unbridled Presidential authority is un-American whether in peacetime, wartime or fighting a gang whose exaggerated power has served Bush and Cheney very well politically. How better to silence the Democrats, stifle or chill public dissent, distract attention from domestic necessities, until their post-Katrina debacle, enrich their donating corporate buddies with military contracts and concentrate more lawless power in the White House at the expense of the courts and Congress than by breaking our constitutional system of separation of powers?"
"American Caesar," CommonDreams.org, Apr. 8, 2006

Presidential Powers: "Should the Vice-President of the US be considered part of the Executive Branch and thus be subject to the laws and rules governing that branch?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Oct. 14, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Oct. 30, 2008.

Religion: "Should federal funds be given to faith-based (religious) organizations and initiatives?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.

Religion: "Should a candidate's religion matter to voters?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

Science: "Should the government continue to fund the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "As far as NASA and space, you know we're not really big in that, but we don't like manned exploration. It costs far, far too much and is used for PR [public relations] purposes rather than scientific purposes."
Excerpt of a Q&A teleconference, YouTube video, Aug. 21, 2008

Science: "Should Intelligent Design be taught as science in schools?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Oct. 14, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Oct. 30, 2008.

Social Security: "Should Social Security be privatized?"

Con: "The various Social Security privatization schemes, full and partial, would cost both the 'social' -- that is the public, cooperative, societal -- element of the program and 'security' -- the rock-solid income guarantee afforded by the system. It should be rejected."
Speech at the "Saving Social Security From the Privatization Threat" Conference, Rayburn House Office Building, Jan. 21, 1999

Stem Cells: "Should the federal government fund embryonic stem cell research?"

Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Ralph Nader supports stem cell research. Through two organizations Nader created, the Center for the Study of Responsive Law in 1968 and the Consumer Project on Technology in 1995, he has contributed to efforts to insure stem cell research advances developed with public money are made available to the public and not held back by corporate or university patent holders."
"Presidential Candidate Questionnaire," National Green Party website, Apr. 7, 2007

 

[Editor's Note: Although Nader is Pro funding stem cell research, ProCon.org was unable to find his position on embryonic stem cell research specifically. ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.]

Taxes: "Should the Bush tax cuts be made permanent?"

Con: "Bush's tax cut plan shows he also has problems with 'the vision thing.'

President Bush may not realize it, but moderate and liberal members of Congress could save him a lot of grief if they voted down or sharply modified the administration's proposal for a massive tax cut.

Fueled by the excess of campaign promises, the president's $1.6 trillion tax cut threatens to return the nation to the dark days of growing deficits, higher interest rates, and tightfisted public-investment policies which leave no room for dealing with the nation's most pressing social and economic problems."

"Tax Fraud," The Progress Report website (accessed Apr. 10, 2008)

Taxes: "Should any federal taxes be increased?"

Pro: "Nader/Gonzalez proposes a straightforward carbon tax—set to annual benchmarks to bring, with the expansion of solar energy, US emissions to at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050."
"Carbon Tax," Ralph Nader's official candidate website  (accessed Oct. 7, 2008)

Turkey: "Should Turkey be able to enter Iraq or other countries unilaterally in search of its enemies?"

None Found: ProCon.org emailed the Nader campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.

US Constitution: "Should the US Constitution and Bill of Rights be altered or updated in any way?"

Pro:  "Pro. Equal Rights Amendment: Women are still not in the fundamental law of the land. The Equal Rights Amendment [ERA] is essential to establish equality under the law for women. Equality in pay, job opportunities, insurance, social security, and education will remain an elusive dream without an ERA in the U.S. Constitution, and we are committed to its passage and ratification. The progress we have made for women's rights, and must continue to make, can be lost at any time without the strength of a Constitutional foundation."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

War on Terror: "Should interrogation techniques that some consider torture, such as waterboarding, be a legal option?"

Con:  "Con."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

War on Terror: "Should the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba be closed?"

Pro: "Pro."
Email to ProCon.org from Ralph Nader's Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, on Oct. 20, 2008

War on Terror: "Has the USA PATRIOT Act had an overall benefit for the US?"

Con: "Conservatives are also upset about the Patriot Act, which they view as big government, privacy-invading, snooping, and excessive surveillance. They are not inaccurate in that respect."
"Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking," The American Conservative, June 21, 2004

War on Terror: "Should telecommunication companies receive immunity for allowing the government to conduct past warrantless wiretaps?"

Con: "And I'm listening now to the debate on the Senate floor over legislation that will give President Bush new warrantless eavesdropping powers. The bill will also grant immunity to telecom companies for cooperating with Mr. Bush in his illegal warrantless wiretapping on Americans - on any one of you...

...[T]his bill gives the President vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers and allows the government - for the first time ever - to tap into America's telecommunications networks with no judicial warrant requirement.

President Bush and the Democrats who support him argue that the telecommunications companies were only doing what they were told by the President and were acting as 'patriotic corporate citizens.' This is pure hogwash. First of all, corporations aren't citizens. Second, the President can't order anyone - citizens or corporations - to break the law.

This legislation, which the Senate is debating right now, sets up a double standard of justice. Break the law as a citizen, go to jail. Break the law as a corporation, go to Washington and get immunity...

We [Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez] strongly oppose the wiretap surveillance legislation that Obama and McCain support."

"Nader Audio on Telecom Immunity," Ralph Nader's official candidate website, July 9, 2008

 


TO


Ralph Nader's Biography

Title(s): Attorney, author, and political activist
Personal Information:
Full Name: Ralph Nader
Marital Status: Never married
Birthdate: Feb. 27, 1934
Children: 0
Birthplace: Winsted, CT
Religion: Catholic
Involvement:
  • Independent Presidential Candidate, 2004, 2008
  • Green Party Presidential Candidate, 2000
  • Attorney, author, and political activist
  • Founder, Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Clean Water Action Project, Disability Rights Center, Pension Rights Center, Project for Corporate Responsibility, The Multinational Monitor
  • Founder, Center for Study of Responsive Law (CSRL), 1969
  • Lecturer, History and Government, University of Hartford, 1961-1963
  • US Army, 1959
Education:
  • LLB, with distinction, Harvard Law School, 1958
  • AB, magna cum laude, East Asian studies, Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, Princeton University, 1955
Affiliations and Memberships:
  • Named as one of the 100 Most Influential Americans in the Twentieth Century by Time Magazine
Other:
  • Running mate for 2008 is Matt Gonzalez, Attorney and Former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Select Publications:
  • The Seventeen Traditions, 2007
  • Good Fight: Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap, 2004
  • In Pursuit of Justice: Collected Writings 2000-2003, 2004
  • Civic Arousal, 2004
  • Cowritten with Barbara Ehrenreich, Ralph Nader Reader, 2000
  • Cowritten with editor Charles Derber, Corporation Nation: How Corporations are Taking Over Our Lives -- and What We Can Do About It, 2000
Contact Information:
Campaign:
Phone: 202-441-5727
Fax: None found
E-Mail: None found
Web Site: www.votenader.org

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