At the 2000 Green Party Convention in Colorado, Utah, the state with the highest per capita Jell-O consumption, cast one vote for Jello Biafra for President of the United States.
Check out the Flaming Green Eyeball to the left of the Voter Gate....
It is remarkable to me how much the narrative voice of Ralph Nader's new book sounds like the guy standing on a stage delivering one of his trademark rants about corporate power and what we need to do to get it under control. In fact, the text of many of the speeches he gave in 2000 is excerpted in the book, along with copious supporting documentation that fills in the gaps he didn't have time for on stage. You come away from reading it with a thorough understanding of what Nader wanted to accomplish during his 2000 Presidential Campaign.
Another thing that makes this book a good read is that it does a remarkable job of documenting the state of the American Green Parties in 2000. Reading the thing, I constantly ran into the names of people I have known as a Green activist. People like Mike Feinstein of Santa Monica are given credit for doing about what I remember hearing he did at the time. The only name I was surprised to not find in the index was Linda Martin, who had a lot to do with his 1996 campaign.
To give you an idea how complete the book is, I saw Nader speak five times in 2000. The first time was in San Francisco, then Santa Cruz, San Jose, Denver, and finally in Oakland. Of those events, the only one that wasn't mentioned in the book was the San Jose event. Nader's account of all of the others matches my memory close enough for government work, as the saying goes.
One of the battles that gets a lot of attention in the book is Nader's struggle with the media. He explains in riveting detail how he was kept out of the media, and how he tried to get around that with large public events and word of mouth. Talking about that with my Dad on the phone last night, he said "I have yet to see a review of Nader's book in either the New York Times or the Washington Post." "All of the forces that were working against him in the Campaign are still working against him in his efforts to document his position." I guess every time someone else reads this book, "freedom of the press" scores another victory.
I put the windows on the cockpit of the helicopter while listening to 43 give his first State of the Union Address. I liked the part where he said "corporate America must be made more accountable to employees and shareholders and held to the highest standards of conduct."