Nader Haters and Lovers
In “Nader Then and Now” [Dec. 21/28, 2015], Mark Green extols Ralph Nader’s virtues as though he were a demigod. I consider him a Don Quixote who led a simple bunch of Sancho Panzas to waste their votes in Florida in 2000. That, consequently, gave the state’s electoral votes to George W. Bush and led to the Iraq War and the resulting chaos we face today. Therefore, whatever Nader may (or may not) have accomplished before or since, I consider him a boob.
Your article about Ralph Nader was much appreciated. I have never, for one moment, regretted voting for him. I cherish the memory that, for the first and last time since John Kennedy, I was able to vote for the candidate I wanted instead of the lesser of two evils.
Mark Green’s piece on Ralph Nader was on target. When Lyndon Johnson signed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act into law, Nader’s work on protecting the American consumer was vindicated.
However, it’s interesting to note that it took years to force the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into taking action on GM cars after ignition-lock failures were first reported in 2001, and two-plus years before it took action on Takata air-bag inflators. In July 2014, nine automakers issued recalls on cars using Takata air bags while the NHTSA was still “investigating.” The agency was either asleep at the switch or cajoled by GM and Takata into believing that the issues were a tiny anomaly that could be easily corrected during the manufacturing process.
What started as a great piece of legislation has been severely diminished over time, in part by a lack of proper funding for the NHTSA as well as competent oversight.
Ties That Unbind
With regard to Sylvia A. Harvey’s “What About Us?” [Dec. 21/28], I taught courses on parenting and family and social responsibility in women’s and men’s prisons in Washington State for 18 years. After retirement, I went back inside to facilitate “Preparing for Release” programs for offenders and their families. Every offender’s best hope for survival inside prison and for successful reentry into society is his or her family ties. Prison is not only for punishment; it is also meant to rehabilitate.