Yesterday morning consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced his candidacy for President on NBC's Meet the Press. Nader illustrated that all three major candidates (Obama, Clinton, and Mccain) share similar beliefs on issues such as single payer health insurance, military budget, and labor law reform and re-iterated that all voters should, "take this opportunity to have a much broader debate on the issues that relate to the American people." He also squashed advanced criticisms of his "spoiler" tag by predicting, "[if] the Democrats can't landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form."
His announcement came almost four years to the day of a press conference in Washington D.C., where spoke on the issue of reparations for African Americans:
I think a lot of Americans aren't aware that there are corporations today, pursuant to mergers or even actual corporations, that were profiting from slavery, such as the Aetna Corporation, before the Civil War, and there's a payback there. I think if white people had great grandparents who were slaves, they would be very concerned about that. There's got to be justice here. And all John Conyers is asking is a national commission to inquire into it to see what the responsibilities of governments are.
After all, slaves built a good part of the U.S. Capitol. They built a lot of public buildings. And I think the money is not designed to go to individuals; it's designed to amplify the budgets that are now being squeezed to rebuild the lower-income areas in our cities, for example; to expand health care to African American children, to reduce their exposure to sources of deadly asthma and lead poisoning. That is something that we should all discuss.
After all, you know, there were other genocidal or vicious treatments of ethnic minorities that have gotten some justice in recent years. And of course the tragedy of slavery in this country is one of the two worst tragedies in North American history, the other being the genocidal annihilation of the first Native Americans. And we should always remember.