Yet another Facebook convo with a loyal Dem convinced Ralph Nader ruined Al Gore’s White House shot in 2000 made me search out this post from the Blue Jersey archives circa 2010. – Rosi
Years later, I worked with him and told him that story, and he asked me why I didn’t just jump off his toes, knock the old man over and grab the mic? Smart guy.
I was at the first Earth Day 40 years ago, when I was growing up in Michigan. In April, 1970, when ecology was a graduate of the civil rights movement, as were the anti-war and women’s movement (well, one of them) and early struggles against corporate excess, Ralph Nader came to the campus of Wayne State University where my father was a professor, for Earth Day One.
Nader, a good Princeton graduate, is mentioned in virtually every article about Earth Day history. It’s hard to transmit to people who only really saw Nader as a presidential candidate – and may disparage him for that, though I do not – what sway he had. Man, when Ralph Nader showed up, things got serious fast. He was squeaky clean. Uncorruptable. Scared the bejesus out of corpo culture. Earth Day, Nader got people thinking about corporate decisions and the power we fork over to them. Nader showed us we had the power decades before Howard Dean told us we did.
Two huge centers of activity in the national Earth Day observance; Philadelphia’s student-organized event at Fairmount Park. And Michigan.