by Ralph Nader
[ed. This is a letter that we have received from Ralph Nader's HQ. His campaign needs financial help and increased support and volunteers. Please do your part.]
To know and not to do is not to know.
—Ancient Chinese proverb
Dear Friend and Supporter:
(Swans - August 11, 2008) I've just returned from a Nader/Gonzalez 2008 campaign demonstration in front of the downtown headquarters of the Nuclear Energy Institute -- the lobbying arm of the taxpayer subsidized atomic power industry.
We oppose the resurgence of unsafe, uneconomic, uninsurable and unnecessary new atomic plants.
Imagine! For these to be built, the industry demands 100 percent loan guarantees from Uncle Sam in the tens of billions of dollars. Far better solutions are energy efficiency technologies and various kinds of solar power. And we can get there faster.
A few days earlier our campaign demonstrated in front of the White House. There I delivered a 45-minute declaration detailing the reasons George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should be either impeached, resign (as Nixon and Agnew did) or be prosecuted after leaving office. You can see this singular event on C-Span in its "Road to the White House" series.
We are demonstrating regularly against corporate government in Washington, D.C. -- the government agencies and giant corporate trade associations that control them. On our web site, -- votenader.org -- you can see these demonstrations, which are linked to a map titled "Washington, D.C. -- Corporate Occupied Territory."
In a 1938 message to Congress, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt defined "fascism" as "ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power." This control of the government shuts out the people and their necessities.
Corporate rule -- by the few against the many -- blocks ready and practical solutions to our energy, pollution, transportation, and housing problems.
Corporate rule blocks solutions to major injustices such as the horrendous waste of taxpayer dollars. Under corporate rule, money readily flows from middle class taxpayers to large corporations in the form of subsidies, handouts, giveaways and bailouts.
Governmental functions are contracted out to military corporations such as Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater with massive waste, fraud and abuse.
Corporate rule imposes a grotesquely unfair tax system that enables many corporations to escape federal income taxation or flee to tax shelters overseas.
Corporate rule blocks the peoples' access to their full day in court if they are wrongfully injured or defrauded.
Corporate rule assures that corporate crime is rarely prosecuted.
Corporate rule commercializes our elections, our politics, our universities, and even childhood itself through the relentless direct marketing of junk food, drink and violent programming that undermines parental authority.
Corporate rule diverts federal money from people's needs to the greeds of the global giants, including a huge, bloated wasteful military budget that expands the "military-industrial complex" about which President Eisenhower warned. Such diversions also militarize our foreign policy.
Corporate rule -- led by Wal-Mart, McDonald's and other chains -- has blocked a living wage and labor rights for decades.
Corporate rule by the giant HMOs, hospital chains and drug industry has blocked single payer health insurance -- full Medicare for all giving people free choice of hospital and physicians that would avoid half a trillion dollars of annual corporate bureaucratic costs and billing frauds.
A majority of Americans want the opposite of what corporate rule imposes. So, why don't the people rule? Isn't that what the Constitution had in mind when our founding fathers started the preamble with "We the People" and not "We the corporations"? After all, only the people have the vote.
Corporations were never mentioned in the Constitution and were never given by any Congress equal Constitutional rights (corporate personhood).
It was a silent coup d'état pulled off by a rogue Supreme Court scribe in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886).
Recently, I've been calling dozens of our supporters and contributors. I've noticed what they've noticed -- that this country has many problems it doesn't deserve and many solutions it doesn't apply.
Why? Because there is too much power and wealth in too few hands. Our supporters know what the injustices are and what works to diminish them. They know what needs to be done. They are impatient and have a sense of urgency.
They want organized action, as reflected in the ancient Chinese proverb quoted above.
They know that the Nader/Gonzalez campaign will stand up to the corporate criminals, the corporate freeloaders, big oil, the unionbusters, the war mongers and profiteers, the drug companies, the agribusiness giants, the big banks, Wall Street, and their corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans. In return, we ask that you stand strongly with us.
As we travel to every state -- we've been to the West Coast and Atlantic states lately -- and connect with citizens fighting injustice, we want to meet more of our supporters.
With them we are laying the groundwork for creating Congress watchdog groups with full time staff, in Congressional districts, starting in 2009 -- to end corporate rule.
For now, our valiant young roadtrippers are acquiring hundreds of thousands of signatures in state after state to get us on the ballot. They are working full time, day and night, learning skills that will help make them the next generation of leaders.
To keep them on the road -- meeting stringent ballot access deadlines -- we need your donations whatever you can afford. Each person can give up to the legal limit of $4,600.
I am always touched by workers of modest means (a food warehouse worker, a nurse, a man who quit his job and cared for his elderly parents for 13 years) who found our campaign -- and our 40 years of fighting for the people's health, safety, economic well-being and constitutional rights -- worthy of their generous contributions of $4,000, $1,500, and $1,300 respectively.
So please, [go to our Web site to make a donation] today.
Be as generous as possible. We must help each other in this historic fight for democracy.
Americans are ready for action. Recent polls show that over eighty percent believe our country is going in the wrong direction. About three out of every four Americans believe that corporations have too much control over their lives. And 61 percent believe that both major parties are failing.
You don't want to be taken for granted by the two-party dictatorship that fronts for Big Business demands. Because you count, you matter, and you will demand the fundamental change we seek -- a power shift to the citizenry.
Together, we, as alert and informed citizens, must reject the role of mere spectators of a deteriorating government and a declining corporatized country. Together, we must grow in numbers to become the difference that restores the sovereignty of the people in a deliberative and justly functioning democratic society.
Run with us in community after community and take this resurgence of the people to a new level that meets your daily needs and fulfills human possibilities.
Please make your contribution to Nader for President 2008, using [our Web site].
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
PS. If you have any ideas about how to expand our efforts, please give me a call at 202-471-5833.
(ed. note: Contributions to Nader for President 2008 are not tax deductible. The campaign's address is: P.O. Box 34103 Washington, D.C. 20043 votenader.org firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 202-471-5833.)
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