Ralph Nader

What Ralph Nader Likes About Donald Trump

And what he doesn't like about Hillary Clinton


Fighting to keep seafood out of your television set since 1969.

Ralph Nader is not supporting Donald Trump for president. Indeed, the consumer activist and five-time presidential candidate just accused Trump of lowering "the level of political debate to unheard-of depths of salacious, slanderous…vacuousness, garnished with massive self-boosterism and repetition." It's just that in the same interview, conducted by U.S. News & World Report, he still managed to find more nice things to say about Trump than nice things to say about Hillary Clinton:

The liberal activist says Trump has brought some important issues to the fore.

"He's questioned the trade agreements. He's done some challenging of Wall Street—I don't know how authentic that is. He said he's against the carried interest racket, for hedge funds. He's funded himself and therefore attacked special interest money, which is very important," Nader says. "But he's lowered the level of political debate to unheard-of depths of salacious, slanderous and vacuousness, garnished with massive self-boosterism and repetition."

"And that's not good, because that brought a lot of money into the media and that's the kind of debates they're going to want to goad."

When asked what positive contributions Clinton has made to the 2016 campaign, Nader called her a "corporatist, militarist Democrat" who would have been defeated by Sanders if every state held an open primary.

This shouldn't be shocking. Nader has never been allergic to praising parts of the right when its aims coincide with his, and he was bound to find something to like in some of the sentiments that Trump has been channeling. And he surely isn't about to hold Trump's wealth against him—Nader, after all, once wrote a manifesto/novel called Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, in which "the rebellious rich take on the reigning rich." Clinton, by contrast, represents the corporate-state side of the Democratic Party that Nader has been battling for decades. You can certainly take issue with some of Nader's specific comments here, but they reflect a consistent worldview. (Nader would not say who he plans to vote for, but U.S. News reports that he "says Sanders and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein best represent the movement he's trying to advance.")

If Nader's praise for Trump had been unqualified, that would have been surprising. If he had said nice things about Trump without mentioning Sanders, whose views are obviously closer to Nader's, that would have been surprising. But finding some pleasure in watching the guy beat the Republican establishment? Not surprising at all.

Bonus Naderiana: The one article Nader ever wrote for Reason—or actually originally for The Freeman, but Reason reprinted it—is here. Reason's 2014 interview with Nader is below.

NEXT: Free Speech Breaks Out at Univ. of Minnesota, Kansas, Elsewhere

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  1. "the level of political debate to unheard-of depths of salacious, slanderous...vacuousness, garnished with massive self-boosterism and repetition."

    Perfect description of Nader.

      1. Who-who, who-who.

        1. But I really want to know...

  2. Who?

    On a more serious note, not every has-been is relevent. And in many cases their opinion really makes no difference.

    1. Yeah, I was just going to say Ralph Nader? What website is this? What does the guy who played Oliver in The Brady Bunch think about Trump?

      1. Nader has run for President outside of the two party system, which makes him a political independent, which him functionally a libertarian...or something.

  3. What Ralph Nader Likes About Donald Trump

    Without reading the article, I'm gonna guess protectionism.

    1. Hey, he also likes Trump's veiled hints that the "carried interest" is an unfair tax dodge for hedge fund managers. Of course, Trump I don't think has ever actually said the words "carried interest" when talking about how hedge fund managers "get away with murder" and his tax plan -- if you want to call it that -- also does not mention it.

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  5. This guy out-creeps Cruz for creepiest presidential candidate ever. Seriously, what's going on with his eyes?

  6. RE: What Ralph Nader Likes About Donald Trump

    Now isn't that interesting.
    Ralph Nader, a die hard socialist slaver, like somethings about Trump the Grump.
    George Orwell was right.
    You're only replacing slaver with another.

  7. As someone who both read Unsafe at Any Speed and owned one of the supposedly problematic Corvairs, I've never trusted Nader. The Corvair was no different from Volkswagens of the time in terms of rear suspension and handling, and his diagrams of the Corvair rear suspension were apparently deliberately exaggerated to the point of untruth for the sake of "clarity." No, the rear swing arms would not move even a third of the distance shown.

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