Nader predicts 2-party system’s end
Election ’08 – Independent candidate focuses attacks on the $700 billion bailout plan
Microsoft founder Bill Gates for president?
Don’t laugh, says independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who argues that the two-party system is on the verge of breaking up. And he says the final blow could well be delivered by a billionaire candidate who has the money to bypass the parties and the national media.
“There are so many billionaires now,” Nader said in a telephone interview Monday before an evening appearance in Portland. “There will be one going in. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gates went in in 2016. He will have seen that massive charity won’t do it. It takes public policy.”
Gates, who stepped away from a full-time role at Microsoft earlier this year, is focusing most of his attention on his foundation, which is the largest charity of its kind in the world.
Nader, in the midst of his fourth presidential campaign, is most definitely not a billionaire. And the longtime consumer advocate has not received much national media attention this year — in large part because he doesn’t appear to be affecting the outcome of the race between Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain.
In fact, Nader said polls show that when he is included in surveys, he appears to draw more votes from McCain than from Obama. If true, that’s a switch from 2000 when many Democrats said that Nader served as a spoiler by siphoning enough votes from Democrat Al Gore to throw the election to Republican George W. Bush.
Nader is now focusing much of his campaign on attacking the $700 billion financial rescue package that he charged has benefited speculators on Wall Street but won’t do much to put the country on solid footing.
“This is the final break of the Washington dam for any respect for the taxpayers’ rights,” Nader said. “In 1775 there were 13 colonies in America under King George III. Now there are 50 colonies under King George IV and it’s the same awful message: taxation without representation.”
Nader said he wants dramatic re-regulation of the financial markets and criminal prosecution of many Wall Street figures he charges cooked the books to show inflated profits. And he said he wants to “make the speculators pay for their crimes” by imposing a transaction tax on the sale of financial derivatives to raise money for helping stabilize the economy.
As he has in past campaigns, Nader said he didn’t see much difference between the major-party candidates. Both, he said, support corporate interests and he was especially scathing of Obama.
Obama doesn’t represent real change, Nader said. “This guy is the biggest con artist in our generation by far.”