Ralph Nader knows a thing or two about losing elections. The Green Party and independent candidate had a good run as a potential presidential challenger to the established two-party system, but he’s never found the success he’s sought in the political world. Regardless, he continues to speak as a public advocate and the insights he has to offer are worthy of consideration based on his firsthand experience with the political system.
In his latest interview, Nader comments on two possible 2016 candidates: Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul. His comments on Paul are accusational, claiming the politician is attempting to broaden his views to appeal to voters rather than sticking to his libertarian roots. The interview was conducted by Luke Rudkowski and posted to the WeAreChange YouTube account.
“Rand Paul is changing by the month,” says Nader in the video, citing support for the U.S. military budget and aid to Israel as examples in which he has deviated from his views as he gears for a run at the White House.
Nader suggests that Rand Paul should use his father, former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, as an example of how to approach politics. “What he ought to do is go back to his father, sit on his knee, and become more like Ron Paul,” Nader says. Nader accuses Rand Paul of changing his views to appeal to voters in an attempt to take office in 2016, and claims that he needs to stay true to his values in order to truly benefit the country.
By 2016, with an American public increasingly disgruntled with Congressional and presidential leadership alike, Nader’s advice might be more important than ever. Ron Paul was an exciting candidate because he was, to his core, honest. He had strict libertarian views and opinions that crossed party lines, but he never wavered in his fight for what he believed to be the best approach to government in the United States. He even had a decent run for president in 2008, receiving 47,000 votes despite dropping out of the race in June.
The political landscape in 2016 is, unfortunately, reminiscent of 2008. A president who began his first term with overwhelming support won re-election but ultimately let down even members of his own party. The ideas put forth by Democrats and Republicans alike seem to be stagnating the country in a period of war and economic struggle rather than leading us into a brighter future.
In 2008, like Nader in years before him, Ron Paul offered a different direction. Of course, Ron Paul staying true to his roots wasn’t enough to motivate the populace to elect him, and even the Bush-esque John McCain was seen as a more viable candidate for the GOP. His son has a much better chance at winning the nation’s office, if only because he’s always been more of a moderate candidate. As long as he sticks to his roots, any attempt will be successful. Appealing to a wider base of constituents may be the smart move, but it’s also the safe move. The country is, once again, ready for a bold, new type of leader.