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Ralph Nader

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Ralph Nader was born on February 27, 1934 in Winsted, Connecticut.  His parents, Nathra and Rose Nader, were Lebanese immigrants.  His father ran a bakery and a restaurant.

In 1951, Ralph Nader graduated from Gilbert School.  He then entered the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton University.   He graduated from Princeton magna cum laude in 1955.  Nader's degree was in government and economics.  Ralph Nader enrolled in the Harvard Law School and graduated with a degree in law in 1958.  While at Harvard, he became the editor of the Harvard Law Review and he graduated with honors.

In 1963, at the age of  29, Ralph Nader hitchhiked to Washington, D.C.  and found a job working for Assistant Secretary of Labor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.  He also did freelance writing for The Nation and the Christian Science Monitor.  Ralph Nader also advised a Senate subcommittee on automobile safety.

In 1965, he released Unsafe at Any Speed, a study that indicated that many American automobiles were structurally flawed.  General Motors tried to discredit Nader.  They hired private detectives to investigate his past in an attempt to find out things about him.  When Ralph Nader learned of this investigation, he sued General Motors for invasion of privacy and forced General Motors to publicly apologize.  He later used the winnings from the lawsuit to expand his consumer rights efforts.

As an activist, Ralph Nader inspired hundreds of young people to work with him in Washington D.C. to uncover corruption in government.  These young activist became known as "Nader's Raiders."  Nader's Raiders investigated water pollution, air pollution, the U.S. Congress, corporate executives, corporate lawyers, nursing homes, the Food and Drug Administration and more.  Nothing was off limits to Nader's Raiders.  Their work brought about many changes and protections to U.S. citizens.

In 1971, Nader founded the NGO (Non-Government Organization) Public Citizen as an umbrella organization for all these projects.  Today, Public Citizen has over 150,000 members and numerous researchers investigating the U.S. Congress, health concerns, environmental issues, economic concerns, and many other issues in the United States.

Ralph Nader has organized many many Non-profit organizations.  Some of which include:
Capitol Hill News Service
Corporate Accountability Research Project
Disability Rights Center
Equal Justice Foundation
National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest
PROD (truck safety)
Retired Professionals Action Group 
Congress Accountability Project
Citizen Advocacy Center
Pension Rights Center
Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights
Center for Auto Safety

For many years, Ralph Nader has criticized the Democratic and Republican Party for preserving a campaign finance system that makes them both dependent on wealthy contributors.  In 1996, Ralph Nader was on the ballot in some states as the Presidential candidate of the Green Party.  In 2000, he again ran as the candidate of the Green Party.  He won nearly three million votes nationwide, close to three percent of the votes cast.

After the election, many Democrats blamed Ralph Nader for Al Gore's lost to President George W. Bush.  They believed that had Nader not been on the ballot in Florida, Al Gore would have won the 2000 election.

Gore narrowly won the popular vote with 51,003,926 votes (48.4 percent) over Bush’s 50,460,110 votes (47.9 percent).  Nader came in third with 2,883,105 2.8 votes (2.7% percent).

But under the U.S. election system, the national popular vote is not used to determine the U.S. President.  Instead, the Electoral College system divides the U.S. presidential election into 51 separate contests (the 50 states and the District of Columbia).  Most of the states are winner-take all.

A total of 538 electoral votes, generally given to states based on population, are up for grabs by the candidates.  If no candidate wins the necessary 270 votes, the election is decided by the U.S. House of Representatives (which hasn’t happened since 1825).

Ralph Nader ran for president again as an independent candidate in 2004.  In February 2008, he announced that he would officially enter the presidential contest for the fourth time, as an independent candidate.

Answer the questions below.

1.  Ralph Nader's parents were

Vietnamese immigrants.

Lebanese immigrants.

Canadian Immigrants.

None of the Above

2.  Ralph Nader graduated from Harvard Law School.

True

False

3.  NGO stands for

No Green Organization

Not Giving Organization

National Governors Organization

Non-Government Organization

4.  While at Harvard, Ralph Nader became the editor of the Law Review.

5.  Ralph Nader believes that the Democratic and Republican parties get too much money from contributors.

6. In 1965, Ralph Nader released a study about U.S. automobiles called

Safe at any Speed.

Unsafe at any Speed.

Safety at any Speed.

None of the Above

7.  Ralph Nader ran for U.S. President in 2000 and 2004.

True

False

8.  Public Citizen was founded by .

9.  Ralph Nader inspired many young activist to work for him.  These activist have become known as

Nader's Activists

Nader's Youngsters

Nader's Raiders

Nader's Action Group

10.  The U.S. election system uses the to determine the U.S. President, not the popular vote.

11.  Al Gore won the popular vote in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election.

True

False

12.  Ralph Nader did freelance writing for Our Nation and the Science Monitor.

True

False

13.  Ralph Nader sued and won money with a public apology.

14.  Some Democrats blamed Ralph Nader for lost to George W. Bush in 2000.

15.  Ralph Nader has run as an independent candidate and a candidate for the Party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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