Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ralph and Carey


Ralph Nader is running for president again. Didn't you hear? It was in all the papers.

Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote an open letter asking him not to. In the first sentence of his response to her, Nader evoked the legacy of Carey McWilliams, the magazine's editor when Nader wrote his landmark piece on automobile safety.

Katrina's request is a practical one. Nader's response is more about principle. Who better, then, to evoke in your first sentence than Carey McWilliams? But since Carey stepped down at The Nation more than three decades ago, Nader's response has a giants-in-the-earth quality.

By coincidence, the keynote speaker for the next California Studies Association conference, which I'm helping to organize, will be Matt Gonzalez, Nader's running mate. I asked Matt before the nomination was announced. That conference will run April 11-13 at Berkeley City College; Matt will speak Friday night, April 11. Details to come.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Nader picked a PoliPointPress book (Building the Green Economy) as one of his top picks for the 2007 holiday season.

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