This story was written by Allison Suesse, Iowa State Daily
After 40 years, Ralph Nader is still out to change the political system.
Nader, Peace and Freedom Party presidential candidate, and one of Time Magazines 100 Most Influential Americans in the Twentieth Century, spoke at Iowa State Universityon Friday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.
Nader is running with Matt Gonzalez of San Francisco and is currently ranked third in voter polls, without any national TV coverage and with being excluded from the presidential debates, he said.
Nader highlighted issues from his campaign, including issues specifically targeted toward college students.
Were doing this campaign because we want to bring in young people into clean politics its your future he said. Youre not going to be able to break a paradigm any better than you are in your 20s, Nader continued, encouraging students to fight for change in the political system.
In addition, he said the current administration is spending $80 billion of your tax money, $60 billion of which could give every student in this country free tuition at every public university for weapons of mass destruction.
With his views on mainstream politics, Nader cuts an image of a rebel candidate. Nader cites Barack Obama and John McCain as Ditto-heads and holds strong views that deviate from the mainstream political powers for example, his ideas of alternative energy. Nader cites solar power as being superior to more oil, coal, nuclear power Solar energy is the greatest single solvent.
Nader also plans to end corporate welfare by not allowing billions of our tax dollars to be used for unnecessary subsidies, according to a Nader/Gonzalez brochure.
Weve let our country be hijacked by corporate gangsters in Washington who sold our government to fewer and fewer giant corporations who have no allegiance to this country anymore other than to control it or abandon it as they see fit, Nader said.
Scott Knight, ISU coordinator for the Nader/Gonzalez campaign and ISU alumnus, estimated Nader has visited over 50 colleges. Although Nader is a member of a third party, Knight believes college students and citizens in general will support Naders idealistic goals.
[Students] are tired of the Democrat/Republican duopoly and theyre looking for real solutions and real options and a real choice, Knight said, referring to Nader.
Samantha Rieff, freshman in performing arts, agreed with Knight. As a longtime Nader supporter she said, I agree with his energy policies and that hes steering away from nuclear power. And I agree with his views of tuition at public universities.
Nader has been campaigning in 45 states and intends to continue to all 50 states in order to gain support for his candidacy. Funds received by the candidate are donations collected from attendees of Naders speeches. Nearly $1,000 was collected in support of the Nader campaign from supporters at Iowa State.
Nader said he has been involved in the political system for over 40 years, and was a driving force behind mandating seatbelts and airbags in cars, nutritional facts on food labels and enacting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.