Ralph Nader: New Projects

Ralph Nader has still not decided whether or not he'll run for president in the 2008 elections, but an announcement is expected later this year if he decides to pursue the office one more time.

The consumer advocate and author spoke with CBS News' Meg Oliver to discuss his latest book and a documentary on his life, but had some advice for the current presidential hopefuls as well. "Don't flatter the voters," says Nader. "Try to get the voters in a dialog where the voters get smarter and focus on really what's important, not in superficial appearances and which candidate has the most money."

Nader also added that he wished that more independent thinkers would run for president. "We all have an equal right to run," says Nader. "We're all trying to get votes from one another, and no one is a second class citizen. Because if you put the third party candidates as second class, you're preventing new ideas - new agendas."

In his latest book, "The Seventeen Traditions" which was released on Tuesday, Nader discusses his upbringing in Connecticut and how his mother often challenged him to be different from everyone else. His book offers advice on how today's parents can both discipline their children and nurture them at the same time. "What we're trying to show is that families all over the world are full of wisdom," says Nader. "In order to have a middle-class standard of living, [parents] have to absent themselves from children for too long. Children are growing up today with less time with adults, and more time with television, video games, their peer groups. They really need their parents more... One of the values of this book is how parents can discipline their children without demeaning their intellectual development."

Nader's life is also the subject of a documentary, "An Unreasonable Man", which is being re-released on Wednesday in certain cities. "It was an independent production by two producers who worked two, three years on it," says Nader. "[It shows] how citizens can really make a difference and strengthen our democracy and build a better life for American's health and safety." Nader played a key roll in introducing ideas on national auto safety as well as the Freedom of Information Act.

By Erin Petrun
  • Erin Petrun

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