Nader Set to Visit Campus This Month

“One of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the Twentieth Century” will make a long-awaited appearance on Andover’s campus later this month. Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, will speak on Academy Hill April 22. The administration postponed a Nader visit scheduled for last year after he announced that he would seek the presidency. When Nader announced his candidacy last spring, the Academy sought to avoid the appearance of partisanship that would result from hosting only one candidate. Administrators considered hosting a debate with all the major candidates in the fall, but instead decided to reschedule Nader’s visit until after the election. “Nader was being brought as a speaker of general issues. He was being paid a substantial amount. We don’t pay political candidates to come speak, so it was no longer appropriate to bring him to speak,” Director of Alumni Affiars and All-School Meeting Committee Member Michael Ebner told The Phillipian in October. Last year, Nader earned recognition on Time magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the Twentieth Century.” Nader has run for President four times. In 1992, he sought the nation’s top office as a write-in candidate. In 1996, he agreed to run as the Green Party’s candidate, hoping to break what he termed a “political duopoly.” He and running mate Winona LaDuke garnered 0.71 percent of the nation’s popular vote. In 2000, Nader and LaDuke again represented the Green Party on the presidential ticket. With more active campaigning and fundraising, they garnered nearly three million votes, approximately 2.74 percent of the electorate. Nader’s 97,488 votes in Florida attracted the most attention; many pundits argued that Nader, by taking votes that might have otherwise gone to Gore, enabled George W. Bush to win the presidency. Last year, the Green Party delayed the decision about whether to run a candidate until their convention in June, and Nader, seeking to begin his campaign early, chose to run as an Independent. Nader selected Peter Miguel Camejo as his running mate. Camejo’s 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed challenged General Motors and the automotive industry about the safety featues included in their automobiles. The book spurred Senate hearings on the subject and resulted in imposed safety measures on the industry. Nader has since founded or organized over 100 civic organizations, including Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer advocacy group dedicated to representing consumer interests in Congress. He has also written countless books, including bestsellers Winning the Insurance Game: Why Women Pay More, Getting the Best from Your Doctor and Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President. Nader also writes “In The Public Interest,” a nationally-syndicated newspaper column. He has recently addressed such issues as Super Bowl advertising, the “Corporate Cyborg,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Terri Schiavo case. Nader’s speech will be open to the public and will be held on Friday, April 22, at 7:00 p.m. in Cochran Chapel. The John M. Kemper Memorial Fund is sponsoring his visit. This fund has also brought Archbishop Desmond Tutu and author Tobias Wolff to the campus in recent years.