by Ralph Nader
June 25, 2008
Senator Obama said earlier today that I haven’t been paying attention to his campaign.
Actually, I have.
And it’s clear from Senator Obama’s campaign that he is not willing to tackle the white power structure – whether in the form of the corporate power structure or many of the super-rich – who are taking advantage of 100 million low income Americans who are suffering in poverty or near poverty.
Senator Obama is opposed to single payer national health insurance.
Because he favors the health insurance giants over the millions of Americans in poverty or near poverty who are uninsured or under-insured. Eighteen thousand Americans die every year because they cannot afford health insurance, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Senator Obama wants to expand the military budget which is loaded with waste, fraud and abuse – instead of cutting it and investing the long ignored peace dividend in the inner cities with good jobs and public works – including schools, clinics, and libraries.
Because he fears and favors those thousands of lobbyists in charge of enlarging the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us against.
Senator Obama says he favors a living wage. But he doesn’t say he would immediately increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour, which is the equivalent of the 1968 minimum wage adjusted for inflation – because by doing so he would offend the big corporations who exploit labor in places like Wal-Mart and fast food chains. (The minimum wage needs to be increased immediately, not phased in over a number of years, as Senator Obama would have it.)
So Senator Obama, let’s get specific.
We’re looking for deeds, not, as Shakespeare put it, words, words, mere words.
Your public career, which I have also been paying attention to, is long on words, and short on action when it comes to consumer protection, cracking down on corporate crime, curbing the violence of toxic environmental racism, and extending clean, affordable public transit, among other issues.
For the purposes of the here and now, three things:
One, why don’t you support single payer national health insurance, which is supported by a majority of doctors and the American people?
Two, why do you favor expanding the military budget which is replete with waste, fraud and abuse?
And three, why don’t you come out and support an immediate increase of the minimum wage to $10 an hour?
When can we expect the authenticity of hope and change?
and from an email:
By the way, there are many definitions of “talking white.”
Here’s our definition, from the Nader/Gonzalez dictionary:
Talking white means telling the white corporate power structure what they want to hear, rather than calling them out and telling them what they need to hear.
The Nader Team