Albion Monitor
Speech of Ralph Nader (St. Francis Church, Sacramento, CA) October 17, 1996
Part 6 of 6

"We Have to do More Than Just Send a Wake-up Call on November 5th"

And so I leave you with one exhortation. in my citizen work over the years, I never asked people to do anything but pursue what I think are very good policies for their own life's betterment. But on November 5th, I think we have to do more than just send a wake-up call to the two-party political duopoly.

I think we have to tell them that this is only the beginning on November 5th, that the early voters on November 5th who vote for the Green Party candidacies, or perhaps another third party, are sounding the early trumpet.

They are sounding the early trumpet when they will no longer be judged by short term results but by a long term process of building an ever stronger democracy to anticipate and solve our many problems and injustices so we can stand before the world and export democracy, if they so wish to receive it, around the world, instead of anti-personnel equipment, and NAFTA, and death-dealing weapons of mass destruction. which we as taxpayers are subsidizing in the private military arms industry -- $6 billion a year, according to Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon.

We're spending $6 billion a year to subsidize the exports of massive amounts of military equipment and weapons, some of which have been used against our own service personnel, and may be in the future.

Building for the future is a long distance runner's race. It's not a 100-yard dash. It's a race to appeal to the young to join in building from the grass roots up a progressive political movement. It's not always that you have that chance. It's not all Americans who have had that chance.

And doing so, means that the young will turn on politics because they will know from history that anybody who does not turn on politics will find that politics will turn on them.

And for those who have experienced the frustration of the politics of corruption and cowardliness and broken promises and betrayal, camouflaged by a machine of clever slogans and slick explanations, and dreamy scenarios that will never be achieved, for those who have experienced that year after year, November 5th can be a watershed, where the waters of justice begin flowing on the arid plains of national, state and local politics, because those waters come from reservoirs of citizen determination where millions of people will commit themselves to their public citizen duties, so that they and their children will live prosperous and happy and creative private citizen lives.

That's what November 5th means. And the press does not view this campaign as a conventional one. And they're very correct. I am not accepting any contributions and haven't. Not a cent for this political campaign.

I have gone around the country without my hand out. have not gone to a Beverly Hills Salon. I have not gone to a union hall. I have not gone to any place on Park Avenue where the so-called New York liberals reign.

What I have done, and what I have done for years, is to go around the country. connecting with people's minds first, connecting with people's arms, connecting with people's thoughts. Thoughts must precede belief systems and politics, because thoughts are much more durable. Thoughts mean self-reliant. Thoughts mean generation from within. Belief systems in politics mean follow the leader, no matter where the leader goes. Sign on the dotted line.

We're not going to sign on the dotted line any more. We're not going to stay home any more. We're going to build a democracy that will be a model for the world, a democracy that takes the best out of us, and here, as is so often the case, it can start in California and start surging eastward, as so many referendum victories have done in the past. And I think that you're entitled to be proud of what Governor Hiram Johnson did by giving you the direct tools of democracy.

And I hope that you enact Proposition 211 to crack down on the crooks and swindlers; and you enact Proposition 216, the Patient Protection Act; and that you do more than send a message on November 5th, that you send them a movement, of, by and for the people for a profound and lasting democracy.

Thank you.

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Albion Monitor October 27, 1996 (

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