By Ralph Nader, Lou Fisher and Bruce Fein

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky) principles are like restricted railroad tickets, good for this day and train only.

In 2016, Senator McConnell’s ten-month soundtrack in blocking a Senate vote on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court was the need to listen to the American people through the ballot box. On February 23, 2016, for instance, Mr. McConnell sermonized: “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide.” …

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On September 26, 2020, President Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy V. Coney Barrett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court held by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In 1994, I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Stephen G. Breyer by President Clinton to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In that testimony, I called attention to the importance of balance in the way our laws handle the challenges of corporate power in America.

I said:

For our political economy, no issue is more consequential than the distribution and impact of corporate power. Historically, our country periodically has tried to redress the imbalance between organized economic power and people’s rights and remedies. From the agrarian populist revolt by the farmers in the late 19th and early 20th century, to the rise of the federal and state regulatory agencies, to the surging trade unionism, to the opening of the courts for broader non-property values to have their day, to the strengthening of civil rights and civil liberties, consumer, women’s and environmental laws and institutions, corporate power was partially disciplined by the rule of law.

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Let’s give dangerous, dictatorial, corporatist, lawless, unstable, Donald Trump his due. He has shown us just how weak our various countervailing institutions and constitutional standards are in checking the excesses of the most impeachable President in American history.

After three and a half years of corruption, cronyism, chaos, illegal wars, and destruction of law enforcement protecting people from corporate ravages, Trump a bigoted, racist, serial fabricator, and boastful savage serial predator has not only gotten away with everything but has doubled down on everything. He has intimidated almost everyone with any power or influence into submission or silence.

This unprecedented feat rests on many…

The following are Eleven Suggestions, with useful links, for getting out more progressive voters to the polls in the approaching elections at the local, state and national levels. For a variety of reasons and causes, tens of millions of eligible Americans do not vote. These ideas can spark interest and participation by these citizens, and regular voters, in shaping a more productive and fair democratic society. Spread the word.

The following items were assembled before Covid-19 which means that some of them need to be altered accordingly, while the majority are not significantly affected.

Corporatist right-wingers prefer to campaign on “values” and not on their voting records. They cannot answer the question — “Which side are you on?” — in ways that appeal to voting families. Right-wingers will describe deceptively a law they voted for, such as the tax cut for the rich and the corporations (2017), but for the most part, they block or oppose votes to provide necessities for the people. Right-wingers prefer campaigning about “values” and abstractions. Consequently, in 2014 when Senator Mitch McConnell was up for re-election, I drafted a list of Kentucky Values and compared them to the contrary positions and votes of McConnell. The latter were clearly contrary to broad Kentucky values. A member of Congress hand-delivered to McConnell’s opponent this list of values in the context of McConnell’s votes. McConnell’s opponent declined to use this approach in the campaign. The Louisville Courier-Journal — the state’s largest newspaper, thought enough of the message to print it as an op-ed by me. …


Ralph Nader

Consumer advocate, author and former presidential candidate.

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