Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader spoke to students last Wednesday, May 12, at George Mason University. Calling for a change in the two-party system, Nader urged students and citizens to help him get onto the November presidential ballot in Virginia.
"There's no listening to the American people," Nader said. "There's no dialogue,"
As a third-party candidate, Nader said he is running as an alternative to citizens dissatisfied with the Republican and Democratic parties. Criticizing president George W. Bush (R), Nader advocated a government that supported community, educational and environmental interests over military and corporate interests. He also questioned corporate influence in both Republican and Democratic parties.
Responding to an audience question, Nader said he had met with Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry earlier that day in order to find common ground. He urged Kerry's support to "end corporate welfare, crackdown on corporate crime and give workers the opportunity to form unions more freely."
Nader is the third presidential candidate to appear at George Mason University since February. To educate students, the student newspaper Broadside invited presidential candidates to speak with students and answer their questions. Kerry appeared at George Mason University on Feb. 10, and North Carolina senator and former presidential candidate John Edwards appeared on Feb. 9.
"We wanted students ... to be able to hear candidates first hand," said John Marcario, outgoing editor-in-chief for Broadside. Marcario added that Kerry and Nader had mentioned coming back in the fall, and that the newspaper has been discussing an appearance by President Bush with Bush's staff.