WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – Corporations have such a stranglehold on the two major U.S. political parties, until U.S. national interests and the interests of the U.S. population are second to what’s best for the companies, argues independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

“Who, for example, is going to start seriously talking about waging peace and redirecting some of our federal dollars to the necessities of the American people, instead of unnecessary F-22s and other mega-weapons of mass and rapid destruction that are not needed in a non-Soviet Union world?” Mr. Nader asked a luncheon audience at the National Press Club. “In fact, we have enough weaponry to blow up the world 300 times and make the rubble bounce. And more and more weapons are in the pipeline.”

The kind of leadership which would “wage peace” is practically non-existent, Mr. Nader said, because major party candidates are more like Republican and Democratic extensions of the same “Corporate Party” than they are representatives of truly separate parties.


Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who are afraid of the effect of Mr. Nader’s candidacy on voters, who might otherwise vote for the Democrat against President George W. Bush, should demand more in return for their support, Mr. Nader said.

He personally challenged Sen. Kerry during their recent face-to-face meeting, he told the audience. “‘How are you going to break the opposition to the fossil fuel industry’–and I added the nuclear industry–‘to the conversion of our country to an economically sensible, environmentally benign and geopolitical crisis-averse renewable energy?’ To which he said, ‘Wait and see when I’m president.’”

“Well, that’s a very fair question about dealing with the corporate opponents to so many changes,” Mr. Nader maintained. “Over the years–years ago, the big opponents to public transit were the oil companies, the tire companies and the auto companies. Who is saying ‘no’ to the preservation of the rural economy in our country and the small family farm? It’s the giant agribusiness corporations who are determined to supplant the family farm and rural America with industrialized agriculture, with contract agriculture, turning farmers into contractual serfs, as they already are in the mass poultry industry. Who is saying ‘no’ to campaign finance reform, the kind where public elections are funded by well-promoted public monies? Who’s saying ‘no’ to getting our elections off the auction block?”

Answering his litany of questions, he contended, “It’s the big PACs and all the heavy-duty fat-cat money that rigs the system. It’s corporations. It’s Philip Morris. It’s Ford Motor Company. It’s AT&T. It’s Anheuser-Busch. They’re pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into these debates run by a commission on presidential debates, which is simply a private corporation created in 1987 to jettison the League of Women Voters’ sponsorship of debates, created by the two parties and run by the two parties to this day with corporate money.”

–Askia Muhammad