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Nader blasts two-party system

Published August 1, 2008 12:08 am

The independent presidential hopeful also calls Obama, McCain corporate candidates
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader challenged Americans to find their breaking point and speak out against the corporations running the country.

Nader blasted the two-party system he says has been overrun by corporate interests that are keeping Americans from universal health care and a living wage, and are profiting and sustaining a war in Iraq that he termed as criminal.

"Do you realize there is no discernible breaking point for the American people? We're headed for a cliff . . . where's the breaking point?" Nader asked, speaking to an audience of about 400 supporters Thursday night. "It isn't that they're not aware. You know what's missing? Fire in the belly. Moral indignation."

Nader, who is running for president for a fifth time, this time as an independent, criticized Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, as being a continuation of the status quo.

"McCain and Obama are clearly, overwhelmingly corporate candidates," Nader said.

"With Obama, prepare to be severely disappointed," Nader said, criticizing the candidate's support for nuclear power and credit card companies. "Again and again, he bends to corporate power instead of lifting up popular power. Prepare to be disappointed."

Nader heaped criticism on the health care industry. He said that, based on a study by the Institute of Medicine, 18,000 Americans die every year because they lack health insurance - six times the toll from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"Do they get buried with honors? Does anybody trumpet 'Taps' for them?" he asked. "Once we have a low expectation of the political system and what it should deliver, [the corporation's] work is done."

Nader, 74, began his career in government as a consumer advocate more than 40 years ago.

In the 2000 election, Nader won nearly 5 percent of the vote in Utah, but Democrats grumbled he cost Al Gore the presidency that year with his showing in Florida.

In 2004, he received just more than 1 percent of the vote in Utah.

This morning, Nader and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson will meet at the state Capitol to call for the impeachment of President Bush, then file paperwork to add Nader's name to the ballot in Utah.

"This whole nation needs to be turned around and we're not going to do it the same old way, with the Democrats saying, 'Just vote for us, we'll get around to it someday,' " Anderson said.

Nader is on the ballot in about 20 states. Many in his audience Thursday welcome his challenge to the two-party system.

"I just don't see a lot of hope from either Obama or McCain," said Jim Kelly of Provo.

"He's been a stormtrooper for a long time and I think if someone's going to make a third party happen, why not Ralph?"