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corporate dominance | government selection 2004

The speech Ralph Nader gave at Creighton Univ. on 8/25/04

We've lost our light.
That's the first reality of American Politics. We no longer are carrying the torch of our forbears. The people who stood tall to abolish slavery, to fight for a woman's right to vote, to fight for millions of workers in dungeon factories and mines to have the right to form trade unions, to increase their standard of living and their safety, the farmers who came out of east Texas in 1887 and started the populist progressive revolt - the greatest reform movement in American history, that we are still benefiting from although at a depreciating level. Consider what they gave up. What did they risk? They risked their livelihoods.

There was no welfare pay, there was no unemployment compensation, no social security, no disability payments - NOTHING. They put their families lives on the line for dignity, safety, for a decent wage in the coal mines, and in the auto plants and the steel mills.
We should be ashamed of ourselves. All we have to do is turn off the television and start focusing on some serious pursuits of justice, so we can pursue happiness.
You cannot pursue happiness without pursuing justice. That's what the Declaration of Independence was all about. The pursuit of happiness was preceded by the inalienable rights of human beings.

You know what's interesting. What's interesting is what television has done to all of us. We can't begin to exaggerate the numbing, mind closing trivialization of the human mind that occurs when starting at age two the television becomes our electronic baby sitter. Through ages 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - 30, 40 hours a week we are sitting on couches when we should be exercising our young bodies. Being persuaded to buy junk food, to nag the parents to buy junk food, being persuaded that violence is the solution to life's problems, being persuaded that just sitting there, watching, frying our little brains, reducing our attention span, shrinking our vocabulary, de-socializing our interactions with other human beings including our own family.... is a good thing.
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