Ralph Nader speaks to Valencia

By Rofkens Petit-Homme
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Another brilliant appearance has been established for Valencia’s East Campus Humanities Guest Speaker Series. The guest was Ralph Nader, a presidential candidate of the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections, Harvard Graduate, lecturer, author, and a multitude of important achievements too large to assimilate.

“This series is to bring important people from many fields of Humanities to engage directly with our students,” explained Dr. George Brooks, professor of Medieval Studies.

The series has presented a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, archaeologists, a Marine Colonel who has tracked down looted items from the Iraqi Museum, and a number of musicians.

With the Performing Arts Center packed with a number of students, faculty and members of the public present, the ‘Nader Music Playlist’ blasted across the auditorium with anticipation in the air.

Apart of the crowd was loyal supporter Sebastian McGarigle donning a Nader ‘08 election pin, visiting from Bradington, Fla. “I’ve seen him speak many times and I’ve helped him out on the campaigns. I know Ralph and his assistant personally, they’ve followed my car a couple of times when in Florida because I have a GPS.”

When introduced to the waiting audience, a standing applause ensued.

Nader touched on a multitude of topics during his lecture including some memories from his childhood.

“I came home from school one day and my father asked me if I learned how to believe or learned how to think?”

Although Nader did talk about his life in Western Connecticut, he also proportioned his lecture on activism in college.

“When engaged in civic activity the government does their job,” said Nader.

Explaining the story of how he and several others fought to obtain legislation on unsafe and dangerous vehicles he placed a sincere thought into the mind of the audience, “Pioneer in anything you are going to be a minority of one”

“What is the evidence?” and “By what legal authority?” are two questions any pioneer should ask their government and elected officials.

He finished the lecture with three words, concentration, curiosity, and imagination. Three words that all students should live by.

With a Q&A session at hand, Nader took topics ranging from student athletes getting paid, immigration laws, class action law suits, soldiers not getting paid, and the appointment of Elizabeth Warren, who at the time was not the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau up until Friday, April 8, 2011.

During Nader’s ‘Seven Traditions’ book signing, student Max Correa said that “It was inspiring, and he was a powerful speaker.”

When asked if he would run for the 2012 election year Nader replied, “Too many people get cold feet, and feel pressured in the booth on election day.” Nader in 2008 actually visited every single state in the union, including Hawaii and Alaska.

All that said and done he did not say he would ‘not’ be running in the 2012 elections.