WASHINGTON – Ralph Nader (search) has been labeled a spoiler, criticized by Democrats and shunned by the Green Party (search), but the seemingly inexhaustible consumer advocate is hoping to jump-start his independent presidential campaign with a new book.
In "The Good Fight: Declare Your Independence & Close the Democracy Gap," Nader explores themes that will be familiar to anyone who has heard him: the power that large corporations wield over government, the toll of white-collar corruption, tax breaks that benefit the rich and the increasing burden on America's working class.
ReganBooks, a division of HarperCollins, is the publisher.
Amy Baron, a spokeswoman at HarperCollins Publishing, says Nader will actively promote the book in the coming weeks, including an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" and book signings nationwide. She declined to say how many copies would be printed.
Nader, a prolific writer and author of more than half a dozen books, reiterates his criticism of "the two-party duopoly" and laments what he calls the dwindling differences between the Democratic and Republican parties.
He does not directly address the ongoing controversy over his effect on the 2000 presidential race and Democratic claims that he helped George W. Bush win the White House by stealing precious votes from Al Gore. But he derides the idea of rallying behind the Democrats to deny Bush a second term.
"When a party's sole claim to legitimacy is that its major opponent is even worse, idealists in the party have a choice," he writes. "They can hold their noses and join the interminable slide or they can deny their party their vote until the party shapes up and resumes working for the people."
The book contains just one mention of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, prodding him to come out more forcefully against the war in Iraq. Nader quotes Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate when the former Navy captain turned anti-Vietnam War activist asked, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
"Perhaps it's time for candidate John Kerry to repeat the question," writes Nader, who has defined himself as the only true anti-war candidate in the 2004 election.
Meanwhile, Nader continues to struggle in gaining access to some state ballots. Campaign spokesman Kevin Zeese said Thursday that Nader did not garner enough signatures by Wednesday's deadline to appear on the presidential ballot in Indiana.