Jul 15 • 1HR 33M

Young Swing Voters

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Appears in this episode

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
Episode details

Ralph welcomes Maxim Thorne director of the non-partisan Civic Influencers, an organization that trains young people to inspire their peers to vote and therefore swing elections toward issues they care about and also fights “generational gerrymandering,” efforts by certain states to make it harder for 18 to 29-year-olds to vote. Plus, Ralph gives his take on some recent news items, answers your questions, and comments on your recent feedback.

Maxim Thorne - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia

Maxim Thorne is a lawyer, activist, philanthropist, and a Lecturer at Yale. He has worked with the NAACP, Human Rights Campaign, New Jersey Head Start Association, GLAAD, the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School, and the Yale Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He currently serves as Chief Executive of Civic Influencers, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to inspiring young people to make their voices heard—and their votes count.

When we think about how important young people are to saving our democracy, and voting on pro-democracy candidates, and voting on issues like climate change and abortion rights and LGBTQ rights— what are we giving them? If you are not moving to relieve their student debt, and you are not moving to allow them to organize so they get better paid jobs that allow them to lead a decent life, you’re not giving that most important part of our electorate what they need and what they’re demanding.

Maxim Thorne

We can show [young people] the power of their vote— that’s the marching band, the glee club, the gospel choir, the football team, the cheerleaders alone could swing that election. One dorm could swing that election. That is power.

Maxim Thorne

It’s really amazing how, after the civil rights battles and the civil rights laws in the 1960s and ‘70s, most people thought, “That battle is over, it’s up to you to vote, and no one’s going to obstruct you.” And along come some of these rightwing corporate lawyers for the GOP. And they say, “Hey, we can develop all kinds of ways to harass, delay, expunge, purge, and not count votes!” And that’s what a lot of Republican governors are doing from Florida to Texas.

Ralph Nader

In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis

1. For the first time in 20 years, Israel has attacked the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp, the New York Times reports. Less than two weeks earlier, far-right Israeli defense minister Itamar Ben Gvir went on record saying “We have to settle the land of Israel and at the same time need to launch a military campaign, blow up buildings, assassinate terrorists. Not one, or two, but dozens, hundreds, or if needed, thousands.” This brutal attack has reignited international outcry against Israeli apartheid, including from the United Nations, but few expect the Biden administration to impose serious penalties in response.

2. A group of congressional progressives is speaking out in response to the White House’s decision to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine. In a statement, this group wrote “Cluster munitions have been banned by nearly 125 countries…because of the indiscriminate harm they cause, including mass civilian injury and death.” This statement also notes that the administration is circumventing clear directives from Congress restricting the transfer of these weapons. This statement was signed by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, and Ilhan Omar, among other progressives.

3. Per Ryan Grim of the Intercept, on the other side of the aisle, Matt Gaetz – the dissident House Republican – has committed to cosponsoring the amendment to bar the transfer of cluster munitions. One hopes this Left-Right coalition can expand and stop this move.

4. The Verge reports that Microsoft has won the first round of its legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the tech giant’s acquisition of the video game conglomerate Activision Blizzard. The ruling follows “five days of grueling testimony.” Despite their victory, Microsoft still faces an antitrust lawsuit.

5. In Guatemala, an electoral crisis is unfolding. Shocking results in the June 25th elections put Bernardo Arevalo – a progressive anti-corruption candidate and son of former left-wing president Juan Jose Arevalo – into the second round, defeating the daughter of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt and setting up a showdown with the former first lady Sandra Torres. However, a coalition of nine right wing parties have filed a lawsuit to suspend the results, citing far-fetched allegations of fraud. The Organization of American States is urging the Guatemalan authorities to reject the lawsuit because "The Mission verified that no serious irregularities were revealed and that no significant changes were registered with respect to the preliminary results of Sunday, June 25." This from Reuters.

6. The sports pages of both the LA Times and New York Times took major hits this week. According to the Sporting Tribune, the LA Times “will no longer have box scores, standings, game stories, TV listings or a daily sports calendar.” These changes were reportedly made to accommodate new 3 p.m. deadlines following the sale of the paper’s printing press. At the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Grey Lady is planning to close its sports desk entirely, and instead rely on The Athletic for their daily sports coverage. This is "part of an effort to further integrate the publication it bought for $550 million last year."

7. A wild story in Variety alleges that Warner Brothers-Discovery CEO David Zaslav made a crooked bargain with GQ’s editor-in-chief Will Welch. The terms? In exchange for burying a GQ story critical of Zaslav, Welch got a plum position as a producer on a WB film. If so, Welch likely violated the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics which states reporters and editors should “avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived [and] disclose unavoidable conflicts.”

8. Common Dreams reports that President Biden has nominated Elliott Abrams to the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Abrams, a lifelong neoconservative war hawk, has admitted to covering up information in the Iran-Contra scandal and ignored reports of the massacres in El Salvador in the 1980s. Abrams later called US policy in El Salvador a “fabulous achievement.” Listeners may remember a heated confrontation between Abrams and Rep. Ilhan Omar when he was nominated as a diplomat to Iran and Venezuela under President Trump in 2019.

9. According to the Financial Times, “Elon Musk’s Tesla has joined Chinese automakers in pledging to enhance “core socialist values” and compete fairly in the country’s car market after Beijing directed the industry to rein in a months-long price war.” While Elon Musk, one of the richest men in the world, clearly does not hew to ‘core socialist values’ it is a marked turn from his previous comments on the topic, including tweeting that “Karl Marx was a capitalist.” We recommend he take a break from Twitter, and maybe read a book?

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Episode 488 Transcript
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