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Young Activists/Can Trump Steal 2020?

Ralph welcomes civics educator and author, Barbara Lewis, who tells how best to teach kids how to be effective activists in their communities. Then, investigative reporter, Greg Palast, joins us to outline how we can protect our vote this election year, chronicled in his book “How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters.”


Barbara Lewis is a national award-winning author and educator. When she taught at Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City, her students initiated the cleanup of hazardous waste, improved sidewalks and planted thousands of trees. Ms. Lewis has written 9 books aimed at teaching kids to be civically active. She wrote the book What Do You Stand For? For Teens: A Guide to Building Character.  And her soon to be released book is titled Social Emotional Stories: Lessons and Learning from Plants and Animals.

“What we couldn’t do. What teachers couldn’t do. What the district shouldn’t do, is go to [children] and say here’s the problem. What should we do about it? They have to discover it.”

Barbara Lewis, author of “What Do You Stand For? For Teens: A Guide to Building Character”

“There’s nobody who can touch the conscience of a grown-up more than a child.”

Ralph Nader

Greg Palast is an economist and financial investigator turned journalist. He is known for his investigative reports for BBC, The Guardian and Rolling Stone. Mr. Palast was instrumental in exposing historic controversies such as the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station Project, Exxon Valdez, the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election and Deepwater Horizon. He is the author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.  His latest book is: How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters.

“One in five mail-in ballots never get counted. And once again, overwhelmingly in communities of color. They know what they’re doing.”

Greg Palast, author of “How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters”

To inquire about buying “How Trump Stole 2020” in bulk (250 books for $5.00 per book) email the publisher Seven Stories Press at


Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 334 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. Jon Ralston says:

    In regards to Greg Palast’s discussion about voter/vote suppression, I am continually infuriated at how the Democrats simply refuses to fight for their voters. To my knowledge Greg has been reporting essentially the same story since 2000. It’s almost like the Democrats don’t want to win! Can anyone explain why this is the case???

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Because they don’t want to govern. There’s more money in being the opposition. Besides, they want no part of governing during this pandemic and economic collapse, because then they’d be responsible. And they just want to make money.

      Of course the Republicans don’t want to govern either, which is why they’re so incompetent during these trying times. Like during Obama’s terms, they prefer to be the opposition.

    • Bruce K. says:

      I’m sort of torn in this discussion. While we have a democracy I think we can all agree that there is a spectrum of voter competency. We don’t let people in a coma vote, or a proxy vote for them if they cannot vote. We do not let the mentally incompetent vote. What is the real problem? I think the real problem is our whole system and that drastically changing the voting system so that everyone can vote, or say as in Australia where everyone must vote is a big upsetting change that no one can predict the outcome of, and which might be very destabilizing.

      What about informed voters? Or what about the stake or investment a voter has in the country. What about someone’s judgement. Do we allow the mentally ill to vote, and if not, how mentally ill must one be to be disallowed from voting and who makes that decision.

      Democrats used to line up people to vote who did not know what they were really doing, or had not arrived to that decision on their own, and now Republicans have far surpassed that with the Internet and dog-whistling to the deplorable of society to mobilize them. The discussion is framed here as either we have 100% of everyone vote and counted, or we have a failed system that is illegitimate and that we must hate and fight against.

      I can’t come down on either side of the issues, except to say I am a nominal Democrat and I believe that Al Gore was ripped off of his victory – and whatever you think about the voting system – that was a major wrong that can never be fixed, and the fallout from that event alone has led to a lot more disasters. The loss of Kerry, and the loss of Hillary. The win of Obama to me felt like after the horrible failure of the Republicans under George W. Bush, Republicans basically wrote in the story to give control of a docile Democrat so they could wait out the poisoning of their brand – and now they are back, because of cheating again.

      I read Palast’s book back when it originally came out and discussed it with friends … which was almost 20 years ago. What and where do the books we see published in the media and discussion there and in magazines and YouTube matter? According to this random statistic on the internet ”Of the 500,000+ books that are published each year, less than 20 books sell a million copies (and that includes fiction novels!)”

      If a book sells a million copies, they are read by 1 person out of 350. That is not an educated informed populace. We have a section of the public that reads these books like they are a factor in the political activity of the country, but are they? More people hear to the short interviews with authors like Mary Trump, and the effects are emotionalized. We don’t really get facts, and books are often sold by the word, so the incentive is to write long dense books that are hard to parse and difficult to remember.

      The system doesn’t work, so why should voting. It’s like Bill Maher said on his show last night, the C-19 quarantine pointed out that there are a lot of people that the country would be better off paying to not work because they do such a bad job … why would certain people do any better at voting? I am being Devil’s Advocate here of course, but do we really need to respect the votes of people who cannot even read simple directions? I suppose yes, but doesn’t seem to be doing us any good.

  2. Mark Hughes says:

    Young kids need to be taught economics, ideally starting sometime in elementary school and continuing on through high school. Not just money, but econ. Difference between money & wealth, velocity of money, it’s direction(s) also, what it’s backed by (gold, silver, oil (petrodollar) or nothing at all (fiat, like the USD), it’s history. What’s money? Why does it exist? Who invented it? What’s a commodity? What’s value (elementary school)? What’s work (labour)? What’s bartering? What’s credit? What forms has it taken throughout history? Stuff like that.

    Obviously elementary school kids would learn the more basics above while middle & high schoolers would learn more intermediate levels.

    Classroom projects could utilize boardgame money (or other clearly fake currency) as a way to illustrate how it flows when students divide into project groups and try to ‘sell’ their class projects (i.e. commodities) to other groups. To connect it to real life as Barbara Lewis states, everything from allowances and gift cards to V-Bucks to Robux could be taught as forms of money. Because like it or not, the latter can function as actual money does albeit extremely narrow in scope.

    This is important because so few people understand econ or just money at a higher level (me included). Many know it from a utility and perhaps a store of value standpoint but not at a deeper level. I believe most working people intuitively know they get screwed but maybe can’t articulate it well enough even for themselves to realize it’s systemic and not individual.

    Once again David and I are cosmically connected and it’s during the Wrap-Up as usual. It’s creepy but eerily comforting. As I was typing up my above curriculum, he mentions class consciousness. You can’t teach that effectively without teaching economics, wealth, poverty, money, value, etc.


    Problem with voting for national (federal) candidates is the process for doing so isn’t managed at the federal level. Each state is responsible for it. Which is why, say, the Green Party candidates are listed on ballots on some ballots and not others. States should have no bearing whatsoever on what federal candidates can be voted for nor how. More abdication of inherent responsibility of the federal government.

    Glad to hear Ralph state the fact that the Electoral College handed the Oval Office to Trump. With Hillary winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million, Liberals can’t blame Jill Stein for that. Nor can they really blame Russia. Not really.

  3. stan moore says:

    Put on top what Greg Palast articulated Trump recently sending his federales to blue cities / areas of Ohio (Cleveland), Michigan (Detroit) and Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and also placing his donor as the new Postmaster General, who openly wants to slow the US mail service.

    Even if Trump appears behind in the polls, we mustn’t become complacent

  4. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    Great guest this week! You should think about following up Palast’s discussion on voter disenfranchisement with an election integrity expert to discuss the other side of stolen elections: electronic ballot and tallying manipulation.

  5. John Puma says:

    I’ve held back on this comment for some time now in deference to my great respect for Mr Nader. But …. it has happened once again …

    Mr Nader, please, cease and desist on the snide remarks about Trump being “selected” president by the “antiquated” electoral college system. Whining and complaining about a political issue is SO non-Nader.

    The electoral college is the constitutional method used to elect all presidents. It’s the law and the practice and it was no less known to the Dems in 2016 than it was to the GOP.

    Yes, it allows for a person to become president without having gotten a majority of the popular vote. Prior to 2016, the Dems, in 2000, had been clearly and rudely reminded of this possibility.

    If they do/did not like the repeat of 2000 in 2016, they have only THEMSELVES to blame, having essentially done nothing to amend the election process in those intervening years. To continually whine about it is self-degrading, at best and the worst example if Democratic Party magical thinking … although “Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin – gate” is a strong second.

    THE problem of the 2016: at their nominating convention the Dem knew that their opponent would be “the least popular presidential candidate in history.” Their own choice was between the second-least popular presidential candidate in history, HR Clinton, versus the MOST popular such candidate in history, B Sanders.

    The “super” (stupid) delegates chose, in later-day Politburo style, the entitled one. THAT is cause of Trump’s reign of terror. Of course, this year, the Dems’ candidate will be Joe (neo Jim Crow) Biden. Apparently the Dems don’t want to be perceived as having a racist, misogynist, blithering, doddering geezer -gap with the GOP.

  6. Gabe says:

    Ah, Salt Lake City, Utah, my present residence… Home to John Birch Society Mormons, aggressive corporate giveaways and efforts to steal businesses from other states, multi-level marketing scams, carpetbagger Mitt Romney, and for better and worse, the occasional and typical white washed call for social justice!… As a state with an unusual history and mining operations, there are other aspects… One of the first states to enact women’s suffrage and direct democracy, and Wobblies including Bill Haywood and Joe Hill left their mark here too. There are some faint echos – if you can hunt down Dayne Goodwin and Diana Lee Hirschi, peace activists I think I met while campaigning for Ralph in 08, they would be a great interviewees! (Hopefully peaceful) organizing and class consciousness is the answer to the systemic corruption, including systemic racism!

  7. I DEMAND MANDATORY BLANKING VOTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Bruce K. says:

    A bit off topic, but from everything I’ve been reading the past few years and more, nuclear power is starting to look like the only power source that can provide maintainable, high-up time, low labor, low pollution, zero carbon power for the future. So when I heard you mention Greg Palast and nuclear I wondered if it is the technology that Palast was writing against, or the typical arbitragers who seek to parasitically get on every new thing and milk it for all the profit they can and controlling it … i.e. the oligarchy, or whoever, or whatever it is. If he thinks there is a place for nuclear, how could it work, and if not … well, he’s just wrong and not helping! 😉