But not irrational

— not by long shot.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” –George Bernard Shaw

He is unreasonable in his consistent integrity of his ideals.

Some say, because of that, he is unsafe at any speed of change.

He has always been Idealistic. THAT’S THE NATURE OF TEMPERAMENT.

He won’t change, he can’t change. He doesn’t compromise.

And he is unreasonable about that.

He hasn’t changed his ideals: they have.

In 1965, Ralph Nader wrote the book Unsafe at Any Speed, in which he claimed that many American automobiles were unsafe to operate.  In the book he had a chapter on the General Motors’ (GM) Corvair, claiming that General Motors knew about some design flaws that compromised its stability at moderate or high speeds on curves.  In early March 1966, several media outlets, including The New Republic and The New York Times, reported that GM had tried to discredit Nader, hiring private detectives to tap his phones and investigate his past, and hiring prostitutes to trap him in compromising situations. Nader sued the company for invasion of privacy and settled the case for $425,000. Nader’s lawsuit against GM was ultimately decided by the New York Court of Appeals, whose opinion in the case expanded tort law to cover “overzealous surveillance”. Nader used the proceeds from the lawsuit to start the pro-consumer Center for Study of Responsive Law. Nader’s advocacy of automobile safety and the publicity generated by the publication of Unsafe at Any Speed, along with concern over escalating nationwide traffic fatalities, contributed to Congress’ unanimous passage of the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The act established the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, marking a historic shift in responsibility for automobile safety from the consumer to the government. The legislation mandated a series of safety features for automobiles, beginning with safety belts and stronger windshields.  In 1999, a New York University panel of journalists ranked Unsafe at Any Speed 38th among the top 100 pieces of journalism of the 20th century.

Ralph Nader, Teacher Idealist, (born February 27, 1934) is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism,  environmentalism, and democratic government.

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. –Ralph Nader

Hundreds of young activists, inspired by Nader’s work, came to DC to help him with other projects. They came to be known as “Nader’s Raiders” and, under Nader, investigated government corruption, publishing dozens of books with their results.

Even more than the other IdealistsTeachers have a natural talent for leading students or trainees toward learning, or as Idealists like to think of it, they are capable of calling forth each learner’s potentials. Teachers are able – effortlessly, it seems, and almost endlessly-to dream up fascinating learning activities for their students to engage in. In some Teachers, this ability to fire the imagination can amount to a kind of genius which other types find hard to emulate. But perhaps their greatest strength lies in their belief in their students. Teachers look for the best in their students, and communicate clearly that each one has untold potential, and this confidence can inspire their students to grow and develop more than they ever thought possible. [Please Understand Me II]

Throughout his career, Nader has started or inspired over forty nonprofit organizations, with most of which he has maintained close associations.

Nader is a five-time candidate for President of the United States, having run as a write-in candidate in the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary, as the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.  Many of his original supporters and some of Nader’s raiders have decided he was a political “spoiler” who cost the Democrats the 2000 presidential election. Nader has become a pariah even among many of his former friends and allies.

What you have to do is step back and start by trying to help organize people and trying to get them to see citizenship as a profession. And then, out of this kind of grassroots effort will come better candidates.”
—Ralph Nader

Many things today’s consumers take for granted—seat belts, airbags, product labeling, free airline tickets after being bumped from an overbooked flight—are largely due to the efforts of Ralph Nader and his citizen groups.


openquoteI don’t care about my personal legacy, I care about how much justice is advanced in America and our world.  — Ralph Naderclosedquote

Other Teacher Idealists include:  Mikhail Gorbachev, Stephen Covey, Jane Fonda

5 thoughts on “Unreasonable”

    1. The video is a classic case of Ralph Nader alienating many of his former supporters and acolytes. Pure Idealism par excellence.

  1. So… what Ralph Nader
    does, “alienating former supporters”…is that typical of all idealists? Or are you just saying that being true to himself to a fault, that’s what is idealistic about him?

    1. The latter. The Teacher Idealists can be the most Preemptive. The Counselors are Contending. The Champions are Collaborative. The Healers are Responding. The “amount” of Idealism (and what domain) in each individual varies — but all Idealists are idealistic to degree.

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