In part two of his conversation with former presidential candidate Ralph Nader on TeleSUR’s “Days of Revolt” series, Chris Hedges seeks Nader’s opinion on the role of the third party in American politics, the Obama administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline and Bernie Sanders’ game plan.

“Well, Bernie Sanders has been around a long time,” says Nader, whose latest books include “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State” and “Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015.” “He can see beyond the next hill, or around the next corner. I think I know what his game plan is. Basically, he wants to arouse public opinion in a progressive manner, domestically. He’s got real problems with military and foreign policy positions that he has not taken, progressively. But he wants to build progressive public opinion so that it pulls the Democratic party a little bit. But he doesn’t want to do this in any way that can take a vote away from the nominee, if you say, Hillary Clinton.

So, he’s lost his bargaining power electorally, when he said he’ll endorse the Democratic nominee five months ago. Without saying it depends on who it is, he would have had some bargaining power. So, he’s finished in terms of any electoral dynamics when the primary season is over.”

“Do you have a theory as to why?” Hedges asks.

“Yeah, but his job now, as he sees it, is to mobilize and focus the enthusiasm of progressive-minded people but here’s where the contradiction is,” Nader explains. “If you don’t go into the political arena to win and you gotta go after the leader in the polls, Hillary Clinton, you don’t have to do it nastily, but she’s very vulnerable. A militarist, a Wall Street corporatist, the worst on her record. … Here’s the contradiction Chris, if he doesn’t go electorally in a serious way to win, then [Bernie Sanders] is setting up millions of Americans, and young Americans, for a huge morale collapse. When in April or May he appears on the stage with Hillary Clinton, if she’s the nominee and the winner of the primary and he endorses her. And then, he is folded into the whole ‘Clinton War-Wall Street machine,’ and he goes back to the Senate as a hero. He has a little more influence in the Senate. Maybe he gets two senators to sign on to his single-payer bill. He couldn’t get one other senator to sign on to his single-payer bill. He has a huge mailing list. And he continues on his merry way.”

Sanders should not endorse Clinton unless she endorses his agenda publicly, Nader explains.

“If he doesn’t do that, he’s gonna go down as a total wimp, as a totally complicit person with the subsequent crimes of the Hillary Clinton administration,” he adds.

For Nader’s take on the reasons why a third party will never succeed in American politics and why the Obama administration really rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, watch the full video below:

Posted by Jenna Berbeo

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