Ruminating On Ralph: Could Immigration Be Unsafe At Any Speed?

We all know that politics make

strange bedfellows
. But this is ridiculous.

Some VDARE.COM readers have been urging us to
interview Ralph Nader, now that he has declared for
President, because they think that his

, labor-oriented populism might
inspire him to raise the issue of mass immigration—and
especially to oppose the wholesale importation of
technical workers through



Needless to say, given Nader`s stated priorities,
opposing immigration would make perfect sense—but it
would also make perfect sense for the

environmentalist organizations
to oppose immigration
too, and they

never do.
Liberal coalition discipline is just too
strong. (Witness the hysteria of the

Sierra Club staff
because their

grass-roots membership
might dare to interfere in
their own organization`s policies by electing

immigration reform board members
. For today`s smear,
courtesy of the Ithaca Journal`s Jennie Daley,


Still, one reader supplied this arresting quote from
Nader in 2000 (click

and read first item):

"We cannot have open borders. That`s a totally absurd
proposition. It would

depress wages
here enormously, and tens of millions
of people from all levels, including scientists and
workers, would be pouring into this country."

Of course, reading the other quotes collected in 2000
by the non-partisan

On The Issues
site, you can also see some Nader
nervousness on the issue. But our reader quite rightly
comments: “Sure sounds better than anything from


(Indeed, “tens of millions of people
from all levels”
is pretty much what Bush`s crazy
temporary worker

would do.)

Our reader also notes that, in 2000, the loony Left
was already

that Nader was showing interest in a tacit
alliance with Pat Buchanan and his voters (“Both men
have joined with the Teamsters union leadership in the
latter`s racist campaign against the entry of

Mexican truck drivers
into the US…”

And our reader points out that Nader`s nephew and
strategist, Tarek Milleron, has explicitly

that in 2004 Nader can draw Republican rather
than Democratic votes: “For Nader…this will be the
year of the Elks Clubs, the garden clubs, meetings with

employees, the veterans groups, Walmart

And the year of VDARE.COM readers? Judging from our
email, there`s no doubt that some unlikely people would
vote for Nader—if he raised the immigration issue.

All of which puts me personally in an odd position.
In 1990, my beautiful and brilliant co-author Leslie
Spencer and I published a long cover story in Forbes
Magazine (September 17) entitled Ralph Nader Inc.”
You can read it—first time available online!—by clicking

we argued that Nader was not “Saint Ralph,” as an
uncharacteristically credulous

Michael Kinsley
once called him, but a tough
politician who had built a wealthy non-profit empire by
pressing the law to the limit and making a number of
brutal bargains, notably with the labor unions and the

trial lawyers

There was surprisingly little evidence that Nader`s
activities had benefited the public interest. But they
had certainly benefited Nader—he had long lived, for
example, in an expensive townhouse in ritzy NW
Washington D.C. rather than, as he was then still
absurdly maintaining, that legendary rented room near
his office.

Nader is known to be a serious believer in punishing
his enemies. (A number of them—devout liberal
ex-colleagues who would otherwise never go near
—contacted us with horror stories after our
article appeared.) But he was unable to refute our
research, despite the usual huffing and puffing.

Nader had refused to talk to us, but a few years
later I ran into him in Washington. “Ralph will want
to meet you!”
an enthusiastic staffer assured me as
he dragged me over—I hope correctly, for his sake. I
couldn`t tell, because Nader just glared as we shook
hands and made a curious low rumbling noise in his

Immigration will inevitably break into politics. Even
the New York Times recently noted [Outcry
on Right Over Bush Plan on Immigration
, By Rachel L.
Swarns, February 21, 2004] that the issue is surfacing
in primaries in California, Illinois and elsewhere. But
it is meeting, as always, with entrenched, hysterical,
unscrupulous resistance.

So what do I think of Nader now? Ruthless. Cunning.
Opportunistic. Hard-driving. Egomaniac, with an iron
will to match.

Could be the man for the job!

VDARE.COM will ask him for an interview. I`ll risk
the rumbling noise.

Heck, to get immigration into the public debate, I`d
even risk the

trial lawyers.

See also:
Inc, by Peter Brimelow and Leslie Spencer

Peter Brimelow, editor of

and author of the much-denounced

Alien Nation: Common Sense About America`s Immigration
(Random House –
1995) and

The Worm in the Apple
(HarperCollins – 2003)