The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Pres­i­den­tial de­bate ob­ses­sion con­tin­ues. But there’s big do­ings elsewhere. Con­sumer ad­vo­cate, author, ac­tivist, at­tor­ney, gad­fly, cor­po­rate critic and for­mer pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Ralph Nader is the driv­ing force be­hind “Break­ing Through Power”, a re­cent four-day sum­mit in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal cen­tered on civil jus­tice, civic cul­ture, grass­roots fer­vor, cit­i­zen ac­tion and other ro­bust themes. There were 93 speak­ers, in­clud­ing Mr. Nader him­self, who fa­vors the idea of “daily” democ­racy and “daily” cit­i­zen­ship.

“The most pow­er­ful in­stru­ment un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion for redi­rect­ing this coun­try to­wards the path of jus­tice and well-be­ing is the Congress,” Mr. Nader tells In­side the Belt­way, not­ing that law­mak­ers are bot­tom dwellers when it comes to opin­ion polls, prompt­ing ero­sive cyn­i­cism and dis­in­ter­est among their con­stituents.

“Presently, Congress is the graveyard of democ­racy,” Mr. Nader says, though he hasn’t lost con­fi­dence that Amer­i­cans can ac­tu­ally unite through a “left/right al­liance…” His last book in fact, is ti­tled “Un­stop­pable: The Emerg­ing Left/Right Al­liance to Dis­man­tle the Cor­po­rate State.” His new­est is called “Break­ing Through Power: It’s Eas­ier than We Think” — de­scribed as a Tom Paine-style wake-up call”, and due out Oct. 11

“My mes­sage to the peo­ple of this coun­try is this: laser-beam your sen­a­tors and rep­re­sen­ta­tives with your demands for a brighter fu­ture. Af­ter all, Congress

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