Letter to the editor, re: Nader and popular support for progressive policies

To the editors:
In your harangue against Ralph Nader (Chicago Tribune editorial, "Irrelevant at any speed", 2008 February 27), you suggest that issues like single-payer health insurance and reducing the military budget are being ignored by the major presidential candidates because they "don't see sufficient public support for them". Five minutes on the internet would have proved you wrong.

In an October 2003 Washington Post-ABC News poll, 62 percent of respondents preferred "a universal health insurance program, in which everybody is covered under a program like Medicare that's run by the government and financed by taxpayers." Polls have consistently shown that overwhelming majorities of Americans believe health coverage is a right that should be guaranteed by the government, and large majorities are also willing to pay higher taxes to accomplish this goal. Yet single-payer health insurance, if done right, would actually lower overall health costs and simultaneously accomplish universal coverage. Just ask any other rich country - they all cover all their citizens, and they all pay less for comparable levels of care.

As for military spending, a March 2007 Gallup poll found that 43 percent of respondents think the U.S. spends too much on its military, compared with 20 percent who think military spending is too low and 35 percent who say it's about right.

Clearly there are high levels of popular support for progressive solutions, which is even more remarkable in light of the fact that mainstream politicians and the media ignore them. Perhaps Nader is right after all - progressive policies are suppressed not because of popular indifference but because powerful interests like the health
industry and military lobby have a stranglehold on our politics.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Great letter. Dare I ask...did they publish it?