Return to Sender
In letters addressed to presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, Ralph Nader provides incisive critiques of more than a decade of American policy decision and indecision. With his signature dry wit, Nader holds these presidents to their campaign promises. He also boldly points to the ignoble and sometimes heinous decisions made in pursuit of party platforms and misguided policies. Covering a range of topics—the Iraq War, torture, the Crimean annexation, the minimum wage, worker’s health legislation, and corporatism, to name a few—these letters were ignored by the president who received them. Here they are reproduced to reclaim the spirit of a true and healthy democracy.
"Another triumphant look into the legendary prowess of Ralph Nader. We can’t count on Washington, but we can always count on Ralph Nader to speak for the rest of us.” —ROSEANN DEMORO, executive director of National Nurses United
“For a half century Ralph Nader has said what he thinks, written what he believes, and told it like it is—even to presidents. Too bad they don’t write back. I’d love to know how they’d explain themselves to Ralph, and to the American people.” —ROBERT B. REICH, chancellor’s professor of public policy, University of California at Berkeley, and former US secretary of labor
“For the ordinary citizen the reading of a letter from Ralph Nader is an option; for a president of the United States, it is not.” —LEWIS LAPHAM, founder and editor of Lapham’s Quarterly
“Ralph Nader is without a doubt the most dedicated, fearless, and intelligent citizen crusader America has ever been fortunate enough to have in our midst. Having spent my own time researching the twentieth-century presidential archives for All the Presidents’ Bankers, including the plethora of two-way letters between the most elite and wealthy American bankers to presidents, it is clear that Ralph’s insight and letters speak on behalf of the vast majority of our nation’s citizens, and theirs do not. It is as shameful of these presidents to ignore his well-reasoned, fact-based, and population-centric letters and comments, as it is heroic of Ralph to produce this compilation that holds their denial and silence to account. Bravo, Ralph!” —NOMI PRINS, author of All the Presidents’ Bankers
About Ralph Nader
For the past forty-five years RALPH NADER has challenged corporations, government agencies, and institutions to be more accountable to the public. In 1965, Unsafe at Any Speed changed the face of the automobile industry and made Ralph Nader a household name. As a result of his efforts, cars have more safety features. His lobbying and writing on the food industry insured that the food we buy is required to pass strict guidelines before reaching the consumer. One of his greatest achievements was the 1974 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act that gave increased public access to government documents. This brought freedom of press to a new level, resulting in increased access for journalists.
Ralph Nader has co-founded numerous public interest groups including Public Citizen, Critical Mass, Commercial Alert, and the Center for Study of Responsive Law. Nader today continues to be a relentless force for grassroots activism and democratic change in the United States.