I Used to Detest Ralph Nader

I will try to keep this as short as one of my Facebook posts.

In 1965, Ralph Nader wrote his book, “Unsafe at Any Speed”, an indictment of my family’s second car, The Chevrolet Corvair. My car mags, Road and Track and Car and Driver hated him too. Finally, Detroit was making a sporty, small, vehicle, and Ralph was trying to muck that up.

I love speed, always have. I would drive the back roads of Ohio County, much faster than my parents would dream. As I flew up Waddles Run Road, with 3 friends onboard, something interesting happened; as I entered a sharp turn, we instantly switched lanes. Had a car been coming around that turn, we would have been toast. And with that short hood and empty space? Who knows?

Five years later, I was in my fiance’s 1960 WV Beetle, on the Interstate, when the wind hit me, and, again, I switched lanes, and again I lucked out. That happened again on the road from Kingwood to Morgantown. I am happy not to own either of those cars and glad no one in my family does. Cars are many magnitudes safer now. And, interior rear view mirrors break off now, not like my MGB where the mirror nearly cost me my sight in the left eye. But the nerve damage was permanent.

Am I just a bad driver? Not really. What I learned from the experience is the properties of something called a “swing axle” to roll under the car, reduce the tire patch, and lose traction abruptly. Did GM and WV know about these dangerous tendencies? What do you think? I was reminded that big business is interested in profits. I thought of that when we learned recently that WV had faked emission test results and sold tens of thousand of polluting cars in the U.S.

I don’t have time for the dozens of examples, but I have time to post the URL to this article on Ralph Nader, a man of honor, honestly, character, and courage. Ralph, Joan Claybrook, and Elizabeth Warren are American heroes. My magazines were shills for the auto industry.

Here is a very interesting article on Ralph. jbh How Ralph Nader Changed America

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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