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How The Rats Reformed The Congress

Steve and David turn the tables and interview Ralph about his latest book, the fable: “How the Rats Re-Formed the Congress,” a creative vision of a citizen revolution. Plus listener questions!

“How the Rats Re-formed the Congress” is a fable about rats that invade Congress and astonishingly trigger a peoples’ political revolt. It starts when a Congressional reporter breaks a strange and shocking story: “Rats have invaded the toilet bowls” of both the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader. The mighty rat invasions spark a national news frenzy.

Activists seize on the burgeoning story to organize for a populist agenda. Millions of postcards are sent to Congress. Spontaneous rallies break out everywhere. The activists see the rats upending “business as usual” routines on Capitol Hill as a powerful symbol against the lobbyists and their corporate Congress.

“Take heart, folks. You’ve got a lot of historical experience where justice was put forward and installed in our country by very, very, small numbers of people. But, they represented millions of women who wanted to vote. They represented millions of slaves that wanted to be free. They represented millions of industrial workers and farmers that didn’t want to be subject to the vicious suppression of railroad fees and bank loan gouging that rendered them impoverished.”  Ralph Nader, author of “How the Rats Reformed the Congress”

13 Comments

  1. NooN says:

    (1)
    I wish to “Thank Dr Claire” 4 going down into the bowels of the earth to “check out & acknowledge” the living/working people there.
    I wish she would take before & after white blood cell tests to see what’s in their WBC Memory.
    (2)
    Republicans Rob the Bank.
    Democrats Drive their Car.
    (3)
    One fried chicken house was shut down because they served fried rats instead of fried chicken. This is 1988+/-.
    (4)
    Yes, i believe it comes down to the IMMEDIATE NEEDS of our SMALL COMMUNITY 2 COMMUNICATE WHAT they Want before Who they Want.
    I want whoever will Represent my Few Simple Requests.
    (a) Public Education from K on up with the TargeT being a State, National/InterNational License @ their Skill Certification.
    Kinder is Montessori/Suzzuki.2.Home Mechanics (SkillS)+Home Economics (Marketing).2.Investing 2 years in Their Community
    @ their Chosen Skill. From there College or a Lifetime License to get better and better at, thus uP.Dating + Stabalizing Economy to Work.
    (b) Public Radio & InterNet & TV, if possible for Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, Beakman, the Young Turks, Jackie Chan, Captain Planet, etc.
    (c) Public Health Care 4 All Ages.
    (5) If they don’t advise us how to succeed in getting what we are requesting, I believe we should hold back their pay until they Represent us.

    • Marc Hudgens says:

      The “Republicans Rob the Bank, Democrats Drive their Car” line caught my attention too. True, although I do think the Democrats rob the banks also, they just wear better masks. After all, both parties are essentially the same, save for some relatively minor identity politics, it’s just that the Republicans are overt in their values while the Democrats are subtle and more able to hide their core values. I liken the Dems to Darth Sidious of the Star Wars franchise. When Sidious, while in his alter ego the ever-diplomatic Chancellor Palpatine, was talking directly to Jedi Masters in his office, I wondered how it was possible the Jedi never felt the “dark side” of the force emanating from him everywhere. It was because he was in such control of the dark side he could hide it. That’s how I view the Dems.

  2. Sandra Stein says:

    I was very impressed by this story and would like to know if you can get it into the hands of Thom Hartman of the Thom Hartman show on Free Speech Radio. I get his program, and yours, on WRFI, my local radio station, in Ithaca, NY.

  3. George Gluck says:

    I’d like to be among the first “rats” to reform Congress, from the inside. I am the only progressive running for Maryland’s Congressional District 6 seat. How do I create an inside Congressional Rat Watchers group?

    https://www.facebook.com/george.gluck.31
    https://twitter.com/Gluck4Congress

  4. Deborah says:

    Thank you, Mr Nader, and interviewers – Steve & David .. great show .. only 1% can change the world / “the show”? I hope so .. We’re trying in Kansas but sometimes, I get very discouraged .. so it was good to listen to you all .. take care .. peace… Deborah

  5. M. LeBow says:

    Ralph mentions that it only takes 1% of the population to effect major changes in government policies.

    He also mentions that his new “Rats” website will be selling t-shirts, coffee cups, etc., at some point.
    I’d like to suggest a slogan for the these items: “We’re the Other 1%.”

  6. Don Harris says:

    Ralph,
    While the fictional story may help get some citizens interested and involved, you should also encourage those that are already interested and ready to be involved because they listen to your show (the 1% you often talk about) to mobilize some of the 20-30% of citizens that vote in presidential elections but do not vote in off year elections to register a vote against the Big Money Current Major Parties by casting a write in vote instead of not voting in 2018 to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates in 2020.

    These 20-30% of citizens that are off year non-voters are already registered and vote. All they have to do to participate is sign up at http://www.onedemand.org that they will be participating and vote so there is still time for this to be effective in 2018 (the speed in the rats story).

    Just one of ten of these citizens participating in 2018 instead of wasting their vote by not voting would total about 5% of the total vote in 2018. This could inspire more citizens to participate in 2020.

    An October surprise in 2018 that can grow and be effective in 2020 and each subsequent election.

    And because this is about one issue that 80% of citizens agree on (wanting the Big Money out of politics), citizens can work together on this issue that effects every other issue even if they don’t agree on other issues.

    It should also be noted that when there are small contribution candidates (in 2020 and future elections in the primaries and general elections) that participants will send their contributions DIRECTLY to the candidates and NOT funneled through One Demand so that individual participants control who they support and can use this approach on all candidates and parties.

    Citizens that want small contribution candidates can encourage Ralph to get behind this approach by signing the petition at https://www.change.org/p/ralph-nader-address-one-demand-campaign-financing-approach and contacting Ralph encouraging him to inform citizens about this opportunity.

  7. Joanna Heller says:

    1. How to get the Democrats to let go of their corporate ties and increase their own votes by listening to the 84% who are asking for MEDICARE FOR ALL!
    2. #strikesandboycotts ?????

  8. Grizzly says:

    Also, let’s say hypothetically that Bernie ran and won in 2020. Hypothetically, which cabinet position – or position in his administration could you see yourself leading?

    Just watched your recent P&P book talk.

  9. Matt Froelich says:

    This is off-topic, but I’d like to see Steve and David run the show like this again sometime. What I envision is that they pick a topic, and “spring” it on Ralph who gets to answer their questions. .

  10. Matt Froelich says:

    This is off the topic, but I listened to this Rats episode, and I was struck by the difference in the tone of the conversation. It seemed to flow better than when a guest is being interviewed. I then thought that it might be a good idea for Steve and David to do this more often, in the form of them picking a topic and then asking questions about it of Ralph.

    I am not advocating that no guests appear on the show, just that it might be worth a try as a change of pace or as a fall-back when getting a guest might be difficult.

  11. Psthree says:

    Ralph mentions selling a autographed copy of this book
    Where can I get them? I think they would make great xmas gifts

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