The last one…
An Unreasonable Man.
Note: I have a crush on Ralph Nader, and unapologetically voted for him in 2000. If anyone wants to accuse Nader/people like me of handing the presidency to the sitting douche bag, I’ll show you the way. If you won’t listen, I’ll fight you.
The film begins with a quote from G. B. Shaw: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
And progress he has brought. What I find most interesting about him is that he does contradict the Shaw quote in one way: he has adapted to the capitalist system and works from the inside–a very reasonable position. Being a consumer advocate is a very reasonable thing in America. He’s not fighting consumerism; he wants to tame the capitalist beast. Some would argue he’s more conservative than progressive because of this; I think he’s the most American thing: pragmatic. And I do think pragmatism still has a place in philosophy and politics.
The big question is why he ran for president. Some think (and I’m on the fence with this one) that he did/would do more good remaining outside of politics (i.e., not holding political office). But as consumers of democracy, as consumers of America (because we aren’t really citizens now, are we?), don’t we deserve choice? Republican or Democrat isn’t really a choice; Democrat is merely the lesser of two evils. Democrats who demonize Nader are afraid of losing their stranglehold on progressive voters.
And let’s not forget that Al Gore did win the presidential election in 2000, Nader or no Nader.
The film is a good look at a career that has spanned over fifty years and a man responsible for seat belts and airbags. And who couldn’t love a man who once called hot dogs “missiles of death?”