I’ve always been struck by the coincidence that Ralph Nader attended elementary school with David Halberstam in Winsted, Connecticut. They also were at Harvard together. These two individuals, one the initiator of public advocacy non-profits, the other a journalist of titanic proportions, provided more scrutiny over American institutions during the latter half of the 20th Century than whole armies of others. Nader, who usually comes across as cold and bureaucratic, has a touching tribute to his boyhood friend, and, if I remember correctly, sometime rival.
I covered the 2000 Green Party convention in Denver, where Nader was nominated as the party’s presidential campaign, and have followed him for years. I’ve never been much of a fan. But he is an honorable man. I heard him several weeks ago on Mike Barnicle’s show on WTKK promoting his new book and had to concede that he has made many important contributions to our country.
I was struck by how this early advocate of automobile safety made sure to point out of the spot where Halberstam’s car was hit “the intersection was known not to be a safe one.”