On Independence Day, Ralph Nader talked to Doug Hughes on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. Hughes is the man who landed a gyrocopter on the Capitol Hill lawn in an act of civil disobedience so that he could personally deliver letters of petition against anti-corruption to each member of Congress.

The U.S. Postal Service fired Hughes, and he faces multiple federal felony charges. Pick up the Hughes interview at 21:58 minutes.

The Nader/Hughes Interview

Ralph Nader leads into the interview with, “It’s almost a perfect story of how democracy should work.” Then he asks Doug Hughes the following questions:

  • What was in those 535 letters and how were they delivered after the police quickly descended on you when you landed on the Capitol lawn?
  • Where can people read your two-page letter?
  • What kind of media interest [has there been] since you landed on the Capitol lawn?
  • What are the points of reform that you think the people should demand… to get dirty money out of politics? (Here, Nader sneaks in a suggestion to ban political donations made by corporate government contractors.)
  • Can you explain [what the government] is charging you… with, and what is your response? (Charges include impersonating a mailman!)
  • [When your trial comes up this Fall, you have an idea for a flag-pole sitting movement…?] (The idea involves exposing former elected officials who now work as lobbyists.)

Doug Hughes’ Anti-Corruption Pole Sitting Movement Idea

Since I’m all out of original ideas, I propose to revive an old stunt – from the 1920s. Pole sitting. Some called it flagpole sitting. For the week of my trial, I would like to put 100 (or so) spokespersons on 100 poles all around the country – on 100 platforms. 95 years ago the press loved it – just for the novelty. We’re going to do it for a purpose.

Every day after court, I’ll conference call with my elevated friends. They can talk to the press – the local press. This gives them the chance to control the LOCAL message. The national media will have to go to the local press for the inside story for a change. Turning the Congress to an honest body working for the people has to start at the local level. We’re going to use the trial to build that local power.

Posted July 2, 2015 by Doug Hughes

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