To the editor: I'm old enough to vividly remember relishing General Motors President James M. Roche's sanctimonious mea culpa in 1966 after the revelation of his company's harassment of the then-unknown Ralph Nader. But no one then could have imagined the long-term results of that wooden-headed action. ("GM ignition switch scandal unlikely to spur safety reforms," Op-Ed, July 28)
Nader's book, "Unsafe at Any Speed," in which he condemned the Corvair, became a bestseller. Nader became a celebrity icon, which in turn led him to run for president in 2000, siphoning off enough Florida votes to put
If President Bush ever had a friend in high places, it was Roche, little though he knew it in 1966. Roche and his Corvair turned Nader into a liability for the very liberals who admired him. The result has been two lost wars, a gutted economy and a wellspring of Middle East hatred for the U.S.
Unsafe at any speed indeed.