Last summer, in this capital of gridlock, a miracle occurred.
The American people rose as one and told the government of the United States not to drag us into another Middle East war in Syria.
Barack Obama was ready to launch air and missile strikes when a national uproar forced him to go to Congress for authorization. Congress seemed receptive until some Hill offices were swarmed by phone calls and emails coming in at a rate of 100-1 against war.
Middle America stopped the government from taking us into what even the president now concedes is “somebody else’s civil war.”
This triumphal coming together of left and right was a rarity in national politics. But Ralph Nader, in “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State,” believes that ad hoc alliances of left and right to achieve common goals can, should, and indeed shall be our political future.
To call this an optimistic book is serious understatement.
Certainly, left and right have come together before.
In “Those Angry Days,” Lynne Olson writes of how future presidents from opposing parties, Gerald Ford and John F. Kennedy, backed the America First Committee to keep us out of war in 1941, and how they were supported by the far-left Nation magazine as well as Colonel Robert McCormick’s right-wing Chicago Tribune.
Two decades ago, Ross Perot and this writer joined Ralph and the head of the AFL-CIO to stop NAFTA, a trade deal backed by America’s corporate elite and its army of mercenaries on Capitol Hill.
Congress voted with corporate America — against the country.
Result: 20 years of the largest trade deficits in U.S. history. Transnational corporations have prospered beyond the dreams of avarice, as Middle America has seen its wages frozen for a generation.
In 2002, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry joined John McCain and George W. Bush in backing war on Iraq. Teddy Kennedy and Bernie Sanders stood with Ron Paul and the populist and libertarian right in opposing the war.
The left-right coalition failed to stop the war, and we are living with the consequences in the Middle East–and in our veterans hospitals.
As America’s most indefatigable political activist since he wrote “Unsafe at Any Speed” in 1965, Ralph is calling for “convergences” of populist and libertarian conservatives and the left — for 25 goals.
Among these are many with an appeal to the traditionalist and libertarian right:
–Break up “Too Big to Fail” banks. Further direct democracy through use of the initiative, referendum and recall.
–End unconstitutional wars by enforcing Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress alone the power to declare war.
–Revise trade agreements to protect U.S. sovereignty. End “fast track,” those congressional surrenders of constitutional authority to amend trade treaties negotiated by the executive.
From the subtitle, as well as text, of his most recent book, one may instantly identify whom it is Ralph sees as the main enemy. It is megabanks and transnational corporations without consciences whose highest loyalty is the bottom line, the kind of men Jefferson had in mind when he wrote: “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom