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Making Changes for People

Left-Right Alliances

by RALPH NADER

This week, my new book is coming out with a daring goal. It is to break through the corporate imposed gridlock that prevents those on the left and right from realizing they actually agree on and can activate new directions for our country. The book’s title – Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State – reflects the direction of this desired action-driven dialogue.

Appearing on C-SPAN last Sunday, a widely syndicated columnist for the Chicago-Tribune – Clarence Page — said that he’s “writing a lot these days about left/right coalitions.” He was referring to such coalitions for prison reform, a review of the war on drugs and the passage of legislation in numerous states regarding juvenile justice reforms.51elSzNjLdL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

But there are many more long-overdue redirections of our nation that receive left/right convergence at various stages from the verbal to parallel activities to outright coordinated action. In defiance of their respective political leaders, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a large combination of Republicans and Democrats came stunningly close (217 to 205) on July 24, 2013, to passing through the House of Representatives a ban on NSA dragnet snooping on the American people.

A comprehensive whistle-blowing bill protecting federal employees who want to speak out on waste, fraud and corruption overcame corporate opposition with an overwhelming congressional vote in 2013. The formidable lobby of corporate contractors delayed the bill’s passage but, in the end, left/right convergence made this reform possible.

Public opinion polls regularly reflect left/right concurrence. From 70 to 80 percent of the people support a restoration of the minimum wage to reflect the erosions of inflation. Higher percentages want the “too big to fail” big banks to be broken up. Even higher numbers object to the non-prosecution of corporate crooks, especially those responsible for the Wall Street crash of 2008-2009 that drove the economy into a severe recession, cost savers trillions of dollars and led to a huge taxpayer bailout.

Called crony capitalism by the right and corporate welfare by the left, there is a rising tide of revulsion against the rich and powerful freeloading on the backs of ordinary taxpayers.

A left-right majority consensus has emerged in the past decade directed against Empire and unconstitutional wars. Conservative members of Congress such as Rep. Walter Jones, former Congressman Ron Paul and libertarian Cato Institute leader Ed Crane are strong in opposing this imperial overreach and the corporate interests profiting from such costly aggressions.

There are latent majorities on numerous issues that do not see the light of day because the corporatists’ toadies — the political leaders in Congress — make sure there are no hearings, no floor debates or votes. Predictably, pollsters do not poll questions that are not on the table, such as long-time majority support for full Medicare for everybody, so the public is kept from having its voice reflected. By the same token, politicians, marinated in commercial campaign money, do not campaign on these convergences between the left and right.

It is a neglected responsibility of the mainstream media to expand reporting on left/right concurrences, especially where they move into action around the country. It is our responsibility as citizens to more visibly surface these agreements into a new wave of political reform. Guess what? It starts with left/right conversations where we live and work. Not even corporatists can stop you from getting that train moving.

For signed copies of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, visit politics-prose.com/unstoppable.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.