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PAT BUCHANAN: Finding common ground for left, right isn't impossible

creators syndicate Published: May 19, 2014 4:00 AM

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.

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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.

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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:

n Break up "Too Big to Fail" banks. Further direct democracy through use of the initiative, referendum and recall.

n End unconstitutional wars by enforcing Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress alone the power to declare war.

n 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.

Undeniably, there has been a growing gap and a deepening alienation between traditional conservatives and those Ralph calls the "corporate conservatives." And it is not only inside the conservative movement and the GOP that the rift is growing, but also Middle America.

For America never voted for NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, mass immigration, amnesty, or more H-1Bs to come take the jobs of our workers. These votes have been forced upon members of Congress by leaders carrying out their assignments from corporate America and its PACs, which reward the compliant with campaign checks.

Both parties now feed at the same K Street and Wall Street troughs. Both have oligarchs contributing tens of millions to parties and politicians who do their bidding.

In 1964, a grassroots conservative movement captured the Republican Party and nominated Barry Goldwater. In 1972, a grassroots movement of leftist Democrats nominated George McGovern.

Neither movement would today survive the carpet-bombing of big money that would be called in if either came close to capturing a national party, let alone winning a national election.

Because they have principles and visions in conflict, left-right alliances inevitably fall out and fall apart. Because they are almost always on opposite sides of disputed barricades, it is difficult for both to set aside old wounds and grievances and come together.

A social, moral, and cultural divide that did not exist half a century ago makes it all the more difficult. But if the issue is keeping America out of unnecessary wars and restoring American sovereignty, surely common ground is not impossible to find.

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TaggR May 20, 2014 11:53 AM

Just allot of nonsense there little guy. That the best you could come up with?

little_r_republican May 20, 2014 11:09 AM

Of course tiggy thinks all the democrats are honest beyond reproach altruistic servants to the American public...and all republicans are evil selfish warmongers who hate women and children.

TaggR May 19, 2014 2:12 PM

@stanback, a certain someone here has no sense of the facts or situation as it really exists. That certain someone is here to spew republican propaganda, nothing more, nothing less.

redleg6 May 19, 2014 12:53 PM

From: usad.gov

Mission Statement...We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.

Vision Statement...To expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

Strategic Plan Framework...USDA has created a strategic plan to implement its vision. The framework of this plan depends on these key activities: expanding markets for agricultural products and support international economic development, further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities, providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities and improve housing, utilities and infrastructure in rural America, enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of foodborne hazards from farm to table, improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion, and managing and protecting America's public and private lands working cooperatively with other levels of government and the private sector.....

###.. "protecting America's public and private lands" .... with sub-machine guns.



stanback May 19, 2014 12:52 PM

redleg, Unfortunately, as long as we have racist, terrorist cattle farmers hijacking federal land and then calling in militias from across the U.S. to create a standoff, the USDA will probably needs weapons to defend themselves.

little_r_republican May 19, 2014 12:44 PM

I've got some common ground for all the DC elete...burial ground. Kcik them all out and flush them down the drain.

redleg6 May 19, 2014 12:37 PM

Above title: Finding common ground for left, right isn't impossible...

Maybe the Left and Right can get together on the Rifle Range. The Democrats v Republicans at a turkey shoot. Watch out if Dick Chaney is on the firing line..The Democrats are coming out of the closet. They really like guns...SUB-MACHINE GUNS...

Can anybody explain why the Obama Administrations U.S. Department of Agriculture needs sub-machine guns? And who do they plan on shooting/killing????   FARMERS?

Excerpts from: fbo.gov
USDA..Office of the Inspector General

Firearms....Solicitation Number: USDAOIGWEA-5-7-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Office of the Inspector General
Location: Procurement Branch

Notice Type: Sources Sought...Synopsis: Added: May 07, 2014 2:03 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, located in Washington, DC, pursuant to the authority of FAR Part 13, has a requirement for the commerical acquisition of submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burts trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsilbe or folding, magazine - 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation. NO SOLICITATION DOCUMENT EXISTS. All responsible and/or interested sources may submit their company name, point of contact, and telephone. If received timely, shall be considered by the agency for contact to determine weapon suitability...............

Contracting Office Address:
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 40-E J.L. Whitten Fed Bldg
Washington, District of Columbia 20250
Primary Point of Contact.:
Linda F. Josey,
Chief, Procurement Management Branch

If your a farmer, Watch Out......USDA.....ARMED & DANGEROUS