Right vs left is a road to nowhereBy Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
Keeping our nation divided as right vs left is an agenda supported by both Fox News and MSNBC. The media and the politicians both profit from Americans believing they should hate their fellow Americans. And oddly enough, the one thing that unites the traditional “right” and “left” in this country is our hatred for those same media organizations and politicians that make money by regularly lying to us. The best way to beat them is to find the things that bring us together in one common purpose and unite around that.
An article in the Atlantic last week talked about how the dominant liberal narrative is broken. The argument that government is inherently good and is necessary to provide things like Social Security, Medicare and national parks has some truth to it, and worked well for both parties in the mid-twentieth century. Democrats and Republicans from FDR to Eisenhower won landslide elections using the good-government narrative. But now that our government is captive to corporations and their lobbyists like the US Chamber of Commerce, Americans of all ideological leanings are united in the belief that our current government, as it stands, is completely out of touch and needs radical change from outside the political system to do it.
In this video Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, talks about how he had a surprisingly pleasant conversation with several of the co-founders of MoveOn.org about crony capitalism. It was an incredibly populist speech about how they found themselves in complete agreement that big moneyed special interests have taken government hostage and have wasted billions of tax dollars on bailing out banks (like the Federal Reserve’s $16 trillion in bailouts to both US and foreign banks that went entirely under the media’s radar). He also talked about how it’s more profitable for the crony capitalist DC bubble and the media they control to keep us divided as right vs left than it is for us to play into those forced divisions.
Another Tea Party founder lamented about how the raw populist energy that originally inspired the Tea Party back in early 2008 against the Bush administration’s bailouts of the biggest banks has been overtaken by Republican ideologues like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Karl Denninger, a financial blogger who runs MarketTicker.com, said the Tea Party’s original message was against the big banks. After Obama’s inauguration, there was anger over appointees like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, who were the same bought-and-paid-for financiers who deregulated the banks during Clinton’s second term and brought about the beginning of the financial collapse. Denninger supported the Occupy Wall Street movement early on, saying it was picking up where the Tea Party left off before it was hijacked by the Republican Party.
Democrats and Republicans are using issues like gun control, Benghazi and gay marriage to continue feeding the illusion that there’s a difference between the two and to continue the flow of money to their corporate masters. Whenever a politician says “gun control,” gun sales go through the roof. When the ruckus over Chick-Fil-A’s disapproval of marriage equality became mainstream conversation, social conservatives formed lines that went around the entire block to make their political statement about marriage equality. After their much ado about nothing Benghazi hearings, GOP members of Congress are fundraising off of their witch hunt. In either instance, whenever you follow the money trail, gun manufacturers and allegedly gay-hating fast food restaurants made record sales and politicians raised more money. Money is the entire point.
When it comes to Republican and Democratic Party officials’ deference to corporate money, they’re both nearly identical. The GOP-controlled House is pressing Obama hard to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would endanger an entire region’s drinking water supply and create a negligible amount of temporary jobs. Harry Reid’s Senate voted overwhelmingly for a resolution supporting the pipeline in their budget. The Monsanto Protection Act, which was written by GOP Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri and Monsanto officials, quietly became law with the signature of a Democrat president after the approval of a Democrat-led Senate.
Both parties are captive to the for-profit war industry – the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about – and are united in their support for military intervention whenever and wherever possible. Our last Republican president waged wars in two countries without being attacked by either one. Our current Democratic president has extended one of those wars by another ten years and used drones to take military action in several other countries. Even Rand Paul, who made a name for himself filibustering Obama’s drone czar to lead the CIA, has made statements supporting drones to be used on Americans.
Even though traditional Republicans are united against wasteful government spending, and traditional Democrats are united against austerity policies, both parties can agree that there’s entirely too much wasteful spending in Washington when it comes to an imperial military force with a bloated budget currently occupying over 130 nations with 900 bases around the world, and the multibillion-dollar security and surveillance state used to monitor peaceful protesters instead of terrorists. We can certainly find agreement that it would be much more productive to stop spending money on the dysfunctional F-35 jet, which even John McCain has criticized, than make cuts to early childhood education programs like Head Start.
Americans should be smarter than to allow ourselves to get thrown into the counter-productive right vs left fight hyped by the corporate-owned media and our corporate-owned politicians. If we’re going to fight a binary struggle, it should be populist vs. corporatist. That’s the only real division in this country right now. Are you on the people’s side, or on big money’s side?
Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary “We’re Not Broke,” which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at [email protected], and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.