The “Unusual” Yet Ubiquitous Left-Right Alliance: Towards an Anti-Establishment Center

Sam Husseini, “The ‘Unusual’ Yet Ubiquitous Left-Right Alliance: Towards an Anti-Establishment Center,” Sam Husseini’s Blog, 28 July 2013

Every time you have this convergence of progressives and conservatives against the establishment, it’s regarded as “unusual” “odd” or “bizarre”  — even though it keeps coming up on issue after issue: war, military spending, trade, corporate power, Wall Street, fossil fuel subsidies, as well as — in the case of the NSA spying on the citizenry — the central issue of Constitutional rights and civil liberties. 

As documented below, the meme in the media and elsewhere is a permanent note of surprise, when it should be an established aspect of U.S. politics: There are in fact two “centers” — one that is pro-war and Wall Street (the establishment center) — and another that is pro-peace and populist (the anti-establishment center)

The establishment keeps the left and right populist factions at bay by demonizing them to each other — “let’s you and him fight” is the mindset — which is why MSNBC so often feeds hate of conservatives and Fox feeds hate of progressives. If they were to pay more attention to issues, they might break them down and it might become clear that there’s quite a bit the principled left and right agree on. Meanwhile, establishment Democrats and Republicans collude on war, Wall Street and much else, effectively reducing principled progressives and conscientious conservatives into pawns of the Democratic and Republican party establishments. …

Perhaps the formation of an organization is overdue: The Center for a New Center. That might cure the political culture and media from its insistence that there’s something perennially unusual that keeps happening:

War and Military Spending:

“House Republican leaders on Wednesday abruptly canceled a vote on a resolution forcing U.S. withdrawal from Libya amid signs an unusual alliance of liberals and conservatives could approve the measure, indicating Congress’s growing dissatisfaction with the extent of U.S. military operations overseas.

“The House had been scheduled to vote on a resolution by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) requiring President Barack Obama to withdraw from Libya within 15 days. The measure cites the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which says the president must get approval from Congress if a military operation lasts 60 days or more.”But at a closed-door meeting of House Republicans Wednesday, GOP leaders were surprised by members’ strong concerns about the Libya operation. Some conservatives were prepared to support Mr. Kucinich’s resolution, Republican aides said.” [Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2011]

Tom Ashbrook introduced a good segment of his radio program “On Point” thus: “Ron Paul, ’08 GOP presidential contender, is a conservative libertarian leading light and Tea Party hero. Barney Frank is a no-apologies liberal Democrat. They agree on one big thing. America’s giant military budget must be cut, in a giant way: a trillion-dollar cut over the next decade.” [July 14, 2010]

“Congressional calls for a quick end to military operations in Afghanistan grew louder Monday when a bipartisan group in the House urged President Obama to immediately withdraw U.S. troops. … The push is the latest salvo from an unusual alliance of anti-war Democrats and fiscally conservative Republicans who have united behind an expedited withdrawal from Afghanistan following bin Laden’s death.” [The Hill, May 9, 2011] This was particularly odd, given that it’s the “latest salvo” — if it’s the latest, doesn’t that make it not so unusual?

“Bombing makes strange bedfellows in U.S. politics Question of deploying ground troops crosses Republican, Democratic party lines” “As the bombing of Yugoslavia enters its third week with no sign of subsiding, the politics of war is dividing both major American parties, forging unlikely alliances between traditional liberals and conservatives.” [Globe and Mail, April 12, 1999]

Read the full article here.