As I watch some of the various candidates who oppose the Iraq war and corporate dominated rule in the US, I’m struck by how divided we are. We are divided in the face of a strong enemy. Then we wonder why we enjoy so little success.
For instance, there are at least three major candidates who are opposing the Iraq war and our current government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations. There’s Rep. Paul in the Republican primaries, and Rep. Kucinich in the Democratic primaries, along now with Rep. McKinney campaigning for the Green nomination. For the primary season, wouldn’t it have made sense to consolidate into one campaign trying to win one of the two major party nominations?
Did people think it would be easy to win either the Democratic or Republican nominations? Did we underestimate the power of our enemy? It would seem very strange if we did, because we’ve been getting beat over the head with that power for decades now. We knew there would be campaigns in both parties, rich in corporate dollars, hiring consultants to design campaigns, running massive numbers of ads, getting very favorable media attention, and having the support of the existing party machinery. Against that, we knew that any opposition campaign would be poorly funded by comparison, largely staffed and manned by volunteers and outsiders to the existing system, that it would get either no media coverage or that it would be attacked and ridiculed in the corporate media if it started to have success, and that the leaders of the parties would treat it either as a sideshow to be tolerated for awhile or as a mortal threat if it started to succeed.
Did we think it would be so easy to win in such conditions that we could divide our forces in half and try to do this in both the Democratic and Republican parties at the same time? If winning is the goal. If seriously trying to break this corporate grip on power in this country is seriously the goal, then this just seems insane. And the results are predictable. Two underpowered campaigns both struggling in the bottom of the polls getting 5% or less of the votes and fighting even to be taken seriously. Another shining moment for the anti-war movement and the movement against corporate government.
One problem of course is that the rebels on the right who oppose corporate government and the rebels on the left who oppose corporate government mix worse than oil and water. Generally they seem to want to spend more time fighting each other than fighting the corporate powers that dominate our government. From the outside looking in, one would say that this looks like either the central corporate power is either in a wonderful position of have a divided opposition that couldn’t agree on the type of pizza to order, or its the result of a very successful divide-and-conguer strategy.
At some point, we need to wake up and face the reality of our situation. We face a strong and powerful enemy that holds most of the levers of power in this country in its hands and is very entrenched in its position. It so controls the media that its able to dominate the thoughts of most Americans to the point where its convinced most Americans that what’s good for the corporations and bad for them is actually something they should support and cheer on. Defeating this enemy, and reclaiming a government of the people, by the people and for the people, does not seem to be at all an easy task.
So, what’s the goal? Is winning the goal? Is reclaiming our country as a land of freedom and justice and democracy the goal? If so, then when are we going to get serious about it? Because if we get serious, it seems pretty obvious that the first thing we have to do is to come together and create a unified opposition. I keep hearing we need a third party. We’ve already got one. And, we’ve already got a fourth party, a fifth party, a sixth party, a seventh party and so on. If you find you can’t like any of the existing ones and that you need your own, you aren’t starting a third party. It’s more like you are starting a twenty-second party.
Its going to be very hard to change this country. In trying to do it peacefully through elections, do we really want a ballot with the two corporate dominated parties at the top and the opposition vote split among ten other ballot lines? Splitting that vote between even two other ballot lines seems insane, since neither the Libertarians nor the Greens seem able to get above 5%. Or even close to it.
It seems rather obvious, that to even compete, much less think about winning, we have to unify. That means right-wing libertarians and left-wing progressives need to come together. It can be done, and here’s how to do it. Everyone simply has to agree that fighting our current enemy and reclaiming this nation as a free and democratic nation is such an important priority that we put aside all other issues. We focus on our current enemy, and agree to put aside our differences. We make that agreement more formal in that we agree to carry this through into governing WHEN we are eventually successful. We agree that the first government that is formed will address these common issues. That government would work to clean up our elections, and to remove corruption from our government.
Then, later on, once we have a free country and a free and fair system of elections and government that allows the people to truly participate and decide the course of their nation, then I’d be happy to debate Rep. Paul and the Libertarians as to why I don’t think their health care plan is the best way for the nation to go. But what’s the point of the left criticizing Mr. Paul now, when he can’t get 5% of the vote in the Republican races and the progressives on the Democratic side are being steamrollered by the corporate sponsored campaigns in that party? Seems kinda pointless. And about all its doing is hurting someone who’s basically fighting the same enemies we are fighting.
Or the really short version … why don’t we all aim our fire at our common enemy. The government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations and those who promote and support it. The enemy of our enemy is our friend. Quit criticizing our friends.