The American Conservative
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.
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 Col. 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. 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.