Joined: 25 Sep 2008
|Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:12 pm Post subject: A Necessary Coalition - Ralph Nader / Ron Paul
|Somewhere in some book of wisdom I once read this aphorism:
"Only two things are required of us -- the possible and the necessary."
Ralph Nader has been dubbed the unreasonable man because of his refusal to accept the "reasonable" limits placed on political discourse by the machine that runs Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court -- corporate manipulators who vote with dollars. Ron Paul is equally opposed to the status quo that has created a sham democratic process where the millions who vote are overruled by the few who have the ear of the powerful and get what they want despite the expressed will of the people to the contrary.
Is it unthinkable that these two men should join together on a single ticket to form a coalition that could actually seize power? Only if you are an ideologue committed to losing. If you are a pragmatist eager to foment change, then you will think hard before rejecting the idea, and the harder you think, the more you will realize that this is an excellent idea. Ralph Nader and Ron Paul are making it easier and easier. Look at the issues on which they have voiced their agreement:
|Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.
Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.
The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.
The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.
A coalition works for the benefit of all members of the coalition if their joint movement will make possible what they could not achieve separately. And the ideas and personalities of these two men complement each other. Take each issue in turn, and you will see this is so.
First, consider the imperatives of getting out of Iraq, dousing the brushfire wars that Bush has cunningly set as traps for any incoming president, reopening diplomatic channels, and repudiating the doctrine of preemptive war and nuclear first-strike. While right-leaning citizens can dismiss Ralph Nader as a bleeding heart liberal, Ron Paul reaches those people with the traditional conservative philosophy of avoiding "foreign entanglements" as counseled by George Washington, and being cautious to avoid being manipulated by Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex." The result -- twice as many voters for peace.
Second, consider how important it is that we restore civil rights, repeal the Patriot Act, re-establish the right of habeas corpus, end domestic spying, disband the Military Commissions, stop torture, restore our rights to engage in private communications on our telephones and over the Internet, and melt down the crown that Bush has been wearing for eight years. Ron Paul brings people to the table who otherwise would reject anything that might "weaken security," by arguing very convincingly that any government that would do what the Bush regime has done is the very enemy that past generations of Americans fought and died to protect us from. Ralph Nader is for all these changes, that Obama has bartered away in his zeal to ascend to the office of the presidency.
Third,, for eight years, fiscal conservatism has been the rationale for starving the nation at home, while placing no limits on military spending and pork-barrelling for Congressional special interests. Under a Nader - Paul administration, the shoe would be on the other foot. Scarce dollars, they would jointly argue, cannot go to military spending that fattens Halliburton, Carlyle Group, Blackwater, and arms manufacturers, while we need to resolve the economic crisis, keep people in their homes, provide health care for all, rebuild our decaying infrastructure, and fund education for the next generation of productive citizens. With Ron Paul and Ralph Nader working from this moral high ground, the nation will see the wisom of ther policies, and not be sidetracked by fearmongering. Obama has fallen into the rhetoric of "fighting terror," and will be easily cowed into continuing to waste money on "homeland security" that equates to adventurism abroad and foolish spending at home.
Fourth, Ralph Nader is ideally suited to end the epidemic of financial looting on Wall Street, and Ron Paul has an army of followers who are already well-informed about the arbitrary power of the Federal Reserve, that is now poised to fuel yet another round of debt-powered profiteering for which future generations of Americans will pay the price. While Ron Paul's position on the Federal Reserve has been derided by liberals as conspiracy theory and bad legal history for years, we now see clear evidence that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has commandeered the Federal Reserve's power to issue Federal debt, and is deploying it like a firehose to extinguish the blaze on Wall Street that threatens the palaces of the wealthy. Ron Paul's position, and that of his followers, gains legitimacy in the eyes of liberal voters when Ralph Nader supports it, and Nader's position gains the strength of millions of committed believers who have long believed that the Federal Reserve enables the implementation of dangerous financial policies that deplete the value of paychecks on Main Street. There has never been a better time than today to take this message to the general public.
In summary, Ralph Nader and Ron Paul will help each other out at the polls, and once in office, will command enough support to accomplish goals they could not accomplish separately. By appealing to either ends of the political spectrum on civil liberties and bread-and-butter issues, they will accomplish the purposes of an effective coalition -- to achieve jointly what would be beyond their power acting separately. Other issues, on which they do not agree, are also important issues, and their supporters will at least know that neither of these men are given to craven compromises, and can expect that on the issues of gay marriage, immigration, and other hot-button issues, they will give us the "robust debate" we are often promised and never receive. These issues will be hashed out in the crucible of democracy, and no doubt some sparks will fly -- but several major issues can be resolved expeditiously, because both Ralph and Ron agree with the American people that the time for real change has in fact come.
Is a Ralph Nader / Ron Paul ticket possible, or necessary? You decide. But regardless of your decision, I think you will agree if you think about it carefully -- the nation, humanity, and the planet will be better off if these two fine leaders join their efforts to accomplish these democratic goals on which they have already declared agreement.
Ron Paul and Ralph Nader on CNN, 9/10/08
Third Party Presidential Campaigns, National Press Club, 9/10/08
Fight on all occasions. Fight the more for duels being forbidden, since consequently there is twice as much courage in fighting.
A. Dumas, The Three Musketeers.