“Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State”? Really?
One day, during the last presidential campaign, while the Republicans were battling it out amongst themselves to pick their party’s nominee, a Facebook friend excitedly suggested to me that we progressives should all get behind Ron Paul’s presidency. I guess she had not read much of what I had written, especially on racism, or else she wouldn’t have made that suggestion to me. She wasn’t the only one I heard such absurdity from (my apologies to you the reader, if you were one of those excited “progressives”). There were many others. I was suddenly seeing Facebook posts in his support on the wall of people I thought were progressive. I tried to explain my reasons why I wouldn’t support Ron Paul in a piece and left it at that and forgot all about it. Forgot, that is, until I was once again reminded of it the other day. One of the things I’ve learned in my life is to never say “I’ll never see anything more absurd than this”. Chances are I will, and lo and behold, I did.
Ralph Nader, of all people, is apparently now advocating Rand Paul’s bid for President. In a book titled: “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State”, he argues, as the title suggests, for the unity of progressives and libertarians to defeat the “corporate state”. First of all, I guess it’s not that hard for Mr. Nader to suggest that we overlook the reactionary views of the libertarians on both social and economic issues, including on racial equality, women’s rights, immigration, minimum wage, unemployment benefits, social safety nets, etc. Apparently, he sees no problem standing next to someone who thinks the 1964 Voter Rights Act or Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and other social programs which most libertarians are against should never have been made law. I suppose these are not that important to Mr. Nader, and I guess he proposes to forget about blacks, Latinos and women and make this alliance happen and win without their participation.
This is not the first time, Mr. Nader comes out with a book in which he tells us how we should vote. The difference is that this time, the candidate he supports is someone other than himself. My criticism of him during his past bids – he’s had three – was that he’d completely disappear for years and sometime before the elections, would reappear (or “return” from the mountains or wherever he would disappear to, to use a biblical analogy) with a new prophetic book in hand and announce his candidacy to save his people from the “corporate state”. But, this time, he’s made a slight modification in his prophetic return. He’s advocating a younger libertarian Messiah named Rand Paul.
I know, I know. I’m being too harsh on Mr. Nader, but what do you expect? I have the crazy notion that a political candidate who is on the right of Republicans and feels at home with Tea Partiers is not going to dismantle the military industrial complex and free people everywhere who are exploited and kept poor by US corporations, but rather, it will be the people, in the millions, in the streets, through general and nationwide strikes, with a class-conscious working class in unity with blacks, Latinos, immigrants, women and through protracted and non-stop massive protests who will be able to accomplish that. Not only that, but I also have the crazy notion, that no such movement has a fighting chance without the active participation – not just among the participants, but among its leadership – African Americans and women, whom Mr. Nader wants to leave out.
I must also add that his liberal naiveté pierces through his argument. Not only does his plan not include the bottom classes of the society who are the only ones capable and motivated enough to bring down the empire, especially African Americans and immigrants in coalition with the poor, he believes and wants us to believe that a right-wing libertarian is going to dismantle the empire’s military bases and bring home its troops and warships and missiles and end its endless wars and regime changes and bombings and assassinations and close its secret prisons and cancel its plans for world domination. Yes, Mr. Paul is going to march into the White House and stop all that and everyone is going to say: wow, Nader was so right! That was easy and it didn’t even take any clashes with the police or beatings or massive arrests.
You know, the more I think about this, the more I think he’s not that stupid. He does suffer from liberal naiveté, but at the risk of inviting criticism from friends and readers for saying this, I would say at least one of his motives here must be to sell his new book.