Ralph and Ron: An Ideological Alliance?

I’m never going to be excited about major party politics. When we come to the finish line, I will hold my nose and vote for the lesser evil, since I don’t see the harm in using my vote. But I’m not going to sit around and speculate about which mainstream GOP or Democratic politician is going to be the frontrunner for 2012. I’ll let others worry about that.

I’d rather focus on the men of principle who sometimes get involved in these races, even though they have no chance of winning. Independent or “outsider” candidates and their campaigns serve a couple of vital functions: they bring viewpoints delegitimized and mocked by the main news sources on the left and right to the forefront, which in turn reminds us that we still live in a relatively free country and haven’t become a fascist dictatorship like China. They can also put some pressure on the major party candidates to take certain issues more seriously.

Recently Judge Andrew Napolitano, the only man on the major networks I can bear to listen to for more than a few minutes, invited Ron Paul and Ralph Nader on his show to discuss the issues and discover the extent to which “progressives” such as Nader and libertarians such as Paul can agree on them. I wasn’t surprised to discover that they agree on quite a bit, as you will see if you watch the video above.

I began to think about what conditions I would have for working with “progressives” in a political context. Ralph Nader is my kind of “progressive”, if there is such a one, because he is not a doctrinaire cultural leftist. While he is apparently pro-abortion, I also have to appreciate the fact that Barney Frank once complained about “Nader’s lifelong lack of interest in major social causes like civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and poverty.” Of course this really means that Nader is more of a libertarian than he may sometimes let on; he’s “for” abortion but he isn’t going to force it on the states necessarily; he’s “against” poverty (everyone is) but he doesn’t necessarily support a massive redistribution of wealth. Nader is simply anti-corporatist, whatever it takes to weaken the political influence of corporations is good enough for him. Here is what he once said to Pat Buchanan about corporatism and capitalism:

Concentrated corporate power violates many principles of capitalism. For example, under capitalism, owners control their property. Under multinational corporations, the shareholders don’t control their corporation. Under capitalism, if you can’t make the market respond, you sink. Under big business, you don’t go bankrupt; you go to Washington for a bailout. Under capitalism, there is supposed to be freedom of contract. When was the last time you negotiated a contract with banks or auto dealers? They are all fine-print contracts. The law of contracts has been wiped out for 99 percent of contracts that ordinary consumers sign on to. Capitalism is supposed to be based on law and order. Corporations get away with corporate crime, fraud, and abuse. And finally, capitalism is premised on a level playing field; the most meritorious is supposed to win. Tell that to a small inventor or a small business up against McDonald’s or a software programmer up against Microsoft.

What I often want to ask left-leaning anti-corporatists such as Nader is this: would you completely stay out of social issues if we on the more libertarian-leaning right were fully behind the anti-corporate agenda? Would you look the other way while we torpedo Roe v. Wade and send the issue back to the states? Would you stop the filthy and perverted sex-ed programs? Would you support school choice and the end of the educational socialism? Would you leave gay issues to the states? Would you just leave religion and culture alone, to those who know best, and focus on what you know, which is reducing the power of corrupt corporations within the political system?

If they could answer yes to these questions, I could work with them. Any conservative who claims to be for free markets should be willing to as well, since corporatism strangles markets and makes them less and not more free. If “laissez-faire” were really in the best interests of the super-wealthy, we wouldn’t see a revolving door between government regulatory agencies and some of the world’s largest corporations. We wouldn’t see former corporate executives writing laws that affect the industries they just left, with of course (wink wink, nudge nudge) no vested interests carried over. We would instead see a concerted effort to support candidates such as Ron Paul. We know by where they put their money, who they support, and what they actually do when they are in the government writing the laws what the corporate bosses really want, and it isn’t a free market. Nader seems to get that. 95% of leftists don’t.

Bottom line is, show me a “progressive” who doesn’t want to force everyone to think and act on the preposterous idea that legalized gay marriage is the same as civil rights for black people, and I’ll show you a “conservative” who wants to roll back corporatism, end military adventurism while maintaining a strong national defense, and leave most “social” issues to be decided at the local level. That includes things that leftish hippies and “crunchy” conservatives have every good reason to want the government to stay out of, such as organic food, alternative medicine, and private/home education.

11 Responses to Ralph and Ron: An Ideological Alliance?

  • I can imagine an alliance between Nader and Ron Reagan, Jr. :)

  • I would vote for someone who answered yes to those questions as well. Pretty good post.

  • Paul, Nader, Jullian Assange, the guy who wrote Confessions of an Economic Hitman… good company.

  • Is Ron Paul an American Catholic?

    Anyways, I was recently converted on the “deep sixing” Fed. It was not that I think the Fed is worth two cents. But, my beef with Ron P. et al was: What will you replace it with? If nothing else, the Fed is a big player in the payment system, and a “last resort” source of liquidity.

    Thomas Sowell converted me. He knows economics. He says the Fed is like cancer. Once you cut it out you don’t replace it. He was referring to its economy-shattering, uncanny ineptitide, not whether it is EVIL.

    Plus, if you disagree with Dr. Sowell, you are a RACIST.

    Also, Nader annd Paul need to make well and truly blest HUD, FHA, FNMA, FHLMC. All of which, and the Fed keeping interest rates too low too long, brought you the housng bubble: the cause of all this recessionary “pomp and circumstances.”

  • This post shows the crack in the false left-right paradigm.

    The Democrats (socialist-progressive-totalitarians) and the the Republicans (militarist-progressive-totalitarians) are more or less the same and have been for over 60 years. Sure, there are some differences, one promotes the murder of all pre-born children and the other gives lip-service to those who believe in the sanctity of life, but for the most part they are the same and they are both bad.

    The solution is pretty simple – subsidiarity. Neither party has any power beyond the Constitution if power is diffused. This can only happen if the people are moral and religious and only in the authentic Judeo-Christian tradition, preferable orthodox Catholicity; however, mere Christianity will do.

    I think we are getting to the point where if we don’t focus on our similarities, our differences will allow the corporatist-progressive-statists to rule with an iron hand, or throw all into chaos. Time is running short.

  • I think Dr. Sowell would agree with Hemingway: “The first panacea for a misguided nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

  • I think the more equal deal for cooperation would be if BOTH sides agreed to stay away from social issues. You’re basically saying that if a “progressive” believed everything you do and agreed to let you go after your agenda and leave his own behind you would work with him. That’s not a concession. Both sides need to agree to let social issues be for awhile to get more pressing things done.

  • Well, he doesn’t have to “believe it.” He just needs to leave the issues alone. No position on abortion, gay marriage, public prayer, etc.

  • Oh, and I disagree that other things are necessarily “more pressing.”

  • He’s not saying progressives have to give in on all issues. He’s saying (to Nader, for instance), “I’ll give you the economic issues if you’ll give me the social issues. I’ll give you NAFTA if you’ll give me Roe. I’ll give you corporate welfare if you give me homosexual marriage. You can end sweetheart deals from government to big business if I can end government handouts to offensive artists and anti-morality groups. Etc.” Pretty much the crunchy conservative, or even distributist, position, it seems to me.

    The question, as Joe said, is how many progressives would take that deal. My guess is that Nader might, but very few others would. While they make noise about the economic issues, the social issues carry much more emotional weight for them. I don’t think many progressives would want to live in a world where the corporatists have been put in their place — or even replaced by outright socialism — if the cost of that “progress” was a return of the nuclear family, traditional morality, a ban on abortion, homosexualism back in the closet, etc. The latter are their real gut issues.

  • The problem with Nader is that he is not merely an anti-monopolist but has a burning irrational hatred of businesses.

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