The Beginning of the Realignment of American Politics

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No significant
political movement takes place without breaking down old alliances
and establishing new ones. And so it is with the press conference
sponsored today by Ron Paul at the National Press Club. There he
was joined by Ralph Nader (Independent), Chuck Baldwin (Constitutionalist)
and Cynthia McKinney (Green), to take on the War Party Duopoly.

To this
observer the importance of the event cannot be exaggerated. As Ralph
Nader put it, “This is the beginning of the realignment of American
politics.” It is in fact the realignment that the end of the Cold
War demanded but has been so long in coming.

There are
two significant aspects to this gathering. First, Ron Paul, erstwhile
Republican contender for the presidential nomination, has refused
a recent request from John McCain for an endorsement and instead
called on voters to vote for the non-establishment party candidates.
Second, and even more important, are the four points of agreement,
which Paul, Nader and the rest have signed. They deserve careful
reading. They are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

On these
life and death issues, McCain and Obama have given their base and
the broader American public little more than the back of their hand.

For some
time the call for this kind of realignment has found a home on the
electronic pages of CounterPunch.com, Antiwar.com, LewRockwell.com,
DissidentVoice.org and a few other places. Now it is ready to burst
into the mainstream. Nader will discuss it on Lou Dobbs on Thursday
evening, September 11. This is the alignment we have been waiting
for. Its opponents are the dogmatists of the old order, the inflexible
dogmatists of the "official" peace movement exemplified
by United for Peace and Justice, MoveOn, "Progressive"
Democrats of America and the culture warriors who cannot think beyond
the stereotypes of the "other side." They are too often
joined by politicians like Bob Barr, who cannot think beyond the
old ways, and Dennis Kucinich, who in the end always puts party
above principle. Most disappointingly right now the "alternative"
media seems to be giving the Paul/Nader joint effort very little
play.

The War
Parties and their allies must not be allowed to function as spoilers
for this realignment. The realignment presents a great opportunity
to move on to a more sensible and sane politics.

The
press conference is available in the C-Span video library.

September
12, 2008

John
Walsh [send him mail]
is a scientist who lives in Cambridge, MA.

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