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Gibson writes: "Americans should be smarter than to allow ourselves to get thrown into the counter-productive left vs. right fight hyped by the corporate-owned media and our corporate-owned politicians. If we're going to fight a binary struggle, it should be populist vs. corporatist. That's the only real division in this country right now. Are you on the people's side, or on big money's side?"

Corporate slaves. (photo: Peoples
Corporate slaves. (photo: Peoples

Time to Abolish Left vs. Right

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

14 May 13


eeping our nation divided is an agenda supported by both Fox News and MSNBC. The media and the politicians both profit from Americans believing they should hate their fellow Americans. And oddly enough, the one thing that unites the traditional “right” and “left” in this country is our hatred for those same media organizations and politicians that make money by regularly lying to us. The best way to beat them is to find the things that bring us together in one common purpose and unite around that.

An article in the Atlantic last week talked about how the dominant liberal narrative is broken. The argument that government is inherently good and is necessary to provide things like Social Security, Medicare and national parks has some truth to it, and worked well for both parties in the mid-twentieth century. Democrats and Republicans from FDR to Eisenhower won landslide elections using the good-government narrative. But now that our government is captive to corporations and their lobbyists like the US Chamber of Commerce, Americans of all ideological leanings are united in the belief that our current government, as it stands, is completely out of touch and needs radical change from outside the political system to do it.

In this video Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, talks about how he had a surprisingly pleasant conversation with several of the co-founders of about crony capitalism. It was an incredibly populist speech about how they found themselves in complete agreement that big moneyed special interests have taken government hostage and have wasted billions of tax dollars on bailing out banks (like the Federal Reserve's $16 trillion in bailouts to both US and foreign banks that went entirely under the media's radar). He also talked about how it’s more profitable for the crony capitalist DC bubble and the media they control to keep us divided than it is for us to play into those forced divisions.

Another Tea Party founder lamented about how the raw populist energy that originally inspired the Tea Party back in early 2008 against the Bush administration’s bailouts of the biggest banks has been overtaken by Republican ideologues like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Karl Denninger, a financial blogger who runs, said the Tea Party’s original message was against the big banks. After Obama’s inauguration, there was anger over appointees like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, who were the same bought-and-paid-for financiers who deregulated the banks during Clinton’s second term and brought about the beginning of the financial collapse. Denninger supported the Occupy Wall Street movement early on, saying it was picking up where the Tea Party left off before it was hijacked by the Republican Party.

Democrats and Republicans are using issues like gun control, Benghazi and gay marriage to continue feeding the illusion that there’s a difference between the two and to continue the flow of money to their corporate masters. Whenever a politician says "gun control," gun sales go through the roof. When the ruckus over Chick-Fil-A's disapproval of marriage equality became mainstream conversation, social conservatives formed lines that went around the entire block to make their political statement about marriage equality. After their much ado about nothing Benghazi hearings, GOP members of Congress are fundraising off of their witch hunt. In either instance, whenever you follow the money trail, gun manufacturers and allegedly gay-hating fast food restaurants made record sales and politicians raised more money. Money is the entire point.

When it comes to Republican and Democratic Party officials’ deference to corporate money, they’re both nearly identical. The GOP-controlled House is pressing Obama hard to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would endanger an entire region's drinking water supply and create a negligible amount of temporary jobs. Harry Reid’s Senate voted overwhelmingly for a resolution supporting the pipeline in their budget. The Monsanto Protection Act, which was written by GOP Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri and Monsanto officials, quietly became law with the signature of a Democrat president after the approval of a Democrat-led Senate.

Both parties are captive to the for-profit war industry – the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about – and are united in their support for military intervention whenever and wherever possible. Our last Republican president waged wars in two countries without being attacked by either one. Our current Democratic president has extended one of those wars by another ten years and used drones to take military action in several other countries. Even Rand Paul, who made a name for himself filibustering Obama’s drone czar to lead the CIA, has made statements supporting drones to be used on Americans. Even though traditional Republicans are united against wasteful government spending, and traditional Democrats are united against austerity policies, both parties can agree that there’s entirely too much wasteful spending in Washington when it comes to an imperial military force with a bloated budget currently occupying over 130 nations with 900 bases around the world, and the multibillion-dollar security and surveillance state used to monitor peaceful protesters instead of terrorists. We can certainly find agreement that it would be much more productive to stop spending money on the dysfunctional F-35 jet, which even John McCain has criticized, than make cuts to early childhood education programs like Head Start.

Americans should be smarter than to allow ourselves to get thrown into the counter-productive left vs. right fight hyped by the corporate-owned media and our corporate-owned politicians. If we’re going to fight a binary struggle, it should be populist vs. corporatist. That’s the only real division in this country right now. Are you on the people's side, or on big money's side?

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

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Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+36 # fredboy 2013-05-14 09:19
Amen. We're all a bit exhausted by the left-right BS. Time to get on a positive path together.
-35 # edge 2013-05-14 10:59
Quoting fredboy:
Amen. We're all a bit exhausted by the left-right BS. Time to get on a positive path together.

CORRECT, it is Right or WRONG :)
+19 # tm7devils 2013-05-14 15:06
Looks like 'edge' has gone over it...
+7 # Dion Giles 2013-05-14 22:30
Depends what Edge meant by each term - he didn't say.

Truncating our language (as in Orwellian Newspeak) is truncating our thinking.

Possibly the most powerful of these assaults on language and on thinking and on action is what can be called the Pterodactyl Truncation (sounds like a title for a Robert Ludlum novel !). Scales and wings. Left wing, right wing, left-right scale - how far left or right should Barack Obama or whoever position themselves on that scale? In America the terms are often approximated as “liberal” and “conservative” without much relevance to the real meanings of these terms in plain English. Just another phoney scale of the same ilk as "left" and "right" , with the effect (and often the intention) of diverting people from what is real into a misleading linguistic construct of little if any meaning.

The real dichotomies from which obscurantists seek to divert us are things like:

* true vs false (i.e. factually)
* right vs wrong (e.g. morally)
* just vs unjust (e.g. individually or socially)
* honourable vs dishonourable.

Ideas, opinions, statements or programmes can be properly defended or attacked with reference to such REAL criteria which leave no room for issue-ducking or for intellectually cowardly even-handedness (as between the arsonist and the firefighter).
+11 # davidr 2013-05-14 16:17
Are we "exhausted by the left-right BS"? 2 questions: Is the left-right conflict BS, and is it exhausting?

If "the right" means a movement of nullification & states' rights, dangerously backward on issues of race, gender, education, the environment & social justice, anti-science, anti-government , anti-immigrant, hostile to regulation of anything by anyone, opposed in principal to a social safety net, in favor of religious tests for office, corporate personhood and the 1% — if that's the right, then there's no "positive path together". Conflict is appropriate.

Now, is that left-right conflict exhausting? It's often uncivil, dishonest, & upsetting. But it also moves public opinion on gun regulation, for example, Wall St legislation, same-sex marriage, the mindless "wars" on drugs & terror, immigration reform, Medicare & infrastructure spending. And yes, progress is fitful, which is cause for impatience. But impatience is not the same as exhaustion … more like its opposite.

Don't you get a sense of impatience in today's politics? Isn't that what worries the bank lobbyists, energy companies, nativists and vote suppressors? Isn't that why Mitt Romney couldn't win on a platform of "change America back"? why the "Party of No" is shrinking? After the 1960's, political exhaustion was exploited by neocons, supply siders and the moral majority. They didn't seek out a "positive path together". That's not how it works. Progress or regress. Impatience or exhaustion.
+6 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-05-15 08:31
When the author of this article states the voice of Fox News and MSNBC as the right and the left we can see how bad things really are. The whole national dialogue is so far to the extreme 'right' (fascist) while there seems to be NO left. We, the people, who want an end to the endless wars of the Empire and who want some true democracy in this naion must unite in a rebellion---and we don't have much time to do it. We nearly are at the fact of THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
+24 # ganymede 2013-05-14 09:25
Carl Gibson is, as usual, right on the money. The false dichotomy between right and left has been the main obstacle in our ability to make any progress in solving our country's problems. Let's hope this article starts a new movement of reconciliation between those on the right and left who are truly interested in getting out of the clutches of the corporations who have taken over this country.
+2 # WestWinds 2013-05-14 13:41
I don't believe this at all. This is the pipe-dream of those who don't have any real understanding of the mentalities involved in this dichotomy, or the place big money has created for itself. In fact, we need to vacate both Left and Right because both are owned by big money. I suggest the Green Party; no corporate ties.
+5 # Billy Bob 2013-05-15 07:08
By definition, the Green Party is on the left. You can't "vacate both Left and Right". That's like pretending there's no up or down. The only way to do that would be to ignore both and only compromise. We already have Obama compromising with the right. Are you happy with that? I'm not. The more you compromise, the more I question if you have any principles to start with. If the Green Party starts winning elections, we'll still have left vs. right. But, we'll have the left actually winning.
+4 # Billy Bob 2013-05-15 07:24
In other words, you can't blame the real actual left for the fact that there's a phony left pretending to argue on its behalf.

This is where idealism runs into realism. We need a balance of both. Right now, the left is split evenly between the two:

The "idealists" would rather lose every election from now on than sacrifice any of their ideals for a bargain that might actually get them some of what they want...

Whereas, the "realists" are unwilling to even question the true motivations of the politicians elected to represent them who seem to do nothing more than pander to the right (to the point where it becomes obvious they never really were in the left).

+7 # Billy Bob 2013-05-15 07:27

There are only 2 options left:

1. The Green Party, Socialist Party, etc. FORCE the Democratic Party to listen by actually competing with them directly in the primaries (e.g. T-Party vs. Republican) rather than taking the lazy way out and waiting for the general election to complain no one's taking them seriously. For example, if Jill Stein had bothered to primary Obama there's (I'd guess) a 25%-35% chance she'd be in the White House right now. Since she waited until the general election, she was easily ignored and served no purpose other than to fracture the left even further.

2. We accept that we can't actually change things within the current system and we pick ONE (no more than ONE) issue (I'd suggest 100% public financing of all national elections). We then stage a GENERAL STRIKE (the ONLY option we still have) until the national media and the political power structure are forced to listen. They can't arrest and/or fire the entire workforce.

Of course this would take MASS cooperation on a scale that no political movement has ever been able to muster in this nation's history (including during the Revolutionary War).
+14 # tswhiskers 2013-05-14 09:26
There IS a difference between the two parties. Granted both depend on big money to survive and a few Dems prefer to support most of the Rep. agenda. Even so, I suspect that any effort to unite Tea Partiers and Dems will not work as long as Reps.' agenda continues to support the rich against the rest of us. What's more, the Tea Party is now the conservative core of the Rep. Party. I don't believe that far right Rep. politicians would allow the Tea Party to be overtaken by populism of any kind. Maybe in 2008 it might have been done, but not now; the Tea Party is too entrenched as the super-conservat ive wing of the party. Carl is right that big money is at the heart of our political troubles, but money won't disappear from politics anytime soon. Perhaps the Dems need to simplify their message into catch phrases. It's true that many Americans are barely literate and many Americans don't spend much time thinking. Dem political hacks need to think about how to attract these voters. We have the facts on our side but that is obviously not enough; we need to simplify them and then we have to practice what we say. The adage, It takes two to fight, is not true; it takes one determined person or side to make a fight; history has proved this and is proving it in our politics now. Dems must find a way to simplify the facts while retaining a sense of compassion and keep heaping the blame where it belongs, on big money and stubborn politicians.
-1 # A_Har 2013-05-14 12:37
In your little essay above, you are continuing the very kind of rhetoric the article speaks against. It is a false dichotomy and you speak yet again *as a partisan.* They are ALL IN IT TOGETHER--both parties are beholden to big money interests. The DEMs are corrupt and the Pubs are corrupt--neithe r party represents you. It looks like you have not bothered to see that Obummer has refused to prosecute the "Too Big to Jail" banks for their in your face fraud and malfeasance. And...then there is that little thing about how he signed the NDAA that says he can kill American citizens without due process. He can declare anyone a terrorist and then proceed to kill them without a trial. It looks like you have a selective POV here: DEMS good, Pubs bad. I have watched this for years: same old same old. I does not solve anything. Meanwhile, Obummer looks like he will support the Keystone XL pipeline and the oil companies while he pays lip service to not doing anything much about our looming and DIRE climate crisis.

This stuff between the parties is all a bunch of stupid political theater that keeps people like you distracted from such things: the real issues! The system is totally screwed up.

Here is my criterion--if it was bad under Bush, it remains bad if the DEMS do it too. I don't give them a pass on anything because they have the big D on their foreheads. It looks like the person who may not be analyzing these things very well is you.
+7 # tswhiskers 2013-05-15 08:35
Then I suggest that you and all of like mind decide not to vote at all and let big money overrun the country. Let the Reps. build a class of ignorant serfs making poverty wages, if they are employed at all. I've said this so many times: Yes all politicians suck up to big money, even Obama. Westwinds' idea of getting rid of stubborn politicians is idealist nonsense. How does he/she propose to get rid of them? We the people have very little leverage in D.C. by which to get rid of ideologue and incompetent politicians, namely our vote. Madame La Guillotine is no longer a viable option. Everyone decries the Dems and rightly; however no one provides a realistic solution to our problem. The solution is to get rid of big political donations but for now Citizens United has made that option a total pipedream. So, ALL OF YOU; criticize the Dems to your hearts' content but at the same time, come up with means of getting rid of "the stubborn politicians". Even a massive get out the vote drive would meet with state govt. resistance unless a whole lot of planning and coordination were used well ahead of any election. What are your solutions?
+9 # Billy Bob 2013-05-15 10:47
Thank you for that comment. That's the best summary I've read in the whole thread.

YES, we should be pissed off at the Democratic Party
YES, the Republican Party is even worse
YES, "left vs. right" only matters when someone represents the left
YES, pretending we don't have to play on the playing field in front of us is a fantasy.

ALL of these things are true at the same time.

The real world is actually very complex and I'm beginning to wonder if our species is too stupid to cope with it in a way that actually furthers the interests of our species.

George Carlin used to say, "Picture the average guy...

...Now take into account the fact that 1/2 of the population is even stupider than THAT!"
+9 # WestWinds 2013-05-14 13:39
Better yet, get rid of the stubborn politicians. They weren't sent to DC to be stubborn; they were sent there to do the will of the people...not the will of the corporations, or to be owned by any other than We the People. If they can't fulfill their contract with us appropriately, then it's time they get pink slipped, just like any other BAD employee.
+10 # jwb110 2013-05-14 09:31
Left and Right have become Progressive and Regressive. If the Tea/Party wants a real shot at doing all they say then they have to run as a third party or as Independence.
The TP was convinced that they could roll orgs. like OWS into their fold. The more progressive folks knew instinctively that the TP would be under the heal of the New/Old guard of the GOP. They clearly were right. The TP downfall was climbing on board with the Regressive ideologues and lunatic fringe.
+1 # isafakir 2013-05-14 09:35
quote"Americans should be smarter than to allow ourselves to get thrown into the counter-product ive left vs. right fight hyped by the corporate-owned media and our corporate-owned politicians" this president more than any in the past 60 years had undercut and demonized and sabotaged progressive americans. the brutality with which OCCUPIED was suppressed with the direct collusion of Homeland Justice the FBI with oppressive corporate local politicians is literally unprecidented since Haymarket and Matawan. Obama's chief of staff put it succinktly with his rockeffer middle finger Cheney salute.
+22 # Larry 2013-05-14 09:41
An alliance of Left and Right against corporate tyranny would be, in Hamlet's words, "a consummation devoutly to be wished." But any such initiative would be vigorously undermined by Fox News and the Koch brothers, who are the instigators and beneficiaries of class warfare. It is vital to their interests to keep GOP rank and file under control with a steady diet of greed, hatred and fear, all of which are anathema to the Left.
+9 # Mainiac 2013-05-14 09:47
Common cause can often be made between strange bedfellows. Like the Tea Partyers and MoveOn. But the Koch brothers spend a bit of their change to keep the Tea Party afloat. And we need to be aware that while many Tea Party people didn’t , and don’t like the big banks, etc., they also don’t like big government or any government that helps those left on the side of the road in the drive by capitalists for world domination.
I agree with Carl that the description of our politics as being on a left/right spectrum should be abandoned. That idea came from the parliaments that came into being after the French revolution when the revolutionaries sat on the president’s left and the old guard sat on the right.
+20 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-05-14 09:56
Finally, some common sense. End the "divide and conquer' media. THANK YOU Carl Gibson
+10 # JTHinSD 2013-05-14 10:01
Hooray! Finally! Somebody "gets" it! There's no real difference between Reps and Dems. BHO v GWH? No real difference. Hillary v Kissinger? No real difference. JFK?LBJ v Nixon? No real difference.

The so-called Left and Right are both bought and paid for by social/politica l/economic elites. No better example of this than Goldman Sachs being a top donor to BHO in 2008 and then a top donor to Romney in 2012.

And THAT, RSN readers, is the real reason the Tea Party came pushback against Republican excess and greed. It is indeed about (all) populists vs corporatist/sta tists. Individual Liberty should be the primary goal of our efforts.
+19 # kyzipster 2013-05-14 10:12
Just because one financial blogger thinks it's true, doesn't make it true. I followed the Tea Party early on, there was nothing resembling an informed critique of the bank bailouts. Nothing but frightening extremists, reacting to a so called 'socialist' president.

There are some good points in the article, there are many issues we could come together on but we don't have to perpetuate this false equivalence between the left and right to get it done. Cable news does a good job of that already.

The left doesn't worship 'big government' as the article suggests, we simply acknowledge that government has an important role in protecting consumers, workers and investors from corporate excess. We also believe that SS & Medicare are popular, successful programs and Republicans are lying about their demise because they have an agenda of privatization.

"Karl Denninger, a financial blogger who runs m, said the Tea Party’s original message was against the big banks."
+2 # RHytonen 2013-05-14 18:13
The TEA party's original message was "END THE FED" - but it was started by Ron Paul For President's staffers as a Ron Paul = LIBERTARIAN= ABSOLUTE DEREGULATION, funding exercise.

And deregulation or Von Mises economic principals are certainly no way to get rid of corporate rule.

I do not see true anti-corporate populists and/or liberals, going anywhere near that philosophy.

The Green Party, on the other hand...
See ssues
+2 # kyzipster 2013-05-16 09:58
Good points. Ron Paul and Barney Frank came together and presented a proposal for some major cuts in military spending. They were mostly ignored by Congress and the media.

How we want to use those savings is drastically different between the left and right. I'd like to see the savings used for education and health care. The right wants more tax cuts. If we can work together to move in a better direction on spending, we can compromise on how those savings are used.

Of course Washington is far too dysfunctional for any sane solutions and the conservative agenda still has the upper hand. Political party is largely irrelevant.
+7 # RHytonen 2013-05-14 18:22
Quoting kyzipster:
Just because one financial blogger thinks it's true, doesn't make it true. I followed the Tea Party early on, there was nothing resembling an informed critique of the bank bailouts. Nothing but frightening extremists, reacting to a so called 'socialist' president.

"Karl Denninger, a financial blogger who runs, said the Tea Party’s original message was against the big banks."

I followed it too.
As a liberal (social democrat really,) I thought I found End The Fed to make sense. I was very quickly proven wrong, as were they, by The Meritocracy Myth one can prove by his own experiences and observations.

Along with that philsophy Libertarians also believe absolute deregulation and no federal safety net would be ideal.

Wow - just, wow.

There is a vast difference between "End the Fed" and being against corporate rule, or big banks.

The real problem, the Root Cause, is textbook fascism - government abdicating its core role as regulator to defend he powerless, to actually help corporations and business fleece the individual.

That corporations and business do not need that help, is a vast understatement tragic enough to end the human race.
+16 # Alternative 2013-05-14 10:28
Yes thank you Mr Gibson. Divide & Conquer. It's designed to occupy us away from the real issues and the real separations which are rich versus poor and workers versus corporations or labor versus capital.

It's time to unite behind healthy sustainable cooperative living through worker owned cooperative corporations.
+3 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-05-14 10:29
Yes there is a false dichotomy but it is even more insidious. Media and elites are distracting us with BS left right memes while in the background the real story of what goes on does not get reported at all. Real truth is censored and kept completely from us. The real depravity of our government is kept from us entirely.
+12 # ABen 2013-05-14 10:39
Our system of government has the same inherent strengths and weaknesses (often one in the same) that it has always had. What has inexorably warped the system is corporate money--staggeri ng amounts of corporate money. If most of the citizens who feel our political system is in need of an overhaul would pound the table about legally precluding ALL corporate political expenditures, we have a good chance of seeing our representative democracy re-emerge. Also, FOX and CNN would actually have to cover news.
+13 # Billy Bob 2013-05-14 10:42
populist = left
corporatist = right
+16 # Billy Bob 2013-05-14 10:43
Democratic Party = right
Republican Party = far right
3rd parties = easily ignored protest
+4 # BradFromSalem 2013-05-14 11:47

We usually agree, but I want to protest your use (others use it as well) of the term 3rd Parties and/or 3rd Party. The term by itself not only marginlizes any alternative political views, but also lumps them together in a blob of ideas, with no coherent message.

I much prefer an endorsement of no parties. At least in law. The political 2 party system we have is an embedded drag on resolving some of tyhe issues Mr. Gibson brings up.
As not only a money saving idea, I suggest that we abolish separate primaries. Everyone who qualifies gets on a single ballot. If they are affiliated with a party, they can have their affliation on the ballot. Everybody gets to vote for 2 candidates. That means the total vote is 200% of the voters. So if Candidate A get 55%, Candidate B gets 35% , Candidate C get 30%, and Candidate D gets 25%, then A, B and C all are on the final ballot. All the candidates whose total votes is the first over 50% of all possible votes. This will weaken the hold of binary decisions, left/right; good/evil; Democrat/Republ ican; Fox/MSNBC. A Green Party candidate may actually make it into a runoff against 2 Republicans under this model, which actually encourages there to be more than 2 candidates on the final ballot.
+5 # Billy Bob 2013-05-14 12:06
I would like something similar. What you're refering to is called a "jungle primary". That would be great. Except, I'd still only give one vote per person. Next, there would always be the automatic runoff between the top two vote getters. And you're right, they could be Repug vs. Repug, or Democrat vs. Green, Communist vs. Nazi. It wouldn't matter, because the first vote would always be for the person you really wanted. If that person made the cut, great. If not, you'd still get a second chance to at least prevent the one you hate more from being elected.
+2 # WestWinds 2013-05-14 13:06
I like this idea. Anything that will break up the duopoly and get this country fluid with good thinking and better ideas.
+3 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-05-14 13:57
It was explained to me by an Australian that they have a version of this where they rank all the candidates. It keeps you from having to strategically vote for the least bad person who might win.

I would also stress that we have voting in this country on unverifiable black box voting machines that cannot be verified or recounted in the case of most counties/states . Therefore it doesn't matter who is on the ballot if the votes are counted fraudulently.
+3 # BradFromSalem 2013-05-15 06:44
Can you say Busch-Colbert vs. Sanford? An 18% voter turnaround from the polling of 2 weeks prior! The actual vote count is 100% unverifiable.

Yeah, I agree that is another of the long, long list of corporation biased issues that needs to be reversed.
+22 # Billy Bob 2013-05-14 10:45
In other words, there is no "false dichotomy" between right and left.

Right and left have very real differences. The trouble is that no one is representing the left. What we have is right vs. phony left.

The left is left out.
+4 # paulkinzelman 2013-05-14 11:02
I wrote an article addressing exactly that and suggesting new terminology at:
+6 # cmp 2013-05-14 11:04
In 1992, when Perot said "hear that giant sucking sound.." Clinton & the Shrub Sr, both laughed..

When Perot, made reference's to the Shrub Sr's. "conflicts of interest" relating to the Persian Gulf War, Clinton & the Shrub both condescendingly looked at him as if, "how dare you break the Queens-bury Rules?"

But, when Perot said "We're gonna bring back the Town Hall. You're all, the Boss!" That's, when we got the "Public Lynching." Just, like we've seen so many times before and since..
+6 # curmudgeon 2013-05-14 12:11
C'mon, get a life,

Ross was a 'Koch' bro of his time during Nixon/Reagan years...he and his company EDS bought inside track to 3rd party contracting of MediCare and Medicaid processes around the country. Their illegal implimentations removed all limits on medical billing to generate support, causing the high cost of senior coverage and enabling the invention of 'for profit' health care.
+7 # walterwz 2013-05-14 11:15
This meme of abolishing The Right and The Left needs to be put out of its misery. There is a grain of truth however. There are definite points of agreement between the the two halves of the political divide. We need to make the best of these common interests but the problem with the left, progressive liberal sided is that we have forgotten our history, we have forgotten the struggle and what we stand for.
+21 # engelbach 2013-05-14 11:51
Carl is wrong.

There is no organized left in the United States. The GOP is to the far right and the Democrats preach a moderate left rhetoric but practice a centrist or even right leaning agenda.

The right stands for tradition, the preservation of old values, which includes the established hierarchy of class society, the ruling class over the rest of us.

The left stands for change that will insure the prosperity of the working class and the end of ruling class privilege.

There is no coming together of these two exact opposites. The working class has no desire to compromise with those who steal from it.

If there were a left in america, it would be fighting for socialism.
+6 # brux 2013-05-14 12:32
Shhh, can't say socialism!
+8 # wwway 2013-05-14 12:51
Right on englebach. What is socialism? If one knows what socialism is they'd know that the left is not fighting for it! What is democratic capitalism? That is what the left is fighting for.
I don't know what you mean about the working class not compromising with those who steal from it. The working class, in the last 40 years, has agreed that it is their neighbor and the poor who are stealing from them. They allowed themselves to be distracted by this argument that came from the rich who are and forever will be stealing from them. If we don't have a populist movement our own kind will continue to take us down the rat hole where the rich want us all.
+4 # RHytonen 2013-05-14 18:40
Quoting wwway:
Right on englebach. What is socialism? If one knows what socialism is they'd know that the left is not fighting for it! What is democratic capitalism? That is what the left is fighting for.
I don't know what you mean about the working class not compromising with those who steal from it. The working class, in the last 40 years, has agreed that it is their neighbor and the poor who are stealing from them. They allowed themselves to be distracted by this argument that came from the rich who are and forever will be stealing from them. If we don't have a populist movement our own kind will continue to take us down the rat hole where the rich want us all.

And Democracy and Capitalism are natural, mortal enemies BY DEFINITION.

It's when one gets such control over the other that it can REDEFINE it in people's minds, that we have a problem.

Thinnking of it that way shows what a problem corporate ownership of a for-profit media has become- or for-profit ownership, for that matter, of ANY utility (like health care, housing or food.)

The national economy of scale must never be allowed for profit. We used to have and enforce antitrust laws.
-7 # Texas Girl 2013-05-14 20:27
Since when were gay marriage, abortion on demand, open borders and wealth redistribution “Democrats … practice(ing) a centrist or even right leaning agenda”? You’ve got to be kidding, right?
+2 # 666 2013-05-15 06:13
The "left" can't really be organized... i.e., an "organized left" is basically an oxymoron.

The "right" (dem + GOP) represents the values of the elite; it is by definition "conservative" & resistant to change (the values of the non-elite). Conservatives/R ightists inculcate those beliefs in the masses of gullible, juvenile & infantile (e.g. fundamentalism & the NRA). That's why they fight against education & humanism.

The left (NOT liberal, that means "capitalist"; even "progressive" is a poor compromise) represents broader, more communal (thus non-elite), & bio-centered values. Only at times of real crisis (e.g. Great Depression) can such values be fused into greater political momentum.

Political institutions are tools of the right in both its liberal & conservative forms. Otherwise the left--while usually living in a state of denial--is best represented by communal anarchism & socialism...

As long as the mass in the "middle" are brainwashed into believing they gain by supporting the elite against their own values, we see little change.

Revolutions typically come from elite splinter groups who find themselves marginalized by the increasingly homogenous values of the elite: the American Revolution, Cromwell, etc. Even the French Revolution began this way. The Russian Revolution used crisis to become an alternative, regressive elite, instead of the system Marx envisioned.
-19 # Texas Girl 2013-05-14 12:24
Carl Gibson may think he understands the “left”, but I can assure you he has no real understanding of the “right”. Because of the huge philosophical and moral divide that separates the two, there is little to no common ground on which to unite. His characterizatio n of the beginning of the Tea Party was inspired by an opposition to the President Bush’s bailouts of the biggest banks is not consistent with history. Most people credit CNBC’s Rick Santelli with launching the movement from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009, when he railed against the Obama Administration' s proposal to help homeowners facing foreclosure refinance their mortgages. Truthfully, the right believes in the right of everyone to bear arms, that Benghazi was a disgraceful event that should not have happened and should not be covered up and that gay marriage (along with the murdering of the unborn; the income redistribution of hardworking citizens; the attacks on the religious freedom by the Obamacare HHS mandate; the granting of amnesty to illegal aliens) are all issues that divide them from the left for many good, moral and constitutional reasons. . Instead of Gibson’s, “Are you on the people's side, or on big money's side?” how about are you on the constitutional, Judeo-Christian God-fearing, and morally traditional side or the anti-founding principles, atheistic and moral relativism side?
+8 # tm7devils 2013-05-14 15:11
Looks like texas dgirl just proved Gibson's point...
+5 # Firefox11 2013-05-14 16:21
I am struggling to understand that final sentence here. Are you actually equating constitutional, God fearing and morality?
If so, that is a whole other discussion.
-6 # Texas Girl 2013-05-14 20:12
I'm saying that when Gibson opines that "Democrats and Republicans are using issues like gun control, Benghazi and gay marriage to continue feeding the illusion that there’s a difference between the two and to continue the flow of money to their corporate masters", he doesn't understand the depth of the real differences (not illusions of), and the fact that constitutional government, traditional marriage and Benghazi have no "corporate masters".
+2 # Billy Bob 2013-05-15 07:40
Thank you for reminding me why I vote Democratic. I don't vote Democratic to get my way (because they compromise too much with your side), but to make sure YOU don't get your way 100% of the time (95% of the time is enough).
+3 # brux 2013-05-14 12:31
Finally, a good article to start a discussion over these issues.

It's not the parties, it's the people ....

and it's not the people, it's the class.

The people on the left realize the wasted potential and misery of the lower class.

The people in the right realize the organization and efficiency of the upper class.

Somehow the whole narrative really serves the right in that it keeps people arguing and out of the way while they do whatever they want.
-1 # Roger Kotila 2013-05-14 12:38
A friend of mine likes to say of the Left and the Right: "It takes two wings to fly." What Carl is leaving out regarding 99% versus the .1% is that we'll need more than a Left/Right merger. "We, the people" will need a new geopolitical system to overcome Big Money rule. The Earth Constitution provides the needed direction. For global change, the Earth Federation Movement has a saying: "We are neither Left or Right, we are in Front." Carl needs to add world citizen to his analysis. Otherwise, we will fail.
+5 # RHytonen 2013-05-14 18:42
Quoting Roger Kotila:
A friend of mine likes to say of the Left and the Right: "It takes two wings to fly." What Carl is leaving out regarding 99% versus the .1% is that we'll need more than a Left/Right merger. "We, the people" will need a new geopolitical system to overcome Big Money rule. The Earth Constitution provides the needed direction. For global change, the Earth Federation Movement has a saying: "We are neither Left or Right, we are in Front." Carl needs to add world citizen to his analysis. Otherwise, we will fail.

We TRIED a left/right merger.

It did not work.
+10 # wwway 2013-05-14 12:43
More than 100 years ago Jack London wrote the first dystopian novel depicting what we now refer to as the 1% vs. the 99%. He supported his characters arguments with facts from the 1900 Census in footnotes. There's not much difference between the 1900 Census revelations and our recent one. My point? The right is the 1% who own and control the message and the church. The onus for democracy is on the 99% who have to be vigilant and united in questioning and opposing the 1% (populist). Gibson is right. We exist in a battle between the peole and the corporation. We did 100 years ago and we still do because the 99% have bought the arguments of the 1%.
What are those arguments? Can you expand on this list? If we work hard we'll prosper. Only the rich create jobs. Americans are lazy, no good for nothing freeloaders. Godless.
When members of the 99% side with the 1% it weakens us all and the 1% KNOW it!
+6 # futhark 2013-05-14 14:29
Yes, we are still under "The Iron Heel", as Jack London called it, of the privileged wealthy. They are the only ones who benefit by keeping the distinction between left and right going in regards to our inherent rights. As long as the lovers of liberty, peace, justice, sustainable prosperity, and real security are kept squabbling, power is retained in the hands of the military-indust rial complex, the surveillance state apparatus, and the large corporations.
+1 # Firefox11 2013-05-14 16:17
Brilliant analysis of the problem and the solution in one paragraph. Would that the country was reading this so they could better understand what is really going on here in plain sight; but generally hidden at the same time.
+2 # goodsensecynic 2013-05-14 12:54
Carl is wrong! Engelbach is mostly right.

There are no conservatives in the USA (they were expelled after the American Revolution and the dregs were destroyed in the Civil War.

There are certainly no socialists (apart from three guys handing out leaflets in Washington Square).

There are only liberals: right wing liberals who are mainly social Darwinists and left wing liberals who protect the high table but don't mind tossing a few crumbs to the poor.

That aside, when Carl says it's time to get rid of the right and the left and replace them with "populists" and "corporatists," what he is really saying is that we should rebrand the products and call them different names.

Once that's done, we'll still have (you guessed it!) right-wing liberals and left-wing liberals.

John Locke can rest easy. His legacy is safe.
+11 # WestWinds 2013-05-14 12:58
Sorry, I just don't ever see this happening. As long as there are supply-side fanatics who want us to become born-agains instead of just allowing us to live our lives in peace and prosperity, there is going to be division.

I could see it if everyone agreed to stand down, but you know as well as I do that that's never going to happen. The common people on the Right are constantly being wound up by their corporate employers and the mass medias. I was washing dishes this morning and turned on some music only to find it was a Christian station with the hostess giving her opinion on abortion followed by praise-the-Lord lyrics.

Forget it. This coming together kumbya is a bunch of baloney. It's going to have to be a majority rules to end the arguing. There is just no way I am going to support a corporate kleptocracy or become a born-again. And the fact this article is pushing this makes me think that the Progressive Movement may be just another facet of the corporate kleptocracy.

I want to see, Glass-Steagall back, I want oil off the commodities market, I want the trade tariffs flipped in favor of Americans, I want to see the re-booting of manufacturing, I want to see Citizen United kicked to the curb with a Constitutional Amendment banning corporate personhood for all eternity, and I want to see a Department of Peace headed by Dennis Kucinich, and some serious campaign finance reform that cuts these billion dollar ad companies out of the political loop. That's my agenda.
+6 # tm7devils 2013-05-14 15:14
WestWinds for president...of course he wouldn't survive long.
+4 # Firefox11 2013-05-14 16:09
Love your post; reminds me that those of us who are neither religious nor greedy need to continue to beat the drums for a better country and spell it out wherever possible in as many arenas as possible.
+7 # Buddha 2013-05-14 15:56
This is why Occupy was crushed, we were fighting against the entire corrupt system, of which both mainstream Parties are a part. But unlike the Tea Party, Occupy didn't let itself get hijacked by the same corruption that we were fighting against...and hence the iron fist of the State had to be brought against it. The Tea Party simply became "useful idiots" and were no longer a threat to the status quo, so they were allowed to parade around in their tri-corner hats while the Oligarchs laughed into their champagne flutes.
-7 # Texas Girl 2013-05-15 18:55
Well everyday now we're learning just how much the Obama administration viewed your "Useful Idiots" as a real threat. Their response to the threat of the "Useful Idiots" may just bring down the president.
+2 # Firefox11 2013-05-14 16:04
"You had me at hello."
The first paragraph says it all.
Divide and conquer, and to add insult to injury, profit from it.
+1 # brux 2013-05-17 17:44
We are not free to think or act as if we as individual human beings have any more power than that of our individual skin and bones against those who have come before and built castles and armies and societies to tell us what to do.
+1 # San Diego Lefty 2013-05-19 12:39
Carl Gibson is wrong about Left and Right, which are good shorthand to describes forces for good and evil. The Republican Party has shifted to become a key part of the Right, but the Democratic Party is not the Left and never will be. The Left is tiny, fragmented, and weak but we win occasional victories, and that helps sustain us. We will not give up, and the alternative Gibson imagines is a chimera.
0 # Z4RQUON 2013-07-31 07:35
You are correct that political discourse is broken but you are wrong about why. Debating politics using the terms like "left" and "right" is analogous to a group of people on a road trip debating their destination but the only spatial words they are allowed to use are "East" and "West". Such a false dichotomy has prevented people from making CRUCIAL distinctions and, since the reality of the problem can not be articulated, a sort of political superstition has formed instead.

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