Skip to main content

View image | gettyimages.com

If you've kept up at all on the tortured legislative history of TPP, you understand that what has occurred shows how divided the country and both major parties have become. On the Republican side, Senators Collins, Cruz, Sessions, Shelby and Paul voted Nay, as did King, former Maine Republican governor now an independent. On the Democratic side, 13 senators voted Aye and the rest (30) voted Nay, as did Bernie Sanders from Vermont. So we have a proposal by a Democratic President, supported basically by Republicans and some Democrats.

A June 2015 poll showed 55% of Americans opposed to Fast Track and only 30% thought that free trade should be allowed even if it hurt domestic industry.

Both parties have a center core that is corporatist with wings (left in the Democrats and right in the Republican) who are against big business and the sort of crony capitalism that is wrecking havoc in the country.

The result is that the most conservative and libertarian Republicans and most liberal Democrats opposed Fast Track, and the population opposed it. Yet it passed anyway, championed by a supposedly liberal Democratic president. Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley came out against Fast Track and TPP, and Hillary Clinton seemed to waffle. The Republican presidential contenders were very divided. (Marco Rubio cast the deciding vote for it, and he was accused of doing so without reading what he was voting for. This may turn out to be very bad for his Presidential campaign if the accusation is repeated often enough).

All this shows a real splintering in the parties. Both parties have a center core that is corporatist with wings (left in the Democrats and right in the Republican) who are against big business and the sort of crony capitalism that is wrecking havoc in the country.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

If someone were really brilliant, they might be able to find some way to engineer this sort of divided sentiment into creating a true coalition government. My own take (and I've expressed this before) is for Bernie Sanders to combine his outspoken 12 point platform with a “shadow cabinet,” drawing on people from both parties to show that he is open to all ideas that will help solve out multitude on problems.

Bernie Sanders has proposed breaking up the six big banks on the grounds that they are “too big to fail” and therefore too big to continue in their status quo position. This legislative proposition may actually find support from the Republicans' right wing. which favors free markets and getting rid of crony capitalism. And there may be other areas where agreement can be found.

Although Bernie is a social democrat from Vermont, his position (for example) on gun control has to be balanced. He recognizes that the lack of controls in his home state works because there are very few gun murders. That same lack of control will not work in a big city. Vermont has a very high rate of gun ownership and low gun murder rate. The District of Columbia has a very low rate of gun ownership and a very high gun murder rate. To solve the problem requires sensitivity and a middle ground that takes all factors into account. To get gun legislation passed will take a real balancing act

If you are a progressive, you should be open to coming up with solutions that work and that achieve ends bettering the country overall. Bernie Sanders is probably the only candidate out there at the moment who is prepared to do that. That's what it will take to get this country moving again in the right direction – unlike the TPP vote, which is taking us on a pathway to disaster.

michael-hertz

Michael Hertz

Tags
terms: