By: Sean Scallon

Look around now and see how people are lamenting party lines between Republicans and Democrats representing fronts like those used in World War I. Listen to proposals to mix the seating of members of Congress for President Obama’s State of the Union Address instead of the usual partisan division. Watch commentators on television decry the lack of civility in our politics in the aftermath of the shooting of a member of Congress.

Polarization in U.S. society may well be tame compared to the past but for the sake of today, it’s not unfounded to say the parties to seem like the Yankees and Red Sox trying to one-up each other competing for the AL East title every season. But there is a question upcoming which can break down the walls and help members of Congress reach across those party lines in a common cause.

Opposition to the proposed U.S.-South Korean trade agreement, or KAFTA, could well engineer a new spirit of bipartisanship if not friendship and camaraderie among the members once they realize not every vote before Congress breaks neatly along Democratic and Republican divisions.

A bipartisan group in Congress helped to pass NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement and other subsequent trade deals since 1993. A bipartisan coalition has opposed them. The interests represented by our lawmakers opposed to such trade deals varied as well. Unions and civil rights persons opposed globalized trade, those fearing the rise of "New World Order" or those who believe in levying tariffs as a means of raising revenue for the Federal Government and preserving vital U.S. industries.

But whatever the reason or interest, whatever the belief or representation, there’s underlying value in opposition to the sprawling trade deals negotiated by nation-states these days. These aren’t just simply commodity swaps, the equivalent of baseball cards one trades at recess. A vast structure of rules and regulations are drawn up to the benefit multi-national corporations from low labor costs and low tariffs for goods sold in big-box stores. Or agribusinesses using taxpayer subsidies to eliminate the competition. A base value of the opposition to KAFTA, one which can unite Left and Right, Republican and Democrat, is the desire to break the globalists’ iron grip on the means of international trade for benefit of all citizens, businessmen, working men, farmers, union members or housewives, anyone who is not a member of the insider’s club. And given these citizens vote, the politicians will follow regardless of what letter is after their names, D or R.

People have seen through the fraud of NAFTA, the golden age which never came despite the dreams of the globalists. They’re not going to want their representatives to slavishly support the President just because he happens to be the titular head of one party. Nor will they accept other members of Congress blindly following the will of their leadership. They want them to get out of their trenches and meet in No Man’s Land to do what’s right for them. Hopefully this truce over KAFTA will last a lot longer than just Christmas.

"Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Sean Scallon is a freelance writer and newspaper reporter who lives in Arkansaw, Wisconsin. His work has appeared in Chronicles: A magazine of American Culture. His first-ever book: Beating the Powers that Be: Independent Political Movements and Parties of the Upper Midwest and their Relevance in Third-party Politics of Today is now out on sale from Publish America. Go to the their website at to order a copy. He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Sean Scallon can be reached at:

Published in the January 21, 2011 issue of  Ether Zone.
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