The Trans-Pacific Partnership: let’s not work together

Source: The New Internationalist

Let’s end partisan squabbling and find common ground. Let’s bridge the ideological gulf and work together to solve the problems that face us all.

Do these pleasing sentiments sound familiar? Rarely has a politician emerged who hasn’t voiced a rhetorical call to join hands, overcome differences, or otherwise bask in the glow of togetherness.

Of course, there’s a catch: if coming together means having elected officials unite to push corporate interests at the expense of the 99 per cent, it’s hardly a unity worth achieving.

Back in 2007, when Barack Obama was still a freshman senator making an improbable run for the White House, I went to see him campaign in Iowa. He had some good lines in his stump speech – invoking his past as a community organizer, reiterating his opposition to the Iraq War, pledging to close Guantánamo, and vowing to ‘tell the lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over’.

Yet, even then, Obama’s more progressive instincts seemed at odds with his clear affection for banalities about reaching across the aisle. The latter served as a warning sign that he might follow the path of past neoliberal Democrats – politicians who joined with conservatives to roll back social protections and reward Wall Street.

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