The origin of the term "left" and "right" as it correlates to politics comes from the French legislature during their revolution in the late
1700s. Those supporting the absolute rule of the monarch sat furthest to the right, and those supported power of the people sat to to the left. France
went from a Kingdom to a Republic after their revolution.
If you look at the political spectrum in this light, you would say that the more power becomes centralized, the more right wing it is. An Oligarchy
(power maintained by a small amount of the ultra wealthy) is more left wing than a dictatorship or a king, and conversely, communism and anarchy are
more left wing than democracy.
These delineations for the most part cover economic policy but can create confusion when we discuss social policies of the left and right as they can
differ greatly depending on the country we are looking at. For instance, in England the right supports gay marriage, where here in the US the right is
opposed to it.
I bring this up for 2 reason: one because this should illustrate that both the left and right wing have more to gain by finding common ground than we
benefit from further political divisions. That is unless you prefer to live under a dictatorship. And two, because of what I believe is something of a
growing contradiction in todays political discourse. This centers mainly around taxes, political influence and equality. Its no secret that over the
last several decades wealth inequality has grown to previously unknown levels, with the most recent figures showing the richest 1% owning more than
the bottom 90% combined. The bottom 90% are seeing their wages drop while the richest are taking home more than ever before.
This has happened for a variety of reasons, some of which are conservative leaning tax policy, Reagan provided big tax cuts to the most wealthy and
this endeared him to conservatives of all financial classes. Both Bushes also tried their best to tax the wealthiest among us, including corporate tax
loopholes, lower than historic averages. Trump has continued this approach to taxation.
There is plenty of blame on the left too, Bill Clinton's NAFTA deal sent tons of jobs overseas and help destroy manufacturing in the US, this also
allowed multi national corporations to save a ton of money with cheap labor and gave the American public really cheap stuff from China. For the most
part this just made the rich richer and everyone got hooked on super cheap goods.
The Citizens United ruling which allowed massive amounts of corporate money to flow in to politics also didn't help lessen wealth disparity. Its not
a surprise that people for the most part vote for what benefits them, and with corporations essentially having the power to influence politics in this
less restrained way, it seems to have further tipped the balance of power to favor those with the money.
Heres where I feel there is come confusion within the conservative political base: While I totally respect and support the idea that people need to
lift themselves up by the bootstraps (thats physically impossible by the way) and not be lazy, further consolidation of wealth at the top of the
financial pyramid is not good for our democracy. The massive influence that wealth has on our political system is creating an oligarchy or a fascist
If you take in to consideration that a large portion of the Republican voting base does not take home a CEOs salary/200X the average workers pay, why
would less than wealthy Republicans support candidates who give out tax breaks to the wealthy and provide corporate subsidies? I know its been a hot
buzz word to call this socialism, (which I assume is corporate propaganda) but consider the alternative: More power in fewer hands and a further
distancing from a true democracy.
We need big money out of politics. There was $6.5 BILLION spent on the presidential and congressional campaigns in 2016. Does that seem insane to
Also, Citizens United was built on a lie: www.theatlantic.com...