As John Mellencamp sings: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” True. And here’s an equally true twist on that aphorism: “If you stand for everything, you won’t amount to anything.”
In a remarkable achievement, a newly formed political organization calling itself “No Labels” has managed to fall into both traps, standing up for everything and nothing at all.
The fledgling entity is using every synonym in the book to assure everyone that it is a middle-of-the-road, bipartisan, centrist, both-sides party, offering hybrid liberal-conservative solutions that won’t offend anyone.
But wait — they’ve chosen a multimillionaire coal baron and multimillionaire son of a global plastics polluter to be their standard bearers. If they’re put on a presidential ticket, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Jon Huntsman could unite voters of both parties — against them!
While they don’t stand for much, there is one huge, overriding issue that the No Labels hucksters strongly agree on: corporate money contaminating American politics. These “reformers” are in favor of it!
Indeed, secret fat cat donations are the No Labelers’ financial lifeline, having already hauled in hundreds of thousands of dollars from right-wing corporate interests. Such as? No-no, say the founders — we can’t tell you who’s buying the “No Labels” label, for the funders don’t want the public to know their names or their special interests.
Of course, secret-funding of elections equals secret government — of, by, and for the funders. By standing against the people’s right to know, the group has put a flaming neon “fraud” label on their hokey “reform” movement. Huntsman even admits it, saying financial disclosure would be the right thing to do, but “that’s not the way you play the game.”
“The game?” Just what we need — another gang of corporate politicos who think governing America is a game to be won by hook or crook.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.