In her book The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel describes the odd phenomenon where the far political right and the far political left end up sounding very much the same.
That phenomenon has never been more clear than in the underground controversy surrounding the “North American Union.”
The basic premise of the complaint is that the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which (little did you know!) America entered into some years ago, is actually a covert organization intending to functionally eradicate the borders between America, Canada and the United States.
Why would Bush do such a thing? Capitalism, baby, and of the global variety. This is one of the main points where the left and right get together–they both decry organizations like the WTO for pushing the global capitalist agenda, bemoan the undercutting of unions by outsourcing and, generally speaking, turn to the government to enact policies to ensure that things remain the way they are.
One of the rumored signs of the impending end to American independence is the “amero,” which ostensibly will replace the currencies of each respective country. And now, radio host Hal Turner allegedly has one such Amero, which was printed by the Denver Mint.
What’s interesting, though, is that Turner’s site includes this video of lefty Lou Dobbs expressing grave concern over the NAU. He may as well have been channeling Jerome Corsi, who writes for the conservative World Net Daily and has recently published a detailed and thorough account of the emerging North American Union (disclosure: I am credited as an editor on Corsi’s work).
As for the claims about the emerging NAU, I remain skeptical. But the similarity between right and left on this issue is a curious phenomenon indeed.
Turner says of his story about the Amero, “I personally vouch for this story and stand-by [sic] every world of it no matter how many filthy jews come out of the woodwork to say otherwise.” I guess that irrational beliefs, like anti-Semitism, don’t necessarily undermine one’s credibility but–oh, wait–I think they might.
On his website, Lou Dobbs is described as “an independent populist and the leading media advocate for working men and women, their families, our middle class and the American way of life.” Populism can sometimes be conflated with leftism but not always.
The convergence of the far right and far left is interesting but I think that both ends of the spectrum are characterized by ignorance and implacability. And don’t forget the paranoia; someone’s always out to get them, whether it’s big government or big corporations.
By the way, I realize that your commentary and links do not constitute endorsement.
Yikes. I missed that part of Turner’s page when I was skimming. I definitely do not endorse anything either Dobbs or Turner say. I am quite skeptical of the whole issue, really.
“The convergence of the far right and far left is interesting but I think that both ends of the spectrum are characterized by ignorance and implacability. And don’t forget the paranoia; someone’s always out to get them, whether it’s big government or big corporations.”
Well said. I couldn’t agree more.
Thanks for brining up this issue Matt. I haven’t had a chance to really look into it, but it troubles me in a couple of ways…
On one hand, when you look at the goals described on the government’s SPP website, they appear to be seeking commerce at the expense of security. This should draw huge red flags in the post-9/11 world.
On the other hand, I’ve repeatedly heard Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved mock any caller, and immediately dismiss them as a lunatic, who attempts to talk about it. Sure, some of these people are lunatics espousing crazy conspiracy theories. But Hewitt and Medved seem to be ignoring that there is something going on, when they’re obviously is, and that makes them look like part of the so-called conspiracy. They perpetuate the conspiracies by their refusal to engage the issue.
That Turner fellow is quite literally insane. He thinks a “fantasy coin” is real, and that Snopes is run by Jews? Anti-Semitic paranoia verging on schizophrenia. Sad.
I agree with you that the central question about SPP is a security question. That’s my main concern about it.
I know Medved has led the charge in labeling people who think the NAU is emerging as “conspiracy theorists.” I don’t think, however, that he is further perpetuating the conspiracies. It would be nice for someone to offer a level-headed, detailed critique of the conspiracy theory position, the way Popular Mechanics decimated the 9/11 theories. I haven’t seen that sort of even-handed critique yet.
But he has one!!!! He has one. It can’t be a “fantasy coin” if it’s real, can it???
The problem with conspiracy theories is that they do lead to (quite literally) madness. Any disavowal by the alleged conspirators becomes a piece of proof that there’s a conspiracy.
I agree–it is sad.
A fake coin. Wow, it does not get any better than that when it comes to destroying Turner’s credibility, although his anti-Semitism had already done it for me.