by Thom Hartman
We’re witnessing a 3-act play in America, and it’s called “The Great Rejection of the Reagan Revolution.”
For more than 30 years, we’ve witnessed failed policy after failed policy, executed by both Democrats and Republicans, which have done nothing to help working class Americans, and everything to increase the power of corporate America and of the wealthy elite.
As result, Americans have figured out the truth behind the Reagan Revolution: Whether practiced by Republicans or Democrats, the Reagan Revolution is one giant scam.
In Act One of “The Great Rejection of the Reagan Revolution,” we’ve seen the rejection of Reagan-inspired Grenada-like Bush-era policies of pre-emptive strikes, and just about every aspect of the so-called “Bush doctrine.”
A decade of violence, bloodshed and death in Iraq and Afghanistan have helped to wake us up, and caused us to question the “shoot first ask questions later” policies of the Bush administration, that were directly responsible for the loss of thousands of American lives.
Over the past few weeks, the lessons learned from the Bush era have played out in the Syria crisis.
Rather than go into another armed conflict behind questionable intelligence and heated rhetoric, the American people have overwhelmingly spoken out against military involvement in Syria, opting instead for a non-violent diplomatic solution.
When it comes to foreign policy and the potential for armed conflicts, the American people said loud and clear that Reagan-era policies are not the way.
In Act Two of “The Great Rejection of the Reagan Revolution,” Americans have rejected the Reagan Revolution policy of “deregulating the gangsters” that have allowed Wall Street big banks to grow out of control, and that caused the financial collapse of 2008.
Americans have said no to Reaganomics policies like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Commodities Futures Modernization Act, both of which were signed by President Clinton.
During the last few months of the Clinton presidency, Phil Gramm’s Commodities Futures Modernization Act became law.
It allowed banks for the first time to participate in commodities markets, and to create their own completely unregulated commodities markets that had never before existed.
In November of 1999, just months before the Commodities Futures Modernization Act became law, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act became the law of the land.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley gutted the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, by removing barriers in the banking business that had previously prevented traditional checking and savings commercial banks from acting as stock-brokering investments banks and vice versa.
Because Reagan stopped enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, when Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed, commercial banks were allowed to merge with investment banks to form the massive “too big to fail” banks that dominate Wall Street today and that have dealt near death-blows to our economy.
To close out Act Two of this play, Americans rejected both of these Reaganomics mainstays, and also repudiated one of their principal cheerleaders, Larry Summers.
Summers withdrew from the running to be the next Secretary of the Treasury on Sunday, after realizing that there was no way that Americans were going to endorse more failed Reaganomics policies.
With Act One and Act Two of “The Great Rejection of the Reagan Revolution” on the books, now we’ll hopefully see Act Three: The repudiation of so-called “global free trade” deals – like NAFTA, CAFTA, and the WTO (supported by President Clinton).
Right now, the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, another one of those so-called free trade deals, is in the works.
The TPP, which is being discussed behind closed doors between the United States and a group of Pacific nations, is being written in secrete by giant transnational corporations.
According to Public Citizen, the TPP would offshore millions of American jobs, allow corporations to attack environmental and safety regulations, and effectively ban “Buy America” policies that are crucial for rebuilding our economy.
And negotiations on the TPP are so secretive that even members of Congress don’t have information on it, which makes it all the more dangerous that when the TPP reaches Congress, it’s likely that it will be fast-tracked.
Back in 1974, President Nixon hatched a plan called “Fast Track.”
Fast Track does away with key checks and balances insured by the Constitution, skirts Congressional review and amendments, and lets the President directly submit legislation for a vote.
It also gives the executive branch the power to force votes within 60-90 days of submitting the implementing legislation to Congress, and overrides normal voting rules by limiting debate and banning amendments.
If the TPP is allowed to reach the floor of Congress, and is indeed “fast-tracked,” it will become the latest tool of global corporations to screw over America and destroy the middle-class.
Hopefully Act 3 of this 3-act play will be a final rejection of the Reagan Revolution, with a resounding defeat of the TPP.
Then we can begin undoing the damage of 32 years of the Reagan Revolution and begin putting America back together again.
This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.