Michael Ostrolenk is one of the people on the right we worked with in order to get Audit the Fed passed. In the video above he recounts how Ron Paul and Alan Grayson in the House, and Jim DeMint and Bernie Sanders in the Senate, were able to work together to successfully fight the lobbying efforts of the Fed, the banks, the White House and party leadership on both sides of the aisle in order to pass a bill that had broad popular support.
As Mike notes, the GAO report that was conducted as a result of the bill’s passage showed that $16 trillion was loaned out to foreign and domestic banks by the Federal Reserve. That report came out in July. You’d think that in the middle of austerity and deficit hysteria the media would have picked up on that, but they didn’t.
When Audit the Fed passed, Chris Hayes said on MSNBC that “something truly remarkable” has happened and that the bill’s passage was “the single greatest act of bipartisanship since Obama took office.” I think Michael’s characterization of “transpartisan” is probably more accurate. ”Bipartisan” has come to mean elites of both parties coming together to screw the public in their own self-interest. Transpartisan, as Michael says, means coming together to fight for shared principles in discrete alliances with people you might otherwise disagree with on other issues.
Transpartisanism is the opposite of tribalism. Tribalism involves appealing to people’s cultural biases to keep them walled off in armed camps, fighting each other so they don’t notice that elites are robbing them blind. It ensures that they will continue to blame each other for their increasingly difficult financial predicaments, and never take aim at their true mutual antagonists even as the economic ground erodes beneath their feet.
Transpartisan alliances are one of the most powerful organizing tools available to activists today, and perhaps the only one that can force elected officials to become responsive to the will of the people on broadly popular issues. Which is why elite interests manipulate identity politics to castigate those willing to make them as apostates to their respective tribal values (“working with racists…dihmmi”) in order to discredit them and undermine their efforts.
Who doesn’t support an audit of the federal reserve? Almost no one. Only an emotional appeal to irrationality, bigotry and deep-seated prejudice can keep people from coming together to force elected officials to be responsive to those who put them in office, which is why social networking sites become instantly flooded with anonymous sockpuppets launching personal smears and appeals to cultural tropes in order to attack the validity of those who try to build such alliances. The money to pay them ultimately flows from those who are profiteering from the status quo.
Transpartisan alliances certainly won’t work on every issue. But when it comes to matters of transparency, accountability and the rule of law they can. Those are things we desperately need right now as we watch a corrupt system fall apart at the seams.