It looks like the House Democratic leadership simply did not get the message in the last election. Working Americans want no part of more falsely named "free trade" deals. This is absolutely not an issue where grassroots Democrats want our elected representatives compromising with the Republicans. We want an immediate change in direction concerning trade policy.
Democratic members of Congress will face primary challengers if they go along with the rape of the American economy by Corporate forces. Our nation has lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs since Bush seized control of the White House.
Republicans seem to think that military power is what makes American the strongest nation in the world. The fact is that our economy is what makes us the strongest nation on the planet. It is our economy which makes our large military possible. If our manufacturing base is not restored quickly, our nation will eventually cease being militarily dominant.
Military power alone is certainly limited in what it can achieve in terms of foreign policy. The disaster in Iraq should have made that clear to any person with even half a brain. America cannot rely solely on military power and remain the greatest nation on the earth.
Our current trade policies are simply crazy. Middle class Americans are not going to be able to afford the flood of cheap imported goods without good jobs. The jobs are flowing to other nations because of decisions made by politicians and the corporate executives who bought them with campaign donations.
Because our nation is the last major economic power to have government provided national health care, our manufacturers are at an extreme disadvantage in trade competition. We stick our companies with the health care costs of their employees along with their families. This is an insane position to be in under so-called "free trade" conditions. We are at an extreme disadvantage in competition with all the other industrialized nations because of our health care policies.
Wages rates put us in an equally bad position concerning trade with poor, Third World nations. This mania for "free trade" agreements is lowering wage levels for most citizens. Only the economic elites running corporations are seeing economic benefits. They are profiting obscenely by intentionally gutting the economic health of the nation. They are intentionally destroying the American middle class.
Democratic members of Congress better get the message immediately. The same message applies to Congressional Republicans but they are less likely to see the light.
If the Democratic leadership does not reverse course and stop playing ball with the Republicans by trying to pass more unfair "free trade" agreements, they will be replaced. This writer has always been a militant supporter of the Democratic Party. I will be actively campaigning against any Congressional Democrat who does not fight against this "free trade" mania.
All so-called "free trade" agreements passed since NAFTA should be either renegotiated or repealed. The same applies to NAFTA. If the Democratic leadership does not adopt this approach, they cannot expect to remain in office much less in the majority.
Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com).