--Break up "Too Big to Fail" banks. Further direct democracy through use of the initiative, referendum and recall.
--End unconstitutional wars by enforcing Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress alone the power to declare war.
--Revise trade agreements to protect U.S. sovereignty. End "fast track," those congressional surrenders of constitutional authority to amend trade treaties negotiated by the executive.
From the subtitle, as well as text, of his most recent book, one may instantly identify whom it is Ralph sees as the main enemy. It is megabanks and transnational corporations without consciences whose highest loyalty is the bottom line, the kind of men Jefferson had in mind when he wrote: "Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Where such men see a $17 trillion economy, we see a country.
Undeniably, there has been a growing gap and a deepening alienation between traditional conservatives and those Ralph calls the "corporate conservatives." And it is not only inside the conservative movement and the GOP that the rift is growing, but also Middle America.
For America never voted for NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, mass immigration, amnesty, or more H-1Bs to come take the jobs of our workers. These votes have been forced upon members of Congress by leaders carrying out their assignments from corporate America and its PACs, which reward the compliant with campaign checks.
Both parties now feed at the same K Street and Wall Street troughs. Both have oligarchs contributing tens of millions to parties and politicians who do their bidding.
In 1964, a grassroots conservative movement captured the Republican Party and nominated Barry Goldwater. In 1972, a grassroots movement of leftist Democrats nominated George McGovern.
Neither movement would today survive the carpet-bombing of big money that would be called in if either came close to capturing a national party, let alone winning a national election.
Because they have principles and visions in conflict, left-right alliances inevitably fall out and fall apart. Because they are almost always on opposite sides of disputed barricades, it is difficult for both to set aside old wounds and grievances and come together.
A social, moral, and cultural divide that did not exist half a century ago makes it all the more difficult. But if the issue is keeping America out of unnecessary wars and restoring American sovereignty, surely common ground is not impossible to find.