If you, as a politician or even as one who was forced to contribute to the salaries, deviated from the close to monolithic position of normal party politics you received a label that usually was something along the lines of [________]-wing crazy where the blank was to be filled in with the word "left" or the word "right". During my lifetime the amount of deviation allowed to avoid the label has decreased as the difference between the parties that control the government have decreased as well. In fact, the only real difference I see is who they select to be recipients of lots of government money.
Back when I was an anti-nuclear activist I was labeled as a left-wing crazy. That was because building nukes was big business and being anti-nuke was labeled as anti-big business. In other words, money was more important that any real considerations such as the fact that my position was formed from working in the nuclear industry and learning about the risks involved.
For years I have claimed that this left-wing vs. right-wing labeling is really there to divide those opposed to the status quo of government for the politicians rather than the people. I have been calling myself a Green Libertarian for about 10 years which, at first, didn't sound like a viable position. That is, Green generally gets labeled as left-wing and Libertarian as right-wing. It makes sense to me as I would like the environment to not be trashed but, beyond that, I would like as little government as possible. In fact, I am a great fan of the ideas of The Venus Project which, among other things, feels that in the long run governments can be eliminated.
Now, here is what I see as good news. The nuclear disaster this month in Japan seems to be offering some left-wing to right-wing unity. While the environmental groups with their left-wing labels see this disaster for what it is, the things they have been warning us about since the 1970s (which, by the way, is when the now damaged nuclear plants were built and when I was learning about the dangers) are real, the folks who are generally labeled as right-wing are now saying that nukes should not be the basis of the US energy future.
While we have not yet seen the US government break from the direction of the corpratocracy (I thank John Perkins for this word), the US and international press seem to reporting on the real issues rather than the party line. This may be happening because the disaster was in Japan rather than the US (even though it was the same corpratocracy with General Electric being the biggest guilty party here) that makes this seemingly honest news coverage possible.
Even if the press cannot maintain this position of real news rather than government news, it is my hope that some of the people with the left-wing labels will recognize that they have a lot in common with some of the people with right-wing labels which will get them talking. What is that common thing? That they both want to rescue control of the future—their future and the future of the government—away from the professional politicians and return government to addressing the needs of the population.