August 30, 2016

Framing Votes for TPP as the Surrender of National Sovereignty (i.e., Treason)

The left critique on TPP starts with how it hurts labor, and moves on to how it hurts the environment. The difficulty here is that these critiques don’t appeal to the right, and it will take left and right, ganging up, to defeat the party establishments on TPP. I would like to suggest that a focus on national sovereignty — more concretely, framing the proponents of TPP as traitors — is a better approach, because left and right can agree on it. Let’s start with this gem from the press:

(“Interesting that…” on the Twitter is never interesting in a good way; openers like “Interesting that puppies are cute” do not figurely largely there, and certainly not in political Twittter. Personally, I find it interesting that Times stenographer Alcindor is not only displaying open bias against Sanders, but vending the Clinton line that Sanders is really doing the Republicans’ work (“cheering on”). Perhaps I’m guilty of oldthink; after all, we have so few reporters these days, and so very many public relations operatives in training. But I digress.) What I find interesting is that it’s possible for a socialist like Sanders and a reactionary like McConnnell to find common cause in opposing TPP (assuming, for the sake of the argument, that McConnell isn’t simply trying to muscle Obama to get a better deal for Kentucky tobacco interests). More like that, please.

First, I’ll show how to frame the proponents of TPP as traitors. Then, I’ll look at the political state of play, and apply the framing.

Why the Proponents of TPP Are Traitors

There are two reasons: First, they consciously seek to weaken the national defense. And second, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system is a surrender of national sovereignty.

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