The word "paradigm" and the phrase "paradigm shift" should be reserved to the natural sciences (and excluded from the social sciences), according to the reknowned Thomas Kuhn--- author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Despite that, the words have found their way into many disciplines; therefore, with apologies to Kuhn, we shall apply them to politics.
The old paradigm in politics---Conservative versus Liberal (not classical liberal) or Right versus Left [or even Republican versus Democrat]---is rapidly dying, or already dead. This notwithstanding popular opinion to the contrary. A new paradigm has been emerging for decades, and so, we are in a paradigm shift of monumental proportions and significance. The new paradigm is not easy to describe or comprehend, but we'll give it a try below.
This description is not meant to be all-encompassing or strictly definitive, but merely an overview of the situation. Nor is it meant to coin terms. For lack of established terms, let's refer to one group in the new paradigm as the Globalist Corporatocracy, or for simplicity, the Corporatocracy. It is comprised of elites in the banking field, the corporate landscape, and the Government (particularly the Fed Govt) who are loosely joined by mutual interests and goals. We shall refer to the other group---much more difficult to define---as the National Sovereignty-Individual Sovereignty-Populist folks, or for simplicity, the Sovereigns.
The Sovereigns, though comprised of dissimilar groups, have evolved into a broad political category largely because of a shared disappointment with Government. Even folks of the Progressive Left have begun to realize that they have common interests and goals with Conservatives (not Neoconservatives) and Libertarians when it comes to issues such as individual rights, and accountability in Government. Many Sovereigns undoubtedly still do not see completely that Government and Corporatism now have a perfect marriage in the U.S., but the opportunist Bush is making that lack of sight more and more a thing of the past.
Our current President (King George), who ran in 2000 on a platform with planks of a humble foreign policy and no nation-building, completely reversed himself once elected. Commentators may crow forever about how 9-11 changed everything, but elements of the Bush Administration had plans for more use of the military and for nation-building LONG before 9-11. We may thank the current Administration, however, for bringing together unlike groups of people who finally are beginning to see the outline of a Shadow Govt (the Corporatocracy).
The Corporatocracy continues to promote the old political paradigm (Right versus Left) because it makes the electorate easier to manipulate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the mainstream, Corporate Media---which appear to be dominated completely by the Corporatocracy. Edward R. Murrow's warning about the devolvement of (in particular) TV News shows into vehicles controlled by biased Corporatism certainly was right on the mark. The old "divide and conquer" strategy is blatantly obvious in Corporate Media's promotion of an outdated, dying political paradigm. Pitting one group against the other is a good way to keep the shadow government out of the light of exposure. [The premise is: our ills are not due to the Corporatocracy, but rather to the activities of the Right...or, those of the Left.]
In our opinion, the paradigm shift became readily apparent (though it existed previously) shortly after the 1964 Presidential election. Barry Goldwater (the Right) and Lyndon Johnson (the Left) had been through a volatile and heated campaign for the Presidency, and Johnson won in a landslide victory. There were many issues involved, but it eventually boiled down to this: Goldwater was portrayed as a "warmonger", and Johnson was portrayed as the "peace" candidate. Keep in mind that up until the election our involvement in Vietnam was relatively minor. We all know what happened: after being elected to office and sworn in as President, it didn't take Johnson long to begin an exponential escalation of the Vietnam "War" (it was officially known as the Vietnam Conflict, primarily because Congress had not declared war). The "peace" candidate of the Left became the "warmonger" of the Right, so to speak.
Johnson did not run for a second full term, so in 1968 it was Richard Nixon running against Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey definitely could be considered a Liberal, but Nixon---though he ran as one---was no Conservative. At best, Nixon was a Moderate. He ran vowing to end the increasingly unpopular Vietnam "War". We all know what happened: Nixon took office in January, 1969, and our involvement in Vietnam did not end until 1975. [Nixon was out of office by then, due to the Watergate scandal.]
The point of this bit of history is to illustrate that the influence of the Corporatocracy was becoming more and more apparent in the middle to late '60s, and into the '70s. The military-industrial complex made a ton of money because of the involvement of the U.S. in Vietnam. Johnson, the "peace" candidate in '64, most likely was influenced heavily by the military-industrial complex (a major part of the Corporatocracy) to expand the war. Same with Nixon, who had run on a platform of ending the war. The Corporatocracy won---it didn't matter whether a Republican or a Democrat was President.
Other moves by the Globalist Corporatocracy can be seen in my previous post, The Fed Government & the Corporatocracy. The ultimate goal is seamless global business, with the political governments of the world run by a Corporatist shadow government, all for the benefit of billionaires. In all fairness though, we should concede that a few members of the Corporatocracy (e.g., David Rockefeller) do have some altruistic goals---they actually believe that they can save the world (eliminate poverty, etc.) if only we eliminate the restraints of national sovereignty and have a one-world government run by business people (corporatists).
In order for the Sovereigns to be politically effective, they have to throw off completely the old Right-Left paradigm. Should that happen (and it probably will...eventually), a political force will emerge that is fully capable of defeating the Corporatocracy. Until then, we should expect less individual freedom, the virtual elimination of borders, almost zero accountability in government, and more war.