- The proverb is of either ancient Arabic or Chinese origin, but the closest you're going to get to a Trope Namer is Niccolň Machiavelli, who coined this principle: the neighbor is the natural enemy; hence the neighbor to the neighbor is the natural ally.
- Another proverb, which provides the Alt Title for this trope: "War and politics make strange bedfellows." Usually quoted with either war or politics mentioned alone, as appropriate for the situation.
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Business and Commerce
Business and Commerce
- Companies like Google and Microsoft have always had their conflicts. But as soon as bills like SOPA showed their fangs? Suddenly, the entire internet was united to fight back. Whether the companies were fighting for freedom or money is unknown, but no one seemed to care anyway.
- Johnson & Johnson and Merck have long been fierce rivals in the pharmaceutical industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Merck reached a deal with Johnson & Johnson to provide manufacturing space for the latter's COVID-19 vaccine in order to support COVID-19 vaccine availability.
- Automotive example: Holden and Toyota teamed up to produce the Holden Commodore VR and the Toyota Lexcen. However, the Lexcen was not an export model, but solely an Australian version of the Commodore, but without the Commodore's big, brash, American V8 engine, instead only getting a Buick V6 engine. This was created so Toyota had a rival for the Ford Falcon (apparently the 1991-1995 Toyota Camry, incidentally, this was sold as a Holden too, the Holden Apollo being roughly the same size as a BMW 3-Series), a big car, and one of the Asia-Pacific region's biggest sellers. Needless to say, General Motors' (owners of Holden) alliance with Toyota ceased in 2005.
- The world of high-end electronics works in weird ways. Building a chip fab is eye-wateringly expensive and complicated, and thus there is a limited number of enterprises in the world that can build advanced processors, memory and what have you. Also, high-level research is expensive and time-consuming, so the few really successful designs tend to stay dominant for a while and be licensed to everybody. As a result, strange collaborations spring up.
- Pentax and Sony have long been rivals in the budget-conscious DSLR market (the primary market being squarely dominated by Canon and Nikon), but from the K-x onward Pentax has stopped using its own sensors and uses Sony ones under license.
- For a long time, Apple used Samsung-provided memory and screens, despite Samsung being their most dangerous rival on the market. This particular relationship ended sourly when Samsung proved more dangerous than at first thought, and Apple started a string of expensive legal proceedings against them. Samsung said "well, fuck that" and is no longer making much of anything for Apple.
- Apple and Samsung also have a common Enemy Mine: Qualcomm (who produce system-on-chip, or SoC, platforms for tablets and cellphones). The former needs them for cellular modems and the latter uses their chips for US versions of phones, even though they have their own SoC.
- In November 2017, Intel announced that it would partner with AMD to create a CPU + GPU package. That is, Intel wanted an on-package GPU that was better than their own integrated ones and they went with their heated rival over GPU manufacturer NVIDIA.
- In the midst of a certain ugly and rather scandalous dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable, TWC's biggest competitors voiced their support for TWC against CBS's underhanded and consumer-unfriendly anti-TWC tactics.
- When Australian chicken chain Red Rooster announced that all its chicken would be halal, among the first groups to complain were the Catholic Church and the Atheist Society.
- When several American carmakers stopped offering AM radio in new vehicles starting in 2024, many independent broadcasters and politicians voiced their opposition to this, fearing that rural communities and drivers would miss important alerts as AM radio can easily pass through solid objects and travel longer than FM radio. Plus, conservative and liberal groups stated this would muzzle talk radio and prevent immigrants from accessing language-specific info, respectively. Citing the need for public safety, Congress has proposed a law requiring carmakers to maintain AM radio in new vehicles at no additional charge. The FCC has also voiced its support for the proposed law.
- Infamous American gangster "Lucky" Luciano bargained for his release from prison after claiming that he could protect American wharves from saboteurs with gangster muscle. Some people suspect that it was actually Luciano's men, if anyone, who were causing the problems in the first place.
- Luciano also supposedly made available contacts in Sicily to military intelligence during the Italian campaign, a claim that he also later denied. Given that the Fascists intended to wipe the Mafia out, the claim has some credence. This also surfaced with the invasion of France, where the Corsican Mafia agreed to provide intelligence in return for the US glossing over their drug operations to American ports. This developed into the "French connection" of infamy, and the relationship between the Corsican Mafia and CIA later proved useful for using them as local "muscle" to bust the French Communist-run dockers union when they struck in Marseilles, preventing the US shipping needed military supplies over to help France hold down Vietnam (not that it worked forever anyway).
- Gregory Scarpa, another member of Cosa Nostra, reportedly helped the FBI out with an investigation into the murders of three civil rights workers at the hands of KKK members. He most likely did it for a reduced sentence, but bear in mind that the KKK was basically as anti-Italian and anti-Catholic as it was anti-black, so Scarpa didn't have much reason to think highly of them.
- Whitey Bulger was an Irish-American crime boss who spent almost 19 years as an FBI informant against the rival Patriarca Family in order to consolidate his Winter Hill Gang's control over Boston.
- Gangbangers in small cities have been known to team up against police and non-local gangs moving in, only to go back to fighting each other again once the outsiders were dealt with.
- Police Brutality has often united gangs, in a lot of cases even caused several gangs to make a truce, such as the case of the Watts truce.
- In the late 1930s, Judge Nathan D. Perlman of the New York City Court of Special Sessionsnote had a Nazi problem in his area. Having scoured the books for any legal route to get them out and coming up blank, Perlman instead grabbed his phone and illegally called Meyer Lansky, the "Mob's Accountant", whose family had been run out of the Russian Empire because of the rampant antisemitism there. When told about the situation, Lansky's response was, effectively, "Say no more, boss, we'll get this sorted", even refusing to take any pay for it. "Lucky" Luciano, mentioned above, offered to help out Lansky but was told that "It's a job for Jews". More info can be found here.
- George Takei attempted to reconcile the feud between Star Trek and Star Wars Fan Boys by encouraging them to unite against a greater evil — Twilight.
- When Twilight first came along, every fandom which had ever had a rivalry with Harry Potter was suddenly allied with the Potter fans against the Twilight fans.
- This actually happens quite a bit in music. Some genres (such as heavy metal and rap) will have people who believe that they should put aside all differences and unite against other types such as pop. Look on any YouTube music video not relating to pop music.
- Rockers and rappers are also often allied against censorship that wants to make all music family-friendly and/or politically correct.
- It happens quite a bit within pop music's own fan culture world too. For example, we have the alliance forged between Taylor Swift's Swifties and Lady Gaga's Little Monsters against Katy Perry and her Katycats, after the reveal of Swift's song "Bad Blood", written about Perry. Meanwhile, Gaga was already Perry's rival as the two leading way-out-there performance artist type female pop stars.
- Electronic Arts essentially has made this happen indirectly for rival gaming communities, as 4chan, Reddit, Kotaku, and others helped them get declared 2012's Worst Company in America by The Consumerist.
- John Denver, Dee Snider, and Frank Zappa once gave an anti-censorship presentation to the Parents Music Resource Center in defense of several hip-hop and heavy metal songs.
- Disney and Warner Bros. are age-old rivals yet in certain areas can learn to cooperate to each other. For instance, in 2016, WB got exclusive video game publishing rights to certain Disney properties as part of purchasing Avalanche Software from them. This was a year after Disney opted to exit the game industry entirely and focus on licensing. Not to mention Warner owns both DC Comics and the LEGO Adaptation Game series and the latter have had titles using the Disney-owned Marvel Comics.
- In 2004, Science Fiction and Fantasy fans put aside their differences in order to unite against PublishAmerica, a book publisher that had been well known for Vanity Publishing that paid little to no attention to the quality of the books they published, yet nonetheless felt the need to proudly describe themselves as a "traditional publisher" and deride sci-fi and fantasy as "easy" and unable to produce believable stories. In response, a group of sci-fi and fantasy authors teamed up in order to create Atlanta Nights, a novel designed to be horrendously unpublishable. They purposely loaded it with an incomprehensible plot, spelling and grammar errors, and numerous inconsistencies such as characters frequently changing ages, names, and even gender, then shipped it off to PublishAmerica under the pseudonym "Travis Tea" ("travesty"). Despite the book's obvious flaws and the less-than-subtle pseudonym, "Atlanta Nights" was accepted for publishing, whereupon the team revealed the hoax and PublishAmerica quickly retracted their acceptance "upon further inspection."
- Fans of sports teams coming down to the wire on that last playoff spot can find themselves rooting for their most hated rival to win because their rival just happens to play some third team that needs to lose in order for their team to be able to jump ahead of them in the standings. "(Insert Hated Team Here) Fan for a Day" signs are not uncommon in the stands in such games.
- A funny example in the 2014 FIFA World Cup: Germany defeated the host country, Brazil, in a spectacular 7-1 Curb-Stomp Battle during the semifinals, one of the worst defeats Brazil has ever suffered and a traumatic experience for Brazilian fans. At one point, the Brazilian fans (at least those which didn't leave during the first half) were cheering the German team. The other semifinal match was the Netherlands vs. Argentina, with the latter winning and making it into the finals against Germany. Nearly all the Brazilians watching rooted for Germany, out of spite. Germany scored 1-0 during additional extra time, thus winning the tournament. Brazilian fans were satisfied, even after losing the 3rd place match to Netherlands, just because their arch-rival neighbors Argentina was defeated. For those not familiar with soccer, Brazil vs. Argentina is probably the greatest rivalry in the world of soccernote — to the point that there is a Cup that only these two national teams dispute! It also helped that this was only the second time Germany and Brazil meet in a World Cup, and the German team won fairly gracefully, toning down the goal celebrations at one point and comforting members of the host team after the game. Plus, losing badly is already a disgrace, but losing so badly against a team which then doesn't move forward to win the cup can be considered even worse.
- Heading into the last game of the 2014 Six Nations Championship, England were to be the champions if France, England's longstanding rivals, won against Ireland. English fans on social media commented on how odd it feels to be cheering on France.
- Such sporting rivalries have given rise to the popular "I support two teams— X, and anyone playing against Y" T-shirt designs, with many regional variations.
- All-Star Games in various sports feature this, as players from opposing teams unite to take down players from the other league/conference/whatever.
- In German soccer the rivalry between Schalke 04 and 1. FC Nuremberg was quite intense during the 1930s and 1940s as both teams were among the best in Germany, frequently battling out the cup and the championship. note However, the two fandoms now enjoy one of the strongest and most storied friendships, even going so far as supporters going to matches of the other team in their own gear and being welcomed. How this friendship came about is unknown, but one popular theory is that a bunch of fans of Schalke was getting into a fight with fans of Bayern and some Fans of Nuremberg saw this and as Bayern was clearly seen as the bigger evil (nobody who is not a fan of them really likes them), the Nuremberg fans intervened. If this story is true— and it may well have been the other way round— it also doubles as a Fire Forged Friendship.
- Germany has recently also seen just about everyone joining forces against RB Leipzig, because by being a fast-rising team created by and even named after Red Bull, it was deemed a very Acceptable Target.
- Australians, to put it mildly, don't like flies. But when the despised English Cricket captain Douglas Jardine started swatting at flies one day at the Sydney Cricket Ground, a barracker famously yelled "Keep your dirty hands off our flies, Jardine!"
- Formula One has teams almost always rivaling each other, unless when there is to negotiate better deals with FIA regarding technical regulations, TV-transmission rights and other commercial purposes; then they make a solid block and sometimes even threat to secede into an alternate championship, the last attempt in 2009.
- Even Ferrari, which many of its rivals consider a privileged team that often makes deals with authorities in exchange of ad hoc advantages (like getting a surplus budget because they are the only team participating in every F1 championship since 1950), to the point that some people call FIA "Ferrari International Assistance" (or worse MaFIA), joined forces with historical rivals when a common interest was on the table.
- Anyway, cyclically some teams get a technical or political advantage, thus the others will agree on regulation changes that could ease the gap. So McLaren and Ferrari, after two years of harsh rivalry in 1990 and 1991, put pressure for the ban of electronic aids, that Williams mastered leading to dominating victories in 1992 and 1993. Then McLaren and Williams, particularly during the Michelin-era, joined forces against Ferrari which was dominating every championship from 2000 to 2004 and using its political pressure even before those years. Then Red Bull and Ferrari became fierce rivals, only to join up in criticism against Mercedes from 2014 onwards.
- The 2014-2021 era is a bit controversial. Mercedes became the dominant team thanks to a technical regulation that was made up by the federation with consultation from... Mercedes engineers and technicians. This led to some specifications for engines that Mercedes knew in advance, getting more time to prepare a competitive machine than its opposition. Yet every team agreed on accepting the new regulations and nobody sued against this behaviour. Besides, from 2010 to 2013 Mercedes struggled with cars that destroyed their tyres, only to solve all their balance and aerodynamics problem with an illegal secret 1000 km test in 2013 disguised as some development for tyre-manufacturer Pirelli (private tests were banned that time), which also increased competitiveness for the team and allowed to set up the winning chassis of 2014. Still, nobody protested or asked for penalties. From 2014 to 2020 occasionally mild protests arose between Mercedes and other teams, but nothing serious and everything continued in a predictable way. Nobody tried to change the technical regulations that froze a lot of research & development, thus making almost impossible to compensate the gap with Mercedes. Even Ferrari, despite losing so many championships and even suffering some humiliating races, never tried to subvert things. Many think that this is because the current state of affairs, including non-public agreements about prize sharing and commercial rights, grants enough economic returns to all teams to stop arguing and accept the not so clear dominance of Mercedes.
- In 2007, Fernando Alonso was the fresh two times world champion, newly hired by McLaren to return to victory. Ferrari was the challenging team with first drive Kimi Räikkönen, former rival of Fernando Alonso. But when Alonso's teammate, Lewis Hamilton (who was a rookie during his first championship), took the lead, Alonso feared that his team was giving unfair favoritism because of nationality (both Hamilton and McLaren being British) and that Ron Dennis (McLaren's team director) would shave his hands of the ongoing spy story against Ferrari and blame Alonso and some technicians. Thus he publicly spoke against McLaren, obstructed Hamilton in one occasion (qualifying sessions of Hungaroring which led to a penalty) and smiled on the podium in the final race when he lost the world title to Räikkönen (as long as Hamilton lost too).
- Similarly, when Red Bull started to threat his protégé Sebastian Vettel as the first drive, Mark Webber was pissed off. After one of his victories he challenged his box by teamradioing "not bad for a no. 2 driver" and afterwards he was often seen in informal occasion having fun with Alonso, Vettel's main rival from 2010 to 2013.
- In the Armored Fighting Championship show with the History Channel, Knight Fight, the second round of the tournament incorporates a team fight as opposed to the melee before and the personal duel after. The winning team of the second round is the opponents for the final duel. The third episode of the show featured two men who were The Rival to each other, who nevertheless formed an excellent team in the second round. Also notable about the episode was a failure to use this trope in the final melee round between the bottom three fighters - the two smaller opponents were struck by indecision about whether to unite against the largest, who proceeded to take advantage and defeat them both.
- The websites YTMND.com, Newgrounds, Fark, Something Awful, and 4chan have never had a relationship with each other that could quite be described as cordial... but in 2006, in response to the theft of intellectual property from YTMND by Ebaumsworld.com, they all joined together and proceeded to raid Ebaums, knocking the site offline for days on end.
- American Censorship Day had a bit of this. In particular, groups like Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit, and Google were fighting alongside 4chan for a common cause (though this may be more of a Rivals Team Up; nobody particularly likes 4chan, but there's little actual hostility from the mentioned groups). Republican Darrell Issa also posted a tweet noting how both he and Democrat Nancy Pelosi were against SOPA.
- The sites blacked out on that day also ranged from Bill O'Reilly's to MoveOn.org.
- Minecraft and Roblox normally loathe one another, but both of them were able to come to the agreement that SOPA was bad mojo, causing a temporary redirection of their rivalry towards fighting against it.
- Somewhat overlapping with Politics, below, the doxxing of Mike "Enoch" Peinovich and others associated with the neo-Nazi podcast "The Daily Shoah" was apparently the result of an alliance between antifascist activists and other neo-Nazis, such as denizens of 8chan's notorious /pol/, who hated Peinovich for not being racist enough.
- Another example overlapping with politics below: US House of Representatives member Marjorie Taylor Greene, who proposed banning transgender youth health services, and Twitch streamer Clara "Keffals" Sorrenti, who is a transgender rights activist, both called for the controversial forum Kiwi Farms to be deplatformed after both were swatted by alleged members of the website. Sorrenti was reportedly surprised that Greene was calling for Kiwi Farms to be removed, given the mutual misgivings between the two.
- In another example overlapping with politics, the toxic, antisemitic and borderline ultra-reactionary behavior of the Patriotic Socialist (PatSoc) wing of the Tankie/Marxist-Leninist left, particularly their leaders like Caleb Maupin, Infrared and Jackson Hinkle, unified multiple segments of the online and offline left with drastically different ideologies and historical rivalries such as Anarchists, comparatively moderate socialists (especially ones strongly opposed to bigotry and/or Marxist-Leninist ideology), other tankies (particularly Maoists, extremely anti-American tankies, and elements of the tankie left that support progressive ideas like trans rights or intersectionality), and social democrats. In the end, even elements of the patriotic socialist left would turn against the leadership of the various PatSoc organizations due to their increasingly toxic and bigoted behavior, with Maupin himself being forced into hiding for a few months after the exposing of his history of sexual abuse by PatSocs disgusted at his actions.
- The very same crowd that tend to come together against the PatSocs tend to also display similar levels of unity against controversial leftist Youtuber Vaush, whom has drawn the ire of Marxist-Leninists, anarchists, social justice activists and black nationalists. Tankies obviously hate Vaush for his anti-Communism, tendency to associate Communism with Fascism and National Bolshevism, along with his support for both the Democratic Party and a more hawkish American foreign policy, while anarchists that might have usually agreed with Vaush about Marxism-Leninism hate him for self-identifying as an anarchist despite pushing politics that are seen to be moderate rather than revolutionary. Social justice advocates hate him for his willingness to debate the far-right, along with certain questionable viewpoints on children. Black nationalists hate him for opposing black nationalism. It has been commonly joked that "hating Vaush" is proof that "left unity" existsnote .
- National unity governments and Grand coalitions, especially where the party system has two dominant forces that normally compete against each other.
- Blair's Law posits that "the world's multiple idiocies are slowly becoming one giant useless force" and that wildly different radicals and extremists sometimes attract. Read on for examples. The phrase was named after Tim Blair, a conservative political commentator in Australia.
- All of the below aside, less dramatic examples of this trope happen all the time in democracies when opposition parties are willing to support the executive's actions. This often happens on "bread and butter" issues that don't get media attention and don't really push anyone's hot buttons. The entire legislature votes in favor of the bill or motion and moves on to other issues.
- In local politics, where politicians often know a large share of the voters personally and have to justify party-posturing at work (most local politicians are part-time politicians) or at a pint with their mates a lot of decisions, especially those where the local level of government only has a single workable course of action, are taken unanimously or nigh-unanimously. This can get a bit awkward when extremist parties are represented at the local level and the other parties try to enforce the national political consensus of never co-operating with those parties in even the most limited fashion while at the same time keeping the pragmatics of local politics alive.
- If you've ever witnessed a city council meeting, there is basically a "debate" at least once every session where politicians from opposite sides open their statements by basically saying "I agree entirely with what my colleague from the other side has said, but wish to add..." - even if those parties (and sometimes those same members) hate each other at the national or sub-national level and have nary a good word to say about one another.
- Very common during presidential elections in general. Candidates who drop out of a race will often endorse their former opponents in the same political party, especially if it means defeating the opposing party's presidential nominee.
- The Crusades is a complicated affair: the Crusaders and Byzantines were both Christians but they disliked each other - mainly because the Byzantine Empire fought against the Normans and Franks many times before the First Crusade. Meanwhile, several Muslim states that were in conflict with each other had to unite against the Christians. There were also many cases of Christians and Muslims teaming up to take down their own co-religionists. The Hashshashin for example were actually allied with the Crusaders (despite what Pop Culture Osmosis tries to tell you) because they were Shia and their rival Muslims such as the Turks and the Egyptians were largely Sunni. Even King Louis IX of France (who was so devoutly Catholic that he became a saint) accepted them as allies◊.
- Even though the Mongols attempted to invade Europe, there were actually several attempts at trying to forge an alliance between them and Europeans against the Islamic states. This made sense because the Mongols and Crusaders were fighting against the same enemy while the Europeans at the time believed in the legendary Prester John, an Asian Christian king that was said to help them in their time of need. The Mongols were also sympathetic to Christianity due to their Armenian vassals who encouraged them to make an alliance. The first contact was made during The Crusades, with the Pope exchanging ambassadors with several Khans. However, these never came into fruition due neither side accepting each other's demands: the Crusaders wanted the Mongols to convert to Christianity, while the Mongols wanted the Crusaders to submit to their authority.
- Despite being a Muslim himself, Turkic-Mongol warlord Timur the Lame had a surprisingly friendly relationship with European monarchs because he was the Arch-Enemy to the Mamluks and the Ottoman Empire, the latter of which began making incursions into Europe. One could say the relationship between Timur and the Christians was friendlier than with his fellow Muslims considering he regarded the very Catholic King Henry of Castille as his own son while trading very hostile letters with the Ottoman sultan Bayezid. Even though news that he destroyed a Crusader stronghold reached Europe, nobody entertained a Crusade against him because he was an enemy to the Ottomans.
- During her reign, Queen Elizabeth I of England pursued alliances with Morocco and the Ottoman Empire against their common enemy King Philip II of Spain.
- The alliance between the Kingdom of France and the Sublime Ottoman Porte; it was one of the first major alliances between a Christian and a Muslim state, directed against the King Charles V and his Habsburg Empire.
- And then again between Catholic France and Protestant Sweden during the Thirty Years' War; once again to limit the Habsburgs' power. Cardinal Richelieu practically invented realpolitik. Sweden also was for a short time allied with its Arch-Enemy Denmark-Norway during the war...but then Denmark-Norway allied with the Habsburgs in the late part of the war despite being protestant.
- During the Protestant Reformation, Protestant churches found themselves an unlikely patron in the Ottoman Empire, which viewed them as potential allies against the Papacy and the Habsburgs.
- Ever wonder how Hernán Cortés defeated an Aztec army of up to 300,000 warriors with a force of around 350 soldiers? Or how Francisco Pizarro defeated the 100,000 strong Incan army with a squad of 168? This trope. The Aztec and Incan Empires routinely took advantage of all the smaller or weaker tribes and nations around them, regularly demanding tribute of food, soldiers, weapons, and slaves for human sacrifice to their gods. Cortés and Pizarro basically rounded up the leaders of the smaller tribes and offered to lead them in battle against their tormentors (in Cortés' case, it seems the tribes themselves started the plan). Cortés ended up conquering the Aztec city with an army from various indigenous states that might have numbered up to 200,000 between fielded armies and reserves, while Pizarro and his brothers and lieutenants fought the last battles for the Inca Empire helped by 30,000 native warriors each.
- Another great example from history is the Catholics and the Protestants for teaming up against the Anabaptists. In the end they took back the city of Münster and then called it a day for their alliance and begin to promptly fight one another again.
- A failed example of this happened with Ferdinand Magellan, who led the first expedition around the world, was killed in the Philippines by Lapu Lapu. Magellan had befriended and made a blood compact with Rajah Humabon, who was Lapu Lapu's enemy.
- Astonishingly common in US political history, compared to other countries. In fact, both main parties were this during a great deal of their history. To make things further complicated, there often have been alliances between members of opposite parties, which sometimes lead to political realignments. Indeed, both the Whig and the Republican parties were in large part formed by different interests that teamed up in opposition to the policies of the Democratic governments of the day.
- During the 1800 election in the United States, longtime political enemies Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson decided that they hated Aaron Burr more than they hated each other, and so, when Burr and Jefferson tied in the electoral college, Hamilton persuaded the House of Representatives to vote for Jefferson instead of Burr.
- Similarly in 1824, rivals John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay united against Andrew Jackson.
- A major example would be Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal coalition. Combining the support of Southern whites, ethnic/religious/racial minorities, labor unions, the working poor, political liberals, and big city political machines, this alliance kept the Democrats in power from the early 30s until the late 60s (excluding the two Eisenhower elections of 1952 and 1956) when it fell apart due to the Democrats' factional infighting.
- A minor but still interesting example can also be seen in the 65th Congress (1917-1919). In the 1916 elections, the Democrats had secured a majority in the Senate, but the Republicans had a slim plurality in the House of Representatives. To counter this, the Democrats convinced a number of third-party Congressmen (a handful of Progressives and the House's sole Socialist) to caucus with them, giving them the required numbers for a majority.
- It seems the enactment of Prohibition in the US was facilitated by some very strange bedfellows indeed— Klansmen allied with militant labor unions?
- During the 1800 election in the United States, longtime political enemies Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson decided that they hated Aaron Burr more than they hated each other, and so, when Burr and Jefferson tied in the electoral college, Hamilton persuaded the House of Representatives to vote for Jefferson instead of Burr.
- In 1932, the Chancellor of Germany was Franz von Papen; who was almost universally disliked, had been installed by his close friend who was also an advisor of the increasingly senile President Paul von Hindenburg, and led a cabinet of un-elected technocrats. The two largest parties in the parliament were the Nazis and the Communists— who, between them, had enough seats to form a majority coalition, but obviously couldn't govern together, not least because their supporters had been in open street brawls only days before. Papen hoped he could use the situation to dissolve parliament and take over completely, and managed to get Hindenburg to sign declarations which would have made him a dictator in all but name. When he attended the first session, the Communists immediately called a vote of no confidence. The Nazis had promised to counter the motion, but stayed conspicuously silent. When Papen tried to produce the declaration dissolving parliament and suspending future elections, the Speaker (Hermann Goering) pretended not to notice him, and Papen was forced to call another election.
- Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist who advocated allying with the Axis powers to gain independence from Britain.
- Several Jewish militant groups in Mandatory Palestine, who were fighting for independence from the British Empire, nonetheless fought alongside them against Arab militants and Nazi Germany (and Arab Nazis), with many fighters serving in the British Army.David Ben-Gurion: "We will fight the White Paper as if there is no war, and fight the war as if there is no White Paper."
- In the mid-20th century, opposition to King Farouk of Egypt came from an unlikely alliance of the national liberal Wafd Party, the radical right Young Egypt Party, the Islamic Brotherhood, Egypt's communists, and secular pan-Arabists. This coalition received support from both the United States and the Soviet Union.
- This trope has reoccurred on a regular basis throughout Canadian history:
- Confederation itself was begun when the Reformer George Brown offered to serve in a coalition government with the Conservative John A. Macdonald to resolve the political gridlock that had paralyzed the United Province of Canada. Their efforts to solve the problem eventually led to the Confederation agreement that founded Canada.
- The colony of Nova Scotia was bitterly divided over whether to join Confederation or not. The question was eventually resolved when the Irish nationalist Fenians, who were trying to gain political leverage with Great Britain by attacking Canada, began raiding the colony from the United States. The pro- and anti-Confederation movements were forced to team up and eventually joined Canada in no small part due to the need for mutual defence against any American raids.
- On the other side of the continent, British Columbia had to deal with the same question. Along with a pro-Confederation movement, the province also had an anti-Confederation movement that wanted to stay independent and an Annexation movement that wanted to join the U.S. As in Nova Scotia, the pro- and anti-Confederates eventually came together.
- During World War I, Canada was extremely bitterly divided over the issue of conscripting men to fight in the war, to say nothing of even participating in the first place. Prime Minister Robert Borden eventually overcame the Liberal opposition by enticing a number of Liberals to join him in a "Union" government that was a glorified coalition, leaving Wilfrid Laurier with a weakened Liberal rump based mostly in Quebec. Laurier's death in 1917 further crippled the Liberals' attempts to recover.
- In the constitutional debates of the early 1980s, the Quebec separatist Premier René Lévesque found common cause with seven of the other nine provincial premiers, who came together in opposition to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's constitutional reforms. The "Gang of Eight", as it was called, eventually forced Trudeau to put together a compromise that addressed some of their major concerns and eventually became the 1982 constitutional patriation.
- Ronald Reagan seemed to be a fan of this trope, and in fact saw it as a potential avenue toward world peace. He once made a speech in which he wondered how much better the world would be if space aliens invaded, thus forcing the USA and the Soviet Union to put aside their differences and fight the threat together. He felt this would remind both sides of their shared humanity, and lead to an end to human conflict. Lest you think he was joking, he actually brought up this scenario in several speeches, including one to the general assembly of the United Nations.
- Italian politics have the Trasformismo, a practice where opposing parties join together on specific issues or just to keep the extremists out of power.
- Italian parties often have differing views on many things, but when it comes to the need of the Lateran Treaty to be upheld and continued pretty much everyone agrees, to the point that even communists and anarchists voted to include its upholding in the Italian Constitution as one of the fundamental principles. This is because the alternative would be a gigantic mess that nobody wants to deal with again (and those who voted on the Italian Constitution had actually experienced it).
- Lyndon Johnson, who hated Robert F. Kennedy, did everything in his power to get Kennedy elected to the Senate.
- Opponents of the Vietnam War, who were mostly left-wing, found themselves an unlikely ally in the very right-wing John Birch Society, which believed the war was part of a communist plot to take over the United States.
- Speaking of the John Birch Society, it was opposed in its heyday by a wide variety of groups. These included mainstream conservatives who thought it was too hardline and too far removed from reality, liberals and leftists who viewed it as an existential threat to their ideas, civil rights activists who were understandably insulted by its characterization of the Civil Rights Movement as a front for communism, Objectivists who thought it was too conspiracy-minded, and white supremacists who hated that it was willing to accept members of all races and faiths as members.
- Even the most hardened liberals and anti-war protesters couldn't help but agree with Richard Nixon when he signed a bill into law banning cigarette ads on television and radio.
- The pro-life movement includes numerous groups arguing from different angles, many of whom wouldn't usually agree with the religious conservatives traditionally associated with the movement. Staunch atheists, self-styled liberals, American Democrats and feminists of various kinds have all been known to team up with them.
- Likewise the pro-choice or rather the "abortion should be an option in some well-defined though probably very limited circumstances, even though I personally would probably never consider an abortion" movement (though that would of course be too long for placards) which - according to some polls - accounts for over 80% of Americans is an incredibly broad coalition, that while they don't see eye to eye on much else (and often oppose specific types of abortion) are very much in agreement on the need to have at least some abortion clinics and in the fight against ever restrictive laws that would limit some states to one abortion clinic every two hundred miles at best.
- Aside from their common opposition to gamete donor anonymity, the donor-conceived-rights movement is ideologically very diverse (partly because their members have their own opinions on other issues, depending on their personalities and life circumstances): on the one hand, some religious conservatives, which are traditionally opposed to any kind of assisted reproductive technology, see the end of donor anonymity as a way to mitigate the worst excesses of these techniques, while on the other hand, some liberal activists (including child rights activists of all stripes and even feminists and LGBT+ rights activists, especially in Europe, where donor anonymity is sometimes still the only option around in some countries) see the issue as being primarily a matter of social justice, and feel donor anonymity reinforces the stigma around non-traditional families and fosters a culture of shame and secrecy which, ironically, causes children from infertile heterosexual couples to suffer the most. Needless to say, the opposition is equally as diverse.note
- The Minimum Income (or "Negative Tax Credit") has become something of a strange unifying factor between Socialists and some Libertarians in recent years. The Socialists support the idea as being in line with their beliefs. The Libertarians, on the other hand, realize that they're unlikely to end government welfare completely, and feel that if it has to exist, then simply writing the poor a check would be preferable to (and cheaper than) attempting to regulate how every penny of welfare money is spent. In France, some parts of the Nouvelle Droite ("New Right") also support minimum income policies, with New-Right-aligned philosopher Alain de Benoist writing a whole book about it.
- The debate on free speech and political correctness (especially on the university campuses) has had some interesting groups of people defending one another. For a few examples:
- Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks have defended conservative commentator Ben Shapiro's right to speak, despite their mutually drastic differing political opinions. Shapiro for his part has insisted that liberal professors and speakers should be allowed to voice controversial opinions, no matter how much he may disagree with them.
- Liberal pundit Bill Maher and right-wing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos have debated one another on a great number of issues, while they find that they agree on, at the very least, the issue of free speech and the ability to speak on them. Maher later had a similar, but more conciliatory, discussion with conservative Canadian scholar Jordan Peterson on similar issues.
- Judith Sheindlin has spoken at Oxford about how universities should remain open marketplaces for ideas, as long as those ideas are not laced in hatred (specifically citing David Duke of the American Nazi Party as someone she would not allow at a university she headed).
- Generally speaking, most learned people (almost all of the above are scholars in some form) are in agreement on that a university, at the very least, must be a marketplace for ideas and debate on them without fear of danger.
- The far right and some segments of the far left—mainly Orthodox Trotskyists, Tankies that adhere to Old Left or socially conservative ideas, and elements of the American left disillusioned with Bernie and the "Squad" for their relatively moderate politicsnote —both hate "identity politics." The far right obviously hates it because they dislike the idea of a more inclusive society, while class-oriented leftists hate that the focus on the issues of LGBTQ+, women, and people of color detracts from the traditional Marxist emphasis on class consciousness, and can potentially create a political situation where centrists and even right-wingers identifying as people of color, women or LGBTQ+ are prioritized by progressives over genuine leftists.
- Environmentalists and animal rights activists usually loathe genetic engineering and processed foods, but they support efforts to create lab-grown meat by food companies, believing that it will reduce animal suffering and reduce the strain put on the environment by animal husbandry.
Political Parties and Alliances
- Various non-white racial advocacy groups in several countries are associated with the political left. But actually, most of the communities they represent are socially conservative (particularly where LGBT issues are concerned). Before the Republicans began ramping up their anti-immigrant rhetoric, Catholic Hispanics would also serve as a king-maker in many electoral districts in the US. The same argument could easily apply to the Arab American Muslim population. A lot of them are pretty socially conservative themselves, but the Republican Party's anti-Muslim rhetoric, hardcore Zionismnote and their sympathy towards Dominionists (a group which advocates making Christianity the official state religion of the United States) has left Muslims no choice but to support the Democrats. It is probably fair to say that conservative populations from ethnic minority groups don't really find any sort of liberalism to their taste and would rather have a benign conservatism that can serve their interests. However, oftentimes their only choices are a more liberal party, which wouldn't agree with their stances on, say queer issues; or a more conservative party, which they often feel only cares about rich white men.
- That's something that actually happens a lot in Europe and non-Islamic Asia (countries like India and Israel) as The Other Wiki points out with their article on the so-called "Progressive Muslim vote". Muslims are generally socially conservative everywhere but they really can't vote for the right as in most countries whether caters to the religious majority (Christian, Hindu or Jewish) promising to rule accordingly to their religious views or is (at least to some degree) anti-Islamic for different reasonsnote .
- Liberal Pirate Party types (the Pirate Party doesn't officially have an American branch, but several States have their own Pirate Party branches) agreed with Donald Trump, ostensibly a pro-copyright type whose base includes corporate types especially in the oil, cable, and copyright policing sectors, when he decided to start his term by rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The former was concerned about draconian copyright overreach, while the latter was concerned with keeping as many jobs in America as possible.
- The anti-vaccination movement, along with the anti-lockdown movement during the COVID-19 pandemic saw an odd alliance across the political spectrum between some left-wing anarchists, Hollywood liberals, libertarians of many persuasions, and far right nationalists, all opposing what they viewed as heavy government interference.
- Progressive International, a left-wing international organization that purports to unify socialists in a united front, brings together both democratic socialists and Marxist-Leninists. The democratic socialist side is represented by figures like Jeremy Corbyn, Yanis Varoufakis and Cornel West. The tankie side is represented by figures like Vijay Prashad, Pawel Wargan, and the entire Qiao Collective (along with many other figures of the Chinese new left with either neutral or positive opinions of the CCP). This international alliance has been criticized extensively by anti-authoritarian leftists and Eastern European leftists as leading to the adaptation of excessive anti-Americanism over genuine internationalism by democratic socialists due to Marxist-Leninist influence. This culminated in Polish and Ukrainian left parties affiliated with Progressive International to cut ties with it due to its refusal to fully condemn Russia on the onset of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
- The term red-green-brown alliance refers to cases of political alliances between leftists, Islamists and the far-right, many of whom hold similar views on issues like Israel and globalism. "Red-green-brown alliance" has also been applied to alliances between hardline industrial unionists and ecologically-minded agrarians with the hard right, especially after left-wing populist Lenora Fulani publicly expressed support for paleoconservative nationalist Pat Buchanan's opposition to the World Trade Organization.
Politics & Religion
- Islamic and Christian fundamentalists are generally opposed to each other, what with being fundamentalist supporters of different religions; but creationist works and arguments critical of Darwinism circulate freely between the two groups, as do tracts critical of homosexuality — and the terrorist lunatic fringes of both religions read the same antisemitic tracts, most notably The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hilariously parodied in this YouTube video "Christian vs Muslim".
- This happens a lot on Internet debates about religion, at least in North America. Christian fundamentalists, atheists, and New Agers are all opposed to each other, yet in debates on religion, either the atheists will team up with the New Agers against the Christians, (as they think that fundamentalist Christianity is irrational) or the Christians will team up with the New Agers against the atheists (because they believe that atheists are against spirituality). For some reason, the Christians and atheists never team up against the New Age movement. This is generally because there just aren't enough things that New-Agers do and that atheists oppose which aren't also done by fundamentalist Christians, so there's a lack of common ground between atheists and fundamentalist Christians.
- The reason, arguably, is that Christians are, generally, fairly ambivalent towards the New Age movement because it seems fairly non-threatening and borrows from Christianity (Jesus, angels, etc.), and, while atheists are generally against spirituality, they may feel they have common ground with the new-age movement as its practitioners are also a minority, something that can lead them to see the New Agers as allies, or, at least, as people less opposed to their ideology than mainstream Christianity, which a lot of them hate in a big way.
- There is room for a Christian/atheist alliance against New-Agers. Both believe in a rule-following, relatively objective universe. Or they might think the New-Agers are nuts (atheists may view New Age spirituality as illogical, while Christians may view it as too far removed from Christian spirituality and too close to the occult). But this alliance is very rarely seen.
- One area where rationalists/irreligious people and Christians do "join forces" is in the debunking of alternative religious theories or conspiracy theories with religious backgrounds. For example, the ancient astronaut theory is disregarded both by religious authorities and many atheist academicians as having no evidence to support it and treated by many of its believers as a surrogate faith.
- When it comes to hating Christmas, some Christians have joined Neo-Pagans in opposing modern incarnation of the holiday. Both hate how the modern Christmas commercializes their beliefs and appropriates pagan iconography at the expense of the holiday's Christian roots.
- Prominent religious conservatives and liberal disability rights groups have teamed up several times to fight the legalization of assisted suicide. They were also on the same side during the Terri Schiavo debacle, and have also joined forces over prenatal testing.
- Despite their obvious theological differences, Catholics and Protestants often team up to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage.
- During the 60s, the Nation of Islam cooperated with the white supremacist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan in opposing the Civil Rights Movement. While both parties held racist views of the opposing organization's members, they hated racial integration more than they hated each other, believing that white and black Americans could never peacefully co-exist even if races mixed. In fact, it wasn't uncommon for white segregationists and Neo-Nazis to attend rallies with the Nation or quote its leaders. However, this alliance did lead to some members, most notably Malcolm X, quitting the Nation as they weren't pleased with the notion of working with the same racists who threatened their lives.
The United States
- American conservatives and neocons are militantly pro-Israel; Islamic activists, as a rule, are equally militantly anti-Israel. But both factions worked together to oppose Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević and his Serb ultranationalist proxies, known for their near-genocidal stance against mainly-Muslim Bosniaks and Albanians during The Yugoslav Wars.
Hitchens: I first became interested in the neocons during the war in Bosnia-Herzgovinia. That war in the early 1990s changed a lot for me. I never thought I would see, in Europe, a full-dress reprise of internment camps, the mass murder of civilians, the reinstitution of torture and rape as acts of policy. And I didn't expect so many of my comrades to be indifferent — or even take the side of the fascists. It was a time when many people on the left were saying 'Don't intervene, we'll only make things worse' or, 'Don't intervene, it might destabilise the region.' And I thought, destabilisation of fascist regimes is a good thing. Why should the left care about the stability of undemocratic regimes? Wasn't it a good thing to destabilise the regime of General Franco?
- Over in the pro-Milošević camp, meanwhile, were the anti-war, anti-imperialist radical left... and the hardcore nationalist, Orthodox Christian radical right, who saw Milošević as a bulwark against an Islamic invasion of eastern Europe. Christopher Hitchens, a self-described former Marxist, stated that this was when the Left lost its way.
- The two major political parties in the US territory of Puerto Rico are the Popular Democratic Party, which advocates for remaining a territory, and the New Progressive Party, which advocates for statehood. Beyond that, they are broad tent parties who both contain left- and right-wing members — in fact, while the current governor is a member of the PDP, and the current representative in Congress is a member of the NPP, they are both also members of the Democratic party.
- During his 2000 bid for the presidency, Al Gore chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate, despite Lieberman being a noted critic of the Clinton administration Gore was Vice President for.
- The Westboro Baptist Church, aka the "God hates Fags" church, headed by Reverend Fred Phelps, has managed to piss off absolutely everyone. Their anti-gay protests drew plenty of condemnation from both the left and right, but even the most anti-gay social conservatives were shocked by their picketing of the funerals of soldiers with signs like "God killed your children". Notably, televangelist Jerry Falwell (not exactly a friend of the LGBT community) called Phelps a "first-class nut", leading the church to picket his funeral. They even got denounced by the Ku Klux Klan. How low can you get?
- They even got the KKK and the Hells Angels themselves working hand-in-hand with law enforcement officers and firefighters to protect the funerals of the Sandy Hook victims from this kind of nonsense and Anonymous doxing the whole flock simply for trying to protest at those funerals.
- John Evenhill in Nebraska, who was known for his anti-LGBT political activism, not only accepted but even endorsed a male-to-female trans to teach piano to her daughter. The reason? The latter was displaying a bit of a tomboy attitude, dressing in a street fashion, and neglecting to behave more like a lady (according to Evenhill, who feared she might become lesbian). But the trans teacher was particularly leaned towards displays of femininity and what could be conceived as "traditional gender roles" (she just felt to be a woman). Evenhill believed that the teacher would influence his daughter to be more feminine, particularly regarding dressing and make-up.
- National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is a group of a number of organizations that are active in various facets of disaster response. The catch? Many are religious organizations from varying theological perspectives. Catholics respond alongside Protestants, Jews respond with Muslims, and so do Hindus, Buddhists and the Scientologists. This is an easy alliance, as natural disasters have no sectarian alignment and pretty much all religions involved believe in altruistic behavior as a virtue.
- When David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, unexpectedly won the Republican primary for Governor of Louisiana, many Republicans both inside and outside Louisiana rallied around Edwin Edwards, his Democratic opponent. This included then-POTUS George H. W. Bush and Buddy Roemer, who had previously run in the primaries under an "Anyone but Edwards" platform. What makes this all the more remarkable is that Edwards had a history of corruption; bumper stickers were printed with slogans like "Vote for the Lizard, not the Wizard" and "Vote for the crook: it's important".
- You might not expect Republicans like Ron Paul and the Tea Party movement to have common cause with progressive Democrats, but they've found themselves on the same side in opposition to free trade deals and continental integration. The Tea Party and its supporters see these trade deals as a threat to the sovereignty of the United States and government interference in international trade (many Tea Partiers would prefer to simply have no rules or regulations on trade at all), while their progressive allies see the trade deals as leading to jobs being offshored and labour standards being weakened in America itself.
- The sovereignty issue is a sticking point for many left-wing nationalists in Canada as well. The progressive Council of Canadians has found itself on the same side as right-wing border groups like the American Minutemen, both of whom see continental integration as a threat to their countries' sovereignty.
- Ron Paul and a number of Tea Partiers have also found common ground with the left-wing Occupy Wall Street, particularly over corporate welfare, Wall Street bailouts, foreign wars, marijuana legalization, and mass surveillance.
- Most recently, there are those on both the left and right side of American politics that have united in opposition of President Obama's use of drones in warfare, particularly his failure to rule out using them on Americans on American soil.note
- Has happened again in December 2014, with the passing of the "CRomnibus Spending Bill"note , when Conservatives and Liberals united against the Democrat and Republican party leaders in power, namely President Obama for the Democrats, and House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Republicans. The Liberals, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were angry at the bill's benefits and earmark spending to big money donors, especially in removing restrictions on political donations. Conservatives, led by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee likewise were also angry at the Republican party for immediately going back on their promises to the conservative base, promises which the Republican party had apparently just made to win the 2014 mid-term elections in November, rather than the base which came out to vote for them, as well as failing to challenge President Obama on several of his executive orders. You can see the votes here and here.
- In 2017, prominent Rust Belt Democrats, along with 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (an independent who caucuses with the Democrats), publicly praised Trump for signing an executive order pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (which most Democrats in Congress broke with the Obama administration in opposing).
- Following the passage of Proposition 8 (which outlawed same-sex marriage in California), several families sued the state on the grounds that the referendum was unconstitutional. The attorneys who teamed up to represent them in court were Theodore Olsen and David Boies, best known for arguing opposing sides of Bush v. Gore. Needless to say, the defendants didn't stand a chance.
- Olsen, well known for his conservative views, released an essay in Newsweek stating why support of gay marriage was, in his view, fully in line with conservative beliefs.
- Jane Hamsher, creator of the liberal blog Firedoglake, teamed up with a prominent conservative, Grover Norquist, in 2010 to oppose the Affordable Healthcare Act. The conservative argument was that it was big-government socialism, while liberals believed that it didn't go far enough.
- Likewise, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy received criticism from both the left and the right in American politics during its height. Many left-wing LGBT-rights activists opposed the policy because they believed that it wasn't inclusive enough towards LGBT people, while right-wing LGBT-rights opponents thought it was too inclusive.
- In issues involving the Separation of Church and State in the U.S., atheist groups and religious groups do team up. Some Christians don't like government being linked to their religion, the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and other groups don't like Christianity being endorsed by the government, and atheists don't want any religion endorsed by the government. The group Americans United for Separation of Church and State is an example of this. Another good example is the opposition to Amendment 8 in Florida, an amendment to allow the state treasury to be used to support churches and other religious institutions. One of the more prominent opposing voices is a Rabbi.
- In the midst of the 2012 Chick-fil-A gay marriage controversy, Chick-fil-A's supporters (during the "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day") and its protesters (including the "kiss-in" folks) joined in condemning the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia for their comments about working to block the fast food company's plans for opening restaurants in their cities. Both sides of the issue maintained that you can agree or disagree with the company's stance all you want and protest one way or the other accordingly, but to dictate that someone cannot operate a business somewhere because of their views would be an infringement upon free speech and free markets.
- Opposition to Barack Obama's efforts to enact military action against Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians came to be made up of Tea Party Republicans, anti-war Democrats, and numerous other constituents of both parties. On the flip side, President Obama got some support from people who don't tend to agree with him on most other issues (e.g. his former Presidential campaign opponent John McCain and right-wing pundit Bill O'Reilly).
- This all fell apart though when Obama leapt on Russia's offer to help get rid of Syria's chemical weapons. The anti-war Democrats and non-interventionist Republicans were cool with this, as were many Democrats who had favored military action (since it was a way of ending the chemical weapons issue without fighting), but the pro-war Republicans were more than skeptical and the Tea Partiers shared in the skepticism of Russia's intentions and were opposed to the existence of any US role (also: it made the UN look useful. Tea Party members usually hate that).
- The whole NSA scandal has produced some really strange alliances. The anti-Snowden camp has Barack Obama, John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, Mitch McConnell, Peter King and Al Franken. Meanwhile, the pro-Snowden camp contains Al Gore, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Michael Moore, and Glenn Beck. And then there's Bill Maher, who hasn't quite picked a side yet.
- According to Mother Jones, Senator Ted Cruz is so despised by established Republicans for his controversial views and equally nasty personality that The Daily Show with Trevor Noah seems to believe that he's the one person that the Democrats and Republicans can agree to dislike.
- Hillary Clinton lampshaded during the Al Smith dinner that she and Donald Trump agreed on one thing— their mutual dislike of former presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz.
- Similarly, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) once infamously noted that if someone murdered Cruz on the floor of the United States Senate, "no one would convict [them]".
- In yet another example, Al Franken wrote that "I like Ted Cruz more than most of my [Senate] colleagues like Ted Cruz. And I hate Ted Cruz."
- During the 2016 Presidential election, there was one thing Cruz, Graham, and anyone that wasn't a hardcore Republican could agree on: they all believed that Donald Trump was a dangerous demagogue who was ill-equipped to be President. Ironically, Cruz and Graham later became part of Trump's inner circle.
- The results of the 2016 election have led to some... interesting alliances between rock-ribbed, old-school Republicans (namely neoconservatives and "main street" Republicans) and liberal Democrats. Often summed up as, "Save democracy and the rule of law now, argue our many policy differences later."
- The pro-Trump wing of the GOP generally consists of Political Evangelicals and their associates, Tea Party members, and the ultra-nationalist wing. Before Trump came around, these factions had little in common: the Religious Right types were mostly aligned with the rest of their party allies, the ultra-nationalist faction was largely underground and had little to no political power, and the Tea Party members were somewhere in between and divided between their libertarian and paleoconservative wings. Trump was a particularly hard sell to the Evangelical wing around at the beginning due to his reputation as an unrepentant sleazebag and checkered history of affairs. His views on abortion and gay rights are also best described as out of step (to say the least) with theirs. Members of the Religious Right have repeatedly compared him to King Nebuchadnezzar, as somebody who is not himself a follower of God but still has a healthy respect for Him and ultimately serves His interests. However, in light of Trump's controversial pullout from parts of Syria, leaving the Kurds there vulnerable to Turkey and precipitating a possible resurrection of ISIS, some have begun to view as him more like Belshazzar, traditionally (if erroneously) considered a member of the Chaldean dynasty of Babylon like Nebuchadnezzar—who, unlike Nebuchadnezzar, never developed any sort of respect for the big guy upstairs and paid for it with his life and his kingdom. It got to the point where, when Trump was impeached in 2019, evangelical magazine Christianity Today advocated for his conviction in the Senate.
- Had Trump's infrastructure package actually come to a vote, prominent Democrats— including some from the left wing of the party— signaled that they would vote for more infrastructure spending, while the likes of the Tea Party and all who took Grover Norquist's "tax pledge" (otherwise the heart of the Republican party) are opposed. In general, Trump has expressed a fondness for High Speed Rail that would make the blood of the likes of Glenn Beck boil when expressed by a Democrat.
- Both the far-right and the far-left were critical of allegations of Russian interference into the election, but for different reasons. While the right agreed with Trump that the Mueller probe was a "witch hunt", those on the left believed that Hillary Clinton supporters were just trying to shift the blame for their golden girl running a lackluster candidate.
- Trump's protectionist views on trade and less interventionist views in foreign affairs earned him the votes of quite a few Democrats in the rust belt who twice voted for Barack Obama.note
- Interestingly, Trump received support from Marxist thinker Slavoj Žižek, though it had less to do with liking Trump's ideas and more to do with the fact that he believed his hard-line policies would drive the more moderate Democratic Party further to the left.
- The entire ideology of "MAGACommunism", created by members of the Patriotic Socialist left, seeks to unify both reactionary tankies and far-right Trump supporters against the establishment. Despite the avowed opposition to anything left wing by many MAGAists, the PatSocs believe that common ground can be found in opposition to the democrats and in support of socially reactionary policies. In addition,PatSocs differ from other tankies and other leftists due to their unabashed pro-Americanismnote , with their ideology claiming the American national identity to be inherently good and every wrongdoing in American history to be the work of outside forces influencing American politics in a imperialistic direction. Through this uber-nationalistic and conspiratorial worldview, PatSocs hope to find common ground with far-right Trump supporters believing every recent war to be instigated by the "Deep State".
- Up to the 2020s, pro-Trump far-rightists and elements of the left extremely critical of the democrats tend to both support Tulsi Gabbard. This is due to her conservative stances on social issues and her unwillingness to criticize Trump mixed with her seemingly isolationist foreign policy and closeness to Bernie. This stopped in the early 2020s when Gabbard's transphobia became more pronounced, along with the possibility that she isn't really anti-war at all, having both participated in and supported US military operations in Africa as a soldier. Both of these incidents eroded any support for Gabbard on the left, through more socially reactionary elements of the American left still maintain their support for her.
- After the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, a sizable number of Democrats suddenly became fervent fans of staunch lifelong Republican Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) — not because they agree with her on any more policy issues (they definitely don't), but because she has been the leading voice in Congress insisting that attempting to overturn a lawful election in such a manner (or any manner) violates basically every principle of the Constitution and endangers democracy, and she very much would not stand for it.note Her starring role as the Vice-Chair of the subcommittee investigating said insurrection shone an even brighter light on her and brought even more Democrats over to her side, at least on this issue.Postscript
- In the U.S. primary season, the media outlets with a clear ideological leaning tend to claim that their opposition's primaries are rigged. They will then start to build up a fringe candidate from the other side of the aisle with a large base of support, and claim a conspiracy to deny said candidate the nomination, in hopes that their supporters will refuse to vote in the general election if the primary becomes bitter enough. Examples of this include Jon Stewart claiming the Republican Party was being unfair to Ron Paul, and Alex Jones claiming the Democrats were being unfair to Bernie Sanders (shortly after he himself called Sanders "a bum"). Interestingly, Donald Trump seems to have mostly avoided this, because he was actually winning for much of the primary season, and also, even the slightest sign of support for him was absolute heresy to any audience of primarily Democrats.
- If Ted Cruz is hated by everyone in the political scene, John McCain is his polar opposite, to the point where after his death in 2018, many people on both sides of the aisle, including his opponent in the 2008 Presidential Election, joined forces to give him a funeral fit for a President.
- Fox News, a generally Donald Trump-aligned news organization traditionally seen as the archnemesis of CNN, was among those news outlets to support CNN in their legal battle against Trump over his declaring CNN's Jim Acosta Persona Non Grata without warning, supposedly over an altercation with a White House staffer.
- Ted Cruz is an arch-conservative Republican, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a democratic socialist, a situation that should make them archenemies. Yet they have publicly and strongly agreed on multiple pieces of proposed legislation, such as banning former members of Congress from becoming political lobbyists or making over-the-counter birth control legal.
- Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Senator John Kerry both took to Twitter to air their grievances about Republican Rep. Thomas Massie's threat to hold up a stimulus bill introduced by the Senate in response to the COVID-19 crisis.realdonaldtrump: Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @RepThomasMassie, a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress. He just wants the publicity. He can't stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous ...
& costly. Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn't their fault. It is 'HELL' dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the 'big picture' done. 90% GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!
By empowering the Radical Left Democrats, do nothing Kentucky politician @RepThomasMassie is making their War on the 2nd Amendment more and more difficult to win (But don't worry, we will win anyway!). He is a disaster for America, and for the Great State of Kentucky!
JohnKerry: Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity. He's given new meaning to the term #Masshole. (Finally, something the president and I can agree on!)
realdonaldtrump: [genuinely impressed by Kerry's use of his trademark Malicious Misnaming tactic] Never knew John Kerry had such a good sense of humor! Very impressed!
- Even as conservatives make efforts to tie liberals to China, both liberals and conservatives readily agree on one thing about the issue: that China is exerting a damaging influence on Hollywood, as evidenced by such things Chinese corporations getting involved in Hollywood filmmaking and being able to demand certain things be censored (reportedly even including scenes involving Force Ghosts in The Rise of Skywalker).
- The 2020 presidential election saw both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have their own motley crew of supporters.
- On an international level, Trump himself was able to unite some very strange people both for him and against him. Left-wing figures like Kim Jong-un and Andrés Manuel López Obrador were his allies while right-wing to far-right figures like Jair Bolsonaro, Viktor Orbán, Marine Le Pen, the Spanish Vox party, and Vladimir Putin (according to some) among others were also strong supporters. On the opposite side his opponents or at least harsh critics came from a variety of people from all over the political spectrum, including the likes of Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, Emmanuel Macron, Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Casado, Nicolás Maduro, Daniel Ortega, the Dalai Lama, Mitt Romney, etc.
- Both Benjamin Netanyahu and the Taliban made call to vote for Donald Trumpnote .
- Trump was also popular with both right-wing Jewish and white supremacists who do not normally get along. The reasons for this are complex, but in its more basic level a lot of Jews are happy with his strong pro-Israel stance and the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem whilst white supremacists like his immigration policies. This phenomenon already happened in Europe where lots of far-right people like Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen realize that being pro-Israeli and anti-Muslim is better for their cause and political prospects. Even lots of European neo-Nazis have recognized that worrying about the tiny Jewish minority nowadays is dumb and they better focus on Muslims. However, every so often a member of one of those far-right parties gets caught making anti-Semitic statements meaning that most people do not take the statements of party leaders that the parties are really not anti-Semitic, pinky-promise, all that seriously...
- Biden's voting base goes beyond the usual moderates and mainstream Democrats you'd expect to support a politician like him. His supporters have included anti-Trump conservatives and Republicans (The Lincoln Project, Bill Kristol, John Kasich, Joe Walsh and Jeff Flake), old-school socialists (Bernie Sanders), progressive politicians (Elizabeth Warren and the Progressive Caucus), leftist academics (Noam Chomsky, Cornel West and Robert Reich) and even former Trump administration officials (Michael Cohen, Anthony Scaramucci and Omarosa Newman). Normally, these different camps wouldn't get along with each other or even support a moderate Democrat like Biden, but they endorsed him as a way to remove Trump, who they despise for his blatant corruption, mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, support for authoritarianism, and overt dog-whistles to racism and nativism.
- In 1980, many Democrats voted against their party and helped elect Republican Ronald Reagan as President, and voted him in again in 1984. This voting bloc, which came to be known as the "Reagan Democrats", were mostly-white blue-collar people from the Rust Belt, California, Michigan, and the like who believed that their party was being taken over by "bleeding-heart" liberals who cared more about social justice issues than about the needs of the working class, but had no intention of becoming Republicans. And indeed, Reagan Democrats didn't entirely abandon the Democratic Party; despite returning Reagan to office in 1984, voting in George H. W. Bush in 1988 and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, they aso voted in Bill Clinton in 1992, Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and Joe Biden in 2020. In 2016, their resentments resurfaced and they ended up turning to Donald Trump.
- During the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans joined forces to oppose pro-Trump Republicans.
- In the Georgia Republican primary for Secretary of State, many independents and even some Democrats cross-voted for incumbent Brad Raffensperger to ward off Jody Hice, an election-denying, Trump-endorsed challenger. It helps that Raffensperger's refusal to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 presidential election win in that state despite Trump's pressure endeared him among these voters.
- In the Arizona gubernatorial election, many moderate Republicans cross-voted for Democrat Katie Hobbs in protest of the Trump-endorsed Republican Kari Lake, who infamously called the late Republican senator John McCain a loser and told any McCain supporter to "get the hell out." Said voters also cited former president Donald Trump's crass insults about McCain's military record on why they chose Hobbs.
- For Alaska's at-large House seat, independents and moderate Republicans chose Mary Peltola over Trump-backed Sarah Palin because they still remembered the latter's gaffes and political naivety during the 2008 election, something which sank John McCain's bid for president. Peltola and many Democrats also cross-endorsed incumbent GOP senator Lisa Murkowski, who was being challenged by Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka as Murkowski voted to have Trump impeached in 2021.
- The entire left-wing and far-left spectrum of the United States, regardless of political tendency or ideological disagreements between each other, tend to have a negative view of the Communist Party USA(CPUSA). This is because the CPUSA's tendency to support both the Democratic party as well as a peaceful implementation of socialism manages to alienate both hardline Marxist-Leninists and anarchists that believe any shift to the left to be impossible by working in the political structure set up in the US and see a violent revolution to be the only way forward. At the same time, leftists that tend to support the Democratic party on pragmatic grounds see the CPUSA as doing nothing to lay the groundwork for a shift to socialism at the grassroots level or displaying bad optics by parading around as Communists in the first place. The party's historical hardline support of the Soviet Union under perennial candidate Gus Hall along with its current support for the PRC also alienated anti-authoritarian leftists. Even when the CPUSA does something that is generally applauded by the rest of the American far-left (such as with their role in unionizing Amazon and their purge of Patriotic Socialists from their ranks), they tend to quickly draw animosity as soon as the next election season gets underway.
- Aiming to roll back press freedoms given his poor relationship with the media, when Florida governor Ron DeSantis sought to weaken libel laws and force bloggers to register with the state in his broader attempt to challenge the New York Times v. Sullivan Supreme Court decisionnote , both liberal and conservative media personalities worked to kill the proposed laws. They stated his plans blatantly violate free speech protections and create a chilling effect by allowing anyone to file a Frivolous Lawsuit for any reason. Plus, it would clog up the courts and allow other states to pass copycat laws.
- While it was obviously something that conservatives were angry about, even liberals and other people who dislike Sarah Palin were disgusted by Martin Bashir's assertion that she deserved to be subjected to "Derby's dose" (a punishment enacted on African slaves where they were forced to consume feces) for comparing the federal debt to slavery. This was compounded with Bashir's fellow former MSNBC anchor Alec Baldwin alleging a Double Standard in the fact that Baldwin was quickly fired for an anti-gay slur he said in an outburst against reporters yet Bashir still had his job after his scripted offensive comments. Unsurprisingly, Bashir eventually resigned.
- 1990s Russia saw the pro-Western and pro-capitalist Russian government opposed by a coalition of communists and far-rightists known as the "red-brown alliance".
- In parliamentary systems with proportional representation coalitions are a common occurrence, and they involve compromise as a matter of course. However, a so-called "grand coalition" is usually this trope in spades. During The Bonn Republic there was only one "grand coalition" where SPD and CDU/CSU the main center-left and center-right parties teamed up from 1966 to 1969. This coalition included figures such as Franz Josef Strauß (CSU), Herbert Wehner and Willy Brandt (both SPD) almost all of them had viciously attacked the political opponent before and would go on to do so afterwards. This being relatively shortly after the war, some attacks centered on the conduct during the war. Brandt was attacked for having been an exile, while some CDU/CSU members were accused for having been fellow travelers or worse. Remarkably, this grand coalition got done what it had to do and dissolved after the next election. One of the things it passed with its crushing über-majority were new emergency powers laws, which were supported by the Western Allies and the government and opposed by a strange coalition including former concentration camp inmates as well as leftist students against the Vietnam war and high ranking spokespersons of both churches (Lutheran and Catholic).
- Unfortunately, Austria has a grand coalition as a default result of federal elections, which arguably has caused a lack of enthusiasm for politics in the country.
- For the 2014 Scottish referendum on independence, the "No" camp was dominated by a rare alliance between Labour and the governing parties (the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats). Among the smaller political movements opposed to independence, there was also UKIP, far-left parties and far-right nationalists. Take any combination of the five and you'd find they were bitter enemies. There was some division in the "Yes" camp to, but they managed to coalesce around a vaguely left-wing vision.
- Although in the case of the latter, this trope was still in full effect, as support for independence ranged from Business for Scotland to the Scottish Socialist Party, as well as the mutually hostile SNP and Green Party (the latter temporarily withdrawing at one point in protest at Yes Scotland becoming an "SNP vehicle"). Even some Labour rebels backed an independent Scotland while desperately hoping that the SNP would not be the ones to lead it...
- When the first round of the 2017 French Presidential election resulted in National Front candidate Marine Le Pen and independent Emmanuel Macron advancing to the runoff, Socialist Benoît Hamon and Republican François Fillon were both quick to throw their support behind the more centrist Macron, seeing him as more reliable and stable than the right-wing Le Pen. Most of the other defeated candidates followed suit, and Macron ended up defeating Le Pen by more than double the votes.
- French philosopher and notorious anti-liberal Alain de Benoist is a member of the Mont Pellerin Society, a group founded by the Austrian economist/proto-libertarian Friedrich August von Hayek.
- In 2016, there was an attempt from the (center-right) government of Hungary to amend the constitution with anti-immigration rules. The left and the far-right joined forces to fight it. The left was against it because they deemed it to be too harsh against immigration. The far-right was against it because they deemed it to not be harsh enough against immigration.
- Ultra-nationalist political parties in Europe have had a long tradition of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism. But since the early 2010s, a number of them have attempted to cozy up to their Israeli counterparts to fight what they perceive to be an Islamic threat to Europe. When social media gadfly (and son of the then Israeli Prime Minister) Yair Netanyahu posted a meme critical of Hungarian businessman and political power broker George Soros (who is a frequently invoked boogeyman and antisemitic dogwhistle on the far right) several European far right figures all but had an orgasm in public, because they could now point to their Jewish friend Yair when making anti-Semitic dog whistles about Soros.
- The 2002 French presidential election saw moderates, conservatives, and leftists support the incumbent conservative president Jacques Chirac in the second round of voting. Why would they all team up to back Chirac even if he didn't share all their values and was faced with corruption scandals? Because his opponent was the far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen, an extremist who denied the Holocaust, encouraged political violence and even assaulted a rival Socialist candidate when running for the European Parliament. While many weren't happy about the choices, as epitomized by the slogan "vote for the crook, not the fascist" («Votez pour l'escroc, pas pour le facho» in French), Chirac nonetheless won re-election with 82% of the vote.
- Spain's current ruling coalition is a downplayed example: most of the parties on the left, with the dividing factor being their stances on the European Union and Spanish unity. Some are pro-European Union and prefer a united Spain, like the PSOE: others are far-left, anti-EU, and pro-independence like Bildu. What united the entire Congress was a motion of no confidence lodged by far-right party Vox, which spurred everyone in Parliament to oppose it. Even the right-wing opposition leader of the People's Party, Pablo Casado, rejected it despite seeing the incumbent government as bad, out of a belief that Vox's actions were time-wasting political opportunism. In the end, the motion received the vote of no one apart from Vox itself. Not even Forum Austurias, often considered the most right-wing party in Parliament before Vox's existence, voted for it.
- In street demonstrations against Israel, the crowd will often include fundamentalist Muslims, anarchists, neo-Nazis, leftists, and anti-Zionist Hasidic Jews who believe the Messiah must come before Jews return to Israel. When it comes to pro-Israel protests, it's Evangelical Christians and conservative nationalists teaming up with Jewish Israelis against the predominately Muslim Palestinians. Note that these Christians, most of whom are foreigners from the West and support Israel as part of their religious views on the second coming, are different from Israeli-Arab Christians, who generally stand with their Muslim compatriots.
- StopTheBomb, an organization which is no friends of the Iranian regime (to say the least) has many members who are or have been on government watchlists for supposed or real radical leftist activities, yet it was none other than Republican senator John McCain who sang "bomb bomb Iran" in 2008. War and politics making strange bedfellows apparently goes triply so when Israel is in some way involved or implied to be involved.
- Many leftists and social liberals support Palestine despite the fact that Palestine is very much socially conservative, especially in comparison to Israel. This especially applies for LGBT activists who support Palestine despite the fact that they're much less accepting of LGBT rights than Israel. However, this is justified to an extent since there are many innocent Palestinian victims caught in the crossfire.
- It is interesting that on the old Israel Insider website - a very partisan propaganda site for Israeli expansionism - many comment pieces were written by Northern Irish Unionists/Loyalists, including a regular commentator known for his association with extremist Loyalist factions. The particular loyalist grouping this commentator was associated with had strong links to far-right groupings such as Column 88 and the National Front, organizations hitherto not renowned for being pro-Jewish or sympathetic to Israel. The reasoning appeared to be both parties involved drawing parallels to a perceived terrorist threat (the IRA/Hamas) drawn from a subject population who knew no better than blind hatred and violence towards their neighbors who were treating them with nothing other than forbearance and kindly understanding, despite all provocations. What Israelis or Ulster loyalists might have done to alienate and disaffect their neighbors was never spoken of, but the strong implication was that the two terrorist groupings were working together as a threat to world civilization.
- Some white nationalists, despite their Antisemitism, have praised Israel's Jewish character as the kind of "ethnostate" they want to achieve elsewhere. No matter that this is severely Misaimed Fandom as Israel is one of the "western" (for whatever that means) states with the highest share of Muslim citizens and Islamic law governs e.g. marriage between Muslims in Israel (There is no civil marriage and if you can't find a priest, rabbi or imam who will marry you, your only option is to go abroad to get married and have the ceremony recognized upon return — Cyprus is a popular destination for that). To say nothing of the high immigration rate and the diverse backgrounds of the Jewish population (they all identify as Jews first and foremost, but that doesn't erase their Russian, German, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, etc. heritage)
- Similarly, Rational Wiki has noted that white supremacists and black supremacists both take a share of their ideas from OG fascists like Mussolini, Joseph Goebbels, and especially Hitler himself, meaning they both share a considerable hatred for Jews, often eclipsing one group's hatred for the other's race.
- To show support towards the Palestinian cause, Saudi Arabia maintains no official relations with Israel. Despite this, both are staunch US allies and frequently find themselves to be unlikely allies against a shared threat, Iran, albeit because of different reasons (Saudi because of Iran's promotion of Shi'ite rebel groups in the region, Israel because of the Iranian nuclear program). There are even rumors that Saudi has allowed its airspace to be used by Israeli jets for reconnaissance missions in Iran, although both countries officially denied this. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates used to be of the same lot as Saudi as well, until they decided to establish relations with Israel in 2020.
- Israel itself, despite being created in the aftermath of one of the world's most atrocious acts of racial hatred, supported Apartheid South Africa as well as Turkey which denies the Armenian Genocide to this day. Part of this can be attributed to geopolitical considerations: Apartheid South Africa made a convenient ally due to both countries' isolation from their weaker but more populous neighbors, while Turkey is one of the few non-Arab countries in the region, as well as one of the few Muslim-majority states which didn't maintain a degree of hostility towards them. With that said, Israel-Turkey relations deteriorated in the 2010s as Turkey became more openly anti-Israel under Erdoğan, and many Israeli politicians began calling for recognition of the Armenian Genocide in response.
- The 2021 Israeli election saw the rise of an anti-Netanyahu bloc made up of left-wing parties like Labour and Meretz, centrists like Lapid, right-wingers like New Hope and Yisrael Beitenu and (possibly) far-right like Yamina. For Netanyahu's part, he tried to remain in power by positioning Muslims in high-ranking places for the first time for a Likud candidate, allying with the strongly anti-Muslim religious parties, and making efforts to proselytize among the Arab Israelis whilst having alliances with racist anti-Arab Kahanist parties. The government that ultimately resulted from the 2021 elections consisted of a bunch of parties (including the nominally anti-Zionistnote Arab List) whose ideological overlap can be summed up with "We hate Netanyahu".note In true Israeli fashion, the government has two co-equal heads representing the more center-leftist ("Alternate Prime Minister" Yair Lapid) and the more rightward bloc (Prime Minister Naftali Bennet) within the government and they are supposed to switch who is officially and formally First Among Equals at the halfway point of the term (if there aren't snap elections before that). Israeli politics has required such "rotating premiership" solutions more than once since the 1970s and while it is sometimes proposed as the "Israeli solution" out of political deadlocks in other parliamentary systems, Israel is the only country in which such a rotation has ever successfully occurred at the national level.
- Similar to Israel, the 2022 Hungarian election saw every opposition party joining together to oppose Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party. And that means literally all— every party with parliamentary representation that is not an Orbán ally from Greens and Socialists to the far-right Jobbik, which had since cleaned up its act.
- In 2006, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo tried to change the constitution to allow himself to contest for a third term in office the next year. This led to a feud with his Vice President (and heir-apparent) Atiku Abubakar. To stop the amendment, Atiku teamed up with opposition leader Muhamadu Buhari who was planning a presidential bid as well. They successfully kept Obasanjo out of the race, but their alliance fell apart soon after since neither would step aside for/endorse the other. Obasanjo's new hand-picked successor, Umaru Yar'Adua, won.
- Yar'Adua then proceeded to die in office, leaving the presidency to the Unexpected Successor Goodluck Jonathan, who surprised everybody by actually doing a decent job and getting elected in his own right.
- In a more martial Nigerian example, imprisoned Niger Delta rebels like Isaac Boro were released by the government and admitted into the Federal Army to help defeat the Biafran secessionists. The Niger Deltans figured being minority ethnicities in a Nigeria with 3 mutually hostile major tribes was more palatable than being minority ethnicities in a Biafra with one very dominant tribe, the Ibo.
- Likewise in street protests against the Chinese government, the anti-PRC crowd would usually contain a mix of Chinese dissidents, centrist liberals, libertarian socialists critical of their authoritarianism and quasi-state capitalist economy, anti-communists who view them as the last real bastion of communism, conservative nationalists who dislike their economic influence, and unfortunately some who are just plain racist. On the pro-PRC side, there are usually Chinese nationalists, pro-China socialists, communists who view them as the last real bastion of communism, critics of US foreign policy, "zero-COVID" advocates (before China abolished these policies), and some ethno-nationalists who want to emulate their model of governance.
- The 2018 general elections in Costa Rica were atypical to say the least. The most voted candidate in the first round was conservative religious candidate Fabricio Alvarado (a devout Evangelical Christian singer and a strong opponent of same-sex marriage), while the second most voted became (not surprisingly) the liberal progressive candidate, Carlos Alvarado (who is pro-same sex marriage) from the country's center-left ruling party, PAC. Most of the mainstream parties from left to right alike joined forces against Fabricio, including the far-left Broad Front, the centrist PLN and the right-wing PUSC. The PLN and PAC's alliance is particularly notorious, considering how Costa Rica's pseudo two-party system had made them bitter rivals until this point.
- More surprisingly, according to polls Carlos Alvarado's support came mostly from two very different groups; non-religious and Roman Catholics. Costa Rican non-religious (including of course atheists and agnostics) are generally socially liberal and pro-secularism (Costa Rica is the only confessional state of the Americas) whilst Catholics are both socially conservative and pro-confessionalism. The catch here is that they are both strongly anti-Evangelical (the religion of Fabricio) although for different reasons of course. Once it was made public that Fabricio's mentor and close advisor said in a book that Costa Rica's patron saint the Virgin of the Angels was a demon Fabricio's defeat was pretty much assured.
- A tendency of these strange bedfellows continues with the discussion of the Fiscal Reform that both the far-left and the far-right opposes. The labor unions and the far-left Broad Front parties opposes it because they claim it benefits the rich, whilst the Christian right that supported Alvarado and his party also opposes it because they dislike the government. This causes an alliance between the PAC, PLN and PUSC which have the majority in Congress but lack votes, and a very strange case of watching ultra-conservative Evangelical Christians and left-wing activists and college students working together when they normally are at each others’ throats. Even Fabricio Alvarado and left-wing labor union leader Albino Vargas met together.
- This happened between two fierce political rivals in Malaysia in the days leading up to the 2018 elections. Dr. Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim weren't exactly known to be the best of friends. However, when the Najib government became increasingly unpopular, Mahathir came out of retirement, created a new party, and formed a coalition with Anwar's party in a bid to take Najib down. In a similar vein, many Malaysians agreed among themselves to put aside their differences in beliefs to oust Najib. The Najib government was completely crushed on election day.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario premier Doug Ford (a conservative) and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (a liberal), who'd butted heads against each other in the past, set aside their differences to help Ontario flatten the curve.
- North Korea and South Korea are archenemies, have not exchanged ambassadors, and frequently do tit-for-tat attacks, but they will still unite in the face of Japan when it comes to Korean territorial integrity or recognition of crimes against humanity committed during the 35-year-long Japanese occupation of Korea. On the flip side, South Korea and Japan, both being liberal democracies and US allies, have also teamed up several times in the face of the authoritarian China and North Korea, particularly during the Cold War. East Asian politics are weird.
- In a truly bizarre case of both this and Go-Karting with Bowser, Marcus Garvey (leader of the Back-to-Africa movement) was friends with Earnest Sevier Cox, a vicious white supremacist and eugenicist, and his fellow segregationists. Why? Garvey felt that the only way for black people to be freed from discrimination was to simply start their own country; this was great for Cox, who believed that miscegenation led to the downfall of civilizations, and that America needed to be completely free of nonwhite influence in order to thrive. Together they collaborated on the repatriation movement, advertising each other's writings and speaking at each other's events. When Garvey was imprisoned, Cox went to the Secretary of Labor personally to ask him to pardon Garvey, and even after Garvey was deported, they wrote each other letters and referred to each other fondly in writings. Cox even dedicated a book to him.
- A few philosophers, like the National Bolshevik/Eurasianist Alexander Dugin and the post-Left Slavoj Zijzek, have advocated for an alliance of the alt-right and the pro-Bernie Sanders Democrats. Zijzek even stated that the left should support Steve Bannon, in the hope of getting rid of Donald Trump and preventing Mike Pence from becoming president.
- The "Robbers' Cave" experiment. Two groups of boys at a summer camp were first isolated from each other and encouraged to form a group mentality. After a few days they were introduced to the other group in a competitive environment in order to produce inter-group friction. This stage was ended early when the hostile rivalry reached potentially dangerous levels. The groups were then given mutual "superordinate goals" forcing them to work together, and the hostility evaporated as quickly as it had appeared.
- This can mostly likely be applied to the vast majority of wars.
- This trope is one of the reasons Drill Sergeant Nasty exists. Even if the forty people in a platoon can't agree on anything else, they can always unite around the fact that the sergeant is an ass.
- In the Non-Fiction book The Yankee Plague, countless Confederate deserters and their families help fleeing Union prisoners (and occasionally accompany them to Union lines). Not all of them are sympathetic to the Union's goals, but they all recognize that the sooner the Confederacy falls, the sooner they can come out of hiding.
- Athens and Sparta were enemies for a long time, but they still teamed up in the 5th Century BC to fight the Persians.
- The Greeks and the Carthaginians hated each other, particularly Syracuse who waged war against Carthage many times. When Pyrrhus, king of the Hellenized nation of Epirus, came to a conflict against Rome for the control of Southern Italy (with its rich greek colonies), Carthage signed a formal treaty of aid and assistance with the Romans against the common enemy. Then, when the Romans defeated Pyrrhus and started to look at Sicily, which was contested by Syracuse and Carthage, the former city joined the latter against Rome in the First Punic War. Only to switch sides after some time, because the Romans offered more assurances to their future sovereignty and also because they were winning.
- The Romans made exemplary this trope with their concept of "divide et impera", divide and rule: after establishing their empire, they adopted a policy of interfering with local powers beyond their borders by allying to a city-state, a king or a chieftain, helping him against his rivals, and establishing a faithful client state or tribe. Not too big, in order to keep it in check, by the means of giving enough assistance to other clients or allies that could counterpoint that regional power. When one grew too powerful and threatened Rome's influence, the Romans would then help the former's rivals until it weakened.
- Particularly effective also in Roman internal politics, when candidates to a college or an office would weave alliances even with their former rivals in order to secure their interests and goals - provided that these alliances wouldn't collide with them. Caesar, for example, pardoned many of his former enemies and even put some of them in charge of important duties, so that they would become twice grateful: for being spared in times of political turmoil and executions, and for getting a small token of influence, prestige and wealth with an office. Having someone who owes you his life and career is very effective, especially when the alternative was being executed for treason.
- During the last years of the empire, many alliances changed swiftly with the barbaric invasion. Thus, the Visigoths, despite sacking Rome, became one of Aetius' allies when the deal was fighting Attila and his Huns. Then, Aetius routed the Hunnic army at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, but didn't chase it nor tried to destroy what remained of it. Many historians speculated that this was done on purpose in order to later get a treaty with Attila against other enemies of Aetius, or at least having him as an always looming threat to keep roman allies on their side. Other historians disagree though and think that simply Aetius didn't have enough manpower to give chase and prolong the war, and after Aetius' murder, Attila was ready with a new army aimed at Italy.
- For most of China's Three Kingdoms period, Shu and Wu teamed up to oppose a much stronger Wei/Jin... except during the campaigns of 219-222, where Wu attacked Shu and briefly submitted to Wei.
- This trope is largely the premise of the Syro-Ephraimite War, and occurs twice: First, the Kingdom of Aram-Damascus and the Kingdom of Israel set aside persistent border wars and make a temporary alliance to confront the Assyrian Empire, which poses a substantial threat to both of them. Second, the Kingdom of Judah makes a temporary alliance with the Assyrian Empire when it is threatened by the alliance of the former two kingdoms.
- Combined with Ape Shall Never Kill Ape, this trope is the basic idea behind The Crusades.
- The American Revolution was a classic example of this. France and Spain, conservative Catholic near-absolute monarchies who were already themselves a case of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, joined forces with classical liberal Protestant republican rebels just to cause trouble for the Protestant constitutional monarchy Great Britain, which was their mutual enemy. The American rebels were also funded by the Protestant and deeply anti-Spanish Dutch Republic.
- Napoleon's regime was an example of this in an ideology. Napoleon was a veteran of the French Republic military, his government used the republican flag, and he also claimed to embody the ideals the republic had represented, even selling the Louisiana Territory to the United States to spite Great Britain— and yet, his government was unashamedly an absolute monarchy. And he did not even seem to be ashamed of appearing like a royal in every possible way (see, for example, the painting of his coronation).
- In the War of the Triple Alliance, Brazil and Argentina, who had long been very antagonistic towards one another, went to war together against Paraguay. They were later joined by Uruguay, whom they had been competing for influence over.
World War I
World War I
- During World War I, the conservative monarchist German government covertly helped the radical communist Vladimir Lenin return to Russia so that he could overthrow the moderate republican Russian Provisional Government and make peace with the Central Powers.
- The parliamentary democracy of France forged an alliance (the Entente Cordiale) with autocratic Czarist Russia, and later democratic Britain (historical rival for centuries and with whom some years before France was on the verge of war due to the incident of Fashoda), against semi-democratic Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary. When the U.S. was thinking of entering the war, Russia's February Revolution removed the Czar from power and the Wilson administration welcomed the development as removing the last obstacle to a "democracy vs. dictatorship" narrative.
- The Central Powers was basically an alliance between the Catholic Austrian Hapsburgs and two of their three biggest historical enemies: the Muslim Ottoman Empire, who they had warred with for control of southern Europe for centuries; and the Protestant Prussian Hohenzhollerns, their primary rivals for dominance in the German-speaking world. They teamed up mostly due to a common opposition to a power bloc including Austria's traditional number one Arch-Enemy France.
- Italy's position in the war was all about that. When the war started, it was part of the Triple Alliance thanks to the mess with the Pope and Italy's slowness in invading Tunisia putting the long-standing alliance with France at risk. These drove Italy closer to the other friendly power, Germany, which was just fine on its own... except being part of the Central Powers meant teaming up with Austria-Hungary, Italy's Arch-Enemy. Of course, once relationships with France thawed, Italy found being allied with Austria-Hungary a bit stifling... which is why they first declared neutrality, and then entered the war on the side they were originally supposed to be against.
- When Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935, the Ethiopians received a significant amount of material support from Nazi Germany, despite the Nazi regime being infamously white supremacist. This was because German-Italian relations were on the rocks at the time for a number of reasons, most famously because Germany wanted to bring Italy's ally Austria into its own sphere of influence, if not outright annex it.
World War II
World War II
- This happened a lot during World War II:
- Jiang Jieshi (Yangzi River region), the New Guangxi Clique (Pearl River region), Yan Xishan (Shanxi province), Long Yun (Yunnan province), Mao Zedong (Sha'anxi province), Ma Bufang (Qinghai province), Sheng Shicai (Xinjiang province), and several dozen less powerful warlords all called a time-out to the civil war, officially formed the United Front and fought the occupying Japanese together in 1937. That said, all sides were frantically trying to ensure their 'allies' took the majority of the casualties.
- The Soviets and Nazis declared a nonaggression pact, though both considered it merely a stalling action before war broke out. Germany wanted the USSR out of the way so that they could defeat Britain and then attack the USSR because they wanted to avoid a two-front war. The USSR wanted to wait as long as possible so that they could get their factories and army up to full capacity, and Stalin was paranoid about a repeat of Czechoslovakia being given to Germany as part of the Munich Agreement. Obviously, Germany never took Britain and attacked the USSR before they were entirely ready (and also allowed itself to get sidetracked by a mission to clean up the mess Mussolini had made in the Balkans), thus causing a two-front war anyway.
- Speaking of the Balkans campaign, Greece joined forces with the Allies after Italy invaded the former, despite Greece at the time being an authoritarian dictatorship under a monarchy until they were overrun by Germany.
- The four major Allied powers: the United States, United Kingdom, Nationalist China, and the Soviet Union— two western capitalist democracies, an authoritarian military dictatorship, and a totalitarian communist state— worked side by side for 5 years to defeat Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy.
- Winston Churchill was a staunch anti-Communist, but he promised help to the Soviet Union immediately after Hitler attacked it. He once said, "If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."
- Various people classified as sub-humans by the Nazis, such as Slavs and Chechens, teamed up with the Nazis against a common enemy, the Soviet Union. Many Slavic people actually served in the Wehrmacht itself, either as soldiers or as POWs: they were often nicknamed "Hiwis", after the German Hilfswillige, "voluntary helpers". Some Jews also collaborated with the Nazis in concentration camps and ghettos; they were known as Kapo and Judenrat respectively.
- During the Battle of Britain, the British and Irish governments put together a joint plan, Plan W, for the defense of neutral Ireland against German invasion. One effect of this plan was the Irish military trading in their uniforms (which resembled those of the Germans) for new ones more closely resembling those of the Brits, to avoid spooking jumpy British troops from shooting at the wrong people.
- At one point Italy switched sides, giving birth to multiple cases of this: the Italian government was on the same side as the Allies, who were the enemy until literally the day before, due to German troops seizing control of most of the country; in German-occupied territories, La Résistance was divided into four factions (Monarchists, Republicans, Communists and Anarchists), with each faction loathing the others but agreeing to collaborate and settle things peacefully after the war and Germany's defeat and the abdication of king Vittorio Emanuele III (detested for allowing Mussolini's takeover and abandoning Rome and the armed forces without orders right after announcing the surrender to the Allies, even before the Germans moved to take over); and the Italian Resistance occasionally collaborated with the Italian Fascists (allied with the Germans) against the Yugoslav Partisans to try and defend the Italian population in Istria (a border area inhabited by both Italians and Yugoslavs, where Mussolini's government started throwing Yugoslav civilians into camps and the Yugoslav Resistance had recently started doing the same to the Italians); and the Communist faction of the Italian Resistance would occasionally collaborate with the Yugoslav Partisans against the Monarchists. Finally in 1945, when the French tried to seize some Italian territories on the Alps, both Fascists and Partisans collaborated to repel the incursion (eventually Truman forced De Gaulle to stop any other action on the Italian-French border).
- The Italians, Benny the Moose himself included, were actually pretty anti-German and anti-Nazi prior to the late 1930s. In fact, the British and French joined Mussolini's Italy in the Stresa Front, an agreement to uphold the independence of Austria and prevent any further breaking of the Treaty of Versailles. Mussolini himself referred to Hitler as a "mad little clown" upon reading Mein Kampf, and in the early days his vision of Fascism lacked a racialist or Antisemitic component. Not helping matters was Germany backing an attempted coup against a pro-Italy Austrian government. However, when the second Italy invaded Ethiopia, the British and French lost what little friendliness with Mussolini they had and took steps to isolate his country. (Most of their measures, including a toothless embargo on weapons sales, didn't work.) Italy became even more of a pariah when they essentially invaded Spain during the Spanish Civil War with close to a hundred thousand troops and helped overthrow its internationally-recognized republican government in favor of nationalist rebels. Without any friends, Mussolini and his Fascists were forced to cozy up to Hitler and the Third Reich. (That was a fatal mistake.) This may have contributed to the stereotype of the Italian forces being cowardly, when actually they were merely chronically unmotivated to fight. If the people you've just been ordered to kill are the people who were your allies last week, dropping your rifle and just getting the hell away from all this madness is not at all an unreasonable response. Italian partisans, most of whom were former military, actually performed pretty well when they were fighting enemies they hated (read: Germans and Les Collaborateurs).
- Five days after the death of Adolf Hitler, the Battle for Castle Itter— often called the strangest battle of World War II— was fought. Elements of the 17th Waffen-SS Panzer Division were headed there, intent on setting up a stronghold in the castle. Opposing them were 14 American soldiers; two Sherman tanks; some French and Eastern European prisoners; Austrian resistance fighters; 10 anti-Nazi Wehrmacht soldiers; and one Waffen-SS officer. Notable prisoners included tennis star Jean Borotra, former prime minister Édouard Daladier, Charles de Gaulle's elder sister Marie-Agnès Cailliau, former commander-in-chief Maxime Weygand, former prime minister Paul Reynaud, former commander-in-chief Maurice Gamelin, right-wing leader François de La Rocque and trade union leader Léon Jouhaux. Besides the French VIP prisoners, the Castle held a number of Eastern European prisoners detached from Dachau. Major Gangl of the Wehrmacht managed to call a friend who owed him a favor, and a group of Austrian resistance men as well as several more Wehrmacht men joined in the defense. Together, they fought off the Waffen-SS until they were relieved by the approaching American 142nd Infantry Division.
- Germany and Japan's alliance became more complicated later on, but it began with their shared opposition to the Soviet Union and to communism in general, and it was strengthened once Germany was at war with the same European countries who had Asian colonies wanted by Japan. Germany helped Japan by keeping the European colonial powers busy with a war on their home fronts, making it very difficult or impossible for them to prop up their colonies against Japanese attack. Japan helped Germany by keeping busy a certain number of British, Commonwealth, and American forces who would otherwise be fighting Germany. However, the Japanese army ruled out invading the Soviet Union in July 1941, the lackluster performance of Operation Barbarossa confirming their earlier assessments about Soviet strength, thereby ruining German hopes of crushing Russia in a two-front war.
- It's also worth noting that Imperial Japan lacked Nazi Germany's antisemitism, and in fact many Japanese politicians then were admirers of Zionism. A Japanese diplomat named Chiune Sugihara offered Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis visas to Japanese occupied territories, most notably the Shanghai Ghetto. German requests for increased persecution of Jews in Shanghai were largely ignored.
- On the other hand, Nazi German advisors helped train Kuomintang officers in fighting off the Imperial Japanese advance, which started in 1937, and remained until the Japanese requested their removal in 1941. Using his Nazi German credentials, an official named John Rabe helped to create a sanctuary for Chinese civilians fleeing the infamous Nanjing Massacre.
- A Zionist group in British-ruled Palestine called Lehi or Stern Gang, attempted to contact Nazi Germany and propose an alliance to fight off the British and create an authoritarian Jewish state in Palestine, potentially saving them from the Holocaust. Unsurprisingly, Nazi officials ignored their requests.
- The America First Committee, which opposed U.S. entry into World War II, was an odd alliance of right-wing isolationists, left-wing pacifists, FDR haters, Nazi sympathizers, pro-Soviet communists (until Operation Barbarossa), anti-Semites, and Anglophobes. All together, the movement's goals coalesced into a vaguely right-wing vision.
- Many people in Eastern Europe supported Hitler not because they liked Nazism, but because they held Stalin to be much worse, as well as having bitter memories of Russian Imperial rule.
- Meanwhile Stalin more or less openly declared at the outbreak of Barbarossa "Look, I know I tried to kill like half of you basically yesterday, but I promise what the Nazis have in store for us is much worse, so let's put aside our differences for the duration of this war and continue whatever it was we were doing afterwards. Deal?". It mostly worked. Stalin even dropped the anti-religious campaign to ensure the church would not form a powerful Fifth Column in his rear (the Nazis literally had "Gott mit uns"note on their belt buckles)
The Cold War
- During the Cold War, this was practically official policy for both sides.
- During World War II, the Ukrainian nationalist partisans of the UPA were responsible for murdering thousands of Poles in western Ukraine, but in spite of this the Polish Home Army co-operated with them to attack the Communists in Hrubieszów (eastern Poland), on the night of 27 May 1946.
- During and immediately after World War II, anti-Japanese sentiment was very strong in America. All that was forgotten when the U.S. jumped at the chance to make Japan a capitalist ally against the People's Republic of China, North Korea, and the eastern part of the Soviet Union. It managed to resurface during the 1980s, as Japan's booming economy was viewed as a threat to US industries, particularly car manufacturing.
- Under Stalin, the Soviet Union had regarded all non-communist countries as enemies, but Khrushchev began a policy whereby any left-wing or anti-western regime in the third world could be regarded as a potential ally.
- The U.S. even went so far as to support anti-Soviet communist regimes, such as Yugoslavia and (eventually) the People's Republic of China. The most bizarre case being perhaps Romania, which - despite Nicolae Ceaușescu being a guy who tried to out-Stalin Stalin (and ended up the only Eastern Bloc leader shot by his own populace instead of peacefully overthrown) - somehow cultivated a "pro-Western" foreign policy (including stuff like teaching French in school rather than Russian) mostly due to Ceaușescu trying to demonstrate his independence from Moscow by cozying up to the west - and being repressive and just plain weird domestically. Romania was notably the only Eastern Bloc country to send athletes to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles which were boycotted as retaliation for the 1980 Moscow Olympics boycott of the Western Bloc. Romania did also send representatives to the "Friendship Games" the Soviet sponsored Moral Substitute to the boycotted 1984 Olympics.
- The People's Republic of China also had a turbulent relationship with the USSR despite both calling themselves communist states, and supported the same sides during the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Stalin's USSR was already suspicious of Mao's CCP during the 1930s due to its unorthodox policies such as peasant rebellions and potentially setting itself up as a rival leader of the communist bloc due to its independent foreign policies. As such, the USSR also aided Mao's archenemy Chiang Kai-shek and even attempted to negotiate for an end to the Chinese Civil War. They also supported a Stalinist warlord called Sheng Shicai who emulated Stalin's own purges, but who later executed Mao's brother and defected to Chiang. All of this rivalry eventually led to the Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s, and Nixon's famous visit to China.
- The Suez Crisis was a weird scenario where both the USA and USSR took a hardline stance against the intervention into Egypt and both put pressure on Britain, France, and Israel to pull out. This created an instance where the U.S. voted with the Soviet Union and against its NATO allies at the United Nations. And this was at the same time that the U.S. was vehemently condemning the Soviets for crushing the Hungarian Revolution!
- Both the United States and the Soviet Union, alongside China, France, and Britain, agreed by the mid-1980s to enforce a global embargo on South Africa during The Apartheid Era. Combined with mounting internal pressures, this contributed to the South African government's collapse a few years later.
- Both the Soviet Union and the United States tended to support decolonization efforts, even if their visions for the newly independent Asian and African states differed. During the Indonesian Revolution, both the Soviet Union and the United States diplomatically supported the secessionists, and the United States put that support into action when it threatened to cut off Marshall Plan aid to the Netherlands if they did not stop the war. The Dutch relented soon after, and Indonesia gained independence. Then the USSR and USA went right back to being enemies as they supported competing movements in Southeast Asia.
- Along the same lines, during the Angolan War of Independence, the FNLA and MPLA were supported by the Americans and Soviets, respectively, in their fight against the Portuguese colonial administration. China also supported the FNLA as well as another group known as UNITA, which was also supported by Apartheid South Africa.
- The USA and Soviet Union, plus the United Kingdom, backed the Nigerian government during the Biafra War. The Soviets wanted to take a stand against secessionist movements in general, seeing them as a threat to their own unity (as a multinational federation with a dozen official languages), while the U.S. and U.K. wanted to both protect their investments in the Nigerian oil industry and form an alliance with Lagos against other enemies. Biafra, meanwhile, was supported by France, China and West Germany.
- The Ethiopian Civil War saw multiple groups of different ideologies come together to oppose the Derg, a Marxist-Leninist military junta. These included communists, monarchists, ethnic nationalists, and others.
- During the Iran–Iraq War, China, France, Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States, the Gulf States, and a variety of other countries all gave more support to Iraq than Iran; the Westerners were displeased that a West-friendly regime had been overthrown (not to mention Iranian support for terrorists that killed American and French troops in Lebanon), the Soviets had been Saddam's main sponsors even before the war and stuck to it, the Chinese wanted to both make money with arms sales and curry favor with the Arab states, and all of the above regarded militant Islamism of the sort embraced in Iran as a threat to their interests. Henry Kissinger is said to have said "I wish they could both lose." On the other side, Iran received support from Iraq's rival Baathist state Syria due to a falling out between the two countries prior to Saddam Hussein's ascension in Iraq (which also led Iraq and Syria to support competing factions in the Lebanese Civil War), as well as a great deal of weapons and aid from Israel, because both countries considered Saddam Hussein a far greater enemy (Hussein in fact disseminated a notorious pamphlet written by his father-in-law titled "Three Whom God Should Not Have Created: Persians, Jews, and Flies"). Historian Trita Parsi has also claimed that Israel's bombing of Iraq's nuclear facility at Osirak was assisted by Iranian intelligence, but Iran officially denies this. Iran also received arms from Libya despite the two countries having very different ideas about Islam's role in government and society and suspicions that a prominent Iranian cleric was murdered by the Libyan government.
- Lebanon's March 8 and March 14 alliances are based off of being for or against the Syrian Assad regime, respectively. This resulted in all sorts of political parties (socialist, Islamist, Christian democrats, liberals, nationalists, conservatives, etc.) all grouped up in either camp.
- The Soviets and Chinese voted in favor of the American-led intervention against Iraq during The Gulf War, and also agreed to place sanctions on Iraq that lasted throughout the 1990s. The reasons for this were pragmatic rather than ideological: China agreed in hopes of improving relations with the Americans (largely successful), while the Soviets were simply too economically weak to risk angering the rest of the world by voting no. The anti-Iraq alliance also included Syria, a Soviet ally that was ruled by the same Ba'ath Party that Saddam Hussein was a part of, because of a falling out of between Syria and Iraq a few decades before. Moreover, Syria and Egypt were fighting to defend Saudi Arabia and liberate Kuwait, despite both being ruled by revolutionary Arab nationalist regimes that had been opposed to the more traditional governments like the Saudi and Kuwaiti monarchies during the Arab Cold War.
- The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan united pretty much every country which wasn't in the Soviet bloc. The U.S. and the other Western capitalist powers immediately decided that the people fighting Russians were the good guys. Muslim countries also backed the Afghan resistance, seeing it as a religious war between Islam and godless communism. Even communist China decided to support the Afghan rebels due to their dislike of the USSR. This resulted in the almost surreal situation of Iran backing the same side of the conflict as the Western world and the Chinese, even as China and Western countries were backing Iran's enemy Iraq! The Mujahideen themselves were an assortment of anti-Soviet Afghan groups ranging from Westernized liberals to fundamentalist Muslims to Maoists.
- Despite the Sino-Soviet split, China and the Soviet Union worked together to support the communist forces in The Vietnam War. Once the common enemy was eliminated, however, Vietnam entered the Soviet sphere of influence and China invaded Vietnam in support of their proxies in Cambodia, before withdrawing and spending the rest of the Cold War having border skirmishes with a now-hostile neighbor.
- Sino-Vietnamese relations over the centuries boil down to "China invades Vietnam and sets up shop there - Vietnam gets fed up and declares independence, kicks Chinese forces out, then resumes relations with China as a vassal - China invades again", rinse and repeat for nearly every dynasty on either side. The establishment of colonial governments may not be successful but they sure do try, with Vietnam spending 1000 years in total to date as an annexed Chinese territory/province/colony. Against the common enemy of "Western capitalism", though, the Sinosphere Communist Bloc countries stood together.
- In neighboring Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge forged an alliance with Vietnam in order to oppose America. As the Americans began to withdraw from Indochina, Cambodia's (largely justified) fears of Vietnamese ambitions in the region grew, causing them to purge Vietnamese-trained personnel in their military, persecute ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia and launch multiple border raids against Vietnamese positions, which in turn prompted Vietnamese reprisals. This led to the slightly-surreal situation in which both governments were outwardly professing their undying friendship and unity even as their respective military forces fought on the ground, and ultimately culminated in the Vietnamese launching a full invasion of Cambodia to oust the pro-Chinese Khmer Rouge and replace them with a pro-Soviet, pro-Vietnam People's Republic. For extra irony points in the wake of the invasion, Khmer Rouge immediately turned from the violent and brutal bugbears of Kampuchea and neighboring Thailand into the honored guests of the anti-Communist alliance ASEAN in Thailand's capital of Bangkok, allies of the conservative monarch Sihanouk who the Khmer Rouge had deposed a second time in 1976 (the first being in 1970 by the Khmer Republic), and friends of the United States and Australia. The communist countries of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia eventually joined ASEAN by 1999, at which point the organization has transitioned into an entity for regional economic alliance rather than anti-communism.
- The Iranian Revolution itself brought together (for a brief period of time) leftists, ethnic nationalists, and fundamental Islamists; note that the Islamists had earlier supported the Shah against the leftists, and largely purged them after they took power.
- Of particular note is the militant group People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), a leftist anti-Shah and anti-American group which fell out with the Iranian government after the 1979 revolution. They later threw their hat in with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and supported them during the Iran-Iraq War. In turn, Baathist Iraq later deployed them against the Shia Muslim Iraqis in the 1991 uprisings, and allowed them sanctuary in Iraq. After the fall of Saddam Hussein post the 2003 Iraq invasion, Iran became a bigger threat to the West due to their regional ambitions and nuclear weapons program, and as such they became allies with Iran's current opponents Israel and Saudi Arabia and collaborated in the assassinations of key Iranian nuclear scientists. Furthermore, despite the group's socialist leanings, many conservative anti-Iranian politicians in the West, including Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton, successfully lobbied for the group to be delisted as a designated terrorist group and attended their events. Meanwhile, due to their support of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, the MEK is hated by large numbers of Iranians, including the Iranian government as well as supporters of the former Shah, putting aside their differences.
- Meanwhile SAVAK, the feared Secret Police of the Shah, had most of its mid-level personnel retained by Ayatollah Khomeini's post-revolutionary government, and morphed into the bigger SAVAMA.
- A wandering anecdote ascribed to Franklin D. Roosevelt with regards to a Latin American dictator (Somoza sr. of Nicaragua and Trujillo of the Dominican Republic are the most likely candidates) goes that he said: "Sure, he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch." Whether or not Roosevelt ever actually said that aside, it is a good summation of US foreign policy in Latin America during the 20th century.
- Immediately after the Pacific War ended, the Japanese garrison in the Dutch East Indies was permitted to keep its weapons and fought alongside the British and Dutch against the Indonesian resistance to put the country back under Dutch administration (it didn't last long; the moment the British and Japanese left the rebellion flared up again and by 1949 Indonesia was independent). This was especially dissonant to the British troops who had just come from Burma, particularly when one Japanese officer was awarded the Military Cross.
- In Vietnam on the other hand, many former IJA officers defected to the Viet Minh, who were fighting against the French trying to reestablish their former colony. The Viet Minh, which originated fighting against the Japanese occupation, were in need of experienced officers, while the Japanese officers wanted to preserve their honor by fighting on a winning side, rather than return home as losers. The French in turn were backed by the Americans which previously opposed their colonialism, but now viewed communism as the bigger threat following the onset of the Cold War.
- Former Japanese troops also joined up with the Communist Party of Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. This was an especially remarkable development, not just due to Imperial Japan's anti-communism and communist involvement in the Malayan resistance, but also since the Malayan communists were mostly ethnic Chinese and the IJA was notoriously Sinophobic.
- During the 1991 Soviet coup attempt that temporarily deposed communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Gorby found himself unlikely supporters in Russian nationalists and monarchists who came out in droves to protest against the coup plotters and demand he be restored to power.
- After Mozambique and Angola gained their independence from Portugal in 1974, communist governments came to power in both countries, prompting rebellions by anti-communists. These anti-communist rebels received backing from South Africa, which was still under Apartheid at the time, but still viewed anti-communist governments preferable to communist ones, all else being equal.
- While there were elements of the Trotskyite left that did view the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China as a lesser evil compared to the USnote , Marcyite Trotskyism takes it one step further. The ideology of Marcyism, created by and named after Workers' World Party founder Sam Marcy, posits that the USSR was leading a "Global Class War" against capitalism and imperialism alongside the Warsaw Pact, Communist China, and various anti-Colonial movements. In this "Global Class War", Marcy posits that all socialists must put aside their differences with the USSR and unite with it against NATO. Most notably, Marcy and his followers defended the Soviet Union in both its response to the Hungarian Revolution and the Prague Uprising. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the Marcyites continued to express support for both surviving Communist states like Cuba, North Korea and even China after its Market Reforms, along with anti-American non-Communist states such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, Baathist Syria, and Putin's Russia. Because of these geopolitical worldviews, today Marcyites are seen as synonymous with "tankie" and "Marxism-Leninism". For their part, the Marcyite parties(The Worker's World Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation) have seemed to embrace the ideology of Marxism-Leninism wholeheartedly. That said, they tend to view Trotsky in a far kinder light than most other tankies and apply his "Unifed Front" strategy of political organizing over the traditional Marxist-Leninist strategy of "popular front" political organizing.
- Lenny Murphy, the notorious Shankill Butcher guilty of murdering innocent Catholic civilians, was ultimately killed when the UDA leaked his location and movements to the IRA, having deemed him too notorious and sadistic for even their tastes.
- This tendency was also repeated in the African countries of Chad and Somalia, where warring forces teamed up to kick out the foreign invaders. In Chad's case, the government and rebel forces united to fight the invading forces of Libya, while the Somalis temporarily put their civil war on hold to kick out the United Nations force sent to restore order after the collapse of the dictatorship before they returned to fighting among themselves.
- The ongoing problem of piracy near the coast of Somalia has occasionally forced the naval forces of countries that would otherwise be enemies to invoke this trope by fighting together in skirmishes against the Somali pirates. A notable example of this was seen when the crew of the American USS James E. Williams fought alongside North Korean sailors to defeat pirates who had captured a North Korean cargo ship in late 2007. In a rare moment of praise for the US, North Korea's government-controlled media expressed gratitude for the help given by the Americans.
- Both far-left hardline communists and far-right nationalists in Eastern Europe and across the world like Slobodan Milošević; the right-wing extremists like his ultranationalist policies and the communists like that he was a strong communist leader in an era where communism was losing footing. Radical rightists and communists have penned articles defending Milošević's regime and have cited each other's work.
- Similarly, Josef Stalin and Nicolae Ceaușescu both have strong followings in modern Russia and Romania respectively, due to dissatisfaction with their countries' political messups and drop in living standards after the Cold War ended. It's worth nothing that their defenders not only include authoritarian communists, but also far-right nationalists who admire the former for defeating Nazi Germany, and the latter for his relatively independent foreign policy, and venerate them alongside their former monarchs.
- Though they have yet to actually team up in a war, the Kurds and the Armenians, formerly bitter rivals, actually have somewhat friendly relations now that the Kurds and the Turks are enemies. A representative of the Independent Kurdistan movement even apologized for all Kurdish involvement in the Armenian Genocide. The most surprising part of this is that the atrocities were done mainly by ethnic Kurds, not ethnic Turks. Which makes sense, since they live next to each other. Kurdish volunteers fought alongside Armenian soldiers during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, as Turkey and their ally Azerbaijan are common enemies.
- The 2014 Ukrainian crisis is chock-full of this. Before Yanukovich stepped down, Euromaidan protesters ranged from pro-Western liberals & human rights activists to far-right ultranationalists not averse to Nazi symbolism and forming "national guard" battalions. Opposing them were pro-Russian insurgents consisting of Ukrainian army/police deserters, Communists, Tsarist nationalists, pro-Russian far-rightists, Cossacks, and even Western and (non-radical) Muslim volunteers, among others.
- Speaking of Ukraine, the ongoing war (as of 2020) with Russian Separatists has united usually-hateful rival football clubs in nationalist fervor. They now often join together in the streets to chant "Putin khuylo!" ("Putin is a dickhead!")
- After the major escalation of this war in 2022, global politics and alliances supporting both sides have reached some pretty confusing and complicated depths.
- Supporters of Ukraine include most of the American left, ranging from liberals like Biden to social democrats like AOC and Bernie Sanders to anti-authoritarian anarchists, the traditional branch of anti-communist conservatives who view Russia as still being linked with its Soviet past, significant portions of most Western and Eastern European populaces, and some elements of Ukrainian white nationalists.
- The side supporting Russia however is a crazy hodgepodge of different groups. The most notable part of this side however is that significant elements of far-left communists and far-right fascists have united under the banner of Russia. Communists, more specifically pro-Multipolarity Stalinists and "Patriotic" Socialists/National Bolsheviks, have supported Russia because they either perceive Russia to be a bulwark against American Imperialism, support the line of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on the war, legitimately believe Russia to be working towards restoring the Soviet Union, or support the Russian lie about "de-Nazifying" Ukraine, highlighting the presence of the aforementioned white nationalists in the country. On the flip side, the far-right has supported Russia because they view it as an ally to the global right (which they're not necessarily wrong about, when Putin's relationships with various right-wing politicians are considered) or due to anti-Semitism over Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky being Jewish. In addition to the above, another group supporting Russia are those who dislike the American military, NATO, and Western foreign policy, viewing them as hypocritical, given their own violent actions in the past. Many of these also feel that other groups being persecuted around the world (including Syrians, Palestinians, and Iraqis) were not given as much attention by the global community, and so they should not care about Ukraine either. However, to complicate things even further, there are some pro-government Iranians and Israelis with Russian heritage who both support Russia for the aforementioned reasons.
- Though not explicitly on Russia's side, some pacifists along with hardline Western democratic socialists like Jeremy Corbyn, Mick Wallace, Claire Daly, Alex Tyrell, Yanis Varoufakis, Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, and the far-left wing of the Democratic Socialists of America have opposed Ukraine for defending themselves and prolonging the war, instead of just capitulating, as they view a Ukrainian victory to be unlikely and a folly which will just get people killed unnecessarily and possibly bring about the end of the world if the conflict escalates to NATO nations. They also perceive the Western world's foreign policy towards Ukraine to be extremely hypocritical. They also blame the West for creating the conflict by "provoking" Russia with NATO's expansion into Russia's neighbors. To complicate things, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger supports their views, as do various political theorists of the "Realism" theory of international relations such as John Mearsheimer.
The War on Terror
The War on Terror
- The 2001 uprising in Herat pitted the US and Iran against the Taliban.
- The September 11 attacks brought a few of these out of the woodwork, as governments who aren't exactly known for their fondness of the American government condemned the attacks and the terrorism that caused them. Among these governments? Iran, North Korea, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and Libya under Muammar Gaddafi. The only state actor to publicly see the attacks in a positive light was Saddam Hussein's regime, which was a highly inconvenient stance that Hussein walked back on by October.
- 9/11 also brought back the chummy relationship between the United States and Pakistan, whose relationship with the US had deteriorated because of the latter's decision to develop nuclear weapons without US approval. Pakistan was a major ally of the US during the toppling of the Taliban regime and the subsequent War in Afghanistan. That said, the alliance between the countries has been shaken following allegations that the Pakistani government deliberately turned a blind eye to Osama bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad, leading the US to develop closer ties to Pakistan's rival neighbor India.
- Following the overthrow of the previous Taliban government, Pakistan began backing Taliban insurgents, while India backed the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and later the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In contrast, Pakistan fought against the TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, a separate group which was formed in Pakistan's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, after the Pakistan military moved into the region in 2003. The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban groups have both opposed and supported each other at various times, while Pakistan accused India of supporting the TTP insurgency.
- A year after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, they found themselves on the same side of the Russo-Ukrainian War as their NATO adversaries following Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The restored Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict despite previously seizing control of their own country by violent means, presumably in an attempt to legitimize their position in the global community.
- The Syrian Civil War has seen this happening more than once:
- The Islamist militant group and former unrecognized proto-state officially known as "the Islamic State"note was a major belligerent in the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars from 2013 to 2019. In the huge Męlée ŕ Trois and Gambit Pileup that was the former, just about the only consistent factional alignment was that the Islamic State fought against everybody else, no exceptions. This led to some weird situations, such as the Syrian Arab Army fighting alongside the secessionist Kurdish YPG militias against IS in Qamishli; the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah collaborating to expel IS when thousands of their troops attempted to infiltrate Lebanon through the Syrian border; and, most notably, the American and Russian air forces in Syria bombing IS forces while supporting the same proxy group (the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces) and sharing intelligence to avoid accidentally hitting each other's special forces on the ground— all while, in other parts of Syria, they funded different factions (the Syrian opposition and the Syrian government) who are fighting a brutal war with each other. Best summed up by this chart. And this chart. And this cartoon by Pat Bagley.
- As IS extended to Iraq, this also forced the American-backed Iraqi forces to cooperate with the Kurdish autonomous government and the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella of Shia militias backed by Iran. The IS didn't accept secular authority and was genocidal to anyone who isn't a Sunni Arab, which was apparently enough a reason for these three rivaling forces to unite.
- In the early stages of the war, al-Qaeda-backed Islamists were this to secular factions like the Free Syrian Army. Despite their intense and mutual disdain for one another, both sides shared a common goal in getting rid of Bashar al-Assad. The beleaguered and poorly-armed FSA came to value these Islamist extremists as shock troops, until ideological disagreements inevitably tore apart the fragile alliance. By early 2013 the Islamists had largely won the internal power struggle, and the secular factions were marginalized outside of the Southern Front.
- Several former American and British special forces operators and members of the militia movement volunteered to fight alongside the predominantly socialist Kurdish resistance. Cue many American right-wing patriots cheering these leftist fighters.
- The Turkish invasion of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) caused the Syrian Kurdish faction to open diplomatic channels with the Syrian Arab government (which they had long shunned and only briefly cooperated with during the fight against IS), basically reducing the number of sides in the war from three to two.
- The Kurdish groups themselves have different allegiances as well. The Syrian group PYD is allied with the anti-Turkey militant group PKK and the anti-Iranian militant group PJAK. In contrast, the Iraqi Kurds are split between tribal lines. They include the PUK, which is currently backed by Iran, Iraq, and the PKK; and the KDP which is currently backed by Turkey. All of the Kurdish groups have fought against each other at one point.
- The Syrian Civil War eventually spilled over to the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, proving that realpolitik considerations triumphs over culture and religion:
- On Orthodox Christian Armenia's side are their traditional backers Russia, Shia Muslim Iran (which has issues with Azerbaijan due to the status of ethnic Azeris in Iran), and Kurdish volunteers who see Turkey as a common enemy. Russia meanwhile also maintains good relations with Azerbaijan and negotiated a ceasefire with the deployment of Russian peacekeepers.
- On Shia Muslim Azerbaijan's side are their traditional backers Turkey, Israel (which sees Azerbaijan as a major client for weapons and a good buffer state against Iran), and Turkey-backed Syrian mercenaries with no love for Russia. With that said, Israel, which saw a deterioration in relations with Turkey in the 2010's, blames the latter for supposedly instigating the conflict.
- Averted with the Houthis, the Iran-backed Shia militia who are now the de facto rulers of Yemen. They still hate the UN and Saudi-backed government as much as they hate al-Qaeda, which had a brief resurgence in southern Yemen in the early stages of the Yemeni Civil War, and refused to work with them during the campaign against the militant group. Considering that they rose up in the first place because of said UN-backed government's alleged corruption, this is understandable. As noted by a segment in VICE: "The Enemy of My Enemy (is still my enemy)".
- Along for the ride is the socialist, Russian and UAE-backed Southern Movement or Al-Hirak which wants to restore the former country of South Yemen. Despite simultaneously fighting against al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Houthis, and the internationally recognized Yemeni government, they managed to capture several key cities.
- The Second Libyan Civil War saw a hodgepodge of bizarre alliances, such as perennial adversaries Morocco and Algeria both supporting the Government of National Accord, the United States and United Kingdom supporting a faction that was also supported by Iran, France and Russia both backing the same side, and Gaddafi loyalists fighting alongside people who overthrew the Gaddafi regime.