The more of George W. Bush you see, the more he sounds like and governs like Bill Clinton – perhaps minus the personal indiscretions.
This is not my observation alone. Way back in February, Washington Post staff writer Dana Milbank focused on this in a front-page news story that should be required reading for all those getting ready to e-mail me angry missives.
In that story, the Post revealed that Bush has embraced many of the ideas in a political movement called “communitarianism,” which, places the importance of society ahead of the unfettered rights of the individual.
I know some of you are disbelieving me already. You think I’m joking. You think I’m pulling your leg. You think I’m exaggerating. Again, please read the original news story on this for yourself before you rush to judgment. You can find the Washington Post story reprinted on the Communitarian Network’s own website.
“This is the ultimate Third Way,” explains Don Eberly, an adviser in the Bush White House, using, as the Post points out, a favorite phrase of Clinton.
According to the Post, and I concur with the reporter’s analysis, “communitarianism” holds that “years of celebrating individual freedom have weakened the bonds of community and that the rights of the individual must be balanced against the interests of society as a whole.”
Bush is reported to have consulted with leading communitarian thinker Robert D. Putnam on the crafting of his inaugural speech.
“Some of Bush’s ideas are objectionable to civil liberties advocates and strict constitutionalists on the left and the right,” explained the Post, “but they have broad support in both parties.”
I should think such ideas would be objectionable to people committed to civil liberties and the Constitution. The ideas expressed are the antithesis of American values.
The article also says World magazine Editor Marvin Olasky, the man credited with inventing the term “compassionate conservative,” is himself a communitarian. Olasky flat-out denies it, and I believe him. So, this does call into question some of the reporter’s other assertions.
Maybe you’re unfamiliar with this term, communitarian. It’s not one we hear every day. I would suggest opening up your dictionary and looking it up. Here’s what you will find under “communitarian” if you use Webster’s New World, the preferred choice of U.S. newspaper people: “a member or advocate of a communistic or communalistic community.”
That’s it. No alternative definitions offered. But you choose any dictionary you like. I suspect you’ll find a similar definition.
But we don’t have to look it up in the dictionary to see the striking resemblance between communitarian thought and communist thought. Both center on the idea that the individual needs to be de-emphasized in favor of the “community” or the “state.”
The best I can decipher of this popular new idea of communitarianism is that it is not a new idea at all. To put it in its simplest form, I would describe it as a form of communism for people who believe in God.
Now Bush makes more sense to me. I fully understand why I find his policies repulsive and nonsensical. I see clearly why he is an enemy of freedom.
You see, I like individual rights. I believe in individual rights with all my heart and soul. I believe it is one of the cornerstones of true freedom, as articulated by our founding fathers. I am not ready to sell short the American Dream. I still believe in old-fashioned freedom, in self-government, in the inalienable rights of the individual and the limited powers of the state.
These are concepts at odds with communitarianism.
I reject communism – by whatever euphemism you employ.
You can read more about this philosophy and how it is playing havoc in education in this country in the upcoming October issue of Whistleblower magazine. In that issue, which will be mailed to subscribers in about two weeks, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, former senior policy adviser for the federal Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education, explains how communitarian thought is dictating a national education policy. She is also author of “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” a book available in the WorldNetDaily store.
If this is the Third Way, I think I’ll try to find another way.