Why are some high-level Republicans soft on President Clinton's removal from office? Besides the obvious partisan political advantage to keeping a wounded Clinton around, there is another reason. It's called the Third Way.
The Third Way concept is shared by not only top Republicans and Democrats, but such new-left luminaries as the UK's Tony Blair and Germany's new Chancellor-elect, Gerhard Schroeder. So what's the common thread there? Something many Third Way-ers may not even realize. After you strip away all the rhetoric about a melding of socialist/communist state economies and the right-wing "capitalist" economies in the new millennium, we find a powerful central core -- that nationalism is the cause of war, and war is the major problem of humankind. This is what's at the heart of the Third Way "progressive agenda."
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Think back to your "Star Trek" days. You remember: Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk? The very basis of that show was that nationalism must end before humans can explore the final frontier. In the Vietnam era this sounded good? War is hell. Ask anyone who's been there. More recently, ask Tom Hanks. This belief in the inevitable demise of nationalism is the muddled thinking that binds these leaders. So what's wrong with this Third Way picture? Ask the Founders. They'll tell you.
The Founding Fathers were very concerned about tyrants and tyranny. Their solution was to spread power out to an unprecedented degree in the
American experiment. Lots of people share power in America, making for a very slow, very expensive, but very safe system. This is the foundation of our Constitution and, as we all know, is called the separation of powers concept.
Why share power? Lord Acton's maxim: "Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely." As long as imperfect sinners rule this world, it's just good ole human nature: the more power you have, the more corrupt you tend to become. Therefore, spreading power out to the maximum extent practical is essential for freedom to exist.
But what is the separation of powers concept on the international level? What keeps us free in the global system? It can only be the nation state and -- sad to say but true -- their individual ability to make war. Bob Dylan forgive me. What a dilemma! Talk about being between a rock and a hard place! This is a tough question and it must be understood to effectively combat the soon-to-be-rolled out Third Way gambit (watch George Bush, Jr.).
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And please, let's not fall for the "conspiracy" trap! You don't have to be dark, evil conspirators to buy into the Third Way. You may truly believe that it's just "progressive" to think that mankind's greatest problem is warfare, and if we can only root out the primary cause of warfare -- nationalism -- then we can all go on to live in a happy "Star
Trek" world of the future.
Yes, the Third Way might bring peace -- for a time. But at what price? Clinton forever? Is this why President Clinton so arrogantly abuses the American Constitution? For him, the Third Way is now. Is this what has been behind the unprecedented attacks on critics of the Clinton Administration? How long can we call ourselves free once we lose the ability to safely criticize our government?
So where do you draw the line? Does that mean no international cooperation, any time? Not at all! Some things must be international in scope just as some things (a very few things) are best done by our federal government. But take care liberty lovers! Power should never flow down from the top. That's the very definition of tyranny. Power must flow up from the bottom. The American concept is that power is given by God to the people and they loan it to governments. On the federal level, power resides in the states and is loaned to the federal government (that's the theory, anyway). And so it must be on the world stage. International power must remain in nation states and only given to an international authority in a limited, revocable, retrievable way. The day the Third Way-ers can convince us that that power belongs to the
UN, IMF and World Court is the day of our doom.
If the Founders were scared of consolidation of power in a backward nation clinging to the eastern shore of a largely unknown continent two centuries ago, we should really be worried about it today. At its core, the Third Way is just trying to find some new way to get nations under one big tent -- a tent that can only lead to a revolutionary new era in geopolitics -- iron-clad world dictatorship.
Bill Still is a documentary video producer.