'It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.' - Robert Anton Wilson
The slow, inexorable slide to the right that has afflicted the UK, the USA and Europe brings with it a historical baggage that is impossible to deny unless your name is Donald Trump. Trump is a man of whom denial is the formaldehyde by which he preserves his fictions like pickles in a jar before presenting them for public edification. The famed finger raised like a rootin' tootin' six gun at unenviable contestants on "The Apprentice" would be better employed firmly placed south of Mister Trump's waist. There is nothing edifying about said gent or his confusion of political notions which seem to have been begged, borrowed or stolen from a variety of ignoble sources. His, and others like him, Nigel Farage for one, are hell-bent on holding a mirror to the vox populi then presenting the collective and fragmentary disgruntlement into the form of a single manifesto the better to suit their populist motives.
Forgiving this singularity of political choices is in my view unambiguous - you cannot forgive such wilful equivocation. This said, the not so much slide but mutual acceptance by those once thought as being moderate or pragmatic retains all the hallmarks of gross deception. By accepting the common person's personal dislike of corporate empire's, their defining the living standards of those who they provide the standard of living for, the so-called moderates, is nigh on obscene. Those centrists, Bill Clinton one, Tony Blair another, invented a third way by which to raise a fog. This smokescreen was, in reality, a placebo, a placebo that once ingested temporarily placates the voter into thinking Big C capitalism can be made compassionate and caring. It cannot. It is self-centred, selfish and self-serving. It depends on the majority to supply the horsepower whilst the individual extends their empire.
Nor is there anything new in Third Way politics. Bill Clinton is often said to have been the inventor. He most certainly is not. That deception propels moral Democrats into the immoral quagmire of Moderate Republican's. Here in the UK, Labour Socialists into New Labour Conservatives. The true inventors of Third Way politics were G.K.Chesterton and that most old-fashioned of old time Liberals old Hilaire Belloc himself. Distributism, forged in furnaces of the Catholic Church was, and still is, an economic ideology developed in Europe during the latter part of the 19th century before rising to popularity in the early 20th. It was the brainchild of Pope Leo XIII based upon Catholic principles of subsidiarity. It will be argued that Mister Clinton's vision of accepting pro-corporation power has little in common with Belloc or Chesterton's concept. This, of course, is true. It will also be added that Bill Clinton oversaw a golden time in the USA's history. I don't deny this. How could I? I am a progressive and even a small progression is better than no progression. Clinton did good, yet still, Clinton and then Blair rode Liberal Democrat's into the corral of the Moderate Right and once you do that all the good works soon unravel as the right sucks you into their cavernous maw. That fact debases the progression made. History reveals how often it has happened before yet still the concept seems worth repeating.
Nor should it be thought that Third Way politics is a tug of war between two very unequal equals. Donald Trump is often called a Fascist. I see no verification of that in his wallowing ambitions. Fascists oppose not only international socialism but also free market capitalism. Trump is anti the first but pro the second. Fascists have always argued their way represents a third way. Fascism claims to provide a realistic economic alternative that is neither laissez-faire capitalism nor its twin, communism. Like Trump they believe in inequality along with a social hierarchy suggesting they are beneficial but, and here is the massive difference between them and Donald Trump, they support having state control. No Capitalist Libertarian wants state involvement in anything but a few issues.
This singularity, this dreadful shift in the political landscape naturally has its cause and its effect. The cause is nothing new it happened in 1929 and for the same reasons. Lassiez Faire economics driven by an irresistible urge of centrists to move ever closer to the right by supporting big business. The effects are, yet again a repetition of past mistakes, obvious. Here in the UK, we have Jeremy Corbyn whilst stateside Bernie Sanders. However, apart from a mutual desire for societal progression, the two have very little in common. Sanders is not a socialist but a man very much in the mould of Franklin Roosevelt - a social democrat. Corbyn, however, is a much-needed radical even if his refusal to merge Labour with the Green's is a grave error.
The inescapable result of such immoderate indifference brings forth a series of people and parties either inadequate, ineffective or insufficiently suited. Donald Trump is the former, Hilary Clinton the latter with Theresa May occupying, as she seems to do in political life, the middle muddle. Clinton would most definitely have been better placed as President even if she wasn't the better choice for the Democrat Party. All data available at the time showed that the only member from a party swung dangerously to the right was Bernie Sanders. This, of course, is old news now but remains an open sore for those voters and party members seeking to follow up having a black president with a female. Personally, I would favour having a good candidate rather than concern myself with gender or race. Now we have Donald Trump.
There can be no third way in politics for there is only one way in life. The Golden Rule has been applied by philosophies and religions alike but more than that it is a moral code, one that sets in motion compassion for the other. The Golden Rule is applied in all walks of life even by the Atheist and groups like Humanitarianism. Would Donald Trump like his wealth stolen, his wife murdered, his family blown up by a missile? Would anyone like to be raped, mugged, beheaded, bullied, live below the poverty line? No, no one would. Without the Golden Rule, there is no moral compass. It is both principled but practical and should be the first rule of politics. There is no third way only the one way.
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.