Cliff May

Murray has not explored the national security implications of Europeanization but, coincidently, John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, addresses precisely that topic in a new essay in Commentary magazine. He notes in particular that "foreign-policy eminences here and abroad, including former Secretaries of State of both parties as well as defense officials from the Clinton and first Bush administrations" are now advocating to Obama that the United States emulate "the European Union (EU) as the new model."

Such an approach would require that Washington achieve "transnational consensus" for foreign policies it wishes to implement. It would mean replacing the traditional American concept of sovereignty -- U.S. citizens governing themselves within the framework of the U.S. Constitution -- with something called "responsible sovereignty," a euphemism for ceding sovereignty to the United Nations in the interest of building a "cooperative international order" and, in time, "global governance."

Bolton argues that following this course would make America, by design, weaker while strengthening "international organizations, which have, time and again, proved inefficient and ineffective."

More fundamentally, this would mark a historic break with "the understanding of the U.S. Constitution, which locates the basis of its legitimacy in ‘we the people,' who constitute the sovereign authority of the nation."

Emulating the experiment now underway in Europe, in which nations "share" sovereignty even with non-citizens, Bolton adds, "by definition will diminish the sovereign power of the American people over their government and their own lives, the very purpose for which the Constitution was written. This is something Americans have been reluctant to do."

But that's the direction we now appear to be heading. Bolton contends only "concerted action" can prevent it. The possibility that "irreversible damage will be done to the American project over the next few years is real," Murray warns.

"The drift toward the European model can be slowed by piecemeal victories on specific items of legislation, but only slowed," he adds. "It is going to be stopped only when we are all talking again about why America is exceptional, and why it is so important that America remain exceptional. That requires once again seeing the American project for what it is: a different way for people to live together, unique among the nations of the Earth, and immeasurably precious."

Do a sufficient number of Americans still believe that? Given the failures of America's educational system, do most people even understand the choice that is about to be made? And, even if they do, how many are willing to fight to prevent such a counter-revolution? There may be no questions of greater consequence asked and answered over the years ahead.

Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.