Most thoughtful observers of the contemporary American polity are astonished that the highly partisan fight over the future of Iraq has almost entirely obscured the larger problem of which the Iraqi theater is but one front: the truly global conflict against Islamofascist ideologues and their enablers that is best described as the War for the Free World.
If the ominous nature of this wider struggle to the death – and the potentially grave implications for our society should we fail to wage it successfully – are being lost on too many Americans, practically none of them is paying attention to yet another, in some ways even more insidious, threat to our country: the assault on our sovereignty by the "transnational progressives."
This term was coined by one of the most thoughtful defenders of American sovereignty – that somewhat intangible, yet indispensable ingredient in a nation of the people, by the people and for the people – Hudson Institute scholar John Fonte. In October 2002, he wrote a seminal essay in Orbis entitled, "Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism: The Future of the Ideological Civil War within the West." In it, he warned of the emergence of "a new challenge to liberal democracy and its traditional home, the liberal democratic nation-state."
Fonte depicts the latter as a form of government Americans take for granted: "self-governing representative systems comprised of individual citizens who enjoy freedom and equality under law and together form a people within a democratic nation-state." In our case, constitutional arrangements provide inherent "individual rights, democratic representation (with some form of majority rule) and national citizenship."
As Fonte trenchantly observed, the challenge is coming "in the form of a new transnational hybrid regime that is post-liberal democratic, and in the context of the American republic, post-Constitutional and post-American." He notes that "this alternative ideology [of] 'transnational progressivism'…constitutes a universal and modern worldview that challenges in theory and practice both the liberal democratic nation-state in general and the American regime in particular."
Three examples of the agenda being pursued at the moment by what John O’Sullivan deprecatingly calls the "Transies" illustrate the progress of their assault on American sovereignty:
O The Bush Administration has launched some two-dozen "working groups" to develop a Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) with Canada and Mexico. Loosely modeled after the Transies' favorite supranational organization – the European Union – and evolving in much the same way (namely, under the rubric of an economic common market agreement, in this case NAFTA), the SPP's architects are busily crafting sweeping new rules to develop a North American Union (NAU).
Such rules are intended to govern tri-national trade, transportation, immigration, social security, education and virtually every other aspect of life in North America. There are new institutions being proposed, too, such as a North American Tribunal which will have the authority to trump rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court. If Congress persists in paying no attention to the emerging SPP/NAU – which seems likely given that most in the Democratic leadership are sympathetic to transnational progressivism, if not rabid Transies themselves – it will soon find itself effectively out of a job.
Think that unimaginable? Consider this fact: By some estimates, as much as 85% of the rules, regulations and laws that currently govern everyday life in the U.K. have never been considered, let alone enacted, by the British Parliament. Instead, they have been handed down as edicts by the unelected, unaccountable Transies who run the European Union from Brussells.
O According to the respected on-line service STRATFOR, a long-standing objective of the transnational progressives, U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), is now just a matter of time. Already, parochial business interests, U.S. Navy lawyers and Condoleezza Rice have embraced the Transies' bid to compel the United States to submit to a treaty Ronald Reagan rightly rejected, one that would make decisions affecting the use of the international sea-beds and the waters above them the exclusive purview of an international organization. Apparently, the decisive argument will be that only transnational bureaucrats will be able to contend with the implications of the melting Arctic ice caps induced by global warming.
O Al Gore's hobby horse is also breathing new life into the ultimate Transie project: the imposition of international taxation ("globotaxes") to finance the various causes and institutions favored by transnational progressives. Under the rubric of taxing carbon emissions (and/or airline travel, energy flows, international commerce, arms sales and currency transactions) untold billions – perhaps even trillions – of dollars can be raised to pay for UN agencies and their activities. Although the Bush Administration has professed opposition to such ideas, it has done nothing to discourage them. Such passivity may permit the final nail to be applied to the coffin of a nation-state founded on the proposition of "no taxation without representation."
At a splendid retreat held over the weekend in Santa Barbara by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, one of the Transies' nemeses, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, shed helpful light on why even Republican politicians seem so unphased by the sacrifice of our sovereignty. He observed that, under our Constitution, it is we the people who are the sovereigns, not our government. Unless we are insistent that the latter not surrender the powers we voluntarily confer on it to the Transies' unrepresentative supranational bureaucracies, however, we will inexorably find ourselves neither sovereign, secure nor free.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Frank Gaffney's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.