Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Thursday, November 07, 2002
As an aside, and per the last two posts, this is not a crisis afflicting the Democrats alone. In countries from Britain to France to Israel to India, there is an identity crisis in parties of the center-left who consider themselves to be the natural rulers of their respective states. The Labor Party in Britain is run by a man who seems to want to fuse an old Disraeli-style "One Nation" conservative with a liberal, nanny-state Progressivism favored by the "New Class" that dominates the European elites. But the back benches are dominated by unreconstructed left-wing loons who make Nancy Pelosi look like a patriot. And yet this party in the midst of an acute identity crisis is also the overwhelmingly dominant party in Britain. The last French Presidential election exposed the lunacy that has taken over the French left, but the French right is equally in crisis as it tries to cope with a pan-European nationalism and an ascendant economic liberalism, the one a consequence of the Gaullist project of European unity that was supposed to lead to a French Continental Empire but instead threatens to undo the sovereignty of the French state itself, the other the consequence of American success and the rise of "globalization" which are deeply threatening to the French psyche. (And I haven't even talked about the massive, looming social crisis caused by the conjuction of terroristic Islam and 6 million underemployed and ghettoized French Muslims, a topic only the far-right in France is willing to discuss openly.) Israel's Labor Party has yet to understand that it is a minority party and has no idea how to respond to the failure of Oslo and the death of Socialism. I suspect the party will not exist in a decade, and that a Social-Democratic Party (based on Meretz) and a Liberal Party (based on Shinui) will replace it, while Likud becomes the dominant party for a generation. In India, meanwhile, Congress has been discredited by corruption and failure, while the relatively liberal policies of the BJP have won it dominant status. But the BJP is a Hindu nationalist party, raising the question of what long-term BJP dominance means for relations between Hindus and Muslims. (Something similar is a question in Israel, where Likud has not figured out how to make the transition from upstart populist party to the party that speaks to the nation as a whole; Sharon is starting to get the hang of how to do it, but he's already old, and he comes from the Left originally anyhow.) So the Democrats are not alone. But that doesn't mean their job is any easier.