The Third Way is A Rightwing Way

"Only de Gaulle could free Algeria; only Nixon could open up China." Behind these slogans rests an notable principle: self-interest often causes political parties to radically depart from, even to abandon, their traditional ideologies.

CHICAGO: "Only de Gaulle could free Algeria; only Nixon could open up China." Behind these slogans rests an notable principle: self-interest often causes political parties to radically depart from, even to abandon, their traditional ideologies. This insight is particularly useful in Europe, and increasingly around the globe, when examining the actions of supposedly leftwing and socialist governments.

In the late 1950s France came near to civil war over Algeria. Out of power since 1946, Charles de Gaulle was summoned back to the Elysée to lead France out of this quagmire. Because of his patriotism, de Gaulle seemed the only man able to set Algeria free.

Starting in the late 1960’s rapprochement between Mao’s China and America became possible because China was involved in political and military conflicts with the Soviet Union. America’s Democrats knew this as well as the Republicans, but President Johnson was afraid to approach China because his party was supposedly soft on communism. Only a dedicated anti-Communist like Nixon had sufficient political support from the right to visit China and urge cooperation between the US and China against their common enemy in the Kremlin.

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