I was delighted to hear Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declare loud and clear that the US is building a “New Liberal World Order“. This is an important diplomatic step that America should take in order to reinforce the post-WW2 peace and in order to counter authoritarian interests. However, as previously blogged here, our domestic American culture is increasingly polarized by conspiratorial elements who are traceable to the influence operations of Russia and other authoritarian cultures. As a result, post-Soviet US politics has become increasingly divided along extremist lines, and American bipartisanship and ‘liberalism’ (in a “John Locke” sense) has all but disappeared.
Until we address our political mess at home and forthrightly take on some tough questions about how to curtail such influence without damaging constitutional protections for free speech, I don’t see how this theoretically noble and necessary effort to re-entrench liberal power abroad can be credible or successful. Politically and mathematically, it seems to me that one of the best ways to ‘hack back’ against Russian political influence and force rational bipartisanship (without resorting to some kind of centrist authoritarianism in a three party system) would be to abandon the two party system in favor of a four party system which leads to the forced ‘gerrymandering of centrism’. (Maybe this is why the UK has gone this route.)