Sovereignty or Submission?

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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is John Fonte, a senior fellow and director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute.  His analysis of “lawfare” was listed among the most noteworthy ideas of 2004 in the New York Times Magazine’s “The Year in Ideas: A to Z.” He is the author of the new book, Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others.

FP: John Fonte, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Fonte: Thank you delighted to be here, and hats off to the great work you do.

FP: Thank you.

What inspired you to write this book?

Fonte: I closely observed the march of multiculturalism through our educational institutions. Multiculturalism and the ethnic-racial-gender group consciousness of the so-called “diversity” project are antithetical to core American principles based on individual citizenship and equality of opportunity. Many conservatives and center-right thinkers were claiming that with the fall of communism we had “won the war of ideas.” Francis Fukuyama famously declared that liberal democracy had triumphed and would never again face a serious ideological foe with universal appeal.

Yet right before my eyes, I could see multiculturalism-diversity gaining many adherents among American elites. The multiculturalists repudiated  traditional liberal democratic principles such as individual (rather than group) rights, free speech, equality before the law and equality of opportunity. They favored a new form of “corporatism” based on ethnic-racial-gender group consciousness and rejected Lockian liberalism. The multiculturalists were also contemptuous of America’s role in the world;  American history; and American patriotism. In the mid-1990s I worked with Lynne Cheney at AEI against the multiculturalist “National History Standards” devised by radical historian Gary Nash at UCLA.

At some point I realized that the leading multiculturalists had become “transnationalists.”  The same elites in education, academia, law, media, and government, that formerly had promoted a “multicultural society” now talked about “global society,” global education,” “global citizenship” and “global governance.” By 2009-10 the world’s leading political actors keep repeating the mantra that “global problems require global solutions.” Thus, today the forces of global governance are a major actor in world politics and a serious adversary of our constitutional regime. My book is a moral and intellectual defense of democratic, or what I call “Philadelphian” sovereignty.

FP: Specify for us a few of the incompatibilities that exist between democratic ideals and the agendas of the global governance movement. How are American sovereignty and constitutional freedoms threatened?

Fonte: It is important to emphasize that the main threat to American sovereignty comes, not from the UN or other international institutions, but  from American globalists themselves. The UN and international law per se, can not force us to do anything, but many, among our elites, are promoting American subordination to global authority.

I’ll give you a few examples. Leading American “human rights” groups including Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Arab-American Institute, La Raza, Mexican American Legal and Education Foundation (MALDEF) and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights have called for the United States to accept all UN human rights treaties without any reservations (including First Amendment, Second Amendment and Tenth Amendment, i.e., federalism, restrictions on international law) This would  effectively subordinate the American constitution to UN-made “global rules”  The “global rules,” these American human rights groups demand include: racial and gender preference quotas in all aspects of public and private life; official multilingualism; the ending of any serious border enforcement; the abolition of capital punishment; the payment of U.S. reparations for slavery; and much more.

These are not legitimate global human rights norms, but the policy preferences of elements of the American progressive left. Wade Henderson, the head of the Leadership Council on Civil Rights told the UN Human Rights Commissioner that these American groups had tried but failed to enact their policies through the states and federal government “so in our frustration we now turn to the United Nations.” In other words, having failed to enact their leftist agenda through the normal process of American constitutional democracy they would attempt to impose their policy  preferences though “transnational politics” with the use of UN treaties.

In practice, this means the transnational progressives will file lawsuits declaring the US in violation of international law. They will call on sympathetic judges to implement their left-wing globalist agenda. As former Yale Law Dean and current Obama State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh has stated, American “courts must play a key role in coordinating U.S. domestic constitutional rules with the rules of foreign and international law.”  Ed Whalen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, pointed out, this means subordinating American constitutional law to global law.

FP: What are the key arguments of American globalists? Where are they wrong? What is it they are really trying to perpetuate?

Fonte: There are two types of American globalists. The first are the ideological leftists that I just described, whose argument is simply that the broad leftist agenda represents real substantive rights (equality of result), as opposed to the individual rights of a capitalist democracy.

The second group of American globalists, are often foreign policy specialists, who believe that America is in decline. This group of globalists, argue in Orwellian fashion that the United States should exercise “leadership” and “engagement” by promoting a new global governance system over national sovereignty. They maintain, unrealistically, that if Americans agree to limit their own sovereignty and submit to global rules, the Chinese will be persuaded to do the same, thus “protecting American interests” in the future as China becomes stronger. This reveals the global governance project to be both naïve and dangerously suicidal, placing American security in the hands of an untested and unaccountable global system.

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  • C"H"Martel

    My book, "Satan's Trinity: Hitler, Stalin & Muhammad," will be available within the month and one may pre-order at For the first time in history "HSM" appear together on a book cover. The idea behind the book is to make headway against the ludicrous idea that Muhammad should be conjoined with any religious leader/founder. Once this comparison, driven by actual names, has been made then it must be attacked. Once the attack has been launched then the attackers will be forced to defend their attack. Since the attack is indefensible then the "religion" Muhammad (if he existed) founded will begin to be viewed as the scam it is. This book has been written under the principle of KISS. And nothing is simpler to understand than Hitler and Stalin…..and now, Muhammad. Thank you for your time…….C"H"Martel

  • davarino

    I need to get involved in Tea Party initiatives and help turn this country around. This global governance BS aint happenin, period.

    • sod

      Since those left people are not found of our Constitution, they are entitled under our Constitution to leave and renounce their citizenship to live in a country where they claim having 'religious freedom' and 'human rights'.

      The Constitution is how this great nation (apparently terrible in the eyes of the lefts) was built upon and is her foundation, we should never allow anyone to dig it up and destroy it.

  • StephenD

    Any “Rule of Law” that does not hold as its primary objective, the protection of Individual Liberty and Personal Responsibility, but rather is subject to “the collective” (global) interests first and foremost is, no matter what you name it, Totalitarianism and you have become no more than a subject rather than a citizen.

  • mrbean

    Jim DeMint said: "Over the last 50 years, American attitudes have shifted from cherishing self-sufficiency and personal responsibility to craving cradle-to-grave security "guaranteed" by government. The result is that increasing numbers of Americans are dependent on government for their income, careers, health care, education, and other essentials. Government benefits–once concentrated on "the needy"–now extend into middle- and upper-middle-class households, even as more and more Americans see their income tax liabilities decrease. Today, the majority of Americans can vote themselves more generous government benefits at little or no cost to themselves. As a result, most have little fiscal incentive to restrain the continued growth of Big Government and the entitlements it dangles before them."

  • mrbean

    Western women are the problem. Never marry one if you are smart. In every single case, when women were given the right to vote the cost of government immediately began to rise as women, particularly single women, started voting for the candidates who would create more government spending programs designed to provide women with security. That magic word .. .security. Lott found that young single women overwhelmingly vote liberal. When they marry and start a family they start voting more conservatively. That would be because their sense of security is provided by their family, and they don't want government to interfere in their accumulation of wealth. Then, if that very same woman starts to feel that her marriage is threatened … or if she becomes divorced … she right back there voting for liberals again. Why? Security .. this time from the government instead of her husband. Ann Coulter is right. Deal with it.

    • Ghostwriter

      You're still stuck in 1875,aren't you,mrbean?

      • mrbean

        Hmmm,,, 1875,,,, we were still on the gold standard, no FED reserve, no income tax, no deposit spending, before the homsexual pedolfile Keynes and his failed economic theory infected economics, before the Nazis and Communism, homesexuals hid their deviancy and debauchery, negro fathers raised their families, and American women were wives, mothers, and homemakers instead of bipolar security seeking shrews who think the world owes therm a living.

  • Robert Pinkerton

    The United Nations is an assemblage of governments, i.e.: State personnel and personages at the socio-economic pinnacle in their respective countries. How many of such governments would be in power if their respective countries had such laws as our First Amendment or Second Amendment?

  • MrFermentation

    You guys are nuts!