Reprinted from Reader Supported News
"In politics, the Third Way is a position akin to centrism that tries to reconcile right-wing and left-wing politics by advocating a varying synthesis of right-wing economic and left-wing social policies. The Third Way was created as a serious re-evaluation of political policies within various centre-left progressive movements in response to international doubt regarding the economic viability of the state; economic interventionist policies that had previously been popularized by Keynesianism and contrasted with the corresponding rise of popularity for economic liberalism and the New Right. The Third Way is promoted by some social democratic and social liberal movements." -- Wikipedia
Is this the last gasp of a dying political philosophy? Will the "Third Way" ushered in by Bill Clinton end with Hillary Clinton? I do not see a Third Way candidate emerging as the leader of the Democratic Party again. I believe the centrist movement will die with the end of the Clinton machine. Let's look back at the history of the Democratic Leadership Conference, the architects of the "Third Way" in America.
It was 1985, and Walter Mondale had just lost to Ronald Reagan. Many Democrats were pointing to Jimmy Carter as the only Democratic candidate who had won the White House since LBJ. They were looking for a way to nominate a moderate Southerner instead of Northern liberal. We will focus on the US, but the "Third Way" movement had already swept through Europe, with politicians like Tony Blair in the UK and Gerhardt Schroeder in Germany. The idea was that they could be socially liberal while being fiscally conservative.
The first attempt for the DLC was the 1988 Presidential election. It was the first "Super Tuesday." A bunch of Southern states -- Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia -- came together and held their primaries on the same day, with the goal of nominating a Southern moderate. Jessie Jackson spoiled their plan and had the best day. The results did nothing to boost the prospects of their rising star, Tennessee senator Al Gore.