Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Clinton has always represented that aspect of American politics that is internationalist, rather than nationalist, in scope. He is in favour of free trade, U. S. military intervention where it can help promote the 'American way', and the general promotion of peace and prosperity through breaking down the prejudices inherent in national borders. He seems to see himself as a man of the world, too great to be held down by old-fashioned notions of nationality (or morality, for that matter). So when he encounters a case like that of Marc Rich, another great man trying to do great things on the international stage, but caught up by petty trade and tax laws, a man like Clinton can't help but feel sympathy. He is shocked that most Americans don't see the pardon as he does, and his surprise explains a lot.