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Liberals ♥ Europe

Liberals ♥ Europe

The not-so-ugly American

While thinking about Obama’s comparison of mass murders in the US to the same phenomenon in Europe, it occurred to me that part of what Obama has done during his presidency is to capitalize on an already-existent attitude among many liberals that everything European is better than everything American.

That’s one of the reasons that Obama can get away with erroneously stating that mass murder by gun is practically nonexistent in Europe and linking it to enhanced gun control. Not too many liberals in this country are going to question that because of the pre-existing idea that Europe has gotten its act together in so many respects while we falter far behind, alone among developed (or, as Obama said, “advanced”) countries in bitterly clinging to our troglodyte ways, our guns and our religion.

Other things we cling to, and of which Obama would dearly like to free us, include our American exceptionalism, our nationalism rather than internationalism, our rugged individualism, our income inequality, and our idea that “we built that.” Things he’s already greatly improved about America (i.e. Europeanized, at least to the extent we have allowed him, which is not to the extent he would like) are health insurance and our relations with the Muslim world and with Israel.

Not so many years ago the word “liberal” was the political kiss of death; people were running away from that designation as though from the plague. But now it’s back in vogue, according to Dana Milbank of WaPo (and a number of polls). This is probably thanks in part to the wonders of the Obama years, as well as the maceration of the newer generations in the “progressive” ideology of our school system and MSM. But some of it comes from the notion that Europe is better than we are and we should emulate it in every way—rail system, small apartments and tiny washing machines, long vacations and all. So any change in this country that makes us more like Europe is considered to be a good thing by the growing number of Europhiles among us.

This ignores the profound economic and social troubles that Europe is having. It ignores the fact that Europe has been protected by our weapons and our military, which cost money. It ignores the fact that the demography of Europe is tremendously different from ours, as well as its geography. It ignores the fact that people from all over the world still flock to this country, or wish to.

When I was a schoolchild, our teachers used to make us memorize poetry, almost all of it doggerel and the best of it merely passable verse. But I had an ear for doggerel and verse, and much of what I memorized back then has stuck with me to this day. It is interesting and instructive to remember the sort of patriotic paean that was considered appropriate for an American child back then (even one like me, who went to school in New York City, and a public school at that), such as this poem by the Presbyterian minister Henry Van Dyke:

“AMERICA FOR ME”

‘TIS fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the kings,—
But now I think I’ve had enough of antiquated things.

So it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars!

Oh, London is a man’s town, there’s power in the air;
And Paris is a woman’s town, with flowers in her hair;
And it’s sweet to dream in Venice, and it’s great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home…

Oh, it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that’s westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the bléssed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Antiquated, no doubt. But it meant something to me then, and it meant something to me when I traveled to Europe as a teenager and later, and it means something to me now. I think America still means a great deal to people, as I discovered from a curious video I came across the other day. Unfortunately, I can’t find it right now, despite close to an hour of searching and watching. But it featured short interviews with people all over the world who were asked to describe Americans and what distinguishes them from other people.

Their answers were quite consistent, and perhaps not exactly what you’d expect. I had imagined there would be more negative comments, but the remarks ran about 80% or more positive, and there was a certain unanimity of opinion. Americans were confident, and many people specifically mentioned that they could tell who was an American on the street because of the way they walked—with confident strides, head high, energetic and enthusiastic. You knew they were used to being free and speaking their minds. Many people also mentioned openness and friendliness, as well as kindness. They also sometimes said loud—as in loud voices—but they didn’t say it all that critically.

This video which features interviews in England is somewhat similar, and it’s the closest I could find:

Maybe those liberals who routinely disdain America could look at their own country and compatriots through the eyes of the many Europeans who understand why so many people would gladly change places in order to live in the US.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]

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Comments

It’s very interesting. WE seem to have let Pres. ScamWOW down.

And not just US, but the entire world…maybe some neighboring galaxies, as well.

I guess we just weren’t ready for his magnificent wonderfulness. Damn our eyes.

LukeHandCool | June 20, 2015 at 10:03 pm

The grass is always greener on the other side of the Atlantic …

… because the U.S. military prevents the Russians from pissing all over the grass.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 22, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    oh my! You sound so “you’re a pee-in!” LoL

    Remember 99 percent or so percent of liberals and leftists have never been to Europe!

    They speak dumb!

I don’t think people today really understand the term or concept of “liberal”. Academia in particular doesn’t understand or practice liberalism. Unless they’ve changed the definition, which would not be unusual.

It occurred to me some decades ago that America was sort of designed…very self-consciously…to be “not Europe”.

By that I mean that, while most of the people who made up America in its formative decades were FROM Europe, they were working hard to be something new, and really eschewing a lot of their European cultural roots. Not all, certainly, but a great deal. In some cases, whole groups of them were actively resisting European norms and mores, such as those seeking religious freedom. Others were breaking out of the strictures of poverty and birth, figuring on making for themselves a life they could not hope to have at home.

You can see that notion very clearly in the Constitution. In the prohibition against titles of nobility, rights in law, and even the idea of bankruptcy to ban the practice of debtor’s prison. The people were sovereign, not a person or a class of nobles. We could rule ourselves, thank you very much.

And we did, and we have, generally, according to the best ideals from The Enlightenment. Back in Europe, where a lot of those same ideals were born, there was a much darker, reactionary impulse in France. Partly from that, the ideas of the Collective (socialism, communism, and fascism) would, in time, spring.

And here we are still, divided by that ideological chasm. Americans still cling to The Enlightenment, and Europe still struggles with the reaction to it.

I hope, in that, we are always “not Europe”.

Henry Hawkins | June 20, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Rags and I have pounded the podium about how ‘Tea Party’ is a set of traditional American ideas, not a political organization or party. While TP orgs may come and go, that set of ideas which define ‘Tea Party’ lives on.

It is that set of principles and values which define ‘Tea Party’ and which continue to thrive within TP hearts, that is where America is to be found.

We’ve tried our best to get new people elected, people who will do something about the myriad problems besetting our nation. We’ve had great success, and failures too, but good gains have been made every election since it’s rise: 2010. 2012, 2014. Sadly, a number of successful Tea Party winners soon turned their backs on those who put them in, revealing the lizard heart of a pure politician, which is to say, liar and cheat. But we are undaunted because we are fueled not by money or friends in high places, but by those basic American principles and values. Conservative principles and values. It is very clear this group will not stop and in another election or three, tipping points will be reached, and we can only hope they have the backbone to do what our country needs rather than obey what the polls, consultants, and lobbyists order them to do.

Patience. Long game.

I lived in West Germany for 2 1/2 years. The difference between living in a free and prosperous Western nation, and living in the United States of America is breathtaking.

I am grateful that my great-grandparents had the adventurousness to immigrate.

    Radegunda in reply to Valerie. | June 21, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I lived in Germany for a while and enjoyed many things about it. One thing I found ridiculous was the law decreeing that no shopping could be done from midday on Saturday until Monday morning (or Tuesday, if Monday was a holiday). Predictably, there was a mad scramble of frenetic shopping every Saturday morning.

Eastwood Ravine | June 21, 2015 at 12:09 am

“Not so many years ago the word “liberal” was the political kiss of death; people were running away from that designation as though from the plague. But now it’s back in vogue, according to Dana Milbank of WaPo (and a number of polls). ”

All it takes is a Republican president unafriad to use the bully pulpit as, or nearly as, effective as Reagan, and the liberal label will become radioactive again. Of course, providing a strong contrast against Jimmy Carter as his immediate predecessor helped nuke liberalism for more than a decade.

Liberalism, or whatever we’re going to call the Lefts totalitarian ideology, has probably reached a peak, of which its popularity will decline. To give it the proper shove off the cliff, America needs the right candidate and champion.

    Merlin01 in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | June 21, 2015 at 8:10 am

    What’s great about America is that the states that want to be socialist liberal sanctuaries and illegal immigration sanctuaries are free to do it. We just have to hold them accountable when their population flees and the economy collapses. No federal Grubernment bailouts of states!

    Radegunda in reply to Eastwood Ravine. | June 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    First of all, we need to stop calling leftism “liberalism.” When people say “I’m a social liberal,” ask them if they think the government should compel everyone to support and endorse their own socially “liberal” views — e.g. the view that “two mommies” is just as good as a mommy and a daddy.

There are far too many Americans that don’t like what they see in the mirror. Worse, they think what they dislike is all the rest of us.

    Radegunda in reply to MSO. | June 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Ah yes, the old “We are bad,” when the meaning is “You all are bad, but I’m different.” White leftists do this routinely when they speak of racial guilt.

Gun control deceit by Obama: “these type of things don’t happen in other civilized nations”. This was, again, chiding of America and was meant to bring Americans down another notch and beneath Obama’s “simpleton” icon-ization of pseudo-utopian Europe.

Earth to Obama…
France has strict gun control and non-assimilating multiculturalism…and the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Norway has strict gun and bomb control laws and Anders Breivik, the neo-Nazi, who went on a rampage killing 77- a massacre by any standard in a ‘civilized country’.

England has strict gun control laws. Derrick Bird, killed 12 people and injured 11 others before killing himself in Cumbria, England. “Along with the 1987 Hungerford massacre, the 1989 Monkseaton shootings, and the 1996 Dunblane school massacre, it is one of the worst criminal acts involving firearms in British history.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbria_shootings

Scotland has strong gun control laws. Thomas Hamilton killed sixteen children and one teacher at Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, Scotland on 13 March 1996, before committing suicide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre

Mexico has very strict gun control laws and drug cartels run Mexico.

“Gun legislation in Germany is considered among the strictest gun control in the world.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Germany

“Winnenden school shooting occurred on the morning of 11 March 2009 at a secondary school in Winnenden, Baden-Württemberg, in southwestern Germany, followed by a shootout at a car dealership in nearby Wendlingen.[1][5] The shooting spree resulted in 16 deaths, including the suicide of the perpetrator, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer, who had graduated from the school one year earlier.[1] He also injured nine people during the incident.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnenden_school_shooting

Have you noticed that gun control laws along with “No Handgun” signs on buildings in “civilized countries” (oxymoronic) primarily acts to keep guns out of the hands of good well-trained people who could stop massacres in the moment before many people are killed and before hundreds of police descend on the scene to clean up and before hyperbolic politicians find their stride within inane speeches about more gun control laws?

America was created to get away from Europe!

The only difference in today’s American mass murders by guns and Europe is that in Europe the government is the one who was committing mass killings when America separated itself from Europe!

If we go down the European socialism road our Grubernment will be the one committing mass murder. Don’t believe me, grab a history book!

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | June 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Remember it’s pronounced ‘You’re a pee-in” on us for a reason!

Just ask all those who fled!

Europe has quite a bit of semi-officially-sanctioned leftist violence, acting as functional brownshirts.

How they forget the leftist terror groups in 1970s Europe.

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