Saturday, October 29, 2005

European Anti-Americanism Explained

The sea trials for USS Ohio have not occurred yet, so I have time for another post or two. I ran across this in the comments section at Little Green Footballs and thought I'd share it with you. Thanks go to Yank in the EU.

Paul Johnson nails it at Anti-Americanism Is Racist Envy
Anti-Americanism is the prevailing disease of intellectuals today. Like other diseases, it doesn't have to be logical or rational. But, like other diseases, it has a syndrome--a concurrent set of underlying symptoms that are also causes.

• First, an unadmitted contempt for democracy. The U.S. is the world's most successful democracy. The right of voters to elect more than 80,000 public officials, the length and thoroughness of electoral campaigns, the pervasiveness of the media and the almost daily reports by opinion polls ensure that government and electorate do not diverge for long and that Washington generally reflects the majority opinion in its actions.

It is this feature that intellectuals--especially in Europe--find embittering. They know they must genuflect to democracy as a system. They cannot openly admit that an entire people--especially one comprising nearly 300 million, who enjoy all the freedoms--can be mistaken. But in their hearts these intellectuals do not accept the principle of one person, one vote. They scornfully, if privately, reject the notion that a farmer in Kansas, a miner in Pennsylvania or an auto assembler in Michigan can carry as much social and moral weight as they do. In fact, they have a special derogatory word for anyone who acts on this assumption: "populist." A populist is someone who accepts the people's verdict, even--and especially--when it runs counter to the intellectual consensus (as with capital punishment, for example). In the jargon of intellectual persiflage, populism is almost as bad as fascism--indeed, it's a step toward it. Hence, the argument goes, the U.S. is not so much an "educated democracy" as it is a media-swayed and interest-group-controlled populist regime.

The truth is, on the European Continent there is little experience of working democracy. Italy and Germany have had democracy only since the late 1940s; Spain, since the 1960s. France is not a democracy; it is a republic run by bureaucratic and party elites, whose errors are dealt with by strikes, street riots and blockades instead of by votes. Elements of the French system are being imposed throughout the EU, even in countries such as Denmark and Sweden that have long practiced democracy with success. In a French-style pseudodemocracy, intellectuals have considerable influence, at both government and street levels. In a true democracy, intellectuals are no more powerful than their arguments.
This is only one of three arguments that Mr. Johnson presents and really explains why the U. S. is the greatest country in the world. Go read the rest of the article for more.

I thank God that I was blessed to be born an American.

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