The Normandy American Cemetery is the burial place of thousands of American soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe during World War II, many of them on D-Day, June 6, 1944. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Wallace)
If Europeanize were not a word, we would have to invent it, because that is what many are doing to America. Remember when candidate Obama was asked if he believed America is exceptional? He answered yes, but only in the sense that Britain, Greece, and other nations are exceptional.
As Gilbert and Sullivan said, "When every one is somebodee, Then no one's anybody!"
If every nation is exceptional, none is.
It is not that Obama and his friends really think America is unexceptional. They may well believe it is exceptional, but that it should not be. So they do everything they can to end its exceptional nature, and to make it resemble other nations. They are Europeanizing America.
Do not get me wrong. I love Europe. That is, I love to visit it:
- I love to see the towers in Ireland, where monks hid from Viking raiders while preserving knowledge for the West. But now, Ireland's church is scandal-ridden.
- I love to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, a reminder of the time when Britain controlled one-fifth of the Earth. But now the British army is a shadow of its former self. In 2013, a British soldier was murdered and almost beheaded on a London street.
- I love to see the unsurpassed beauty of Paris. But now France is undergoing a demographic transformation.
- I love to see beautiful cathedrals, where Christianity inspired great works of art. But now they have few worshippers.
And there are other things in Europe that I do not love, but I feel obligated to see:
- I feel obligated to visit Clifford's Tower in York, England, where in the year 1190, Jews were massacred because of their faith. Europe did not invent racism and religious bigotry, but it surely perfected them. Europe invented the blood libel as far back as 1144, falsely accusing Jews of using the blood of children for Jewish rituals.
- I feel obligated to remember (because it no longer exists) the Vélodrome d'Hiver, the Paris bicycle-racing stadium where in 1942 the French police rounded up thousands of Jews for shipment to Auschwitz. And today in France, Jews are targeted for assault or murder.
- I feel obligated to visit Belleau Wood, where U.S. Marines fought and died to liberate Europe in World War I.
- I feel obligated to visit Omaha Beach, where U.S. soldiers fought and died to liberate Europe in World War II.
- I feel obligated to read (insofar as I can) European newspapers, to remind myself of ingrates who condemn "American militarism."
- I feel obligated to visit the reading room at the British Museum, where many people say Karl Marx sat and fantasized an ideal communist society -- as a result of which about 100 million died.
- I feel obligated to visit the site of the Munich beer hall where Hitler launched his first attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic.
Thanks a lot, Europe, for giving us two world wars, socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and for perfecting racism as exemplified by the Holocaust. You have done so much for the world in the last century. No wonder "progressives" think Americans should be more like you.
Europeans lived for centuries under kings and emperors. They came to believe that power flowed from the top down. So they felt comfortable when their new rulers called themselves Führer, the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the Council of the European Union, or whatever. The idea was similar:
The "elite" decide what is best for the "common people" -- the "masses" -- and then cram it down their throats.
The "elite" dream up notions of the "ideal" state, and leave the "common people" to deal with the inevitable mess that results.
The "elite" are cared for in the best hospitals and clinics, and relegate the "common people" to the tender mercies of "gatekeepers" who may -- or may not -- allow you to see imported doctors from who-knows-where. But they expect the "common people" to be grateful for "universal coverage." Government-run health care is a major step in the demolition process. If bureaucrats can tell people what care they and their loved ones can receive -- and what care they cannot receive -- in what sense are those people free citizens, and not subjects of a domineering government that imposes life-and-death decisions on them?
The "elite" send their children to the best schools and universities, and relegate the children of the "common people" to lousy schools, where they get lousy educations, which prepare them for lousy jobs, which pay lousy salaries, which leave them dependent on the government for a lifetime of "assistance." But they expect the "common people" to be grateful for the "universal education" -- and for the "assistance."
The "elite" view schools and universities as a source of indoctrination, not education. They require students to regurgitate the "correct" doctrine, whether it is Nazi, communist, socialist, or environmentalist. Original thought is punished with lower grades.
The "elite" view our children as wards of the state, for whom we have only limited responsibility. They view home-schooling with alarm, and they want to imprison parents who home-school their children, as is already done in (surprise!) Germany.
The "elite" view the government as the source of help for those in need. So they vote the "correct" way, but like Europeans, they give little to charity, and they actually discourage giving to charity.
The "elite" see nothing wrong with the fact that 52% of American children now live in households receiving means-tested government assistance. In fact, the "elite" would like 100% of children to depend on government assistance ‒ that is, on them, the "elite."
The "elite" care little for foreigners who suffer and die, so like Europeans, they want to shrink the military until it is too weak to intervene to stop tyranny or mass murder. They run up huge debts and push new social programs, leaving less money for defense. Europeans could let their defenses atrophy, because America defended them. But if we weaken ourselves, who will defend us? Belgium? Who will fight global terrorism? Liechtenstein? Yes, war is terrible; is surrender better? Is what China is engineering now -- total spying, grading and controlling all of its citizens -- what the West really wants for its children and grandchildren?
Americans, on the contrary, believe that power flows from the bottom up. We believe in trying something, and if it doesn't work, trying something else. We do not believe in allowing the "elite" to impose their unworkable notions of the "ideal" state. We view our children as gifts, for whom we have ultimate responsibility to bring up to be self-reliant, ethical citizens.
Americans, in fact, do not believe in the "elite" in the first place. So, predictably, the self-anointed "elite" do not like American ideas, and they seem to be doing their best to demolish the American system.
And now, with the unaffordable Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"), we can look forward to increasingly severe doctor shortages. Many young people are willing to spend the best years of their lives training to be independent professionals, but not to be government underlings. And waiting times are growing progressively longer. I wish you good luck and good health -- you will need both.
The American idea of rights is utterly foreign to the "elite," who are much more comfortable with the European idea of privileges granted -- or withdrawn -- at the whim of the government.
The American idea of individuals being responsible and taking responsibility is utterly foreign to the "elite," who seem much more comfortable with the European idea of infantilizing subjects to make them dependent on a parentified government to protect them, care for them, dole out money to them, and in general control their lives. If people cannot even choose their own light bulbs, toilets, or dishwasher detergent, in what sense are they free?
Yes, the "elite" want to Europeanize America. But in view of what has happened in Europe in the last century, and what is happening there now, this seems like a really abysmal idea. And I'll keep that in mind when I vote.
Dr. David C. Stolinsky, a retired physician, is based in the US.