To my European friends:
I see from various polls that very nearly all of you support President Obama’s reelection. The numbers are remarkable, indeed incredible. More than ninety percent of you would vote Obama (94% of Italians, for example, and the numbers for Great Britain, France, Spain, and Germany are even higher). Other numbers show that nearly half of you think you should somehow be able to vote in our elections, since American policies have such an enormous effect on you.
All of which reinforces my belief—speaking as the grandson of Russian immigrants who arrived in Harlem and western Massachusetts early in the last century–that the American Revolution was a great thing, and that Americans were right to abandon authoritarian Europe for the possibility of creating a free country across the ocean. Anyone who truly values liberty has to see that Obama is a threat. He wants to turn the United States into a version of Europe: big, meddlesome government, constantly higher levels of taxation, and intrusive regulation of almost everything, combined with a deliberate and systematic weakening of military power and a foreign policy that shrinks from decisive action against freedom’s enemies.
That’s you, sadly. So it’s understandable that you’d favor Obama (although the numbers—reminiscent of plebiscites rather than normal elections—are ridiculous). It’s yet another sign of the decadence of Europe.
When I started my studies in Europe back in the mid-sixties, I was enthralled. European literature, music, fashion, philosophy, scholarship, cuisine, movies, and theater were manifestly better than most of what America had to offer a young intellectual. Conversations were more cultured, and in many ways I was more comfortable, more stimulated, more alive in Europe than in the United States.