Letter to My European Friends
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.
No more. In most areas of culture, America is more creative. Europe is boringly predictable, and there is very little that compares to the energy of America, nothing approaching the “can-do” spirit of the American people, nothing comparable to American entrepreneurial creativity. The clearest evidence of the decadence of the European spirit is the dramatic drop in birth rates. We’ve got lots of children. You’ve seemingly given up on that most important kind of creativity.
The Europe I loved, and still love, is increasingly a theme park. It’s fun to visit, but it’s no longer a source of creative inspiration. Europeans seem to me to have abdicated their liberties to their governments, provided that the governments provide them with an easy life, replete with free medical care, plenty of vacations, and no international obligations. Surely you know that very few of your tax euros go towards your defense. We have been paying that bill for decades, and our soldiers and military power have been protecting you.
So don’t be surprised—but you should be very concerned—that we are increasingly looking across the Pacific. It’s no accident that the most brilliant and talented Americans are increasingly Asians, not Europeans.
We don’t want to follow your example. And your landslide support of Obama—who has done terrible damage to America—confirms my pessimism about your future.
Indeed, just as these poll results were published, I noticed another headline, announcing record levels of European unemployment. The two things go hand in hand. Only the energies of a free people can sustain the creation of wealth, and the sort of state that you have created, both on a national and continental level, stifles those energies. We, too, are having a difficult time, due in part to our own blunders, and in part because the Obama administration doesn’t seem to appreciate how exceptional America is. You turn to your leaders to solve those problems. Most of us—or so I hope—would prefer that the government get out of our way and let us find the best remedies by ourselves.
We have a chance to do that, especially if we thumb our noses at your bad advice, and send Obama to early retirement on the island of Oahu.