Roger L. Simon

Reader's Digest Poll: It's not just the American Dream

Glenn Reynolds and Virginia Postrel pointed me today to the Reader’s Digest’s Global Presidential Poll.  The electoral part of this survey is no surprise.  Obama is as popular abroad as everyone says, right up there with such Americans as Marilyn Monroe, JFK and Woody Allen at their peaks. I have no doubt that, if elected, there will be a renewed honeymoon with Europe.  Even our Northern neighbors, the Canadians, who hate us most, apparently, may soften.

But the more interesting part of this poll is in the fine print.  Some countries where we are most reviled — notably Netherlands and France — are among the nations whose citizens most want to come here, over 50% of them in both instances. Say what? Another instance of the old saw: Burn what you adore and adore what you burn?

Well, maybe.  And of course the American Dream lives on, if not in Hollywood movies. As they opine in the accompanying Reader’s Digest article, the US is still regarded as the place of second chances, where a person can reinvent his or her future and start over.

But I suggest there may be something else operative.  France and the Netherlands are at the center of the demographic change in Europe and the resistance to the incursion of Sharia Law. It’s not a happy situation. Were you there, wouldn’t you consider leaving?