Barack Obama’s background is found in Kenya, Indonesia, Hawaii, Chicago and other parts of the United States. One wonders, therefore, why he is so smitten with Europe as a role model in his aspirations for America. A great deal has been written about how he wishes to complete the conversion of the United States from a Constitutional republic into a European-style social welfare state. All the evidence of his 15-month presidency supports this assessment. Every policy that he advocates, every word that he utters, every argument that he makes underscores his belief that America as constituted by its founders is fundamentally misconceived. The idea of a limited government republic, steeped in religious morals, holding property sacrosanct, considering itself exceptional, pursuing a free market economy, characterized by rugged individualism, and governed according to the rule of law is all repugnant to him. Instead he seeks a different America, one with a massive, all-powerful – yet benign – federal government, multiculturally diverse and unswervingly secular, sharing its wealth equally among its citizens, living peacefully and unexceptionally within a world family of nations, governed by experts who guarantee ‘social justice.’ His heroes are not George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison or Benjamin Franklin, but rather Jean Monnet, John Dewey, Antonio Gramsci and Saul Alinsky.
Yet Obama’s vision of 21st century Europe as a model for the US is belied by his seeming disdain for Europeans. He bows to the Saudi King, the Japanese Emperor and the Chinese chief thug. He curries favor from Chavez, Castro and other non-European goons. But he treats the Queen and Prime Minister of England with contempt, snubs the French and German leaders when it suits him, pulls the rug from under the Poles and Czechs, and cozies up to Medvedev. This apparent contradiction is explained by the second major way in which Obama would like the US to ape Europe. In fact he wants us to be like Europe more than just by copying its current political, economic and cultural systems. He wants us to join it in the suicide pact it has entered.
The pact is explained brilliantly in a new book by Theodore Dalrymple, The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarians. This book follows in the footsteps of Mark Steyn’s America Alone and Walter Laqueur’s The Last Days of Europe. All of these well-written books describe clearly the nature of the suicide pact that the Europeans have entered into: startling low marriage rate; even more startling low birth rates; importation of foreigners – especially Muslims – to provide economic fodder to fuel the massive welfare state that the aging, childless people of Europe have accorded themselves; unwillingness to assimilate these immigrants into European society and culture, thereby creating a demographic time bomb; disarming precipitously; totally abandoning their religious heritage; denigrating their traditional culture and their cultural achievements; and surrendering sovereignty to an authoritarian, pan-European regime in Brussels.
Where Dalrymple differs from Steyn and Laqueur is that he goes into a deeper explanation of the Europeans’ rationale behind their decision to self-destruct. Indeed, why have the Europeans abandoned their historic culture and why are they intent on committing hari-kari? In this regard Dalrymple, who, unlike Steyn and Laqueur, is actually a European, can more readily understand the underlying causes as well as identify the symptoms of European sickness. Dalrymple attributes the desire to self-immolate to two main causes: the carnage that the Europeans inflicted upon themselves in two world wars and the mayhem, destruction and permanent damage they believe they inflicted on Asia and Africa in the pursuit of their colonial empires. It’s not that Steyn, Laqueur and others have not pointed out these scars on the European psyche. But Dalrymple goes deeper. His argument is essentially as follows:
The crimes of the world wars and colonialism were committed by Europeans. They are grievous crimes resulting in massive destruction, wanton death and grinding poverty. Nazism, Communism and imperialism were conceived in European minds, implemented by Europe’s ‘finest’ and – because of the cruelty, stupidity and bigotry of Europeans – these movements brought monstrous tragedy to scores of innocent people. Clearly, any culture responsible for such unparalleled evil does not merit survival. Moreover, the design flaws in European, i.e., Western Civilization that produced these awful outcomes must have been present from the beginning. Nothing that is good in European history and culture – be it soaring cathedrals, Shakespearean literature, Beethoven’s music, Newtonian science, the British legal system or Dutch commerce – none of these achievements can counteract the unspeakable barbarity unleashed by European civilization. The evil far outweighs the good. Therefore, the only way to atone for their sins is for the Europeans to destroy the culture that is responsible for these sins – i.e., to commit cultural and political suicide. And this they are hell bent on doing – with an amazing degree of success, sad to say.
Now we see why Obama likes what Europe is doing, but holds the Europeans in contempt. He too believes that Western Civilization is corrupt, misconceived and a font of evil. He would like to see it destroyed. The Europeans are doing that. But America is resisting. Obama wants us to get with the program. Why?
He has no reverence for the Constitution or for our founding principles. To the progressive mind, these principles are responsible for a country in which:
· black people were enslaved, and even after emancipation were subjected to horrendous discrimination;
· genocide was perpetrated upon the indigenous peoples;
· self-appointed, property-owning WASPs controlled the country, its land, culture and commerce to the exclusion of Catholics, Jews and other minorities;
· lands were stolen from Hispanic people in the southwest, and other lands were stolen from native Hawaiians, native Alaskans, the French, the Spanish (Florida) and even the English (Maine);
· women were suppressed and denied their basic rights;
· poor people, laborers and immigrants were exploited by rich business interests;
· Japanese-American citizens were incarcerated without cause or justification;
· aggressive and unwarranted wars were waged against Mexico, Spain and the Philippines;
· the inequities caused by the capitalist system are gross and inexcusable; and
· an aggressive and belligerent foreign policy is a more accurate description of our posture in the world than is ‘a beacon of freedom.’