Category Archives: Western Civilization

Is the Left Swallowing What Remains of Traditional America?

The results of this fall’s election have raised the alarm that the profile of the American electorate has slid unalterably to the left. The most cited reasons are: shifting demographics, an imbalance in the technical capabilities of the two parties that advantages the Democrats, and the inevitable effects of a century-long march by the Left through the country’s cultural institutions. To elaborate on the latter, the assertion is that now that the Left virtually controls all the opinion-molding organs of American society – but especially the media and the educational system, the people increasingly succumb to the progressive brainwashing to which they are subjected.

The corroborating evidence for these theories is strong: the groups who instinctively support the Left (blacks, Hispanics, single women) form an increasing proportion of the population; there is no question that the Democratic ground game, fund-raising and techno operations significantly outperformed those of the Republicans; and even a cursory acquaintance with the thoughts of the nation’s youth confirms the leftist brainwashing that permeates our schools – from kindergarten through graduate school.

And yet! The House of Representatives remains under Republican (if not conservative) control, thirty states have Republican governors and if one counts counties, the Republican majority is even more striking. However, much of this strength originates in those counties that are outside the nation’s major metropolitan areas. Therefore, the question that I would like to address here is whether those areas – where devotion to the conservative ideals of traditional America remains strong – are also being subjected to the same progressive forces that have turned America’s cities and (many of their) suburbs into leftist bastions.

I will base my analysis on personal observation. I live and work (even though I am retired) in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. The county in which I reside (Montgomery) is as left leaning as virtually any county in America. Moreover, Maryland politics are as blue as they come. We have two ultra-left Senators, an ultra-left Governor and a State legislature that has gerrymandered the State’s congressional districts so as to convert the delegation from its long-established, roughly evenly split configuration into a nearly uniform Democratic majority. One of the recently gerrymandered districts includes the two mountain counties of Western Maryland, which are rural, traditional in their culture and staunchly conservative in their politics. I own a second home in one of those counties and spend much of my time there. The local joke is that when the fiscal collapse in Annapolis and Washington – toward which the profligate spending in those two capitals is inexorably propelling us – finally occurs, we are going to dynamite the interstate in order to insulate ourselves from the chaos emanating from liberal America. Would that a solution were that simple!

However, in the last decade and a half, during my frequent sojourns in Western Maryland, I have noticed the following ominous developments. These impressions are based on my own observations and from extensive conversations with the locals who reside there more permanently:

  • The county’s school teachers and administrators, largely imported from the nation’s virulently liberal colleges of education, are increasingly left wing and have begun to inculcate the local school children with the same leftist propaganda that envelops students from all over the country.
  • Locals routinely sample the national media (movies, TV, and of course the internet) and the messages transmitted therein are very different from those emitted by increasingly scarce local radio stations.
  • The foundation of religious worship, while still strong, is not as strong as it used to be.
  • There was always some outmigration of youth as they came to adulthood, but it is more prevalent now – and even if the prodigals return, say after college, they infect the area with the more ‘cosmopolitan’ beliefs that they absorbed in their absence.
  • The homogeneity of the county – WASP, of course – while still strong, is again not as strong as it used to be. The arrival of several big box chain stores has brought in some workers who don’t fit the profile so well. This migration is not as extensive as in some rural areas – in the Midwest and Southeast, where a huge influx of ethnic minorities fleeing high unemployment in places like California has radically altered local demographics. Of course, there is no a priori reason why a change in ethnic population composition needs to entail a loss of the ideals and principles that have defined traditional America – devotion to individual liberty, confidence in free markets, belief in American exceptionalism, and reliance on a morality grounded in religion. But it is undeniable that since America changed its immigration laws fifty years ago to shift the bulk of legal immigration from Europe to third world countries, the folks who come here do not have the background in British tradition and Western Civilization that underlies those fundamental principles. They are much more susceptible to the siren call of collectivist state security rather than rugged individualism – natural fodder for the overwhelmingly leftist Democratic Party.
  • Finally, I see some signs of fatigue, demoralization and loss of confidence. There seems to be a sense that the country has moved away from the founding principles that have animated the peoples of Western Maryland. Moreover, they see themselves as somewhat out of touch with ‘mainstream’ America and they worry that the trends indicate a growing divergence.
The last bullet is, for me, the most troubling. If you feel that you are beaten, then you are beaten. Sadly, there is too much of that feeling out there in conservative, traditional America. But it is far from ubiquitous. Both in Western Maryland and across our beloved land, there are many conservatives who have not given up, who believe that America will come to its senses and cast off the quasi-socialist, America-denigrating, statist secularists who are currently running Annapolis and Washington. Is there reason for such optimism? In Western Maryland or anywhere in the US? Will the conservative cause eventually triumph and return America to its traditional moorings? Do I believe that or have I given up? Well, it depends on which side of the bed I get up on in any given day. Whichever side it is, the view is a lot better in the mountains of Western Maryland than it is in the DC suburbs.
This article also appeared in The Intellectual Conservative at:

Nation Building: From Success to Failure

An examination of the differences between past and recent US nation building efforts; why the former succeeded and the latter failed.

The United States has been involved in serious nation building over the last decade in two Middle Eastern nations – Iraq and Afghanistan. These ventures recall two other major efforts of this type dating back to the middle of last century – Germany and Japan. By any measure, the earlier two (Germany and Japan) were rip-snorting successes. On the other hand, with regard to the most recent two (Iraq and Afghanistan) – although the final word is not in yet – it appears highly unlikely that either will prove to be anything other than a disaster. To evaluate why success has been followed by failure, we shall first need a concrete definition of the concept of nation building.

Wikipedia entries must always be treated with caution, but in this case, the definition provided there will serve adequately for the purposes of this piece. To wit: [The] deliberate effort by a foreign power to construct or install the institutions of a national government, according to a model that may be more familiar to the foreign power…[and]…typically characterized by massive investment, military occupation, transitional government, and the use of propaganda to communicate governmental policy. Furthermore, in all cases in which the US has been the foreign power, the process has always been …succinctly described by its proponents as the use of force [and coercion] in the aftermath of a conflict to underpin an enduring transition to democracy.

The US occupations of (West) Germany and Japan following their defeat in World War II were absolute and unqualified successes. Both nations were converted from brutal, totalitarian dictatorships into peaceful, democratic, free nations whose societies adopted social/political/cultural mores much more reminiscent of the Western, liberal tradition than of an Eastern, authoritarian model. Moreover, those changes have endured over three successive generations.

No one expects that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, which are now winding down, will achieve even a fraction of the success enjoyed by the preceding two. A fragile democracy has indeed been installed in Iraq. But it appears unlikely to survive the fractured ethnic structure of the population, the intrusive enmity of its neighbors, the lack of any historical basis of free institutions, the sponsor’s loss of interest, and a position in the crosshairs of radical Islamic forces seeking to remake that portion of the world. We have also installed a fragile government in Afghanistan, but it is certainly not a democracy. Moreover, each of the five conditions stated above calling into question the survivability of the US sponsored regime in Iraq applies to Afghanistan – with even more emphasis, if possible.

One might argue that the US engaged in two other great efforts at nation building between the first two and last two named above – namely, Korea and Vietnam. The second of these will immediately and legitimately be labeled as an abject failure. On the other hand, given the situation today in (South) Korea, one could argue that that effort was a success. But strictly speaking, neither of these efforts qualifies as nation building according to the afore-stated definition. In Vietnam, we never got to that phase, because we never achieved the requisite military success to initiate the process of changing the political/cultural structure of the nation. In Korea, at least in the South, we did reach that point, but after the armistice, we made no serious effort to alter the politics or culture of the nation. Nevertheless, I will apply to both Korea and Vietnam the criteria that I develop below as I attempt to identify why our retooling of the Axis nations succeeded, while our remaking of the two Muslim Middle Eastern nations failed.

The criteria I will examine are:

  1. Size of the occupying force.
  2. Duration of the effort.
  3. Extent of US control of developments in the occupied country. This includes whether there is any local resistance, but also the isolation of the target, i.e., the US’ ability to control the regional environment surrounding the occupied country.
  4. US understanding of the culture and history of the occupied country and its people.
  5. Level of support in the US for the venture.
  6. Stature of the US in the world at the time and its willingness to project power.

The meaning of each of these half-dozen criteria should be evident. Moreover, it should be clear that all have a bearing on the success or failure of a nation building effort. While other criteria could be envisioned, I believe these six represent the crucial factors that will determine success or failure in a nation building enterprise.

Let’s consider the cases in chronological order:

  • Germany. Five of six of the factors were in our favor. The occupying force was large; it stayed for a long while (remnants are still there); we had an excellent understanding of Germany and its people (at the time, Germans comprised one of the largest ethnic groups in the US); the American people were totally behind the recreation of Germany as a democratic state; and the US was the preeminent power in the world with no shame or hesitation about projecting that power. The only failing criterion was #3: Germany was half-surrounded by Soviet clients and mischief across its borders was theoretically possible. But Germany was thoroughly defeated, America had ample forces on the ground and the Soviets were so preoccupied consolidating their own gains in Eastern Europe as to forestall any meaningful attempt at subversive destabilization of W. Germany (at the time).
  • Japan. Again, we enjoyed five of six. The missing ingredient here was #4: a deep understanding of the Japanese people and culture. But we had total control of the country, which contained a people willing to try something different, and we deployed some extraordinary personnel (from MacArthur down) who did a fantastic job. In some ways, our success in Japanese nation building was more amazing than in the German effort. The Japanese nation, indeed the world is a far better place for our nation building project there. It was a phenomenal American achievement.
  • Korea. Although we were in a position to engage in nation building in South Korea in 1953, we did not do so. Actually, of the six criteria, only #4 and #5 were not satisfied. We had sufficient troops, and as time has shown, the capability of keeping them in place for a very long time. We were in complete control of the southern portion of the peninsula and we were still the most powerful nation on Earth. Of course we had little understanding of Korean culture and the folks at home were weary of the venture. Whether this would have been sufficient to succeed cannot be known since we didn’t really try.
  • Vietnam. Like Korea, our effort here does not count because we never got to the nation building phase. As for the criteria: only #1 and #2 applied. We committed a half-million troops for nearly a decade. But we failed at the remaining four criteria. We never really established control of South Vietnam or its neighbors; we understood the Vietnamese even less well than we understood the Koreans or Japanese; the domestic opposition to our Vietnam adventure was fierce; and from the mid 60s to the end of the 70s, US global stature was declining as the Soviets were on the march.
  • Iraq. Again only #1 and #2 were satisfied. That we failed at 3-5 is self-evident. And certainly with the arrival of the Obama administration, #6 eluded us too. In fact, one could claim, as many did, that we did not have enough boots on the ground. As for #2, eight years should be long enough. It didn’t take much longer than that in Germany and Japan. But now we can’t get out of Iraq quickly enough.
  • Afghanistan. Once again, virtually everything said about Iraq is true here in spades. The only caveat is domestic opposition to this venture is somewhat tempered by 9-11 and our elimination of Osama bin Laden.

So what conclusions can we draw? All the criteria are important to the success of a nation building mission; in principle, one would like them all to be satisfied. But is it possible that the lack of any one or specific group of them must prove fatal? In Germany we lacked #3 and in Japan #4, yet we succeeded. On the other hand, I believe that the other four are indispensable. However, I also believe that, regarding #1 and #2, this is so basic as to be obvious and uninteresting. They are a set of minimum necessary criteria. What is more surprising is the absolute necessity of #5 and #6. These are not as self-evidently necessary as are #1 and #2. But as history has shown, without them, there is no chance of success. Without the support of the homeland, there cannot be a sustained will to carry through with the incredibly difficult task of fundamentally altering the course of a nation. And without the requisite power and willingness to use it, even with the political will to nation build, there will not be the capability.

With these lessons in mind, we might ponder any future nation building enterprise under consideration. There are those who advocate such an exercise in Syria or Iran. But it should be completely clear that none of conditions 3-6 will be fulfilled for either of those nations. Our examination has revealed that this might not prove fatal in case of #3 or #4, but the missing pieces in #5 and #6 would surely spell doom. Of course, we have a compelling interest in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We will just have to do so without attempting to alter the character of that tortured nation.
This article also appeared in The Intellectual Conservative at:
and also in The Land of the Free at:

Thoughts on Immigration – Illegal and Otherwise

My four grandparents immigrated to the United States from Poland at different times, but all approximately a century ago. They and most of their siblings – a few stayed behind and were eventually consumed in the Holocaust – were part of a massive 40-year wave of immigration from Eastern Europe to our shores. Over the past century, my immigrant ancestors spawned four generations of American Jews who now reside all over our great country. By absolutely any measure, the immigration tale of my family is an American success story. My cousins and second cousins and their progeny are doctors, lawyers, businessmen, scientists, artists, educators, students, soldiers, athletes, journalists and IT specialists. (However, I have no knowledge of any politicians.) Of course, no family history is perfect – there are a few miscreants and at least one jailbird. But there can be no doubt that the United States of America made an excellent investment when it opened its doors to my ancestors. The deal was outstanding for us as well – after nearly two millennia of persecution and pain, these Jews found a land where they could be free, prosperous, worship without fear, and rise to any heights that their abilities afforded them.

I have friends and colleagues of Italian, Irish, Greek and Chinese ancestry whose family history traces a similar trajectory. Aside from a tiny percentage of the population that is descendants of indigenous people, everyone else in America is an immigrant or the descendant of one. And yet the vast majority of us see ourselves as thoroughly American – whether our ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, in steerage on a turn-of-the-century boat from a Baltic port, or via an unseaworthy vessel off the coast of Vietnam. How can that be?

The answer is simple. Unlike in France or Sweden or Cambodia, the citizens of our nation do not derive their national identity from a specific piece of land or a religion or an ethnic heritage, a race or even a language – although it is possible to argue about the last one. To be an American is instead to subscribe to an idea, which comprises a philosophy of government, a means of organizing society and an economic system. The United States of America did not come into existence slowly over eons through the gradual, natural congealing of a people via one or more of the above categories. No, it was created essentially ex nihilo at the end of the eighteenth century by means of two founding documents – the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution – as well as through the writings and speeches of the men, and their associates, who penned those documents. To be an American is to accept, practice and promote the ideas in those documents. It is to acknowledge the uniqueness of this nation in world history as one in which: individual liberty is the highest ideal; those who govern do so only with the consent of the governed; and our rights to – as Mr. Jefferson so eloquently put it – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are bestowed upon us by our Creator, not by any government. Those who come to our shores with these beliefs are welcome to join us in the magnificent journey upon which our Founders propelled us. It is our great fortune that most of those who have immigrated to this land came with those ideals or adopted them soon after their arrival.

That being said, our nation’s formal immigration policies have varied over the last two centuries. Immediately after Independence, we were not particularly encouraging of it – feeling as we did that most of the European population did not share our uniquely, freedom-worshipping ideals. But as the nineteenth century unfolded – needing more people to conquer a vast continent and to participate in a great Industrial Revolution – we encouraged it more and more. Then, as those two great adventures came to a close in the early twentieth century, we returned to more restrictive policies. We threw open the gates again after WWII and they have remained so ever since.

Our specific immigration schemes have also varied. Which countries we favored; what criteria we sought (relatives, specific work skills, educational level, age) – these too have not remained constant. Nevertheless, I don’t think that any of those critically affected the end result. Most of the people arriving at our borders were “yearning to breathe free.” It would not be unreasonable to expect that a hundred years hence the descendants of today’s immigrants will recite the same story as I did in the opening paragraph. And yet there is a great unease in the country about immigration today. Too much of it is illegal. But I suspect that that is not the main cause of the unease. It is because we fear that too many of today’s immigrants do not share our ideals, as did our ancestor immigrants. We worry that too many new immigrants are not here because they believe in the principles of 1776 and 1787, but because they heard from a relative living here that there’s some free booty lying around and they’d like to get some. Moreover, unlike in previous generations, we seem to be making no effort to inculcate the Founders’ ideals into our new immigrants.

Indeed, the latter is the key point. It is not that the new immigrant is from Latin America or Asia instead of Europe; it is not that he speaks Spanish instead of German or French; it is not that his work ethic is weaker than those of previous immigrants – it’s not; and it is not that she is not steeped in American history – my grandmothers couldn’t distinguish John Adams from Samuel Adams. It is that we the people – or at least a sizeable segment of us – have lost faith in our own ideals. You cannot inculcate newcomers into your way of life if you no longer subscribe to its tenets. So we make no effort to ensure that new immigrants possess or are given the ideas that quickly grant them access to an American identity.

The success of the progressive movement in America over the last century has eroded the people’s belief in the fundamental principles that formerly defined our national identity. The government has grown beyond acceptable boundaries and no longer seeks the consent of the governed; individual liberty as our highest ideal has given way to the pursuit of an artificial equality; property is no longer sacrosanct; and our nation is no longer viewed by many of its citizens – especially the “elite” – as unique. Those immigrating to a nation founded on ideas, which no longer believes in those ideas, are rightly confused and unassimilated. They serve only to hasten the nation’s downfall. It is therefore not surprising that some blame the nation’s ills on immigrants – illegal or otherwise.

Immigrants once understood that they had embarked on a tough road, but that there was a pot of gold at the end – if not for them, then for their children. Today’s immigrants are taught to demand the gold immediately without earning it. But immigrants – illegal and legal – are not the main source of America’s ills. Like most of our ailments, the immigration problem will be cured if we return the country to the principles upon which it was founded.
This post also appeared in The American Thinker on 2/19/11 under the title ‘The American Immigration Problem’; see

A Warning to America from a British Lover of Freedom

Imagine that your grandfather was one of the greatest tycoons of his day. Through a combination of ingenuity, courage, competitiveness and devotion to principle, he created a new product, which revolutionized an entire industry. Then he proceeded to lead that industry to world-wide prominence. The wealth, prosperity and employment that he created were the envy of the world. His example was emulated and others were able to approximate his success – although never to the degree that characterized your grandfather’s achievements.

But your grandfather’s magnificent success was also the source of bitterness, resentment and contempt among those who believed that the fruits of his endeavors were unevenly distributed among the people in his industry. These malcontents hatched plans to bring down your grandfather’s empire – either overtly by a frontal assault or, if that failed, then covertly by undermining the people’s faith in the soundness of your grandfather’s ideas and methods.

Eventually, your father inherited a thriving business; but he did not inherit the wisdom, tenacity, fidelity and courage of his father. Slowly but surely, the plotters undercut the beliefs – not so much of the rank and file – but rather of the leadership who ran the business, so that by the time your father passed the company to you, it was a mere shadow of what your grandfather had created.

However, your grandfather had another son who left the company to start one of his own. And that son was blessed with all of your grandfather’s salutary traits – perhaps even more so. He founded a company whose success eclipsed even that of your grandfather’s. But alas, eventually, he and his company began to fall prey to the same forces that afflicted your company. Now, as your uncle hands his business off to his son, it is your task to educate your cousin as to what happened to your company, and what is in store for his. It might be too late to rescue your business, but you suspect that there is still time for your cousin – if he will recognize the forces arrayed against him and change course appropriately.

In this allegorical story, you, gentle reader, are Daniel Hannan, a British journalist and writer who achieved notoriety by excoriating his own Prime Minister on the floor of the European Parliament. Your grandfather is 19th century England and your father is 20th century England. The talented son (your uncle) is 20th century America and your cousin is the America of today. Hannan took up the cause of warning his cousin in his recent book The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America. In it he explains the nature of the virus that felled Great Britain, and more generally, Western Europe. He wistfully points out the manifestations of the same virus that are present now in the United States and explains carefully how the virus, if left unchecked, will kill us exactly as it has killed the host across the Atlantic Ocean.

The last chapter of Hannan’s book is entitled Where British Liberties Thrive. By that Hannan is of course referring to America. It is barely taught in school any longer, but there is no question that the American Republic derives virtually all of its founding ideas from the concepts of liberty developed by British and Scottish lovers of freedom in the eighteenth century (and earlier). The idea of a society structured to maximize individual liberty and the rule of law, ensured by a limited government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed was born and nurtured in the British Isles and transported to America with the colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are the fullest expression of the seminal idea of British liberty. The implementation in Britain of those original concepts made that country the freest, most prosperous and civilized nation in the world for 300 years. But about a century ago, the Brits began to lose faith in their own ideals. In many ways they held on for another 40-50 years, but the blatantly socialist experiment upon which they embarked following World War II heralded the death of British liberty and glory. America picked up the torch 235 years ago and has been the leading exponent of British liberty for at least a century. But now, alas, we are threatened with the same malady that brought low our British cousins. Hannan sees this clearly and takes up his pen in order to alert us to what has happened to his beloved country and what is in store for us if we follow the same path.

Hannan follows in a line of eminent British historians and politicians who have sung the praises of British liberty, applauded America’s achievement in bringing said liberty to an even higher level and who have encouraged us to stay the course. I am thinking of Andrew Roberts, Paul Johnson, Margaret Thatcher and of course Winston Churchill. Hannan’s book, whose title channels that of the Austrian philosopher/economist, Friedrich Hayek, is short, powerfully argued and specific in its predictions. The analysis is sharp, incisive and to my thinking absolutely on target. We ignore him at our peril. To illustrate, here are a few quotes from his Introduction:

American self-belief is like a force of nature, awesome and inexorable. It turned a dream of liberty into a functioning nation, and placed that nation’s flag on the moon. It drew settlers across the seas in the tens of millions, and liberated hundreds of millions more from the evils of fascism and communism. If it has occasionally led the United States into errors, they have tended to be errors of exuberance. On the whole, the world has reason to be thankful for it.

      Every visitor is struck, sooner or later, by the confidence that infuses America. It is written in people’s faces. Even the poorest immigrants rarely have the pinched look that dispossessed people wear on other continents. Instead they seem buoyant, energetic, convinced that, when they finish their night classes, they will be sitting where you sit in your suit.

The air of the new world can work even on the casual visitor. When I write about my own country’s politics, I am as cynical as the next world-weary Brit. But, whenever I go to Washington, I give in to the guileless enthusiasm that foreigners so often dismiss as naïveté. Like James Stewart’s character in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, I goggle reverently at the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” swelling in my mind.

At least I used to. On my most recent visit, as I stood before the statue of your third president, I fancied I heard a clanking noise. Doubtless, it was Jefferson’s shade rattling his chains in protest at what is being done to his country. The ideals for which he had fought, and which he had incorporated into the founding texts of the republic – freedom, self-reliance, limited government, the dispersal of power – are being forgotten. The characteristics that once set America apart are being eliminated. The United States is becoming just another country.

      To put it another way, the self-belief is waning. Americans, or at least their leaders, no longer seem especially proud of their national particularisms. The qualities that make America unique – from federalism to unrestricted capitalism, from jealousy about sovereignty to willingness to maintain a global military presence – now appear to make America’s spokesmen embarrassed.

      One by one, the differences are being ironed out. The United States is Europeanizing its health system its tax take, its day care, its welfare rules, its approach to global warming, its foreign policy, its federal structure, its employment rate.

      A hundred years ago, my country was where yours is now: a superpower, admired and resented – sometimes, in a complex way, by the same people. We understand better than most that popularity is not bought through mimicry, but through confidence. You are respected, not when you copy your detractors, but when you outperform them

      Until very recently, the United States did this very well. While it may have drawn sneers from European intellectuals, denunciation from Latin American demagogues, violence from Middle Eastern radicals, the population of all these parts of the world continued to try to migrate to the United States, and to import aspects of American culture to their own villages.

      Now, though, American self-belief is on the wane. No longer are the political structures designed by the heroes of Philadelphia automatically regarded as guarantors of liberty. America is becoming less American, by which I mean less independent, less prosperous, and less free.

      The character of the United States, more than of any country on earth, is bound up with its institutions. The U.S. Constitution was both a product and a protector of American optimism. When one is disregarded, the other dwindles.

      This book is addressed to the people of the United States on behalf of all those in other lands who, convinced patriots as they may be, nonetheless recognize that America stands for something. Your country actualizes an ideal. If you give up on that ideal, all of us will be left poorer.

The logo on the cover of Hannan’s book depicts the Statue of Liberty encased in chains. This is a metaphor for the future that he predicts for us if we are foolhardy enough to continue down the road to Euro-statism. Hannan makes a persuasive case that the Euro model of a social welfare state grounded in egalitarian utopianism, characterized by the appeasement of aggressors, massive central government, multiculturalism and anti-religious, anti-family fervor is leading Europe to ruin; and that if we continue to emulate them, our destination will be the same. This is a cousin whose advice America would be wise to take very seriously.
This post also appeared in The Land of the Free at

Obama Wants the US to Join Europe’s Suicide Pact

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.’

As with Europe, the evil in America outweighs the good. Our defeat of Nazism and Communism, our prosperity, our individual freedoms, our scientific advances, our accomplishments in space exploration, our humanitarian efforts in response to natural disasters in the world – all of these are easily outweighed by our past and current sins. We deserve the same fate as the Europeans do. And if Obama can arrange it, we will suffer it. I believe that in his heart, Obama sees America – like Europe – as rotten from its inception and so it deserves to perish in its current form. Converting the United States from a Constitutional republic into a Euro-style social welfare state accomplishes two of our traitorous President’s purposes: first, it changes the fundamental nature of the nation into something much more to his tastes; and second, it is a huge step toward atonement for the sins America committed in its original incarnation.
This post also appeared as an article in The Land of the Free.Net at