"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Bewildered Europeans

Victor Davis Hanson has another great new column up at NRO:

Europeans are increasingly bewildered if not a little anxious. They cannot reduce Obama, a man of the Left, to a caricatured Texan who often misunderstands the world, because Obama is an Ivy Leaguer who has never yet understood it.  
They cannot whine about American ubiquity, because Obama agrees with their rhetoric that the U.S. should recede from the world stage. They cannot out-left America, because Obama is to the left of almost all the European leaders. And they cannot offer any more sermons about being patient with the world’s aggressors, because Obama is not so much patient as uninterested. Without an engaged U.S., Bashar Assad, Vladimir Putin, the Chinese Communists, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, the unhinged North Koreans, and radical Islamists could not care less about what the E.U. thinks or about the consequences of its much-hyped soft power.  
In sum, Europe cannot play Athens when there is no longer a Rome to back it up. The result is a sort of sad update of Stalin’s thuggish but instructive rhetorical question to French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval when the latter in 1935 suggested that the Soviets reach out to the Catholic hierarchy in order to thwart Hitler: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?”

1 comment:

  1. 'They cannot out-left America'?
    By American standards, almost all european countries are to the left of the US before you even take into account political leaders current stances. The UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands all have national health systems contributed to by taxation, same-sex marriage is recognized in all major European countries except Germany, there is no real abortion debate in Europe, the minimum wage is set at a liveable standard in all major European countries, there are strict gun-control laws, etc.
    While you could argue that leaders such as Merkel or Cameron are further right than Obama, this could simply be because the 'left' things that Obama strives for are things alread implemented in these countries, so it is more of a case of Obama playing catch-up.
    Also, France has to be one of the major powers in Europe, and Jean-Marc Ayrault is definitely more left than Obama.