There was a great piece today in the Wall Street Journal about the falling down of Europe. Read the article HERE. Make sure to read the whole article, its worth it.
Reading this really made me think about my political science professor (oh yeah I have a test tomorrow, I guess I better get to reading!). She's more liberal than McDonald's is with mayo on a burger, and that's saying something. All we hear about is "Europe is better than us because they have free health care" or "Europe is better because they can accept muslims for who they are." Are they really? Can they really? This is the same prof who told us that all senior citizens were rich because of social security. I'll check with my grandparents, but I don't think they're going to Tahiti anytime soon because their check from Uncle Sam finally came in.
Europe is losing its soul, plain and simple. Victor Hanson talks about it in terms of the enlightenment, and that is sound. I think the freedoms he discusses are what Locke describes (or more familiarly Thomas Jefferson) in saying that we have the God given rights as men to "life, liberty and property." Hanson discusses the lack of freedom that Europe allows itself out of fear of the extremists:
"sketch a simple cartoon in postmodern Denmark of legendary easy tolerance, and
then go into hiding to save yourself from the gruesome fate of a Van Gogh."
If you were however, to publish a cartoon that was offensive to Christians, well hey no problemo right? I agree with Hansen that the cause is that Europe has gotten so cushy in its welfare state society, it doesn't have the cajones to fight back if fighting means the loss of some of that cush. Mark Steyn (he was always a very sharp, funny columnsist) in his new book "America Alone" says that Europe has "neutered itself" by handing over all defense issues to us and spending their money on their own social welfare. The result is a society unwilling to stick up for itself.
Just as the Europeans are stunned that their heaven on earth has left them weak
and afraid, so too millions of Americans on the Left are angry that their own
promised moral utopia is not so welcomed by the supposedly less educated and
bright among them. But still, what drives Westerners, here and in Europe, to
demand that we must be perfect rather than merely good, and to lament that if we
are not perfect we are then abjectly bad--and always to be so unable to define
and then defend their civilization against its most elemental enemies?
If we have it so good, why complain about how bad it is? I've never understood this. I even read on a Starbucks cup once under their "The Way I See It" heading the following "Every civilization is measured by how it treats its poor. If this is the case then we are doing a horrible job." If its so bad, what are you doing paying five bucks for a cup of coffee that could be used to better the poor? Oh wait, you don't really care about them, you hate Wal-mart where they can actually afford things or get a job, you just want to have something to complain about. You want to stick it to the man. Modern day hippies.
We especially ignore among us those who work each day to keep nature and the
darker angels of our own nature at bay. This new obtuseness revolves around a
certain mocking by elites of why we have what we have. Instead of appreciating
that millions get up at 5 a.m., work at rote jobs, and live proverbial lives of
quiet desperation, we tend to laugh at the schlock of Wal-Mart, not admire its
amazing ability to bring the veneer of real material prosperity to the poor.
We can praise the architect for our necessary bridge, but demonize the
franchise that sold fast and safe food to the harried workers who built it. We
hear about a necessary hearing aid, but despise the art of the glossy
advertisement that gives the information to purchase it. And we think the
soldier funny in his desert camouflage and Kevlar, a loser who drew poorly in
the American lottery and so ended up in Iraq--our most privileged never
acknowledging that such men with guns are the only bulwark between us and the
present day forces of the Dark Ages with their Kalashnikovs and suicide belts.
To the hippies I say "power to the people, not you bunch of minority whiners." No soldier wants to go to war. But they are willing to fight for their country, the country that protects the freedom to whine. Let's not go the way of Europe. Let's stand up and let the terrorists know that we will be strong and we will be victorious.
I will now step off of my soap box. Thank you, and God Bless America! Read that article!