EUROPEAN OPINION | 1998-11-14
Once again, during the Clinton crisis, we are being told how Europe is looking down on us. We are told that those Europeans are really sophisticated, and we're not.
There is a particular segment of European opinion leftists love and are always referring to this way. These are the Europeans who see themselves as fashionable and intellectual. They are almost never right about anything.
What is never mentioned is what all that sophisticated European opinion has done to Europe. It hasn't been that long since Europe was still cleaning the blood off its streets from the results of its own wisdom. Twice. European wisdom, in the form of "balance of power," gave us World War I. Then, after that bloodbath and wiping out a generation of its sons, European sophistication handled the peace so well they got World War II. At the end of the second slaughter, European intellectuals had another hero -- Joseph Stalin.
And the only reason all those brilliant European socialist intellectuals aren't standing in Communist bread lines today is because middle Americans weren't stupid enough to trust Stalin.
European "intellectuals," the most sophisticated of the sophisticated Europeans, worshipped Uncle Joe. Almost every single trendy European movie producer or university professor was either an outright Communist or a strong sympathizer. French intellectuals were famous for being Marxists.
As Communism was collapsing of its own silliness, they claimed they had been suddenly turned off on Communism because they read Solzhenitsyn. These geniuses had the Berlin Wall and walls around every Communist state to look at, but they didn't get it. But it is critical to remember that Communism, a theory so beloved of sophisticated European intellectual leaders, did not collapse because it was brutal. This idol of those smart European opinion leaders collapsed because it was SILLY!
These are the intellectual LEADERS of the geniuses we are supposed to listen to!
Those "sophisticated" Europeans are always talking about how "violent" Americans are. Look at THEIR recent history!
What could be funnier than a group of people who just finished slaughtering each other by the tens of millions - twice - whining loudly about "violence" in America! Americans will never match the sheer volume of violence Europe has had. But Europeans are like good dogs: they kill when they are told to.
That makes it all right, you see.
Killing on command even makes killing "sophisticated." Europeans are, indeed, very obedient people. They only commit violence on a horrendous scale when their betters put them in costumes, give them guns, and tell them "Go kill!"
Liberals like European opinion because it is obedient. When their European "intellectuals" told them that the economy would be efficient if the government owned all industry, the Europeans took them seriously. But nobody out in the American hinterland ever took that nonsense seriously.
When European intellectuals told them that the way to handle Communism was to reason with those reasonable people, only the rednecks and chauvinists back in the American heartland said that was nonsense.
If somebody with a college degree says it, Europeans will take anything seriously.
If you want to know what passes for opinion in Europe, just read the Boston Globe. Europeans and Canadians think like New Englanders, no matter which political persuasion they claim to be.
So now that liberal opinion has gotten too silly for Americans to repeat it, they are using Europeans.
Today, anybody who repeated the standard leftist line on American television would be laughed off the air. In the 1960s, all the "with it" people said that the economy would be efficient if the government owned and ran it.
By the 1980s, no commentator with an American accent could survive repeating that nonsense. So they got Christopher Hitchens, with his British accent, to repeat it.
For all our worship of European sophistication, we do not expect them to make sense the way we would expect an adult American to. In their desperate search for a liberal talk radio host, the media finally found an Englishman who works out on the West Coast. If he had an American accent, his listeners would tear him apart. So every time the media have talk radio people on, they include this one pitiful little Englishman.