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Atlantica: A Threat to American Freedom

In Roland Emmerich's latest disaster movie 2012 the alignment of our solar system's planetary bodies during the winter solstice in three years will cause the Earth to topple from its axis. This leads to the end of the world.

And three years later it is likely to get even worse, because "there is a movement in the U.S. Congress to create a transatlantic free trade area by 2015." That's the impression I get from Rick Biondi's warning in The Examiner. Apparently the creation of such a free trade area will lead to a horrible "Europeanization of America:"

Europeans have always favored the rule of law and collective order over liberty. Worshippers of foreign philosophies in Congress are embarrassed by this rift, and are working hard with President Obama to reverse it through ideological capitulation.

To effectively unite Atlantica, many policymakers believe we need to meet our European friends in the middle. In essence, we must become more progressive, so our political and economic agendas can harmoniously merge on a transatlantic level. The Europeanization of America is a deliberate and calculated agenda. Once Americans are conditioned to accept and live under more socialistic ideals, a true Atlantic community can effectively be negotiated.

I find his choice of words hilarious ("Atlantica," ideological capitulation," "calculated agenda," and "conditioned to accept") and his concerns truly fascinating as they reveal such different values.

Setting the Record Straight: Carl Benz from Germany Invented the Car

First Al Gore invented the internet. Then President Barack Obama invented hope and change. And now he proudly claimed in his address to the joint session of Congress:

I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it. None of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy.  But this is America. We don't do what's easy. 

Apparently Americans invented everything, including history. And it's only other nations that walk away, give up, quit and cry like babies when they hit an obstacle. Only other nations do things the easy way, like signing up for three or four credit cards or borrowing money from China and from future tax payers. Continue reading "Setting the Record Straight: Carl Benz from Germany Invented the Car"

"The Europeanization of America"

President Obama's stimulus plan is turning America into Western Europe, warns Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). He says it as if it were obvious to everyone that a "Europeanization of America" is a bad thing and does not require an elaboration:

David Vickrey of Dialog International criticizes that "US Conservatives Demonize Europe (Still!)" and asks:

Does that mean that the half million Americans losing their jobs each month can count on having health care, public transportation, quality education and a robust safety net? This is supposed to frighten us?

Cheese Wars and Strong Coffee

Americans will soon pay more for a precious piece of French Roquefort. The American government has as a last, petty gesture in its trade policy decided to raise tariffs on the product from 100 to 300 percent. This is part of a more general round of retaliatory tariffs in response to the ban the European Union maintains on beef produced with growth hormones. But it is clear that Roquefort has been targeted for political sensitivity, as the Independent writes:
There was a violent reaction in France when import duties were first raised on roquefort cheese 10 years ago. The small farmers' leader José Bové – then a roquefort producer – began his rise to international celebrity by attacking a McDonald's restaurant at Millau, near Roquefort, with mallets and a bulldozer in August 1999.
The main effect this will have is making Roquefort more exclusive. And, perhaps, something of a political statement among Michael Pollan fans and the like. I do hope the French embassy will react appropriately at societal events. If the new administration does not dial this back... Continue reading "Cheese Wars and Strong Coffee"

Social Welfare in Europe and North America

This is a guest post from Andrew Zvirzdin.  Originally from upstate New York, Andrew is currently pursuing a Master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy. He previously studied at Université Libre Bruxelles, University of Rome Tor Vergata, and Brigham Young University. He has worked on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament and as an Assistant Editor for Scandinavian Studies. Andrew specializes in political economy, international finance, and EU–US relations.

Andrew ZvirzdinFreedom Fries are out of style, but Europe is still taking a beating this campaign season. Republicans are gleefully using Barack Obama's recent visit to Europe as evidence that he wishes to import European-style welfare states back to the United States “to grab even more of our liberty and destroy our hard-earned livelihood,” as Mike Huckabee recently put it.

Just how evil are European welfare states compared to the United States?

OECD data indicates that the differences may not be as large as we may think. Consider two key indicators:
Continue reading "Social Welfare in Europe and North America"

The Best Way to Energize the Republican Base

If Americans will not elect Obama, then the "the world's verdict will be harsh," opines Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian: "An America that disdains Obama for his global support risks turning current anti-Bush feeling into something far worse.

EURSOC argues that this statement could be used by the McCain campaign and promises to offer "offer a prize to any reader who can think of a better way to energise the Republican base."

Well, the website Europeans for Obama might motivate some conservatives to go to the polls in November.

Huckabee: Obama's "European Ideas" Threaten America's Freedom

Mike Huckabee, who finished second in the Republican presidential primaries, said at the Republican National Convention:

John McCain offers specific ideas to respond to a need for change. But let me say there are some things we don't want to change: freedom, security, and the opportunity to prosper. Barack Obama's excellent adventure to Europe... (LAUGHTER) ... took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don't even vote or pay taxes here. But let me hasten to say that it's not what he took there that concerns me. It's what he brought back: European ideas that give the government the chance to grab even more of our liberty and destroy our hard-earned livelihood.

He's right. Americans should never travel to Europe. The danger of brainwashing is too severe. Europeans are so sinister: They attract American teenager with their small freedoms. And once these Americans return to the US, they reduce freedom and liberty in the heartland. They will join Obama's communist party and take away your guns, domesticate you by providing free health care and make you addicted to Dutch weed, Belgian chocolate, German sauerkraut, Italian cappuccino, and French surrender-monkey cheese so that Europe gets richer and America poorer.

Two years ago, I wrote the post "Using the United States to Scare Germans." Perhaps I should write one about "Using Europe to Scare Americans."

Related posts in the Atlantic Review:

Huckabee: United States Does Integration Better than Europe

The Euro-American Religious Divide

Europe-bashing has Diminishing Returns

Europhobic Wash Times Editorial about the "EUSSR"

Europe-bashing has Diminishing Returns

In reporting on the U.S. presidential campaign, it is taken for granted that showing excessive friendliness towards Europe would be damaging for the candidates. They would seem too concerned with the opinion of the world, and not enough with America's security. That downside to touring Europe has also been highlighted by David Francis in his Atlantic Review post 'By Giving a Speech in Berlin, Obama is playing with Fire'.

A spokesman for McCain has tried to capitalise on an expected anti-European sentiment by alleging that Obama was more interested in meeting 'throngs of fawning Germans' than in visiting American troops. If this is a broader campaign strategy, it may well backfire.

On the left-leaning democracyarsenal blog, Michael Cohen ties together the data we have on America's perceptions of European countries, and their perception on the perception of America abroad. This leads him to conclude:
The notion that Americans want their presidents to maintain an arm's distance relationship with our Allies is a canard. There simply is no evidence to support this notion. But due to constant repetition by neo-conservative politicians and various enablers of this Administration it has become conventional wisdom. It's about time we put this silly idea to rest.
Don't let the colour on that distract you from the data. The polling shows that since recently, a majority of Americans perceive the image of America abroad as a major problem, and, a fortiori, the vast majority now have a favourable view of Germany, the UK, and France.