The elitists who dominate the Democratic Party have embraced the New Europe and its world view. The fawning reception of Barack Obama in Europe illustrated this. They see him as the anti-Bush, their best bet ever to lash “rambunctious” America to the collectivist chariot of Europe’s “Brave New World”. [So writes Bill Moloney in his overview of liberalism's trans-Atlantic convergence and its significance for Election 2008. Here's the piece in full. - Editor]
The Europeanization of the Democratic Party
In the 19th century Americans took very seriously Washington’s warning against “entangling alliances” which might interfere with the country’s unfolding “Manifest Destiny” of dynamic growth and expansion. A corollary to this belief was that the “Great American Democracy” was a unique-perhaps even divinely inspired-form of political organization vastly superior to the Old World’s tired regimes of aristocratic privilege and downtrodden masses.
In the 20th century America entered upon the world stage powerfully and decisively coming to the aid of embattled European democracies and leading them to victory in two World Wars and the Cold War. Launching these extraordinary interventions were three memorable Democratic presidents- Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman.
Though American actions in the two centuries were starkly different- isolationism in the 19th, and intervention in the 20th-one compelling theme was constant: American Exceptionalism- a general notion that foreigners were a source of problems and Americans were a source of solutions. This attitude was often naïve, and jingoistic, but it provided a sturdy foundation for American patriotism through most of our history.
This enduring national consensus, however, collapsed during the “perfect storm” of the 1960s when a toxic brew of social, military and political convulsions tore gaping holes in the fabric of our national life-self-inflicted wounds that remain unhealed to this day.
Out of this turmoil there emerged a powerful body of left wing opinion and activism that turned the old national consensus upside down. Rejecting Henry Clay’s “my country-right or wrong”, the left substituted “my country-always wrong”. More extreme elements declared their country to be the most oppressive society in history- racist at home and imperialist abroad-while discovering sublime virtues in genocidal tyrants from Mao Tse-Tung to Pol Pot.
While this raging ideological virus infected in varying degree a wide range of American institutions-e.g. media, academia- its principal victim was the national Democratic party.
In less than a decade the party that boldly sponsored the Berlin airlift, the Marshall Plan, and the NATO alliance went from the confident activism of the hawkish John Kennedy-“pay any price, bear any burden to assure the success of liberty”- to the “Blame America First” defeatism of George McGovern-who aptly themed his 1972 acceptance speech as “Come Home, America”.
Betraying allies in Viet Nam, ignoring genocide in Cambodia, accepting communist aggression from Angola to Afghanistan, and bowing to humiliation in Iran, America’s defense of liberty abroad was reduced to Carter’s pathetic gesture of boycotting the Moscow Olympics.
The sorry Democratic mismanagement of both economic and foreign policy led to a series of landslide Republican Presidential victories and finally a decade of GOP Congressional dominance. Yet, amazingly none of these severe reality checks halted the Democrats steady leftward drift.
To understand this hostile take-over of the Democratic Party it must be seen in the context of what happened to all “parties of the left” in Europe in the second half of the 20th century. Traumatized by the shocks and dislocations of World Wars and Cold War the entire European political spectrum moved decisively leftward. While the Socialist parties led this progression, the parties of the Center and Right- shaken by their own crises of confidence- succumbed as well. European Capitalism and Nationalism was decisively weakened and the door opened to a continent-wide shift to collectivism and the trans-nationalism represented by the United Nations, and the European Union.
Today the elitists who dominate the Democratic Party have embraced the “New Europe” and its world view. On virtually every issue- Iraq, taxes, abortion, global warming, energy, hostility to religion, suspicion of Israel, regulation, U.N. worship etc. etc.-difference are only of degree not kind.
The fawning reception of Barack Obama in Europe illustrated this perverse harmony. Clearly Obama’s view of the future fits with Europe’s. They see him as the anti-Bush, their best bet ever to lash “rambunctious” America to the collectivist chariot of Europe’s “Brave New World”.
While heir to Western Civilization, America has always stood apart in the degree of its faith, patriotism, individualism, opportunity, and vitality. Most basically the Presidential election will decide whether this American Exceptionalism will endure or not. The Democratic Party has already given its answer. In November, ordinary Americans will give theirs.