“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville
Europeans who fail to understand our conservative grassroots politics fail to recognize the American identity deeply rooted in the quintessential history of separation from Europe, representative governance, free-enterprise capitalism, and faith-based sentiments. To the point:
European View: Last week’s The Economist offered a typical European view of homegrown American conservatism with an unflattering cover and title, “What’s Wrong with America’s Right.” The weekly’s title could only come from a feigned European center point of view—the mirror reflection of the Obama led new American far left.
A caricatured Sarah Palin toting automatic rifle in one hand, holding a dead Democrat icon—donkey—in the other, an Obama voodoo doll sitting in a tea cup filled with BP oil, tea party-haters-of-immigrants, Fox News drowning in tea, and more distortions leaves The Economist looking like a silly tabloid bully.
What’s wrong with elitist Europe’s view of America’s Right is that they have never had a “right” like ours. Europe’s political right has been dominated with hard-fisted regimes costing tens of millions of lives. The view of the “American Right” done through a Nazi, Communist, and Fascist lens is a dangerous generalization. Superimposing their hardwired mental model of a political right upon America is deceitful at best and superficial hypothesis perpetuated by the under-educated and disingenuous at worst.
To The Economist and European elite—America has never produced a Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin. Your countries, along with Asian Marxist ideologues, created a holocaust of over 100 million dead in the 20th Century. Your wars so ravaged Europe of basics and infrastructure that America has had to spend billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives to come to your rescue. Why did we do it? Because we are “from” you and we are something your derisive elitists will never understand; we are the Americans de Tocqueville called “good.”
You’d love to make the honorable Sarah Palin, or average conservatives of the grassroots Tea Party, a look-a-like to your political right, but it will never become reality. Just as The Economist couldn’t resist the juvenile viewpoint minions of the willingly blind Euro-left possess, Tea Party Americans—Republican, Democrat, Independents, Libertarians—can’t detach from their historic perspective of courage, faith, love for country and the 1789 US Constitution which made us who we are.
Americans understand Europe. English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, and subsequently from every nation on earth, our forbearers left their homelands for some reasons not so different than the 20th and 21st Century Europe has produced.
In 1639, Englishman William Pratt didn’t want to remain a stodgy European, bereft of creative freedom and the right to worship as his conscience dictated. He risked his life to come to the New World with a dream—to prosper in every way. Soon a revolution came, unique self-governance, the only democratic Republic then extant, and a miraculous prosperity shared with the entire world; all in just over 200 short years.
“Facts are stubborn things.” John Adams
Proof is in the pudding: You have nothing to compare with America’s record of success, given its birth by traditional conservative values, except attitude coupled with an air of intellectual superiority; otherwise you’d prove it with facts.
American conservatives view themselves in terms of founding values. In fact, American political conservatism is a liberal idea, if “liberal” means “more”: more personal freedom to earn, learn, worship, enjoy free speech, regularly employ or un-employ government leadership.
What frustrates the European intellectual elite and new American left is the genuine love us “small people” of tea party persuasion have for our Constitution, which prohibits big government ideologue overreach.
The same Euro-leftists who deride the “American right” have proven skillful with big-brother government—which history proves bankrupts, represses, kills, or causes its constituency to flee…to America.
Twice in a century Americans bled to save European lives. Then it took an American President from the right, with overwhelming economic and military pressure, to bring down your Communist inspired Iron Curtain. If Europe, with all its vaunted knowledge on how to achieve superior economic and societal governance, could have gotten the job done to evict the Nazi’s, Fascists, and Communists from its back-yard without American help during those 70 years of hot and cold wars, they would have.
Ridicule Americans avoiding European-style social and economic failure—but the hick, gun-toting American conservative “right” will revive a Constitutional approach to bottom-up governance we have been famous for. We will stimulate our economies with free market principles and sane tax policies; build freedom with free speech and faith, all while we imbibe American tea. Your conservative cousins from across the pond will lead the way once again. All you’ll have to do for a semblance of success is take the hint, and follow.
James Michael Pratt is a New York Times bestselling novelist and non-fiction author of nine works, CEO of PowerThink Publishing, public speaker, and Founder of Reagan Revolution 2. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.