Thursday, February 9, 2012

Europe is a Vital Friend

(1978) I lived in a garret apartment at the top of this building.

To say that Europe not free and is socialistic, as some Republicans have, is utter stupidity! It should disqualify them from election!
by Charlie Leck

The Republican Party in America is pretty tough on Europe. They seem to think, if they can appeal to the people of this country with a theme that pleads that we don’t want to be like Europe, they will wrangle in plenty of voters with that anti-European stance. I’m not so sure. Americans are getting smarter about the world.

In Harold Myerson’s column in the Washington Post today, “The GOP scrambles for a bogeyman,” I found a lot to like about Europe and a lot not to like about the current Republican candidates for President.

Newt Gingrich, as Myerson points out, recently attacked the President for advocating European Socialism. Mitt Romney claimed Mr. Obama was for “a European-style welfare state.” Romney went on to say that he was for a “free land.”

Oh,my! No wonder both Gingrich and Romney are fading in popularity. When a nation becomes so prideful and conceited that it cannot learn from other lands and other peoples, it is going down a dangerous and lonely road.

Many of the European nations, fully democratic and free lands, are doing quite well, thank you very much.

Do these Republicans want to break ties with the European nations that they think are so socialistic? Do they think it is impossible that a nation like Britain developed a national health care system through its democratic system and not through socialism? Couldn’t Germany have developed its extraordinary business climate that provides workers the opportunity to have input into corporate decisions through the democratic process?

Viva la France!
I love France so much that it is like a second home to me. To really know France is to recognize that it is one of the most democratic, just and free nations on the globe. It’s also creative, innovative and progressive.

Have we a greater ally anywhere on earth than the European Union?

Does Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney really believe that Sweden, Norway and Denmark are socialistic nations – that they are not free lands?

We have better and more cooperative relations with the nations of Europe under President Obama than we have had in many decades. And hooray for that!

America does not need to be like Europe. It is a bogus claim to say that Obama or anyone wants to make us like Europe; however, it is wrong to say that Europe is a socialist place and not a free land. Gingrich and Romney should be ashamed of themselves for either being so stupid or so dishonest.

Someone should remind Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney that Europe is a dear, dear friend and has been for a long, long time. As Meyerson says…

The answer, of course, is that Western Europe was our staunch ally in blocking the spread of Soviet communism and today joins us in such joint ventures as the overthrow of Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi. (Indeed, the Europeans flew the planes while we made the plans.) By any measure, these nations are home to democracies no less robust than ours. Yes, their governments tax more than ours and offer more benefits; they have universal health care that enables their citizens to live longer than ours; and their colleges are still largely free.

Hooray to President Obama for improving our relationships with Europe. It was the right thing and the smart thing to do. Obama’s popularity in Europe remains very high and that’s important.

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