Isn't the European Union the Model Conservatives Are Actually Asking the United States to Morph Into? [127*-8]

THE BIRTH OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The Rome Treaty was signed in 1957 and came into force in 1958. It created the European Economic Community
The Rome Treaty was signed in 1957 and came into force in 1958. It created the European Economic Community | Source

THE GOOD MODEL

I WAS LISTENING TO LEWELLEN KING, host of the Washington Chronicles which is presented, among other places on Sirius/XMs POTUS broadcast. His guest was the European Union's Ambassador to the United States. King started off the conversation by noting the mountain of disparaging remarks about Europe coming from the 2012 Republican presidential candidates, their surrogates, and their PACs. Being a good diplomat, the Ambassador refused to bite, but, for me, I find it very ironic as well as rude.

Being rude, comes with the territory, I suppose; politicians simply don't know how to be any other way, especially during a campaign. Normally they keep in in-house, but this campaign, they decided to go international with their derision's. I find it ironic because when the Conservatives are mocking and denigrating the Europeans, their nations, and their Union, they are, in fact, mocking themselves for the European Union's organization is the same model Conservatives propose the United States follow!

WHAT!, you say? How can this be so? Rather simply, really. Conservatives the best way America should be organized is with a weak Central government whose primary concerns are, foreign policy, interstate commerce, and national defense. Everything else should be left to the several States who are allowed to chart their own course without too much interference from the central government. Have I got that about right?

Well, take a peak at the European Union. It is a weak Central government whose charter gives it responsibility over foreign policy, inter-nation commerce, and European defense. It has the added responsibility of establishing a single currency and maintaining a central bank; neither of which was in the United States' original charter, much to our detriment.

Isn't that interesting, to listen to the Conservatives talk, there is not thing that is redeemable regarding the European experience, yet, the European Union (EU) is exactly what Conservatives want the US to be, don't you see. Never mind that many, but not all, of the nations that make up the EU have a "socialist" form of government, to one degree or another. Under the Conservative paradigm each nation should be free to choose its own course, so long as it stays within the general guidelines of the EU charter, yet, Conservatives seem to have great objection to the choices made by most, if not all, of the members of the EU.

Now, I might get some push back regarding the difference between the nations in the EU and the states in the US. The claim would be, I think, that we are talking apples and oranges here; but are we? What is it that defines each nation in Europe? I can think of a three, language, history, and culture. Now let's look at the United States, more specifically, New York and Louisiana. How different can two histories and cultures be? As to language, have you ever seen somebody from NYC trying to communicate with somebody from the Louisiana bayou? Granted, both are American English, but, as one from California ... barely. What I am saying, of course is, up close, there are as many differences between the states as there are between the countries in Europe, and from a distance, they are as coherent within the construct of the United States as the European nations are within the European Union. One other thing to remember as well, the EU is as far a long in development as the US was in 1800.

Never mind also, that most Conservatives apparently do not know what Socialism really is. A lot of Conservatives like to think California and New York (or at least New York City) are Socialist States because of the degree of social services and welfare these entities provide their citizens. In fact, while Socialism does have aspects of social welfare about it, it is much more than that. Socialism, what Conservatives claim Obama believes in, is an economic system characterized by "social ownership", meaning society owns the means of production and distribution.

Socialism can exist with either a "planned" ecomomy or a "market" economy. The Soviet Union, one of the most extreme forms of Socialism, was a planned economy while China, is now a market economy, although still very Communist and very Socialist. By the way, Nazi Germany was also a prime example of a true Socialist economy.

If I am not mistaken, all European countries have a market-based economy that operates very similar to our own. Granted, there may be State ownership or heavy regulation of some essential industries, mainly things like utilities, transportation, and the like in some of the countries; but then so did the United States from WW II to 1981. So, why are Conservatives so upset with the Europeans that the make so much fun of them? It certainly can't be their free-market based economy, can it? It can't be their governmental organization, since it emulates what Conservatives propose for America. It must be their social support system, their desire that the State provide a better life for its citizens, which is why California and New York City are in their sights.

For a movement so in love with nation-states being able to choose their own destiny, Conservatives sure have an issue with the European nations choosing theirs and not being rudely critisized for it.

SO - WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Is the European Union the same governmental model the Conservatives want for America?

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Comments 17 comments

CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 4 years ago from Northern Germany

Good observation, makes me smile.

Of course it is a little rude to address the ignorance of some GOP candidates, however true that may be.

The EU by far does not hold the sovereign power that the US government has.


Angelo52 profile image

Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

Conservatives,like all groups (religion, liberal, etc.) are intolerant of other peoples and groups. They want to impose their way of life on everyone else, whether everyone else wants it or not. It will have to be everyone else who rise to the occasion and deny the narrow minded groups the power they seek over our everyday lives.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

@JSChams, thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, you are quite right, that is what they say. But please tell me the difference between the Conservative construct and the EU construct ... don't they have almost identical characteristics?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Good to see you again, @Chris, yes, that is very true regarding the sovereign power; but, isn't that what Conservatives want, to reduce the power of the federal government down to that of the EU?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you for coming by, @Angello, I appreciate it. True, all groups are biased toward their members, but, unless they are on the extreme end of their particular pursuasion, everything else being equal, non-Conservative groups tend to have a "live-and-let-live" attitude.

Studies have shown that Conservatives, on the other hand,

have a built-in belief of the natural seperation between groups of people, whether it be racial, gender, or religious. Having this belief is one characteristic that defines them as being Conservative. If they didn't hold this view, to one degree or another, they wouldn't be a Conservative to start with.

I won't touch on race to prove my point, but will direct your attention to Conservatives, who are mainly some variation of fundamentalist Protestant Christians, belief of the superiority of men over women ... KVV2000 - Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." or

The God's Word Translation of the same verse - "I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel." and from the New International Version, Genesis 3:16 - " “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Both male and some female Fundamentalists take those verses to heart, even today.

As to religion, do you think a Conservative will EVER vote for a non-Christian, they are having enough of a problem swallowing Mitt Romney, a Mormon and fellow Christian.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

@JSChams, you know very well, I didn't say any of that or even hint at what you suggest. I simply made the observation that what Conservatives are asking for in the relationship between the states and the federal government is exactly what is being practiced in Europe today, i.e., a weak central government and powerful states who are allowed to do just about anything they want. Exactly how am I wrong?

I am just wondering, do you think one "major" recession or depression, meaning equal to or worse than 2008, every 5 years is something you can be proud of?? Well, that is the Conservative economic record from 1810 through 1929. Sort of make what is going on in Europe today look like a walk-in-the-park, doesn't it.

Just for the record, yes I do think the U.S. Constitution, with all of its Amendments, is the best thing since sliced bread. I also think our political system is better than the parlamentary system used throughout most of the rest of the world. However, I don't denigrate the others for choosing something different from us. I am just glad we chose a somewhat different path.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Now your second to last paragraph is 'right on'! Couldn't agree more. However, as to the major economic downturns, Europe often sat by while America went up and down, fortunately only to minor degrees since 1940 until 2008; they have prospered where we have not.

To a large degree, America and its housing bubble are responsible for the current economic woes in Europe, were it not for that, they might have survived many more years before what has beset them, finally did. There is no question they were prime for a downfall, just as Conservative economic theory sets the US up for major downturns, because the problems they currently face were unstainable, just like our housing bubble.

I don't hold the EU out as a better example, just another way of doing business that doesn't deserve the invective the current crop of Conservative presidential candidates and their mouthpieces are heaping on them, that is all, especially since they run their government the same way Conservatives want to run our government, weak central authority and near automomous state authority. Further, I have yet to hear you disagree with that assessment, and if you do, how is it different? Do you believe in a strong central government with the states playing a subservient role?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I would argue that a weak central government with automous states isn't what the creators of the Constitution were shooting for. Tell, why would they spend all of the time and effort completely rewriting the Articles of Confederation if a weak central government was their goal? They already had such a government in the Contenental Congress; it doesn't make sense to me,does it to you? Why change the Articles of Confederation so drastically in the first place?

Also, if you look back in American history you will find the Federalists, those for the U.S. Constitution, were the "Progressives" of the day and the anti-Federalists, those who strongly opposed ratification of the Constitution, would be your Conservatives and Tea Party activists.

There is no question, the Conservative founding fathers were flat against the new Constitution and fought hard to retain the Articles of Confederation. Why would they do that if they thought the Constitution provided for a weak central government, I ask you?


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Brilliant analysis, My Esoteric. It is useless to explain this obvious comparison to Conservatives. They are doctrinaire in their beliefs and do not really examine them. They need more deep critical thinkers like Bill Buckley instead of Ayn Rand robots. The individual European nations have far more power than the centralized government and they are leading it into economic chaos.. Actually I believe this is what the Tea Party Conservatives want. That is to blow up what we have and create their narrow individualistic Nirvana. Which would actually be like a "Mad Max" wasteland.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks, HS, I appreciate the comments. Yes, it is extremely hard for one wedded to an idea to accept alternative ideas, even in the face of insurmountable evidence. It is a common characteristic of extremes from both sides of the political aisle. Can you imagine Barney Franks ever accepting the fact that a single-payer health plan, vis-a-vis England, is simply not practicable in America?


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

ME, Conservatives are basically hypocrites who have failed to do due dilengence to actually match a term with what its correct meaning. If someone takes too long at the checkout line, the rightwinger calls her or she a "socialist" Europe is perceived by the right as liberal since the foundation of the average economy is much more "socialist' relative to the US. greater levels of taxation, or more government paid social services. For instance which nation in Europe would even think that anything other than single payer health care system is even up for debate? Their yardstick is different from ours.

Decentalization and free-markets is only valid based on the "American" model or the rightwinged one. You must accept the fact that from the rightwinger's point of view, Europe can do nothing right, to believe otherwise would be embracing societies where the state has a obligatory relationship with its citizens to discourage excessive wealth or dire poverty. What may well be considered rightwing to them may be the equivalent of just left of center in the United States. So I think that you compare apples with hand granades.

Thanks Cred2


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Hehe, apples and hand-grenades, eh? Thanks for sharing Credence.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

I see a difference between what you call a weak federal government and a Constitutionally limited government. Conservatives have no problem with the federal government acting with strength in areas that are legitimately in its domain, according to the Constitution. What Conservatives object to, is for the federal governmen to usupt the powers of the states and the citizens.

I'm glad to hear that you consider NAZI Germany to be a true example of a socialist government, I've been trying to make that point for quite some time. Its a good point you make about the fact that socialism can exist in a planned or market economy this is true. The NAZI's controlled business more often through regulation than through direct control. I've made the point that fascism is just a form of socialism, you could easily make the case that the US is becoming more Fascist in that the government is increasing regulatory control and collusion with the private sector.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for the comment, WBA. What is the the Nazi party called, the "National Socialist German Workers' Party"? The name sort of gives it away. I would disagree, however, that it was a toned down definition of Socialism practiced by Hitler. There was nothing "free" in Hitler's market economy. It might not have been as ubiquitous as his neighbors, the Soviet Union, but it bears no resemblance to Conservative's worst nightmare about Obama. Make no mistake, where it counted, the Nazi government directly controlled the production and distribution, whether buy direct ownership, or draconian regulation, of most important supplies and services in Germany. It is that "peoples" control of production and distribution that defines classical Socialism and, as I said in my piece, I am not sure how many Americans, let alone Conservatives, are aware of that when they discuss Socialism. Providing tax suppoerted services to the people is only a small sliver of what Socialism really is.

If I have my facts somewhat right, during its regulatory heyday, Truman and Eisenhower, (until Reagan, the remaining administrations and Congresses left things as they were) government regulation fell (or still falls) in two main categories, "national insterest" and "special interest". The former, being production and distribution of energ as well as nationally-oriented services such as airline and telephone and, at the state level, insurance; while privately owned, government had a heavy hand in price structure. In the latter category is one of interest today, insurance as well, except it is the distribution of insurance, mainly health. Because of lobbying efforts, each major health insurance company has ended up with its own piece of America to be a monopoly in.

But, even has involved as the government was in these instances, it was never close to the type of involvement in a true socialist country such as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. And Obama, at his worst, is a far cry as to how it was under President Eisenhower ... yes, I was alive and aware then.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

WBA, I believe that fascism is a political system while socialism is economic. One does not necessarily imply the other.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Excellent and quite accurate observations and comparisons. Tried to follow all the comments, but occasionally got lost.

Not sure I entirely agree with your characterization of Nazi Germany, but that is a minor point. A great Hub. SHARING


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I appreciate your very nice comment, PHDast, thank you.

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